Michael Crawford

What If the Gays Stopped Being Polite and Started Getting Real?

Filed By Michael Crawford | September 25, 2007 7:55 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: ENDA, gay rights, Jena 6, LGBT, LGBT rights, race, sexual orientation

Richard Rothstein hits the LGBT activist nail on the head in this excerpt from his post called Black America To Gay America: Jena Six, This Is How It's Done!

Consider that days before a possible ENDA vote, ENDA is not on the front pages of any newspapers or among the headlines on CNN, ABC, NBC or CBS. ENDA may represent a solution to a gross injustice and outrage that is more than equal to the issues surrounding the Jena Six, but, to put it bluntly, as has been the case since the 1950s, blacks do it better, much better. You can be damned sure that if ENDA concerned basic civil rights for African Americans, there would have been a tent city within shouting distance of Capital Hill until justice was done.

We have the best chance ever of passing much needed legislation like ENDA and the federal hate crimes bill, but we have failed to generate the kind of activism and moral urgency around the issues that will propel us to victory. And, its not just the traditional media that is in many ways missing the story, but also the LGBT media has not picked up the story and urged action.Through sheer force of will, Black activists with the support of progressives of all colors, have made the injustice around the Jena 6 such a national issue that even President Bush was forced to comment. I do not believe in any way that Bush has any concern for the Black students facing criminal charges stemming from a series of racist incidents, but that he was forced to comment is a sign of activist power.

On LGBT issues, Bush has not commented on the possible passage of ENDA, has threatened to veto the hate crimes bill and has advocated strongly a constitutional amendment that would have committed LGBT Americans to second class citizenship. And rather than engaging in smarter, more effective strategies for achieving equality, we continue to spend more time wondering about the sexual orientations of celebrities, obsessing over the latest Britney fiasco and shopping for fabulous outfits for the next over-priced see and be seen fundraising gala.

Gay advocacy? Queers stand as the only minority left in America that remains unprotected from discrimination in the workplace, in housing, health care, social services and education. And while tens of thousands of black Americans are in the streets with raised fists, supported by thousands of white supporters, tens of well-dressed and very polite gay advocates are shooting off emails and position papers.

What is it going to take for us to move past the endless bickering that engulfs our community and fight for our civil rights as though our lives depend on it?

Cross posted at Bloggernista.


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Right idea > gays getting off their asses and out of their Beltway, LA, and Big Apple offices but wrong contrast. The group insanity of making false victims and heroes out of the thugish Jena 6 is not something anyone should be aspiring to.

Brad/Leland/Michael Bedwell - You've already been warned about this trollish behavior. Pick a handle and stick to it.

On the post - Yeah, there does need to be more of that sort of action, but I think that people are feeling separated and alienated from the political process. The anti-war protests have been a lot bigger than anything any of us could muster, and look at what good they've done.

You may be on to something, Alex. As a whole our society has become numb to the every day outrages of the Bush junta. And ask we - as a country - have been ground down, so has the movement for LGBT rights.

What's sad is that if everyone who goes to Starbucks daily just gave that money to a worthy organization, non-profits would have plenty of money. Supposedly the 80's were the "me" generation, but I don't see much of a difference now.