Memory Lane

"[The "Children of the Rainbow" curriculum] would have teachers telling their first graders that gay/lesbian couples are ‘family’ just like any other family unit. We will not accept two people of the same sex engaged in deviant sex prectices as ‘family’."
Mary A. Cummins
Community School Board 24
New York City
August 28, 1992
Sixteen years ago gay New Yorkers were treated to a months-long circus of public homophobia whose ringmaster, firebrand Mary Cummins of Community School Board 24 in Queens, went to the barricades to stop a proposed new school curriculum from letting schoolchildren know that gay people existed, and indeed were the parents of some of their schoolmates.

The fact that the curriculum was simply conveying demonstrable facts about the demonstrably diverse makeup of New York’s community life carried no weight with this determined lady, who ultimately succeeded in have the curriculum in question quashed.

Last week I came across my sketched version of "The Educator,"my comic strip response to this controversy. It never found a home and hence was never re-drawn in finished form, but I still kind of like it.

Postscript for young readers puzzled by the concluding panel above:

First graders used to learn to read by reading books starring two bland suburban kids named Dick and Jane.

There were presumably no homosexuals living on Dick and Jane’s block, although Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat could occasionally be spotted lurking near their playground, awaiting his moment.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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0 Responses to Memory Lane

  1. Linda (Buzzard) Miller says:

    The distortions go on; people are always “doing it for the children”, but the children innately know that that kind of hate isn’t “what Jesus would do.” No wonder the country is more disfunctional than ever — just too many busy-bodies so intent on doing good, but diminishing their own goodness in the process. Thanks for a reminder that we need to be ever vigilant when it comes to those who always KNOW the way things SHOULD be.

  2. Bob Weingarten says:

    Howard, it’s sad and wonderful. Thanks for posting it.

  3. Kinny says:

    Howard remains a genius.

    A gifted, passionate and and humane artist with a coruscating eye for detail, a vivid understanding of juxtaposition of context, and an original and gut wrenching clarity of vision.

    I remain, after so many years (!) in a place I don’t often go…AWE.

  4. Doc says:

    Howard, Thanks for posting this. It’s a sad commentary on our society. Well done!

  5. François says:

    Sad, but brilliant. And it’s not as if things were that better now.