I would like to point something out first. The Times Union is under no obligation to link my blog to their site, something they have done for the better part of three years and over 4,000 posts. That being said I hoped for better from them.
I thought it was odd that I got a screen shot of the TUs blog posts that included my blog with the title, Is Gary Chartrand homophobic, from former education reporter Topher Sanders, especially since there were no comments. However five days later quite by accident I put it together as I discovered my blog had been removed from the Times Union’s blog feed. I didn’t receive an e-mail, a note, a heads up, nothing.
The aforementioned Chartrand is the chair of the state board of education and he had just said some rather controversial remarks that many news out lets, not including the Times Union had reported. He talked about instilling Florida’s values into the curriculum and staying away from controversial subjects like homosexuality. I found this offensive so I put what he said with some commentary on my blog and asked if he is homophobic.
This is the blog:
Is Gary Chartrand homophobic too? Union members, black kids, poor kids, what is next?
How is this guy allowed near education again? From the I can’t make this up category, today at Florida’s education summit he said: Florida Board Chairman Gary Chartrand suggested that the state look for a curriculum or instructional materials for Common Core that "align with Florida's values and culture." He said reading lists could upset people; particularly in they mentioned topics such as socialism or homosexuality.
Where do I start? Oh I know, throwing up in my mouth a little bit.
Replacing professional teachers with scabs is not a value I share but it is a value he has. I am not a big fan of raced based goals or handicapping those schools, neighborhoods and students that can least afford it either. Charters, A-F grading scale and ignoring poverty anyone?
Next reading lists should be about expanding horizons and boundaries, opening up student’s minds and allowing them to explore. They shouldn’t be narrowed to reflect Gary Chartrand’s supposed values.
Chartrand talks about values and then proposes we ignore homosexuals as if they didn't exist. I guess for him it would be better if they were all back in the closet.
Money obviously does not equal tact or intelligence.
Very critical and a little snarky too but as you can see nowhere did I say he was homophobic, I merely let his words do the talking for him.
I got a comment from anonymous, who said they were going to report me and now I have no idea is some powerful figure pulled some strings or it was the title of my blog was to controversial as Topher Sanders indicated when I spoke to him but the result is the same as the Times Union has seen fit to drop me from their blog feed in effect censoring me from their readers.
Maybe what I wrote was controversial, maybe people disagreed with my characterization and maybe some people think I am an ass for writing it but at the end of the day since I wasn’t libelous and I didn’t use adult content, shouldn’t the Times Union, the bastion of the first amendment stand up for me, the Washington Post ddidn't think my position was offensive as they printed an excerpt from my blog about Chartrand. The Times Union could say hey we disagree and didn’t like it, it doesn’t reflect our views but at the end of the day he had a right to ask the questions and say it. Heck they could have asked me to change the title and I would have done that too. Instead after years and thousands of posts they chose to censor me.
I just want to add, my mother worked at the Times Union for 28 years. She taught me to read with the Jacksonville Journal at the kitchen table. The Times Union has been a big part of my life and I think I deserve a little more than just to be cut off because someone didn't like a title something I had to discover by accident and I think the people of Jacksonville deserves a paper that stands up for the freedom of speech, even if they don’t necessarily agree with it.