Comments

  1. Steve says

    Another school board dominated by religious crazies. Just like 90% of all others. And people still think it’s a good idea to elect these low-level flunkies without any qualifications whatsoever.

  2. dearcomrade says

    West Virginia, They put the “Hill” in Hillbilly.

    Once you are old enough to walk there really is no legitimate reason not to leave the place.

  3. anonymous says

    Can you explain why the only epithet in that entire screed which couldn’t be spelled out is the “n-word”? With the exception of queer, all the others are racial slurs just as much as the “n-word” is, so why is it OK to spell them out? And, I’m sure had he used the word faggot, that would have been spelled out completely too.

  4. Caliban says

    It would be interesting to know the background to this, because on the face of it it seems to be an out and out witchhunt, full of unsupported and even silly accusations. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a local church or churches were behind it.

    At first I thought the comment the paper printed must surely be parody, someone pointing out how ridiculous that kind of bigotry is and how prejudice against gays is just one on a LONG list of other targets. But they play the actual message during the interview with Ms Burns and it doesn’t *sound* like the person is being anything other than a bigoted cretin, no joking around. I could be wrong but that’s how it sounded to me.

    In comparison, Ms Burns seems educated, articulate, and clear-headed, someone who would be a good teacher. Someone really needs to shine a light on this situation and stop allowing the school board to hide behind unsubstantiated anonymous allegations to get at their real agenda.

  5. Homo Genius says

    Two points…

    1) Im with Anon, i can see that word and not burst into flames. I honestly dont think its the worst word in the world and cant stand how its censored regardless of context. That said – Some sites WILL NOT use it because it can cause a flag and the site could be blocked. I know another site that wont actually spell out a number of words for this reason. like heroin. they’d say her**n.

    2) Some of you didnt read the article carefully. This WAS NOT a letter. It was an anonymous Voicemail. The paper IMO was negligent in publishing it regardless of its contents.

  6. Richard Harney says

    I think that letter was written in jest. It was probably written by somebody like me to cause this kind of heated discussion to show that it was a discriminating decision. It puts all the homophobes right up there with the KKK and white supremacists. Most homophobes would rather not be associated with such a group.

  7. Caliban says

    Normally I’d agree that printing an anonymous voicemail isn’t proper, and I’m still a little on the fence about it in this instance, but I think it’s clear the paper’s motivation was to EXPOSE this kind of bigotry and hate, not endorse it. They’re exposing the kind of prejudicial thinking behind Ms Burns’ firing.

    And think of it this way. This story has been going on for some time, with unsubstantiated allegations that this teacher tried to “turn her students gay” as part of the reason for her firing. I often read 3 gay news blogs and yet THIS is the first time I’ve heard of this story. Now that the paper printed that comment this story may get some attention outside that small town, shine some light on it. If that was the intent it seems to have worked.

    It’s very easy for stories like this to slip through the cracks because they do take place in small towns. Yet IMO they are more worthy of attention than much the self-congratulatory celebrity tittle tattle we DO see on a daily basis.

  8. says

    is it just me or does that read like a parody version of what we expect ignorant bigots to think like? I wouldn’t be surprised if an LGBT ally sent that in to get people disgusted with the anti-gay mindset and to cement anti-gay hatred as synonymous with other forms of bigotry?

  9. Steve says

    @Caliban
    The background is that she made some accusations about widespread test cheating and the misappropriation or misspending of money. So they retaliated against her.

  10. unruly says

    I think it’s awesome. It just points to all the other people in the community about the company they keep and the bigotry they share when they fired Burns. Seems about right. (And I’d be surprised if that was not the reason the transcription and publishing was done by the paper.)

    It’s a giant message about how backwards the community is.

  11. Caliban says

    @Steve, I saw that in some of the articles I read in the Lincoln Journal. That probably is a big part, if not the main part, of what her firing is really about.

