More

Let me show you what discrimination looks like in real life. It hurts.

Just because the Boy Scouts of America can exclude people because of their sexual orientation doesn't mean they should.

Let me show you what discrimination looks like in real life. It hurts.

Imagine how you'd feel if you were told your child could remain part of a group but that you were unwelcome because of who you were.

Adella Freeman doesn't have to imagine. She says was recently told she wasn't welcome as a committee member in her son's Boy Scout troop. The reason? She's gay. This is what discrimination looks like.


Adella and her partner are parents to three kids, the eldest of which has been a Boy Scout for eight years. 15-year-old Nick (pictured above, left) was just a year away from becoming an Eagle Scout and had joined a new troop after the one he previously belonged to dissolved due to low membership.

Adella submitted an application to the new troop for family committee membership and assumed it would be accepted. After all, her family had been committee members for the eight years Nick was in other troops.

But she was wrong.

Instead, she says a leader from the troop approached her at a meeting and pulled her aside. She explains:

"The leader who approached me stated that it had been brought to his attention that it was a possibility that we were gay and because of that, he would have to ask that we withdraw our applications, which they had not even submitted since we had joined, or we could pretend the conversation hadn't happened and not mention anything else."

Adella left the meeting and sat in her car, knowing she was going to have to tell her son (who hadn't been a part of the conversation) what happened once he came out.

How could this happen?

Easily. The Boy Scouts of America is legally allowed to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation.

Back in 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America could legally exclude gay scouts and gay leaders because of their sexual orientation. 14 years later, on January 1, 2014, the Boy Scouts lifted the ban on openly gay scouts, agreeing to be more inclusive by allowing anyone to become a Boy Scout.

But the ban on gay leaders remained.

Adella believed that committee membership was different than leadership and therefore didn't think that the ban applied to her. Based on Adella's recount of what happened, her son's troop disagreed.


When Nick finished up the meeting and came to the car, Adella told him what happened. Knowing her son had dedicated over half his life to the Boy Scouts, she offered him the option of remaining a part of the troop and distancing herself. He declined, saying that he wasn't willing to be part of an organization that didn't welcome his family.

"He was amazed that people would be so hurtful and discriminate ... like that," Adella said. "We have raised our kids to be respectful and accepting to everyone, and they are not used to seeing this sort of behavior."

So what now?

Adella is determined to not let this happen to other families.

"I would love to see the Boy Scouts change the policy to include all families. All families are important. I would like for the Boy Scouts to know that they really don't hurt the adults with this policy as much as they hurt the boys. The boys are the ones who suffer."

Adella is a chapter lead for Scouts for Equality. You can learn more about the organization and how to support it.

She also started a petition on change.org, asking the Boy Scouts to allow all families to be members. You can add your name to the petition, joining at least 60,000 other people who already have — and ask your friends and family to do the same.

Photo courtesy of Claudia Romo Edelman
True

When the novel coronavirus hit the United States, life as we knew it quickly changed. As many people holed up in their homes, some essential workers had to make the impossible choice of going to work or quitting their jobs— a choice they continue to make each day.

Because over 80 percent of working Hispanic adults provide essential services for the U.S. economy, the Hispanic community is disproportionately affected. Hispanic families are also much more likely to live in multigenerational households, carrying the extra risk of infecting the most vulnerable. In fact, Hispanics are 20 times more likely than other patients to test positive for COVID-19.

Claudia Romo Edelman saw a community in desperate need of guidance and support. And she created Hispanic Star, a non-profit designed to help Hispanic people in the U.S. pull together as a proud, unified group and overcome barriers — the most pressing of which is the effects of the pandemic.

Because the Hispanic community is so diverse, unification is, and was, an enormous challenge.

Photo credit: Hispanic Star

Keep Reading Show less

As I was doomscrolling through Twitter yesterday, the wording of an Associated Press post caught my eye. "The Supreme Court will allow absentee ballots in North Carolina to be received and counted up to 9 days after Election Day, in a win for Democrats," it read.

A win for Democrats? Surely they meant a win for Americans? For voters? For democracy?


Keep Reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Claudia Romo Edelman
True

When the novel coronavirus hit the United States, life as we knew it quickly changed. As many people holed up in their homes, some essential workers had to make the impossible choice of going to work or quitting their jobs— a choice they continue to make each day.

Because over 80 percent of working Hispanic adults provide essential services for the U.S. economy, the Hispanic community is disproportionately affected. Hispanic families are also much more likely to live in multigenerational households, carrying the extra risk of infecting the most vulnerable. In fact, Hispanics are 20 times more likely than other patients to test positive for COVID-19.

Claudia Romo Edelman saw a community in desperate need of guidance and support. And she created Hispanic Star, a non-profit designed to help Hispanic people in the U.S. pull together as a proud, unified group and overcome barriers — the most pressing of which is the effects of the pandemic.

Because the Hispanic community is so diverse, unification is, and was, an enormous challenge.

Photo credit: Hispanic Star

Keep Reading Show less

Electing Donald Trump to be president of the United States set an incredibly ugly example for the nation's youth.

We know how it's affected the national discourse of regular adults. But there's no denying the conduct of a president impacts how children around the world see the example being set for them. Every day for the past four years, children have been subjected to the behavior of a divisive figure that many of their parents chose to exalt to the most powerful office in the world.

Sure, adults can make excuses for him saying he's an "imperfect messenger" or that they "didn't vote for him to be reverend," but these are all just ways to rationalize voting for a man with zero character. What a message to send to children: Act awful and you'll be handsomely rewarded.

But what if you took away the "Trump" name and examined the character traits of him as an ordinary person? More specifically, what if your daughter came to you and said this was the kind of person she was planning to date? Well, one MAGA family found out and the results are funny, insightful and quite revealing about how we somehow hold our leaders to different and lower standards than we expect from ourselves in our day to day lives.

Keep Reading Show less

After years of advocating for racial justice and calling out police brutality and seeing little change in law enforcement and our justice system, some people are rightfully fed up. When complaints are met with inaction, protests are met with inaction, and direct action is met with inaction, maybe it's time to get specific in who needs to be held accountable for issues in law enforcement.

That's exactly what Keiajah (KJ) Brooks did at a Board of Police Commissioners meeting in her hometown of Kansas City this week. The 20-year-old used her approximately four minutes with the microphone—and with the commissioners' undivided attention—to unequivocally lay out her position to each and every one of the officials in that room.

"Fair warning, I'm not nice and I don't seek to be respectable," she began. "I'm not asking y'all for anything because y'all can't and won't be both my savior and my oppressor. I don't want reform. I want to turn this building into luxury low-cost housing. These would make some really nice apartments."

"Firstly, stop using Black children as photo opportunities, 'cause they're cute now, but in 10 years, they're Black male suspects in red shirts and khaki shorts," she said. "Eating cookies and drinking milk with children does not absolve you of your complicity in their oppression and denigration..." she added, before looking directly at the police chief and pointedly calling him out by name, "...Rick Smith."

Keep Reading Show less