And Now Some News That's Fit To Print - But Wasn't
Times Editorial Columnist
A bulging file stashed in my bottom desk drawer bears the label "FIT TO PRINT." It contains numerous and sundry news items that, for whatever reason, have never been published in the pages of our local newspapers. Until now:
-- Citizen watchdog exposes Seattle schools' link to Internet smut. Picture this: Two bare-chested boys embraced in a kiss. A third person, whose face is not shown but is also bare-chested, stands off to the side with his hand on the head of one boy. Below the vivid color photo, which is posted on the Internet home page of a group called "AltKids," is a caption explaining that the group provides a service "in which gay and bisexual kids can find partners or friends of the same sexual orientation." To post messages on the site's "Alternative Connections" page, users must register not just their name and age, but their height, weight, hair color, eye color, address and phone number.
Until last week, after West Seattle citizen activist Linda Jordan and other concerned parents complained to the school board, this on-line "service" was advertised on the "links" section of the National Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Teachers Network (GLSTN). GLSTN provides support to a chapter in Washington state, many of whose members are employed by the Seattle School District's Sexual Minority Advisory Council. The Council promoted the national GLSTN office's web site in literature made available to schoolchildren.
Prior to Jordan's complaint, Seattle students had unlimited access to the GLSTN site and to the smutty AltKids link. After viewing the photos, the district's legal counsel, Mark Green, contacted the national GLSTN office, which has removed the AltKids link from its site pending further investigation. Green told me that district computer technicians have blocked the site from public school computers. Kudos to Jordan for making the schools safer. But where were all the district's guardians? What other exploitative materials are children being exposed to in the name of teaching tolerance and self-respect?
-- Seattle's diversity training: "Undoing racism" - or inciting it? Back in May, both major dailies reported on the plight of Capt. Randy Hansen, a high-ranking Seattle Fire Department officer who is white. Hansen was issued a written warning and sentenced to "sensitivity training" for satirizing minority firefighters' associations that he considered divisive. Five months later, the newspapers reported that the department had overturned the written warning. But no follow-up story on the controversial, taxpayer-subsidized training seminar has yet appeared.
The two-day course called "Undoing Racism" was held during the last week of October and taught by two out-of-state diversity consultants who are black. According to Hansen and other city employees who attended the mandatory seminar, the following bits of dialogue were taught or encouraged: "Because white society controls all access to the systems, all whites are racist, and therefore no minorities can be racist." "Any minority leader who is successful and doesn't give back to the black community is a sell-out." "Toxic dumps are put in poor minority communities. Whites do this intentionally to protect whites." "O.J. Simpson is not guilty. Nicole Simpson was a slut, drug user, and prostitute . . ."
Hansen notified the media two weeks ago about these reprehensible statements made on the taxpayers' dime. To date, only KVI talk radio host John Carlson has fully informed the public about the story, provided updates, and called on city officials to be held accountable for last month's racially intolerant harangue. Where are all the rest of the city's repairers of the breach?
-- PDC investigates Locke temple visits. On Sept. 23, this column first reported on two questionable fund-raising visits by gubernatorial candidate Gary Locke and his staff to a Buddhist temple in Redmond. The Ling Shen Ching Tze temple is registered as a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization and is forbidden by law from engaging in campaign activities such as on-site endorsements or fund-raising. Yet, temple leader Sheng-Yen Lu endorsed Locke's candidacy from the pulpit and the Locke campaign's trips to the temple yielded about $13,100 in contributions.
A number of the donors identified as "temple administrators" or "priests" could not be reached in order to confirm their financial wherewithal. According to an internal Locke campaign memorandum, several provided erroneous information about their occupations, employers and addresses. The Locke campaign refuses to release copies of the checks from the temple-related donors. Two East Coast political news wire services, The Hotline and The Bulletin's Frontrunner, have reported on news of Locke's Buddhist temple problems. But the story has yet to be reported in the news columns of any local print media outlet.
In the meantime, the Public Disclosure Commission confirmed last week that it is investigating the matter.
Michelle Malkin's column appears Tuesday on editorial pages of The Times. Her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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