Everyone Welcome, But Not Really

As I approached middle-age I had a religious conversion of sorts, going from being a cynical and mocking atheist to a more open-minded agnostic. In 2008 my wife and I found ourselves living in South Alabama, sometimes referred to as the buckle of the Bible belt. Circumstances led me to attend a weekly men’s Bible study, filled with die-hard conservatives. There were no “Everyone Welcome” signs but, to my surprise, I, as a non-believing Yankee who wasn’t reluctant to express my thoughts, was welcomed with not just tolerance, but graciousness and friendship. It dawned on me that this group of Christians (which, BTW, was racially diverse), were the type commonly scorned and ridiculed in the larger progressive culture, the same culture with their mindless and inveracious “Everyone Welcome” ornamentation.

Mindless feelgood slogans have infused psuedo-churches as well as many government, academic, and business institutions. Slogans are an easy and cheap substitute for real discourse, and in fact are a means to shut down actual discussion.

A few weeks ago, for the first time, I entered the main branch of the Susquehanna County Library in Montrose, where I discovered signs on either side of the vestibule doorway with some version of “Everyone Welcome,” complete with rainbow totems. I wasn’t surprised, knowing that the library system is a dues paying member of the PA Library Association, a group that pretends to be about books and reading but at heart is an association of elite radical activists (I suspect the posters were supplied by the PLA), but I was disappointed.

Knowing that “Everyone Is Welcome” is fatuous cultural and political statement-making among the select elite, it would be interesting to delve deeper into the thoughts of the elite of the local library system: Board members, the Director, certain supporters. Would, for example, some nitwit wearing Klan robes be welcome? Or some guy engaging in public onanism while surfing for excitement on one of the library computers? How about a woman shooting up fentanyl and passing out in a bathroom? Or a middle-aged male flamboyantly dressed as a female with a massive wig, 6 inch stilettos, and layers of makeup?

A "pride" display at the Susquehanna County Library. It's unlikely they would welcome, for example, a "white pride" display, nor should they, because public libraries should not choose sides in societal controversies.

A mature and reasonable person would think none of these four hypothetical people should be “welcomed” into the public library, and likewise no one in the library hierarchy should either (though I fear the titillation associated with the latter example might overcome cooler heads). I suspect there was no particular thought given to the placement of the rainbow “Everyone Welcome” posters other than some subliminal warm and fuzzy feeling of being part of the social justice gentry, or something.

Is it ironic or paradoxical that the progressive and privileged elite bandy about words, slogans, and symbols such as rainbows, “diversity,” “inclusion,” BLM, and the vacuous “Everyone Is Welcome” that, when viewed in combination, are oxymoronic at best? At a school I once attended, the Univ. of Wyoming, lifelong members of a sorority were expelled for objecting to the admission of a guy claiming to be a girl: you see, in order to be “inclusive” and “welcoming,” the progressive cultural warriors must be exclusive and unwelcoming. An 80-some year-old lady who had volunteered with a local multiple sclerosis chapter for 60 years was fired because she didn’t comprehend the memo that set policy requiring use of “transgender and non-binary” pronouns. Eventually they recanted due to public outcry, not that they did anything wrong, of course, but simply hadn’t properly reeducated the octogenarian. They are enamored with “diversity,” as long as everyone thinks and regurgitates the same things.

Planet Fitness prides itself on being "judgment free zone" where "anyone can be comfortable." Curiously, in response to an older lady expressing concern of a male shaving in the women's locker room (she documented the situation with a photo and mentioned it to gym staff; her membership was then canceled and she was reported to the police), Planet Fitness stated ,"'This discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender member." Apparently this (now former) member didn't "belong."

Freedom of personal expression is truly an inalienable right, but rights inherently require some degree of responsibility. You're welcome to have kinks and fetishes, biases and prejudices and, of course, sincere beliefs, but there is a difference between In Your Face activism which shows contempt for others, and polite, respectful discourse and actions in the proper forums. If you yearn to be a “drag queen” and receive the associated attention, or are excited by them, good for you, but there there are appropriate locations, such as clubs or your own home. If your thing is hatred for black people and you enjoy prancing about in hooded white robes, do it on private property in the woods somewhere. The point being that the idea of tolerance is, sadly, slipping away, being replaced by zealotry and fanaticism that too often in history has preceded really dark times. People that control public spaces, including libraries, should have the wisdom and maturity to understand this: “Everyone Welcome” signs and the like are, at best, disingenuous, have nothing to do with the ostensible purpose, and are completely unnecessary, unless of course the actual purpose is for privileged people to fill voids in their empty lives.

Here’s a suggestion- instead of activists marching down streets waving rainbow flags and shouting, “We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re coming after your children,” or dressing up like a deranged Nazis and giving Sieg Heil salutes in public squares, they might consider making thoughtful and reasonably respectful arguments supporting whatever their positions might be. They might not sway people to their side- thankfully in some cases- but at least they won’t have to slip off those tight fitting jackboots or use copious amount of makeup remover at the end of the day.

2 thoughts on “Everyone Welcome, But Not Really

  1. Alfred

    It is a sad situation where "ALL INCLUSIVE" cancels anyone who doesn't drink the "Kool Aide" or deludes themselves to think genders are fluid. Just what does the "Q" stand for? Right! Doesn't that say it all "Q" means different; historically, not in a good way. It was and still is a demeaning term. Although, very much like the "N" word, it is used without regard by the very people it insults.
    Up is down, right is wrong, good is bad, and war makes money! There is a war going on right now, good and evil, can you tell what side of it you're on? Here is a clue; if you are shouting someone down because you don't agree with them you could be on the "wrong" side. If your leaders are doing something wrong, but it is okay because your side is winning, you might be on the "wrong" side. Canceling someone because you don't agree with them is fundamentally breaking the law of the land, but hey, who cares, we are winning!


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