Friday, June 10, 2005

"An Assault on Sesame Street": Republicans could learn from Big Bird!

In November, 2004, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General in Kosovo, Soren Jessen Petersen introduced Sesame Street in the Albanian language and Serbian language to Kosovo.

Photo of the launch of Sesame Street in Kosovo

"We may be different, we may speak different languages, we may come from different places, but on Sesame Street, we all live together. On Sesame Street, there is place for everybody. On Sesame Street, we live peacefully together and we have lots of fun while being a little bit serious from time to time," he said.
But for some House Republicans, America is not a place where we can all live peacefully together, have lots of fun, and be serious from time to time.

For Republicans, Public Broadcasting should be condemned for showing tolerance especially of same-sex marriages. As John Lawson, president of Public Television Stations pointed out:
" the subcommittee's decision to kill the Ready to Learn program, which provided $23 million for children's shows, came as payback for an episode earlier this year of "Postcards From Buster," in which Buster visits a pair of lesbian parents in Vermont. PBS pulled the episode as it began to face complaints about it."

So Buster, this cartoon Bunny goes and visits some kids in Vermont who happen to live with lesbian parents. It was too much for the Christian-right to allow those children who also live in households that are led by homosexual parents, the fleeting satisfaction that maybe they were "o.k.". That this rabbit character, Buster, might send a message that these children were legitimate members of American society and should not be ashamed of their family, of their parents, and the country they lived in.

That was too much for the Christian-right that doesn't really give a damn about children.

By a voice vote yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee approved a budget that "...would cut the budget for public television and radio nearly in half and eliminate a $23 million federal program that has provided some money for producing children's shows that include "Sesame Street," "Clifford the Big Red Dog," "Between the Lions" and "Dragon Tales.""

But why? Why punish the children?

Some of it is Buster's fault. You see Buster teaches tolerance and diversity. These are dirty words for the neocons in the Congress. Tolerance suggests that there could be more than one lifestyle in America and that individuals who are different might deserve our respect.

That would mean moral relativism. Things are either "black or white" for our Republican friends.

Especially about sexuality.

So cry for Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie-Monster.

Cry for Buster.

Cry for Clifford.

But most of all, cry for America! We have leaders who do not appreciate that the lesson of tolerance, the lesson of understanding, the lesson of diversity is important to grasp for all of America...even for them.

America deserves better! We need a country that values each and every individual. That truly cares for children and supports education and educational television that teaches respect, love, tolerance, and understanding!



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