Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wilton Manors Spirit Vigil for Teen Suicides or Political Rally?

This is NOT a political advertisement.
This has NOT been paid for by any candidate.
This IS a personal opinion, and expresses my feelings that people who were bullied and harassed to death should NOT be used for purposes as offensive as this.

Last night I went to the Teen Suicide vigil in front of the Alibi.  It was promising to be a time for people to vent their frustration that so many Teens and Adults feel that the only way to escape the torture of being bullied and harassed for being different was to take the final solution and step into the long night.

Like anything in Wilton Manors, things are somewhat different here.  There was your usual contingent of people with Purple hair, although since this was Wear Purple Day to support those who need to know they're not alone, there were more out there and there was a good reason to do it.

The Vigil began at 7pm with the Gay American Heroes Foundation beginning to give a talk on the many people around this country who paid the ultimate price for being different.  It was not just gay teens that were remembered, it was straight kids who were merely different, and perceived as being an object to pick on.

There was problem of the curious choice of opening speaker – the current Mayor, Gary Resnick.  Mr. Resnick has just done his own bit of bullying by visiting the home of 70-something Diane Cline.  It seems that Mr Resnick's own political campaign is going so badly that he has to visit a frail old woman and bully her by accusing her of stealing his yard signs.  If you want to chose someone to represent what a bully actually is, our current Mayor is an excellent choice.   He learned at the hands of his tormentors.   Mr Resnick gave an approximately 10 minute talk about how difficult it was to be a gay teen and how he hid in the closet and did not come out until he was 27.  Then he followed by recounting the story of his male partner's failed marriage to a woman done so that he could cover.

Perhaps he should have listened more carefully to his own story because after that he completely forgot all he said and turned it political.  He said that he thought he should continue to be mayor in Wilton Manors because of this experience.  What he in fact did at this point was to dance on the graves of each of these teens by offensively twisting the vigil to his own needs.

Mr Gary Resnick – Unsuitable for Public Office.

This was followed by some brief talks by others and the introduction of “Former (Temporary Interim) Commissioner Julie Carson”.  Julie Carson took the stage and launched into a diatribe of what she thought were her strengths, what she thought she should be able to do in office that she is running for again, and why she thought you should vote for her.   It seems that she wants to be elected the Commissioner for the Lesbian community in Wilton Manors.   Unless I miss my guess, Julie, there is no such office.   Wilton Manors is more than 50% Heterosexual.  Assuming that Kinsey is right, that would mean that another 40% are Gay or Bisexual Men.  You really don't want the rest of our support and you do not deserve it.  This is a DIVERSE city.  We ALL work together to make it better, not just ONE GROUP!

After Julie Carson gave that tirade and whipped her fans into a frenzy and offended the rest of us she gave short shrift to the purpose of the Vigil.   In no more than two sentences she returned to the subject of Teen Suicide and moved on.   It was an obvious afterthought.

Mrs Julie Carson – Unsuitable for Public Office.

This was NOT a political Rally.  Both Julie Carson and Gary Resnick hijacking the vigil for their own sad political stunts was an offense to every person in need.   It was an offense to the thinking person that these two shallow people would be elected to office.  Gary Resnick has presided over a City Commission as mayor for two years of inaction, sluggish response, and bad decision making.   The energy of the decision making process on the City Commission has moved from being that of the Mayor leading the Commission to the Commission clearly leading the Mayor.   The position of Mayor is a leadership position and Gary Resnick Does Not Know How To Lead.

There also is the story of how Julie Carson had her term on the Commission back a while ago and was a complete mess.   She felt that it was appropriate to micromanage every individual that came before her and at one point proceeded to shred the City Attorney in questioning.   The end result was almost every time that she was speaking we were treated to a rant of circular logic that would confuse even an Einstein.  When through she was patted on the head figuratively and they merely moved on.   This woman was a distraction that most thinking people involved were happy to see move on her way.

For those reasons and more, I am thoroughly ashamed that Julie Carson is involved in City Politics.  

I strongly recommend that you take Mrs Carson's advise – learn about her competition, as well as the competition for the Mayor's race against Mr Resnick.   In both cases you will find people who are highly competent and ready to lead.  They also are not going to use the suicides of others as a political talking point to further their own questionable career.

I am deeply embarrassed for the city and for anyone involved in that offense that happened in the parking lot.   I was so offended by the actions of Mrs Carson and Mr Resnick that I had to leave early. 

Make sure this doesn't happen again and vote for
Joe Angelo for Mayor and Celeste Ellich for City Commission of Wilton Manors.

This is NOT a political advertisement.
This has NOT been paid for by any candidate.
This IS a personal opinion, and expresses my feelings that people who were bullied and harassed to death should NOT be used for purposes as offensive as this.


  1. Bill - I was there as well, and I too was gravely disappointed. Mr. Resnick is the same man who called Jim Naugle a "personal friend" even after Naugle's mean-spirited comments against gay people. He is also the same man who ranked Celeste Ellich (a straight woman) least qualified of 10 people to fill a vacant city commission seat. He did this despite the fact that she had done more public service in one year than he has in his entire political career. I always wondered where the bully's on the playground went after they grew up....

  2. The bullies are still around. Don't kid yourself.

  3. Joe and Constance, the bullies are definitely still around and that is why we have to be vigilant. There just simply is no reason to elect them to public office.

    I had tried hard to blot the peculiar stench of Naugle out of my mind, and anyone who wishes to ally themseves with that individual has no place in Wilton Manors Politics. We are here to work TOGETHER, not Divide and Conquer!