Gary Horton | Show Real Action, Not Sensationalism


The Signal recently published one of the most shocking, sensationalized “opinion columns” I’ve ever read in its hallowed pages. Lisa Lavadores burned some 800 words essentially scaring the bejeebies out of us, telling the Santa Clarita Valley the rather funny-sounding, “North American Man/Boy Love Association” is rising and on the march – almost surely right down McBean Parkway to a Starbucks or video screen near you.

She tells the disturbing story of a young boy who’s trans or may be trans. Perhaps all of the story is true. Perhaps some of it is exaggerated. No matter – it’s all disturbing and it’s all offensive to anyone with their feet bolted on the planet in any meaningful way. You, me, everyone next to you and the telephone poles, too – everyone in the SCV has serious issues with any acceptance of pedophilia in any setting. This is understood. The issue isn’t about religion, gender, age, sex, or party. It’s about decency.

And then, Ms. Lavadores of the “Right Here, Right Now” reactionary crowd, links the story and the coverage to an ill-considered “Good Morning America” show. There’s that hook, right there. She’s grabbed this disturbing, flash-in-the-pan moral outrage story and linked it to… you guessed it: Progressivism. 

She also manages a few good shots at the gay and lesbian community. You know, at gay folks like the ones who are your sisters, brothers, uncles, nephews, aunts, nieces…friends. Well, they get tainted and hooked up by Ms. Lavadores into this tawdry tale, too. Maybe they’re part of this pedophilia thing…

It’s an old trick. You take some outrage and turn it into an opportunity to indirectly taint and slander opponents. But here’s some news for Ms. Lavadores:

Take any sane progressive, any sane “conservative” (if such exists anymore), and sane independent, and they will universally tell you pedophilia is an outrage and unacceptable. Take any sane gay or lesbian and they, too, will tell you pedophilia is an outrage and unacceptable. It’s a non-issue. We all already understand manipulation and sexual abuse of children is abhorrent, illegal and totally rejected by lawful society.

So why bring this up now? 

Is this her sensationalized distraction from the total and complete meltdown that used to be the national Republican party, instead replacing it with fear of just crazy stuff?

Is this a “Focus on anything but the reality of the rule of law melting down before our very eyes? 

Replace political outrage with the easy tools of sexual / moral outrage? 

But if Ms. Lavadores has real moral outrage…

One wonders where her outrage against latent and persistent pedophilia present in the priesthood(s) – in various churches and sects with more Man/Boy love issues than any funny-named organization popping up here and there in social media? One proven, by thousands and tens of thousands of cases. Where’s Ms. Lavadores’ outrage on this?

And where’s Ms. Lavadores’ outrage at the thousands of kids we’ve ripped out of their mothers’ hands at the border to set them living for what will be years in cages, gymnasiums, cells – with little or no communication to the outside world? Shouldn’t this be an outrage to such a person caring about the welfare of your children?

And what of her outrage at the thousands of kids, thousands of them – freezing their butts off “right here, right now” in the Los Angeles basin – homeless, sleeping on the ground, in abandoned cartons, cars, vans and under freeways… It’s literally freezing out there and… where’s the conservative outrage in the pages of The Signal and where’s the step-by-step real action plan?

There’s so much Ms. Lavadores could really get righteously perturbed about and get moving in real-world action, literally “right here, right now” to help vulnerable and abused children:

We can rescue homeless kids.

We can insist in policy change on immigration.

We can call out and force out religious figures that use their authority to prey on little kids.

Right here, right now, there’s so much we could do if we were sincere. Practical things. Pragmatic things. Helpful, useful, supportive things. Things that make a real, honest to God, change in actual lives.

And that takes a lot of effort. Work. Focus. Real intent.

Instead – what we got in the Saturday Signal was a political side-swipe hit job. A drive-by shooting, linking shock surrounding this little kid to folks who aren’t “conservative” like her. A “look at this shiny object instead of the real outrage unfolding on the national stage…”

I reject Ms. Lavadores’ article completely. Instead, I request from her a column redo, listing all the ways we here, right here, right now, in the SCV, can and will work together to improve the lives of children who are getting abused, getting forgotten, getting starved and frozen, getting torn from families. 

Instead of sensationalism, let’s see something about how we — you and I — can improve the lives of kids most vulnerable, who are living, quite literally, all around us.

Right here, right now — real action, not manipulation.

Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared on Wednesdays in The Signal since 2006.

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