Friday, November 26, 2004

One more reason to be grateful

The ACLU is defending a Missouri High Schooler who was sent home for wearing a gay pride tee shirt. The NYT has the story. This is what Brad Mathewson's mom said:
All he wants is to wear his T-shirts. He's a typical teenager, so he's angry that they're trying to tell him what he can and can't do. We had a meeting at the school to talk about it, but we didn't get anywhere with them. They talked, I listened, and I got more and more mad. At the end I just took him home with me.
Aside from the most obvious bits of gratitude 1. I do not live in Missouri, and 2. I am no longer in high school, the story made me think about my what good parents I had too.

I think I must have been about 12 years old when I when I wore a tee shirt to school that my radical sister had given me when she was at the University of Wisconsin in the 70s. The front of the shirt had Bucky Badger, the UW mascot, in a hat with a red star on it, brandishing a submachine gun over his head. "Go Big Red" it said under the picture. I was sent to the principal's office and they called my dad at work to report that *gasp* I was wearing a Communist shirt in school. My dad's response: "Last I checked my daughter had a Constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech."

I really had a great dad. I wish I believed in heaven so I could get together with him again one day and talk to him about stuff. Though I'm also grateful he didn't live to see what a fucked up mess things are these days. He lived through enough shit--McCarthy, Nixon, the riots... but he never stopped loving America for what it could be.

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