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School Board President Defends Order to Remove LGBTQ Pride Flags by Comparing Them to Ones ‘Supporting White Supremacy’

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An Indiana school board of trustees president is under fire after defending the board’s order to have LGBTQ pride flags removed from three high school classrooms at Pendleton Heights High School. Last week the school district ordered the flags removed from French, Spanish, and art classrooms, claiming they violated a policy forbidding “political paraphernalia,” The Herald Bulletin reports.

After an uproar, South Madison Board of Trustees President Bill Hutton sent a district-wide email to students, families, and school staff, comparing the LGBTQ pride flag with flags promoting “other groups,” including those “supporting white supremacy.”

“The issue with displaying the flag in a school is a double-edged sword. If an LGBTQ+ flag is allowed to be displayed, then any other group would have the same ability,” Hutton claimed. “That could include such flags as supporting white supremacy, which is in direct conflict with LGBTQ+. I hope we can model equality and support through our actions.”

But as many noted, comparing being LGBTQ to holding white supremacist beliefs is not supporting equality.

The board’s order and Hutton’s defense appears to expose what at least one student says is a lack of support for LGBTQ equality.

“LGBT students, including Tai Wills, disagree that the flags are political,” The Herald Bulletin reports.

“Why would you compare a racist flag?” Wills, a 16-year old sophomore at Pendleton Heights High School, said. “Those two have nothing to do with each other.”

“One is about inclusiveness and the other is about hate and exclusion, and I don’t think that’s the same thing at all,” she observed. “It’s already hard dealing with bullying and judgmental kids, and now you can’t even have a flag saying, ‘We support you in the classroom.’”

The Herald Bulletin adds that “Wills said she worries about the mental health and educational success of her classmates. South Madison’s schools during the 2018-19 school year had a rash of suicides and suicide attempts at all grade levels, some of which did involve LGBT students.”

In reality, Wills said, Pendleton Heights has not been supportive of its LGBT students. For instance, last year she started the Gay-Straight Alliance but was told they could not post fliers and raise money like the other clubs.

“Their only excuse was, ‘It’s a sensitive topic,’” Wills adds. “It didn’t really feel like we were a club because we weren’t allowed to do much.”

Pendleton Heights High School junior Bryce Axel-Adams, “started an online petition to allow the flags to be displayed again. He had hoped for several dozen supporters — he had received nearly 3,000 signatures as of Thursday morning,” The Indy Star reports.

That number is now over 4300.

“As a freshman, I remember walking by (a teacher’s) classroom,” Bryce said. “She had it right on the wall so when you were passing by and looking into her room you could see it.”

“I remember walking by her classroom, glancing at it and just being happy. I knew we had an ally here at the school.”

The flags, which had been up for over a year, remain removed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Whole Case Is a Mess’: Internet Stunned as Judge Lets Rittenhouse Choose Final Jurors in Raffle System

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Controversial Judge Bruce Schroeder allowed Kyle Rittenhouse, on trial for shooting three people and killing two of them with an AR-15 assault weapon he had illegally obtained and carried across state lines, with literally having a hand in choosing the twelve jurors who will now decide his fate.

Judge Schroder has been under fire for what many see as extraordinary deference to Rittenhouse, some even say support of Rittenhouse. Others have noted his cell phone ring tone is the same song as Donald Trump’s campaign theme song, and others still were offended by at least one offhand “joke” Schroder made. Trial watchers were also stunned when Schroder falsely claimed zooming in on a photo as millions of people do daily to enlarge it is “so-called scientific evidence.” And others were disturbed by Schroeder’s very public attacks on the prosecutor.

18 jurors sat through the entire trial, but only 12, as is customary, will decide the case.

“At the direction of Circuit Judge Bruce Schroder,” the Associated Press reports Tuesday afternoon, “Rittenhouse’s attorney placed slips of paper into a raffle drum with the numbers of each of the 18 jurors on it who sat through the two-week trial. The drum had been sitting on a window ledge throughout the trial but was placed in front of Rittenhouse at the defense table Tuesday.”