    But what I meant is more background on her accusers, the ones who are claiming she tried to “turn kids gay,” or showed them nude photos or whatever. How about the School Board President or their legal council and the proceedings that allowed them to present rumors and unsubstantiated allegations as evidence? Make them put a face on these accusations or force them to admit it’s all bullsh*t and another agenda entirely was at work.

  12. will b says

    Did you see the video of that managing editor, Shame O’Catholic? Sorry, but he’s serviced a lot of truck stops or confessional booths, mark my words.

  13. Icebloo says

    Interesting that Towleroad edited out the n word but kept all the other offcnsive words in the text. It would seem Towleroad has a problem with understanding the true meaning of “equal”.

  14. John Conolley says

    Let’s not trash West Virginia. But go ahead with Lincoln County. That’s as far back in the sticks as you can get, and I doubt anyone lives there who’s capable of satire. I’d bet money the letter is someone’s straight up opinion.

  15. millerbeach says

    Oh, don’t fool yourselves…this “anonymous” caller really does feel that way. I just wonder why, those who feel so strongly about something, are so hesitant to sign their names? It deflates their credibility, if they had any in the first place…I guess they’re too dumb to notice.

  16. Isaac says

    Woah…but not surprising. Has anybody had conversations with anybody that lives in the south or West VA? I have.
    I spoke to a client on the phone once, he asked my ethnicity. Told him I was part Mexican/Jew. He actually went off on a racist rant, laughing afterward like it was a joke. Had to give that guy over to a white co-worker before I said something that would get me in trouble. So this story, those comments are not satire…they are the simple archaic thoughts that prevail in the south.

  17. ratbastard says

    I think everybody needs protection. I wouldn’t single out any one particular ethnicity, race or religion. I would go as far as to say the disabled [physical and mental], elderly, very young, are deserving of special above and beyond ‘protection’ under the law, from abuse. I would add females, since females are in on average less physically strong vs on average males, and are less biologically prone to be aggressive. However, under our laws and culture, both genders are supposed to be considered equal [in reality, due to special status and benchmarks [quotas] in our society for females, they are in fact more than equal in the eyes of the law and culture, vs males] so one gender shouldn’t receive more than equal status.

    Latinos? Why special protection? From who? And what exactly is a ‘Latino’ or ‘Hispanic’? Many ‘Latinos’ are white European descent, no different than Italians, French, Swedish, Irish, etc.,

    Jews? Special protection from who? And Jews are oppressed in America? Really?

    Some people need to get out of their ghetto. The geographical and mental kinds of ghetto. It’s OK to stray off the plantation.

    You want protection? Learn how to fight, defend yourself, use a weapon to defend yourself. Get a firearm if it’s legal where you live. They don’t call them the great equalizers for nothing.

  18. ratbastard says

    So may fake hate crimes occur, it’s become a joke. And unfortunately, may post lies on TR, too. These things will ultimately come back to bite the ‘oppressed’ communities in the arse.

  19. ratbastard says

    @ JackFknTwist,

    MANY Americans are Agnostic or Atheist, such as myself, and especially outside of the south. Has belief and worship of God, and being religious, been outlawed where you live?

    Where does your fear of firearms come from? Are you Irish? If so, how did Ireland gain it’s independence from Britain? Irish patriots used GUNS and violence. What if they didn’t have any firearms to fight their war for independence?

    The United States is a very large and mostly sparsely populated country, even with 315 million people. I understand this is difficult for western Europeans to appreciate. Firearms are a part of the culture in many parts of the U.S. for legitimate reasons, never mind the fact we have a constitutional right to own them

  20. Chitown Kev says

    While I do believe that the haterade against all of these communities exists in West Virginia, I vote for irony here; that letter is waaaaaaay too over the top.

  21. Joe says

    I was born and raised very near Lincoln County, WV. I assure you, the caller was deadly serious. Lincoln County is just about as backward as one can get, full of racist, ignorant rednecks. Vote buying still occurs there. But Lincoln County is also run by a few families, and if Kelli did anything to get on the bad side of some of the Lincoln County royalty, her name is mud. She needs to shake the dust from her sandals and move on, and let the damn place implode.

