We knew after “The Colbert Report” aired its piece on the Vicco fairness ordinance last week there would be some negative reaction. There always is, no matter the topic. And we also knew it would get nasty online. Again, it always does.
Frankly, once the obligatory redneck jokes were out of the way, the piece actually shed us in a pretty decent light. What “The Colbert Report” has effectively done is something many in our region have striven for decades to do, ever since the national stereotype of the ignorant hillbilly was first perpetuated, and that is to obliterate a blatantly false regional identity.
Eastern Kentucky is full of people who are inclusive, and that was what the piece from “The Colbert Report” showed. Whether or not that was the intention, we cannot say.
Based on some comments posted online, however, we think it is important to reiterate the effect of the ordinance the Vicco city commission approved early this year. It does not give any one set of people any special rights. It simply levels the playing field for everyone, and not just homosexuals. In the city of Vicco, discrimination of any kind is not tolerated, and it is telling that few else have bothered to say the same.
We are supposed to be a nation of inclusion. Everyone is supposed to be welcome here, not just the majority who believe a certain way. Why should law-abiding taxpayers ever have to put up with discrimination for any reason, much less discrimination based on race, gender, age, or even sexual orientation?
Put simply, they shouldn’t. Our nation should never exist as one of taxation without representation.
That being said, we’re sure there will be detractors who continue to denigrate and stall the efforts of folks who believe every citizen has a stake in this city, county, state, and nation. It will be up to the rest of us to ensure that equality is a right with which everyone was endowed not only by the law of our land, but also by our creator.
— The Hazard Herald