At the last library board meeting on Monday, I confronted Mark Nichols with his own words. I directly asked for an apology from him to two groups of disenfranchised people: the LGBTQIA+ community and the disabled community.
What I got was a grandstanding I’m-sorry-you’re-offended type of response. Not only that, he approached me and my husband afterwards and tried to give us a DVD of anti-queer propaganda under the cover of religious belief — he used his position to proselytize to those of us he felt were led “astray” with our worldview that LGBTQIA+ people have a right to exist as they are.
To Judge Marvin Day: The LGBTQIA+ community deserves an apology from you now for having to go through all of this and to have to fight to just exist. Judge Day, I ask for an apology to all of Craighead County for not properly vetting library board appointees, former and current. And lastly, Judge Day, I ask for an apology for not speaking out against this hatred.
On Tuesday and along with photos of the book L8er G&er,, state Sen. Dan Sullivan posted on his Facebook profile:
“Explicit material in this post & not appropriate for children!
"HOWEVER…. Your Craighead County Library Director & Board sanction this material and deem appropriate for the CHILDREN’S section.
Later in the thread, he called out Friends of the Library by name and asked, “I wonder if they support recent board decisions?"
I decided to reply (apparently against my better judgment) for him to stop bullying these people and that he should know better, being a former principal and all. He gave me a few inane replies with the same above bad grammar. Better, though, a man named Gary Holt replied:
“Some people just stand for Righteousness, seems you wouldn't get that part. Soon, you will learn all about it.”
Seems like a threat to me. Yet, Sullivan didn’t call him out and tell him that was inappropriate. After I and many others reported Holt’s comment, it is still standing (and I did take screenshots of the whole thread if it disappears).
The good ol’ boy culture will continue to thrive unless we vote people like Sullivan out of office. He bullies, demeans, and as can be heard on the August CCJPL board meeting video, misgendered a trans man. We can see what his values are.
Sullivan and his followers suggest that they are the righteous ones, and that the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies have something coming to them. This is happening here in Jonesboro. This is one of your elected state senators.
Please join me in speaking out against this kind of hatred and vote them out. Better, join me in asking Judge Marvin Day to end this madness and appoint someone to the CCJPL board who will not stoke the flames and further divide our community.
If our elected officials cannot stand up to this hatred against the least of us and say enough, how far will we backslide?