The state of Florida has a very rich history when it comes to professional wrestling. From the days of Dusty Rhodes to a Heyman-run ECW on the Sunshine Network to the modern-day Impact television tapings at Universal Studios, Florida has always been a hotbed for the pseudo-sport. Less than a month ago Orlando wrestling fans were treated to a live WrestleMania pay-per-view broadcast. World Wrestling Entertainment has even established a developmental territory in the Sunshine state-Florida Championship Wrestling. Brian Blair, a member of the WWF's "Killer Bees" tag team in the 1980's and the current Commissioner of Hillsborough County, Florida, referred to the WWE's new territory as "great for the economy."
One thing Commissioner Blair doesn't find great is the "Day of Silence"-an April 25th event intended to bring attention and awareness to the bullying and harassment of homosexual students in schools. In an e-mail excerpt warning parents about the proceeding, Blair wrote "I have always believed that all citizens are equal and should be treated accordingly. On the other hand, no group of citizens should be given government sanction and support to promote their social and sexual agenda upon the rest of us and especially, on our children. Considering the fact that the same school system does not want to allow just one Minute of Silence in the classroom for God, this is preposterous. Can you imagine asking for a 'Day of Cheer for Heterosexuality?' If no action is taken to change this policy, then perhaps it is time for another surgical strike from the majority; 'A Day of Abstention' from school participation might be considered."
When Brian Blair won political office, it's quite possible that wrestling fans helped vote him in. It's also possible that a percentage of those same wrestling fans were gay, lesbian or bisexual, or at least knew of someone that was. Maybe non-fans called those people "queers" for enjoying a Killer Bees/Hart Foundation match. Maybe those fans grew up and contributed to Florida's economy by buying tickets to WrestleMania this year. Maybe they were just as disappointed as I was when I found out one of my childhood wrestling heroes, the Ultimate Warrior, was a homophobe in real-life. Maybe those wrestling fans-young or old, gay or straight, Florida residents or non-oppose Commissioner Blair's opinion on the "Day of Silence" issue. Maybe they wish they could give Brian Blair a piece of their minds.
I am calling on my fellow wrestling fans worldwide who support the "Day of Silence" to voice their opinions. I have provided verified contact information for Brian Blair below this blog entry. Now you can tell Jim Brunzell's lesser-half personally what you think of his idea to discontinue a day which symbolizes that hate crimes will not be tolerated and that education about those different than yourself doesn't matter.
After expressing your displeasure, why not take it a step further? Tell Florida's other Commissioners and other representatives of Congress that you won't vote for them if they side with Brian Blair on political matters. Then inform any and all wrestling organizations, including WWE's Florida Championship Wrestling, that we fans won't support a wrestling company that in any way books, helps to promote or supports the endorsement of Brian Blair. Contact bookstores and Web sites (including wrestlingclassics.com) with requests to stop carrying Brian Blair's 2000 book Smarten Up! Say It Right, an insider's view of professional wrestling (ISBN 0-9707490-0-7). Most importantly, if you aren't already, register to vote and vote against Brian Blair whenever possible.
After all, I don't think Commissioner Blair should force his agenda upon the rest of us and especially, on our children. Ironically, Hillsborough County where Blair commissions promotes itself as "an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer."
Before you take action, you must please remember and be aware of a few things.
1. We do not want the false idea that pro wrestling fans are comprised of uneducated rednecks to continue. You must remain coherent, diplomatic and tactful if you want someone to listen to your opinion. Please take the time to spell check your message(s) and remember to be courteous.
2. Do not threaten Brian Blair in any way. Not even in your best Iron Sheik voice. That type of silliness is what the "post a comment" button on this blog is for. You can even post Lance Storm-like serious replies if you want. The point is, don't do it with Blair. We may disagree with Mister Blair on this matter, but the man is still a powerful member of the United States government-one of the most hated in the world. If you threaten him, even jokingly, he won't find it so funny and you'll likely get into serious trouble.
3. Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail through the automated form I will supply you with at the bottom of this post. Instead, contact the offices by phone or in writing.
4. If you're going to call instead of write, you'll probably have to leave a message. Remember to be concise, to the point and still to be considerate.
TO WRITE, PHONE OR E-MAIL COMMISSIONER BRIAN BLAIR:
Commissioner Brian Blair (District 6)
C/O Hillsborough County Commissioners
P.O. Box 111o
Tampa, FL 33601
Phone: (813) 272-5660 AND/OR (813) 272-5730
TTY: (813) 301-7173
Fax: (813) 272-7053
Automated E-mail Form where you can contact ALL of Florida's Commisioners: http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/bocc/about/contactus.cfm
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