“Rittenhouse then selected six pieces of paper from the drum, who a court official then read aloud to be dismissed: 11, 58, 14, 45, 9 and 52.”

The remaining 12 will deliberate the case.

“I’ve never heard of a defendant pulling the names,” Portage County Assistant District Attorney Robert Jambois told the AP. “That’s done by a member of the court.”

Not in this case, which has deviated from general norms repeatedly.

Former Milwaukee County assistant district attorney Julius Kim told the AP, “I’ve never seen a judge allow a defendant to draw those names. That might be a little unconventional but there’s nothing wrong with it that I could really see.”

On social media many were stunned.

 

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Watch: NBC News Reporter Blames President Biden for ‘Profane’ Right Wing ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Attacks

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NBC News’ Peter Alexander on Friday appeared to blame President Joe Biden for the extreme right’s profane and vulgar attacks which are masked by the code phrase “Let’s Go Brandon.”

The phrase actually means “F*ck Joe Biden,” but Alexander blamed the President for its usage and popularity among the right.

“Across this country, we’ve seen this new phenomenon lately chanted at sporting events and on signs. The phrase is ‘Let’s Go Brandon,’ and is sort of code for a profane slogan attacking President Biden. What does the President make of that?” Alexander asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on her first day back from battling a breakthrough case of COVID-19.

“I don’t think he spends much time focused on it or thinking about it,” she replied.

But Alexander sought fit to press his question, insisting that somehow President Biden was to blame, asking if he should be doing things differently, given that one of Biden’s “primary promises” was “to help bring Americans together.”

“The president said when he came into office on Inauguration Day,” Alexander began again, “he said he was going to help get rid of the uncivil war in this country. So I guess through that lens right now, does the President think there’s things that he can do differently? Or how does he react to the stuff he sees out there when it is one of his primary promises or desires to help bring Americans together?”

Psaki made clear it’s a two-way street.

“Well, it takes two to move towards a more civil engagement discourse in this country and the President’s going to continue to operate, as you said, from the promise he made early on which is that he wants to govern for all Americans. He’s going to deliver for all Americans as is evidenced by the infrastructure bill that he’s going to sign on Monday. That’s going to help expand broadcast – broadband – to everyone, no matter your political party, no matter whether you voted for him or not. That’s going to replace lead pipes, make sure kids have clean drinking water, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican or not political at all. That’s how he’s going to govern. And certainly we’re hopeful we’ll have partners to move toward more civil discourse with in the future. Thank you. Thanks.”

Watch:

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Susan Collins, Under Fire for Refusing to Support Abortion Rights Bill, Endorses Racist Pro-Trump Ex-Governor

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U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is under mounting criticism for refusing to support a Democratic bill that would make access to abortion the law of the land, as the U.S. Supreme Court, experts believe, prepares to reverse its historic 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Senator Collins, who repeatedly claims to be pro-choice, is being criticized after years of supporting then-President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees at every level of the federal judiciary, including two of his three Supreme Court picks.

According to the progressive group Suit Up Maine, Collins voted to confirm of 208 of Trump’s judicial nominees. She voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, but against Amy Coney Barrett, reportedly because she felt the vote should not take place so close to an election. But Collins did vote to put Barrett on the federal bench in 2017.

The anger against Collins on social media has been palpable Wednesday, but it may be about to get worse.

According to NBC News affiliate News Center Maine, Collins just endorsed former Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage for a third term. LePage was term-limited after two consecutive terms, but announced in April he is running once again.

For those who don’t remember, LePage is a Trump acolyte known for making outrageous and vulgar remarks, is anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, and pro-death penalty. He opposes legalization of marijuana, opposes renewable energy, supports “school choice,” opposes ObamaCare, wants to reduce the number of hospitals in the state, and has made racist remarks.

Related –
Gov. Paul LePage: I’m Not Racist, You C*cksucker, But People of Color are “The Enemy”

This was Gov. LePage in 2016:

“As Maine recovers from the pandemic, Paul is the best candidate to grow our economy,” Collins said Wednesday in a pre-recorded video endorsing LePage, who once called himself “Baby Trump.”

The outpouring of outrage against Collins is tremendous.

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