Yeah, No

So, yeah, this happened today.

In case you missed it, that’s

“We can’t continue to legislate everything. We’ve had some horrible things happen in America and in our state, and there’s children that have actually committed suicide, but I will submit to you today that they did not commit suicide because of somebody bullying them. They committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home.”

I honestly can’t make myself understand this. I read it and I read it and I think that this is a person, like me, who has friends and family members and yet this would come out of his face. Children in this state have come out, been bullied about it–some have even been kicked out of their homes–and their lives have gone so wrong and so many people have failed to come to their aid that they literally think that they have no better option than to kill themselves.

And one of our state legislators is literally like “eh, not our problem.” Like there are just some kids we can’t be bothered to worry that much about. If they die, they die.

And the worst part? I swear to god, this is the part that just fucking undoes me. This is his apology:

“After reviewing my comments on the House Floor today, I regret what was a poor choice of words. My true intent was to protect children from becoming criminals. Suicide has touched my family, and I would never want a parent or family member to feel they were responsible for such an unimaginable tragedy.”

Suicide has touched his family and he still said those thing. I don’t know. I couldn’t understand it before, but knowing that, it just… I don’t know… is there a level beyond failing to understand? It’s like I can’t even recognize these words and actions as that of another person.

Who talks this way? Who talks this way when they personally know what it’s like to lose someone to suicide?

I get blaming the person who commits suicide. I get being angry at them. Those are feelings that I recognize, feelings I’ve had myself, even if I know they’re misguided.

But to blame their parents? It just baffles me in a way that hurts my heart.

Those losses matter. But the truth is that I really don’t think Faison thinks they do.

There are discussions to be had about anti-bullying legislation. Fine. But why shouldn’t it be illegal, on its own, no matter what the outcome, for a kid to harass another kid? It’s illegal among adults. Why shouldn’t it be illegal for a kid to stalk another kid? It’s illegal among adults.  Why can’t the things bullies do be crimes if the bullies are under 18? They don’t have to carry as sever a penalty, but my god, clearly, if you’re harassing a kid because of his real or perceived sexual orientation, you do need some kind of intervention in your life and your victim deserves to be protected from you.

Is it because “good” kids have gotten your message that gay people suck so we wouldn’t want them to have any “undue” bad consequences for enforcing the social order you wish existed?

Is that it? Is this about protecting the kids who carry out the fucking evil bullshit on gay kids or kids who are perceived as gay that you wish were legal to carry out on gay people across the board?

I think it is, and that makes me weep with rage.

 

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2 thoughts on “Yeah, No

  1. I get the whole ‘nanny state’ fear that he’s trying to raise here, but it’s pretty inappropriate in this situation.

  2. Late to this, but no, he wasn’t trying to raise any nanny state fear. He was trying to provide cover for bullies, like himself, who prey on LGBT people. He simply thought he had a receptive audience in the TN legislature, which is indeed reason to weep.

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