Sara Whitman

It Doesn't Make Sense

Filed By Sara Whitman | January 07, 2009 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: civil rights movement, hate crimes against LGBT people, jail, lesbian, LGBT, pam spaulding, ricin, sean kennedy, seattle, soapblox, Washington

My son came home from school yesterday after having watched a movie about the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's.

It was horrible, he said.

As he described the church bombing, the hoses and the police dogs, he asked me, why?

People who were in power wanted to stay in power. They wanted to beat them down but they fought back.

Jake was listening to this conversation. After about an hour, he came up and asked me, Why did they kill the girls that were changing their clothes?

I said, They bombed the church. They didn't care who was inside.

He kept asking questions, throughout the rest of the day. Finally, I said to him, You're trying to make sense of this. It doesn't make any sense.

Eleven gay bars in Seattle had ricin threats
sent to them in the mail on Tuesday. Last night, hackers brought down a bunch of LGBT blogs.

Pam's House Blend,, American Liberalism, are some of the sites affected. I haven't gone down the whole Soapblox blogroll yet, so far it seems the state blogs were not affected; I assume the hack is restricted to only one server.

As I listened to my sons try and digest the horror of the Civil Rights movement, I wanted to say something about what is going on today in the LGBT movement. How transpeople all over the south are being killed with no real police effort to do anything about it. How Sean Kennedy's murderer is being set free after little time in jail.

How could I? How could I explain that people do hateful things to people who are different and that I, their mother, am one of the targets? Just because the one I am in love with, the one I want to spend the rest of my life with, share the responsibilities of adulthood with, share my bed with, is a woman instead of a man.

It doesn't make any sense.

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They are determined to stop our protests, our seizing the intitiative to stop their stripping of or denying of our rights.

This is only the beginning; this is the same force that turned up at Palin rallies, full of anger, hatred and desire to bring harm to their enemies.

SammySeattle | January 7, 2009 5:22 PM

That is why we have to remind them that we are not their enemies, we are their sisters, brothers, cousins, neighbors, friends.....

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 7, 2009 11:49 PM

If we were to ask why people hate and think about it we would have to come to the conclusion that hate for someone or some group unifies masses of people in ways "love" never has.

Hate is the mentality of the lowest common denominator of the mob. As long as there are more stupid people than smart ones there will be those who hate. The 1960's Civil Rights movement showed that Whites feared displacement by Blacks in their sub high school education jobs that paid a living wage at the time.

Please tell Jake from me: The value of learning from history is the ability to avoid repeating dumb mistakes, most people are stupid so be kind to all, but choose friends carefully. And stay off that crabby old man's lawn! :)

"More people will believe a big lie sooner than a small one."

Yeah, a quote from everyone's favorite 20th century demagogue.

He was a master of playing to people's hatred, prejudice, and fears. He took an otherwise rational nation and turned it into a colossal experiment in group think and institutionalized brutality.

Pretty much what Palin practiced during the final days of the campaign. We are going to have to live with the aftermath of all that hate anger and fear now.

There are laws against incitement on the books, and plenty of precedent to go through so that an enterprising lawyer could make a case against her, and some of the more vociferous religious demagogues if they wanted to take a shot at it.

Free speech is all well and good, but throwing gasoline on the flames during a fire is not something that is protected in the constitution.

And the homophobic killers in Brooklyn still haven't been caught. And, though many here might disagree, I wonder if we can't partly blame Obama for this violence, for legitimizing the homophobe Rick Warren by bringing him into the Inauguration. Already Warren's popularity has grown from this (he was chosen as part of the MLK celebration in Atlanta the day before the Inauguration). Warren's connections with homophobes in Africa have been exposed to be deeper than previously thought. Doesn't his disdain for us possibly have a trickle-down effect, which leads even to street violence?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 8, 2009 9:25 AM

Did Reaganomics "trickle down?" The fundys and the ignorant look for something or someone to hate.

There's no need to resort to violence out of fear. That's the message we need to get out.

Then again, it's hard to compete against a government, a culture, and media that are hellbent on selling that idea.