In considering the very nature of the work we do, we as advocates must carefully consider that we are obligated to a decision process that is beyond reproach. As a publisher it is incumbent upon me to make crucial decisions as to what I publish, and who it is going to impact. The very word publish means to bring information to the public eye. As such I made a carefully thought out and well-planned decision. It is a decision some will agree with, and some will not.
Discrimination is a very powerful word. It is also a very real issue in this community. We as a community, and we as individuals must deal with discrimination in our workplace, and in our everyday lives outside of work. In spite of that, and perhaps because of it, we must come to the realization that not every place discriminates. When those outside of our community reach out their hand and invite us to be a part of their community, it is incumbent upon us to accept that invitation with grace, dignity, and a sense of gratitude. The forward motion of this community, and of this nation depends upon us drawing lines that connect, not lines that divide. One of the most serious allegations one can levy against another is discrimination.
As serious as a charge of discrimination is, one would think that responsible journalism would take the time to collect both sides of the story. In a case that arose here in Tempe, that did not happen. The story broke to almost instantaneous worldwide attention. Are all the attention that was given to the allegation of discrimination; even to the extent that some news outlets reported not an allegation, but rather a conviction of discrimination. One news outlet even carried their banner on the bottom of the screen that stated transgender women discriminated against, as opposed to discrimination alleged. In the weeks that followed, I waited for that news outlet to follow up on the story. 3 weeks later, that news outlet failed to do so.
The progress of any human rights movement is gauged not by who accepts us when we reach our hand out to them, but rather by who we accept when they reach their hand out to us. On Jun 25, rob from the Tempe tavern reached out to me. One of the most disturbing facts that was nobody had reached out to Rob for a follow-up and his side of the story. There is no situation where the truth can be ascertained from one side of the story. In the press conference that follow, the person who levied the allegation was given 30 minutes to talk. She was presented at the press conference with her lawyer and a civil rights activist. The person against whom the allegation was levied was made to stand alone. In the 30 minute press conference that was held, Rob was given approximately 1 minute to speak. Present at that news conference was Reverend Jarrett Maupin, a local activist. In one rather unsettling scene,Reverend Maupin approached the podium, turned his back towards Rob, he began moving backwards in what appears to be an effort to push Rob away from the podium. That is the very definition of drawing lines that divide, not lines that connect. My attempts to reach out to Reverend Maupin were futile. As such, the decision was made to move forward with the interview with Rob
Breaking news, The city of Tempe has published it's ruling!