The La Crosse Wisconsin Seven River’s Riverfest Board and the La Crosse LGBT Resource Center have issued a joint statement in which Riverfest Commodore Mark Schneider claims no responsibility for what he did to the 14 year old girl, the girl and the LGBT group forgive him, and everyone is asked to move on.
Not good enough.
It needs to be publicly acknowledged and recognized that Mark Schneider committed a hate crime. This is not the worst hate crime anyone ever committed … no one was hurt or killed, just terrorized. It needs to be publicly noted that if an openly gay man bumped into a 14 year old Boy Scout holding an American Flag and told that he should not be a member of that organization because it is anti-gay, that he would likely be physically abused and arrested. In other words, there is a well known and obvious asymmetry working here. It needs to be further acknowledged that Mark Schneider is considered, in La Crosse, to be a pillar of the local society and a respectable person, which makes us wonder about the morals, ethics, and values of the people of La Crosse and Wisconsin more generally. Furthermore, it needs to be publicly stated, so we can check in on this later, that Mark Schneider needs to be removed from his position as Commodore (which is a pretty dumb-ass thing to begin with) and not called upon by the people of La Cross for further Pillar-Of-Society work should any arise.
As a side note, I say this to the homophobic citizens of La Cross: Even if you agree with your buddy Mark, and you think the flag should not get all rainbow-ey and shit, and you hate fags, and want them to go to another country like Mark wants, consider this: The man took it out on a 14 year old girl. He took his political fight to a little kid. If you do not think he is fucked for having done this, then you exist at the same very, very low level at which he exists.
Mark Schneider of La Cross Wisconsin. One of the world’s great assholes. And so it shall ever be recorded on the Internet for all to see and remember forever.
PS, and oh yes, we do live in a police state where this sort of thing can lead to a mere ticket but riding a bike down the street dressed in all black can get you beaten, from the perspective of the police.