Sara Whitman

A day of commenting over and over again...

Filed By Sara Whitman | November 10, 2007 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: ENDA, Martin Niemöller, Tammy Baldwin, transgender

I am pleased my piece about Tammy Baldwin has been picked up and redistributed over and over again. One of the deep satisfactions I have doing this work is to know people are reading, taking it in, and feel it's valuable enough to share.

I have spent most the day responding to comments, over and over again. I don't know if my piece really explains how devastated I was at the loss. How hard it was to admit I would have voted for the legislation, meaning I was leaving friends, colleagues behind. I am reminded of the poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller:

"When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out."

I know. You've heard it before a million times. The familiarity makes it lose it's impact. No one is being rounded up and sent to the gas chambers. Hate and bigotry are more refined now, handed out with sound bite ultimatums. But Niemoller was right in assessing how easily fear will keep us contorted in uncomfortable positions, watching our neighbors leave, hoping we will be safe.

I keep hearing Rodney King on the television, "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?" I want to say the same thing to everyone who will be left behind, to everyone who thinks this is a great step forward... Please. We have to get along.

The reality? We lost. We lost the argument in the community to have a inclusive ENDA.

And we are so few, with so little money and resources, we cannot let this create an irreparable rift. If we do? We will ALL lose. I, for one, am sick of the Right Wing spanking us mercilessly over and over in votes because when it's roll call time? They stick together.

That doesn't mean give up and I don't think that makes me a sell out. I hope it makes me a participant who will not be shooed away from the table.
I'm not waiting for them to come to take me... and I really want to all get along.

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Well the left fell apart this time even with 35 Republicans sticking there necks out for this very bad bill.GLBT unity seems to be falling aprt as well. Lots of sites seem to have folks calling for us to step aside and wait our turn not in the back of the bus or even under it but in the shadows.So lets use this as a wake up call and restore the good faith that the GLB also includes the T and that we in the T dont have to return to the shadows just to survive.

The reality? We lost. We lost the argument in the community to have a inclusive ENDA.

That's true. No one won. No one is protected by this bill because it won't pass into law. There's a lot of community anger against those who were in favor of s/o only ENDA and a lot directed at the United ENDA folks. We're not that big and we're divided. Certain Reps were going to use this to get gay money while campaigning, but that's not going to work out for them either. I'm really trying to think of who won out of this whole thing, and I'm thinking it's no one.

"The reality? We lost. We lost the argument in the community to have a inclusive ENDA."

No, it was more a matter of the game being thrown.

The reality? We lost. We lost the argument in the community to have a inclusive ENDA.

No, Sara, I disagree. We did not lose the argument in the community because everyone in the community agrees that transgenders deserve protection, too. There is no argument about that within the community.

We lost the T-vote in the U.S. House. The argument within our community is about, "What course do we take when the votes aren't there?"

Instead of continued bellyaching, why don't we identify the members of the U.S. House that were willing to vote for G/L but not T-protections and concentrate our energies on educating them (and others) to vote in favor of T-rights next time around?

And there will be a "next time around" ... if (and that a big "if") the Senate also passes this bill, Dubya is gonna veto this turkey and then we will all get to start over from scratch.

Holy Toledo! What a tempest in a teapot! ...