Tuesday, November 30, 2021

When It Becomes Personal.

Most people don’t think about us, we are just some abstract idea until “Mom, I’m a girl.” then it becomes family.
A small-town mom wanted to help her community. And then the community took aim at her child
By Evan McMorris-Santoro and Yon Pomrenze
November 28, 2021

Hastings, Minnesota (CNN)Kelsey and Chris Waits moved to Hastings, Minnesota, to build a dream home for themselves and their two children.

Chris had a promising job opportunity when he left the Navy but it was the neighborhood that drew them in.

"Kelsey said, 'Well, I hope the interview went well because we're moving here. This town is great, this town is perfect, this is what I want,'" Chris recalled his wife telling him.
She was the School Board president and took the heat from COVID-19 when the attacks on the Board about mask mandates…
But when the pandemic put pressure on the community, cracks began to appear. Stressed by school closures and debate over wearing masks, some neighbors started taking aim at the school board.

Kelsey Waits was the face and voice of that school board as its chair. The ugliness that followed in Kelsey's unsuccessful race to be re-elected to the board now has the Waits packing up their dream home to move -- and their love for Hastings likely tainted forever.

"I do feel really betrayed by this community," Kelsey told CNN. "Not because I lost but because not only did people attack a child, but so many of them sat by and allowed it to happen." 
So they moved to another town.
She'd been active in local Republican politics as a young woman, but became disillusioned and drifted away, particularly over the opposition to same-sex marriage. She says she was progressive on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues, but transgender people were not on her radar.
But all that changed!
Assigned male at birth, they were into more traditionally feminine things -- if there was a truck being played with, it was likely being driven by a Disney princess -- so the couple took it in stride when their child asked for a Kit Kittredge American Girl doll for a fourth birthday present. Kelsey wondered about the future but Chris just thought it was his child responding to living with a mother and sister while he was deployed overseas with the Navy Reserve.

"So we got this doll and Kit's eyes just lit up. And Kit was so happy and so excited to get this doll," Kelsey said.

"About a week later, when dad was in Japan, and I was standing right there in the kitchen, Kit walks up to me and goes, 'Mom, can you call me Kit?' And my stomach dropped a little bit. Because all of a sudden, maybe things were making a little more sense. Click. And I said, 'Sure. Still my little ... boy?" And Kit goes, 'No, your little girl.' 
Neither parent said they knew much about trans kids, and decided to let Kit be Kit while they figured things out.
Most parents are like that going from “Oh, that’s interesting.” when it is someone else’s child but when it strikes home then it becomes a horse of a different color and the good folks of Hastings let their true colors show.
"She should be locked up for child abuse," the parent wrote. "Her younger 'daughter' is actually a boy." 
Others jumped in, attacking the Waits as "woke parents" who had pushed their views onto their child.
Kelsey soon found out what was being written.

"This was my most precious secret. The thing I protected most and the thing I was most afraid of ever being used in a political way because for me, this isn't political. This is my family, this is my child," she said. "I dropped to the floor, and I cried." 
This is just anecdotal observations the Trump supporters have no problem using obscenities and vulgar language in front of children. When president Biden visited Hartford daycare the right wing crowd were out there screaming at the top of their lung the young children. That weekend a Republican congresswoman came to Connecticut to a raunchy rally.

My neighbor down the street during the Obama administration had a poster stuck to his mailbox that said piss on Obama that had a black man laying down in front of a white man pissing on him. Yes, there are some liberals who do the same thing but they are few and far between and the same can be said for most Republicans but I feel that the Republicans approve of that behavior by not speaking up against it.
The hate spread and so did the Waits' fears.

"Every interaction we have with new people is me trying to figure out if my child is safe," Kelsey said.

"I'm not talking about if my kid's going to have fun with their kids, it's trying to figure out if my child is ... safe in that household?"
And that is why they do it, to create fear and force you to back down.

How many videos have you seen where at school board meeting a group of raucous conservatives shout down all opposition?

That is all part of their strategy, drown out all opposition and if that doesn’t work threaten them.

Even when they won the election to replace her, the family ordeal didn’t end they were like rabid dogs,
But he says the election did not end the abuse. It may even have spread. The day after the election Chris says he was told by another parent that a middle-schooler was approached by another student and told: "My mom says that we won so now we can deal with sickos like you."
The hater won, they forced them to move.

We are going back to the fifties where if you are not white and straight they put you “in your place.”

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