Thursday, August 03, 2006

Toto, Something Tells Me We're Still in Kansas

J.R. and Robin Knight left California for Meade, Kansas to make their dream come true of owning and running a hotel and restaurant. All was going well until their 12-year-old son returned from Dorothy's house - a museum about the Wizard of Oz - with a rainbow flag souvenir, which J.R. and Robin hung outside their business.

The local newspaper outed the Knights by running an article about the flag (which is often used as a gay rights symbol, as well as a friendship flag) without even bothering to call the Knights and enquire about what it means to them. Since then, the town has been outraged: locals no longer visit their restaurant, the radio station threatened to pull his ads if the flag were not removed, and the pastor stopped by to explain how offensive the rainbow flag is.

According to local Keith Klassen, the rainbow flag is an insult to this good, conservative, American community
"To me it's just like running up a Nazi flag in a Jewish neighborhood. I can't walk into that establishment with that flag flying because to me that's saying that I support what the flag stands for and I don't."
Say what? Supporting equal rights is equivalent to supporting fascism? Which side of that equation does Klassen not understand?

Isn't standing up for the oppressed minority (and don't even try to tell me that gays are not oppressed in Meade, Kansas) more akin to flying a flag with a Jewish symbol in a Nazi neighborhood?

The Knights hung the flag because their son gave it to them as a symbol of friendship. It was not meant to be a political statement. But they are not backing away, now that it has become one. Says Knight:
"Any gay or lesbian people that do stop by will be treated with the best service I can give ... When this rainbow flag shreds, I will buy another one, and another one, and another one - just like my American flag, I'll buy another one."
If I'm ever in Meade, Kansas, I'll be staying with Knights, eating in their restaurant, and showing my support.

Source: Rainbow flag creates controversy

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1 comment:

  1. I feel funny about this story. I blogged on it too and now I'm having second thoughts. I wonder if something else isn't going on here. I don't know for sure and I hope I'm wrong. You may find my second thoughts on this story of interest.


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