What’s happening with the Parker Public Library is a real drag.
I hope it doesn’t get dragged out.
I hope we don’t see a knock-down, drag out fight.
That was just a little humor to lighten the mood. We need some of that given some of the reactions to the Parker Public Library planning to host a Drag Story Hour on Aug. 27. At the Library Advisory Board meeting Aug. 8, it was postponed indefinitely.
Supporters of this event say it’s important to teach children about those who are different from themselves. They say this will show Parker is a welcoming and diverse community.
The opponents worry about the sexualization of children, and state this event is not appropriate for young children.
I can see both sides, and there are points both make that I can agree with. Maybe there should be an age restriction on this. It’s also important to let people know that we in Parker welcome all kinds of people.
One Library Board member, Janet Carlson, said she felt blindsided by this as it wasn’t discussed first with the board. Maybe it should’ve been. Moving forward, that should be something the library staff keeps in mind when planning events in the future.
Something that disturbs me is the questioning of the motives of the people involved. Particularly, I have seen comments that vilify and demonize the LGBTQ community in general and the library staff for putting on such an event.
People who are LGBTQ and the library staff are your neighbors. Seriously, can’t we at least agree that everyone involved here has the best interests of children at heart? The problem is they disagree as to what those interests are.
I’ve seen comments about holding the library staff “accountable” for this. I agree they should be. However, if you do that, there are other things you should also hold them accountable for. These include increasing services to seniors and teens, the holding of special events at the library (like the 9-11 display last fall), the upgrades to technology they’ve made available to library patrons, increasing their Spanish-language collection, and the many programs for children.
Don’t forget they held birthday celebrations for Dr. Seuss when many of the “woke” crowd were criticizing him. The library staff wanted to encourage small children to read.
The fact is, first Ruthie Davis and now Tracy McConnell have done an incredible job with the library. They’ve made it a valuable asset to the community.
I should also mention that attendance at the Drag Story Hour is voluntary. No one has to attend, and they don’t have to send their kids if they don’t want to. If it were compulsory, I’d be the first to complain.
I sincerely hope there can be a solution to all this that everyone can live with. When people of goodwill recognize they are working with other people of goodwill, good things can happen.
I should mention that, when I think of drag, I think of Bugs Bunny and his cross-dressing or Max Klinger on “M*A*S*H.” In both cases, it was played for laughs.
Elmer Fudd always fell for Bugs when he was cross-dressing. Elmer was an idiot, but Bugs also fooled Napoleon Bonaparte in another cartoon.
As for Klinger, his cross-dressing was part of an ultimately futile attempt to convince everyone he was crazy so he could qualify for an insanity discharge, a “Section 8.” His other attempts at convincing people he was crazy were quite inventive at times.
There was one episode where some Korean orphans were being relocated and they had to stay for a time at the 4077th M.A.S.H. Klinger read stories to them, and he wasn’t quite sure how to respond when they called him “Mama-san.”
He finally went along with it and let the kids call him “Mama-san.”
See? You’re laughing, aren’t you? Don’t you feel better now? That’s just what we needed.
This matter can be resolved, but not if people are assuming the worst about each other and are calling each other names.
When reasonable people of goodwill work with other reasonable people of goodwill, good things will happen, even it they disagree on many issues.
Maybe Parker can become an example for the fractured politics of our nation.