  22. David Hearne says

    The Federalist Papers were published anonymously. In and of itself it’s not a damning thing nor is it necessarily evidence of the lack of the courage of ones convictions. Sometimes authorship is a distraction. For example, there are many people here who cannot imagine that Rush Limbaugh has anything worthy to contribute; so convinced are they that they put their hands to their ears every time he speaks.

  23. RaleighRob says

    It was a good thing they published that letter/voicemail. It was their way of saying “Listen up folks! If we don’t change our ways and try to get rid of bigotry, this is what our county will forever be known for.”

    It’s a wake-up call for everyone living there.

  24. Thomas says

    @Caliban–Well stated. Whether this reflected someone’s real feelings or was meant as satire, I think it was important for the paper to publish it. I’ve found that a lot of people who are casually anti-gay start to change their opinion when they see just how much it’s exactly like other forms of hate.

  25. Acronym Jim says

    @ICEBLOO: “It would seem Towleroad has a problem with understanding the true meaning of “equal”.”

    I agree, Andy should have blocked out the full spelling of “Catholic” if he wanted the article to be equal.

    Seriously though, did you or anonymous even read the rest of the article or did you just contrast and compare which terms were edited and which weren’t?

  26. Thomas says

    @Ratbastard–Go get educated and stop embarrassing yourself, please. I realize this is feeding the troll, but:

    What’s this “special protection” you’re talking about? Does it have to do with state action, or behavior of private entities? Are you talking about Equal Protection doctrine? Honestly, you seem to be unclear what your thesis even is about “protection.” You just seem like you want to be angry.

    You’re completely wrong about most of the U.S. being sparsely populated. 80 percent of the population lives in metropolitan areas, and 60 percent are in cities with more than 200,000 people. These might not have the crazy density of many urban places in the world, but they’re not “sparsely populated.” You seem to be imagining the U.S. of the early 20th century. What does population or population density have to do with gun ownership? And when you read the Constitution, do you just ignore the fact that every right has been interpreted as subject to reasonable regulation? You sound like you’ve been listening to too much Ted Cruz rhetoric.

    Maybe you have some logical opinions rattling around in that brain of yours, but you seem completely unable of communicating them.

  27. Thomas says

    @Ratbastard–Go get educated and stop embarrassing yourself, please. I realize this is feeding the troll, but:

    What’s this “special protection” you’re talking about? Does it have to do with state action, or behavior of private entities? Are you talking about Equal Protection doctrine? Honestly, you seem to be unclear what your thesis even is about “protection.” You just seem like you want to be angry.

    You’re completely wrong about most of the U.S. being sparsely populated. 80 percent of the population lives in metropolitan areas, and 60 percent are in cities with more than 200,000 people. These might not have the crazy density of many urban places in the world, but they’re not “sparsely populated.” You seem to be imagining the U.S. of the early 20th century. What does population or population density have to do with gun ownership? And when you read the Constitution, do you just ignore the fact that every right has been interpreted as subject to reasonable regulation? You sound like you’ve been listening to too much Ted Cruz rhetoric.

    Maybe you have some logical opinions rattling around in that brain of yours, but you seem completely unable of communicating them.

  28. Caliban says

    @Ratbastard, what you posted above was REALLY pretty moronic.

    Jews don’t face oppression?! Latinos don’t? Right above that comment in regard to guns you point out how vast the US is, as if that excuses a rather paranoid, archaic, and anti-government “frontiersman” mindset which is out of step with our actual times, but that’s beside the point of this article.

    But the same vastness of this country DOES figure into how race, religion, and sexuality are perceived. Because it IS so large the US has regional differences that aren’t unlike smaller countries, with somewhat distinct attitudes and mores. We use short-hand to describe it, like “the South,” “the Mid-West,” or Red State/Blue State. From there it often breaks down even further between rural and urban.

