Happy Pride, everybody!
The LGTBQ people and all of America scored a huge fucking win this past week with the SCOTUS ruling on federally recognized marriage equality across all fifty states! I'm psyched as we all should be! People who have been marginalized in this country for millennia are being recognized as human beings with the right to be as happy and successful as anyone else. It's sad that not everyone is in a celebratory mood.
I just had to address a post shared by a Facebook friend in which the quoted author who is upset that while we all revel in one victory, we forget other battles that continue to be waged in the greater war on systematic injustice. Namely, the burning of six different African-American churches this June. He charged that we are "distracted by this gay marriage bullshit." I countered: "This is so not cool. Why must he lead with a bigoted, hateful response to make a point? No kind of hate is bullshit. It's possible to revel in one victory without discounting another. Many of us are quite aware of what's happening to blacks right now and are vocalizing it while celebrating an LGBTQ victory. And for the record, that victory behooves many black people who just happen to be LGTBQ."
Even though I contested the divisiveness of his point, I am a just as much an angry, black man as he is. We should all be fucking angry that six black churches have been burned down due to arson this month alone. Whatever your beliefs about religion, the sanctity of your fellow man's place of worship is something to be respected. Adding insult to injury, many of these churches had their inceptions during a time when blacks were legally ostracized from worshipping in the same buildings as whites, so not only is the renewed phenomenon a slap in the face due to its sheer brutality, but it's also a kick in the teeth as it's a reminder that separate and unequal is still very much in effect. Unequal to the point of feeling a need to obliterate.
While I do think the media is fully guilty of diversionary tactics quite often (and we akin to lemmings guilty of falling for them), I don't feel that's the case in all the media attention going to the SCOTUS marriage equality decision. We all have valid reason to celebrate the codification of something that should have been a universally given right ages ago.
That being said, we are all quite familiar with human nature. Once a relative obstacle is surmounted, we all kind of just forget that we had allies along the way and that it's our duty to continue to pay it forward exactly as they did with their beneficence. So I'm pleading with you to all to please not rest on your laurels. Last week's victory is great, but I beg of you to never forget that many people... many of whom are the brethren of the LGTBQ community, are still losing. We too are gays, lesbians, trans men, trans women, bisexual men, bisexual women and queers. And we continue to have our very lives as well as our livelihoods threatened every single day based solely (like you) on how we were born. Only our plight is often more conspicuous as there is no closet for us to even try to hide in. We can never hide our skin, our hair textures, our facial features and the shapes of our bodies. And like you, we should never want to hide any facet of ourselves.
So I'm imploring not just all of America, but more expressly all of my white LGBQ brothers and sisters (Not sure that I want to include the Ts as their fight is still waging on many levels; even within the greater LGTBQ community), please start practicing some more... Hell, some empathy PERIOD. The same way, there are enemies of a progressive America who are already trying to undermine this past week's win, there are those (many being one and the same) plotting to continually undermine others based on other characteristics. Even if you do revel in white/class privilege and really don't give a fuck about violence and institutional racism directed at black, brown, red and yellow peoples, then just keep in mind that acquired freedoms are always a slippery slope when all are not privy to fair and equitable treatment.