Garrison Keillor Creates Mixed Feelings

PHOTO COURTESY | WIKI COMMONS
Garrison Keillor has been fired from Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of inappropriate behavior.

Garrison Keillor is one of my fondest memories of Minnesota. Sadly, that memory is smudged a bit.

Keillor, a fixture for Minnesota Public Radio since 1969, was fired last week for accusations of inappropriate behavior. According to a piece by PBS, Keillor’s inappropriate behavior was putting his hand on a woman’s back.

As we are waiting for more information, it seems hard to believe that is why he was fired. If that is true, then this is awful, but again that doesn’t seem too likely.

This puts me, and many other Minnesotans, MPR listeners and Lutherans everywhere in a rather complex situation. Keillor was a part of my childhood. So many memories revolve around his voice.

Eating lunch in the Gulf Island’s in British Columbia with a wood stove burning, or indulging in the smell of pies baking in Bloomington, Minnesota during winter. Keillor’s voice will forever be the background noise to those very moments.

That doesn’t matter if this inappropriate behavior is more serious than putting a hand on a back. It is hard to excuse behavior that is detrimental to another human being. It is hard to not feel worse for the accuser. We have to remind ourselves that they are the real victims.

During the wave of accusations, it becomes hard to accept that some of our favorite people aren’t always deserving of our praise. Sometimes they take advantage of the people they work with. That simply cannot be accepted.

Still, it takes time to accept. I know what is right, but still, I am listening to Keillor now for the first time in years. Stories my grandmother and I have shared listening to. Stories that we have laughed together to.

While this social revolution continues this practice of tossing aside our cares and nostalgia for what is right must persist. Condemning these acts is what is right as hard as it can be.

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