February 4, 2012

Concerning events in and around Anoka, MN

This is so depressing/infuriating that I actually recommend putting off reading until you have time to decompress afterward. I took it in two chunks.

“This isn’t something you kid about, Brittany,” her mom scolded, snatching the kitchen cordless and taking it down the hall to call the Johnsons. A minute later she returned, her face a mask of shock and terror. “Honey, I’m so sorry. We’re too late,” she said tonelessly as Brittany’s knees buckled; 13-year-old Sam had climbed into the bathtub after school and shot herself in the mouth with her own hunting rifle. No one at school had seen her suicide coming.

No one saw the rest of them coming, either.


  1. Sheila Ryan on February 4th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    “The silence of adults was deafening.” Makes me want to scream.

  2. Rick Neece on February 4th, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Yes. Where’s the place I can scream loudest?

  3. Sheila Ryan on February 4th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Let’s start screaming in Anoka, Rick. Meet you there.

    The cowardice of the ‘lukewarm’ adults is what most maddens me, I think. I’ve already written off the nut-case haters.

    Honestly, what good is it being an adult if you’re not willing to stand up and act like one?

  4. Sheila Ryan on February 4th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Just to be on the safe side, however, the district held PowerPoint presentations in a handful of schools to train teachers how to defend gay students from harassment while also remaining neutral on homosexuality. One slide instructed teachers that if they hear gay slurs – say, the word “fag” – the best response is a tepid “That language is unacceptable in this school.” (“If a more authoritative response is needed,” the slide added, the teacher could continue with the stilted, almost apologetic explanation, “In this school we are required to welcome all people and to make them feel safe.”) But teachers were, of course, reminded to never show “personal support for GLBT people” in the classroom.

    Yeah. I’d say a more authoritative response is needed.


  5. Rick Neece on February 4th, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Sheila, I want to get in the car and drive to Anoka. I just don’t think standing on a street corner, holding a hand-lettered sign, is the answer. It might get news for a moment. Where does real change happen? Perhaps notice starts with a hand-lettered sign. Or tents on McPherson Square. But whose ear does one need to bend to really change things? I’m glad Bachman has backed out, though there are still those who would listen to her. And believe.

  6. Rick Neece on February 4th, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    And Palin and Newt and Romney.

  7. Sheila Ryan on February 4th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    It’s hard to know where change starts. Somewhere people stop being afraid, I reckon — though of what, I don’t know. And how do you ease the fear? Screaming probably doesn’t help, much as I want to scream.

  8. Rick Neece on February 4th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    I guess, what I’m asking is, “Where’s our voice, in theirs?”

  9. Rick Neece on February 4th, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    How do we make them hear?

  10. Rick Neece on February 4th, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Dave, thank you for the post. I share your infuriation.

  11. Sheila Ryan on February 4th, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    From a dear dear dear friend:

    “Screaming is good. I curse everything. My kitties have no clue what I’m screaming about. They cope nicely with their queer crip.

    “Losing Cornelius and Gazzara this week had to contribute to my bonkers-ness.”

  12. Sarah Pavis on February 5th, 2012 at 1:28 am

    This reminds me of Alabama’s recent, sweeping anti-illegal alien law that forbids the government from aiding in any way anyone suspected of being an illegal alien. Your husband beating you? Can’t get an order of protection. Shockingly this climate of racism caused everyday people to become racist making what was already a bad situation even worse. Want to get groceries or get money that was wired to you? The cashier might ask to see your papers. (Not part of the law but something lots of places started doing.) The This American Life episode about it is predictably depressing.

    America, land of the free.

  13. Carole Corlew on February 5th, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Don’t get me started on that Alabama law. Thanks so much for emboldening them, Arizona.

  14. Carole Corlew on February 5th, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Jim Crow law!

  15. Carole Corlew on February 5th, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state, drafted the AL immigration law. Think this will be confined to places like Alabama? Think again. It was part of the “Republican Handshake.” Watch for it in a statehouse near you.

    Greatest part of that American Life piece: “Do you think Jesus would vote for the bill?”


    Sorry, back to MN.