In making others feel like they should look or act differently, we rob humanity of its very core -- that of individuality. So let's aim to be more mindful about our words and actions, so we can help rid our communities from the shackles of the 'isms' -- sexism, ageism, racism -- and simply allow ourselves to be more...human.
There are many of us in the LGBT community who want allies, but do we extend ourselves to help the "other others," those people who are seemingly most unlike ourselves? Now that we as a community are gaining strength and more equality, it is time for us to become vocal and visible allies to other communities.
We are responsible for the sins of the present, both the individual sin of prejudice and the social sin of racism. When I saw racism on my campus as a college student, I looked away and stopped attending those parties. This sort of passive resistance is not enough. White people must speak out against these behaviors.
The war against racism is not yet won. What links all of these incidents, spanning almost a decade, is that they are manifestations of racial bias. Not necessarily intentional bias, but bias nonetheless: implicit bias. Despite growing awareness of the role of implicit bias, we continue to ignore a critical implicit bias: post-racialism.
Some perceptions of disability and illness are too messed up and extreme for my liking. Persons living with these conditions are seen as really good or really bad, but there never seems to be a middle ground. This means that disability/illness status is used to judge our characters. Without further ado, here's the "good" and the "bad" of disability/illness perceptions.
Whenever anyone of us is diminished, we are all demeaned, when anyone or any group remains institutionally and socially stigmatized, marginalized, excluded, or disenfranchised, when violence comes down upon any of us, the possibility for authentic community cannot be realized unless and until we challenge it in truly transformational ways.
The "cake wars" started because a few fundamentalist bakers refused to sell cakes to gay customers. Then, if charged with violating anti-discrimination laws, they weep, wail and flail about in the media limelight, basking in their persecution -- it may be a long way from true martyrdom, but they take what they can get.