    Do Jews face oppression in NYC and other large cities? Probably not much if at all. But try packing up your yarmulke and mezuzah and moving to the rural south and see you fare! And while a Mexican-American family in the Rio Grande valley or black people in Memphis may not face much racism I’d recommend they stay far away from many parts of Idaho, Wyoming, and many other states. It’s better for gays in some places but there is still risk everywhere and places you should definitely avoid if possible (some gay people are born there).

    Prejudice and potential violence against minorities can be just as regional as food so just because someone might not need legal protection in one area of the country does NOT mean that the same group doesn’t desperately need it in another.

  29. ratbastard says

    @Caliban,

    The vast majority of the areas people live in large numbers in the U.S. are diverse. You give the impression the U.S. outside of NYC is full of scary violently racist, bigoted whites. It isn’t. White Christians or just white people period DO NOT hold any monopoly on hate, bigotry, racism, or any other kind of ‘ism’. In fact, ‘whites’ are in general the most accepting of diversity on Earth. If you don’t believe me, travel and live Asia, Africa [Saharan and sub-Saharan], etc. Multiculturalism is not something ‘celebrated’ like it is in ‘white’ countries.

    As far as moving to a small town or rural area, ANY ‘stranger’ is going to be stared at, and be talked about. This happens in small towns and rural areas EVERYWHERE, not just the south.

    Finally, my viewpoint has been greatly influenced by the environments I grew up in, which were and are very diverse. I saw and experienced hate, bigotry, just plain arsehole behavior displayed by all kinds of people including blacks, ‘Hispanics’, Asians, etc. And possibly the worse bigot and hate filled person I’ve ever encountered was the Russian Jewish owner of a dental supply manufacturer where I worked as a security guard evenings while in college. This guy would make Archie Bunker seem like a p*ssy cat.

  30. ratbastard says

    @Thomas,

    Thank you, I am in fact reasonably educated.

    Yes, I am aware most Americans live in urban and rural areas. The U.S. also has vast rural areas, and many of our ‘suburban’ areas would be considered rural by western European standards. Even some of our big cities have low population densities, with the exception of a handful like NY, S.F.,Boston, Chicago,Philadelphia, places like that.

    Yes Thomas, I deliberately said special above and beyond treatment and consideration by law, for a select ‘oppressed’ class of people. And Thomas, ‘special’ treatment for this or that group in the workplace and higher education [just two examples] is very real. Employers, especially large ones, have benchmarks [quotas] for this or that ‘special’ person, and the federal government will even provide tax breaks and credits to employers for hiring a specific type of person. None of this is fantasy, Thomas.

    Seriously, who the F is Ted Cruz? I’m quite serious. I had to google him to find who you were referring to.

  31. David Hearne says

    My father died from choking to death on a flood of male ejaculate during a mandingo party. Look what it’s done to me.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 22, 2013 1:33:59 PM

    kiwi/derrick : It’s stunning that you don’ think this is racist.

  32. Shannon says

    IT IS REALLY FUNNT AND SHOCKING TO THE WORLD THAT WHITE AMERICANS DO UNDERSTAND THAT ———–THEY ARE THE GLOBAL MINORITIES OF THE PLNET!!—– IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!!! BLACK PEOPLE ARE THE MOST PRE-DOMINATE RACE NEXT BY ORIENTALS AND ON DOWN! THE US FITS IN AFRICA 5 TIMES….EUROPE FITS IN AFRICA 7-8 TIMES!!!! ……LOL….AND THEY WONDER WHY THE WORLD SEES THEM AS THE IDIOTS OF THE PLANET…..LOLOL

  33. Jerry6 says

    The writer of that letter is right on. The letter shows the absolute bigotry of the School Board and why it should continue its witch hunt for all of the other classes of misfits in the town. Get rid of them all! Make their School an example of “Purity”. There will not be any students in the classes, but it will be free of all the impure students in the town. It will be an example of “Christian Purity.”

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