May 22 is Harvey Milk Day, in commemoration of the civil rights leader who was California’s first openly gay elected official. Elected to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors in 1977, Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were killed by Supervisor Dan White in 1978.
California lawmakers declared May 22, Milk’s birthday, to be Harvey Milk Day in 2009. “Save California,” a conservative, “pro-family” (read: pro its definition of family) is urging parents to keep their kids home from school on May 22 in an inflammatory and fear-mongering radio ad:
Parents, your boys and girls are being targeted for immoral indoctrination at school on Harvey Milk Day…. Given this man’s notorious agenda against marriage, family, morality, and God himself, you’ll be shocked at what Harvey Milk Day will teach boys and girls as young as kindergarten.
As MSNBC quotes Glendon Hyde, of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club: The ads are “pure, fear-based manipulation.” SFWeekly indeed comments that Save California’s video requires “parental discretion” should you want to watch it.
Save California’s ugly message is getting more attention that it merits. There are far more events that honor Milk and his work on behalf of gay rights, small businesses and neighborhood issues. A social liberal, Milk’s concerns included public transportation and less expensive childcare.
I was 9 1/2 years old when Milk and Moscone were brutally slain and still remember seeing the headlines in the San Francisco Chronicle about the terrible killings and trying to understand, why. This video from Senator Nancy Pelosi commemorates Milk’s many contributions and reminds us of why, indeed, students in California and elsewhere need to learn about his work and legacy.
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Photo by ProComKelly