An Open Letter to Kansas from a Mother

Dear Kansas,

I am not black.

But I love Black History month. I love what it signifies. As a middle-school teacher, I love showing my students that change happens. I love showing them that a bloody battle will inevitably end with good reigning over evil and justice being served. Black History Month depicts the stories of countless heroes far better than any big-budget Hollywood film ever could. February is a celebration of progress, freedom, and, of course, diversity.

This February we will not be celebrating progress, freedom, or diversity. This February we will be mourning regression and the loss of freedom and diversity in America.

This past week, the Kansas senate passed an Anti-Gay Segregation Bill. Inevitably, the legislation was killed later in the week as the Kansas Senate President acknowledged the backlash they were receiving and the damage it would do to the party; however, that does not deter from the fact that the bill was passed with ease by a vote of 72-49. 

What does this mean? This means that the overwhelming majority of Kansas leaders think that it is acceptable to treat a human being as a second-class citizen because of their sexual preferences.

This blows my mind.

I don’t have unrealistic hopes for my son’s future. I understand that ignorance cannot be eradicated. I am no longer shocked by the outcry when a South Asian becomes Miss America or a Black man becomes President. I tell myself that ignorance is tied to misinformation, poor education, and a lack of worldly knowledge and understanding. And, I understand that it is my responsibility as a parent to do everything in my power to ensure that my son grows to be a man who is respectful, open-minded, and accepting. But, when policymakers exemplify ignorance, when it becomes the law to discriminate, even a mother’s hands are tied.

The beauty of democracy is that the beliefs and values of our chosen leaders are a reflection of our own.

So, this is a plea.

Kansas, please choose your policymakers carefully. They are shaping the country that our children are growing up in and forming the norms of our society. They are writing the History textbooks our children will read for decades to come. I want my child to read about a country where progress is made, freedom is a right, and diversity is celebrated. I want to go back to my classroom and show my students that change happens, that progress is being made, and that, today, the world is a little bit better than it was yesterday.


A Mother

Published by Anjali Joshi

Anjali Joshi is a science educator, author, and lifelong learner. She is mom to two curious boys who keep her on her toes!

8 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Kansas from a Mother

  1. Thank you for the wonderfully written letter. We’ve gone too far to step this far back, and the only good thing is that this won’t be put into law. I fear; however, that we’ll still need to be prepared for more actions like this in the near future.

    1. As long as people make it known that this kind of discrimination will not be accepted, we will continue to make progress. There is power in our voices, but only if we speak up.

  2. I do hope Kansas keeps choosing leaders such as these. They are holding tight to the beliefs that were instilled in them for generations. Or do you suggest that all traditional views are wrong and a modern view is the only view that will be accepted as “just” nowadays?

    I think homophobes are more hated in America than the LGBT community. Do you realize that people like you are spreading the very same kind of hatred that you are trying to get rid of? You are ostracizing people who believe certain things due to religion or tradition and shoving your modern ideas down our their throats. Perhaps it is not right to discriminate against the homosexual community, but that does not mean that every person has to approve of a homosexual lifestyle. You hate homophobes that shove their views down your throats; how do you think they feel about you shoving acceptance of the LGBT community down their throats?

    Just think about that. No hate please.

    1. First off, thank you. I appreciate your comment because it promotes an intelligent and critical discussion of the issue. More importantly, thank you for being so respectful. Far too often, passion for a sensitive topic such as this leads to disrespectful and insulting comments.

      You are right. It is not right to discriminate against the homosexual community. And, you are also right when you say that not everyone has to approve of a homosexual lifestyle. However, when one persons beliefs come in the way of another person’s freedom, a line needs to be drawn. No one should be shoving anything down anyone’s throat.

      Live and let live.

      You have every right to embrace the beauty of your belief system, your traditions, and religion – but not at the cost of another human beings rights and freedoms. As you have noted, it is most definitely a two way street. I will be sure to write a heartfelt letter to the LGBT community when they ban Catholics from entering gay bars.

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