Just for the record …

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.



A blog post

Incident under investigation


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.


  1. #1 Mike Hanson-Haubrich
    October 2, 2010

    Is this part being reported accurately?

    As the Commodore was walking away he yelled, “You are a piece of shit. Go to a country where they will hang you.”

    What do people mean when they say shit like this? I don’t get it, it makes no sense. Does it mean “I don’t hate you as much as Iraq and Nigeria hate you?” Or does it mean “I wish I could kill you for being gay, but our mamby pamby faggot-loving country won’t let me.”

  2. #2 Erp
    October 2, 2010

    What he did was disgraceful and should result in his resignation; however, I should point out that ‘commodore’ is a standard term for the head of a yachting club and is derived from its earlier use as the title of a naval officer in charge of a group of ships (though neither seem to be quite its particular usage here, perhaps he was considered temporary head of the boats on the river for the festival).

  3. #3 WMDKitty
    October 3, 2010

    @Mike (#1) — It pretty much means “I wish I could kill you for being gay, but our mamby pamby faggot-loving country won’t let me.”

    Personally, I don’t see the need for such a fuss over who’s sleeping with whom, or who’s married to whom, based on the gender of the spouses. It’s love. Let it be.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    October 3, 2010

    Mike: I think it’s like when people say “I could care less” instead of “I couldn’t care less”

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    October 3, 2010

    Erp: I was assuming that the term “commodore” here was i the context of the commodore of a parade/in a parade. I don’t know if you’ve seen these parades or not, but you have dozens of “floats” (often pickup trucks fixed up) that have the “Princess” and the “Comodore” riding on them. Each would be sponsored by a business or organization, so you have the Dunk N Donuts float, the Kiwanis club float, etc. The princess is the real attraction, and these princesses are proto-beauty pageant contestants. But the commodore are equivalent age males who somehow get roped into this, and they wear little boat hats etc. like real commodores.

    It is possible that this guy has something else going on, but I think it’s just a parade thing.

  6. #6 Tuco
    October 3, 2010

    Another “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” moment brought to you by the people of American Incompatibles Incorporated, whose mission is to help Americans cling resolutely to fundamentally contradictory ideas.

    How in the world does this guy reconcile (ostensibly) expressing his support for the veterans who have served, fought, and died to protect American ideals (like, oh, I don’t know, freedom of speech) with telling a fourteen-year-old girl (or anyone else) to “[g]o to a country where they will hang you.”
    I’m sure the irony is completely and utterly lost on him that not only are many of those whose honor he thought he was defending are recent veterans of wars in just such countries, but whose service and sacrifice helped to ensure (at least in the abstract) that he himself was not arrested for expressing his opinion (which seems unlikely in this case anyway given the apparently unsympathetic police officer).
    The best part of this story? “[The LGBT Resource Center director] then walked back to our unit and took the starred flag off the pole and one of the vets in our group wore it through the parade.”
    A veteran wore the flag in the parade. Epic WIN!

  7. #7 Erp
    October 3, 2010

    I did a dig around. Commodore in this case seems to be the major title and only one of them per year (along with a ‘first mate’ who I assume is his wife (there does not ever seen to have been a female ‘commodore’ and her husband as first mate)). So the commodore is the honorary presider over the whole festival which lasted from June 30-July 4 (it does normally include boat races but they were canceled this year due to safety concerns, probably weather). Judging from the info about this year’s commodore, they are respected stalwarts of the community (former business owner, married 45 years, church goer).

  8. #8 Tuco
    October 4, 2010

    Quotes from famous commodores through history:

    “We have met the enemy and he is ours!” -Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry

    “She’s a brick–house/Mighty, mighty, lettin’ it all hang out” -The Commodores

    “You are a piece of shit. Go to a country where they will hang you.” -Commodore Mark Schneider

    (Cap’n Crunch was not available for comment.)