Tonawanda News

Opinion

November 22, 2013

LEFFLER: Leave your politics out of my parade

Tonawanda News — The countdown to Thanksgiving is on. And while you may not yet have picked up your bird and all the trimmings yet, the fine folks from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade have been hard at work preparing for one of my favorite annual spectacles for nearly a year now.

Unfortunately for them even the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. So why should an 89-year tradition (it skipped two years during World War II, which is why this is the 87th annual parade) involving New York City’s flagship department store, bands, floats, celebrities, balloons and all other manner of entertainment be allowed to go unscathed?

That must be the thinking of some ranchers from South Dakota and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, both of whom have decided that politics trumps tradition and kids around don’t need a morning of fun as much as they need a sermon.

It’s somewhat odd that the parade is being hit from both sides. The ranchers were upset that a vegetarian, Joan Jett, was representing their cattle-driven state. As such, they petitioned to have her removed. Jett volunteered to move to another float to avoid the controversy. PETA, meanwhile, is upset that SeaWorld exists. Members intend protest the parade route in response to Macy’s refusal to sink the aquatic theme park’s float.

The parade has never seen this type of controversy. And it never should. Shame on the ranchers. Shame on PETA. How dare they ruin the only part of Thanksgiving that many kids (and myself) actually enjoy.

Macy’s official statement concerning the protests says, “The parade has never taken on, promoted or otherwise engaged in social commentary, political debate or other forms of advocacy.”

And why would they? It’s a parade, for the love of God. It’s a distraction from the mundanity of life; it gives kids something to be excited about. And at the end, when Santa comes down 6th Avenue headed towards 34th Street, that marks, for many, the start of the Christmas season. It is the official kickoff of the “most wonderful time of the year.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014