Sunday, October 11, 2009

What the National Equality marchers didn't do says a lot about what they accomplished

I didn't attend yesterday's National Equality march because of personal feelings and family obligations. I did manage to catch it on the news channels and shows.

I also saw many of the pictures and read the stories from those participating.

And I noticed something that needs to be put on record.

Now I can say a lot of things about the marchers and what they did, but allow me to dwell on the things they didn't do:

They didn't lie about attendance numbers,

They didn't post any phony photographs,

They didn't carry offensive signs about the president's place of birth or racial heritage,

They didn't need to call themselves "patriots,"

They weren't led by an astroturfing groups, venomous think tank lackeys, phony news networks, or millionaire demagogues.

They weren't led by the nose with conspiracy theories involving Kenya, Acorn, or death panels,

And none of them were given to annoying weeping jags regarding about how "they wanted their country back."

These people who came to Washington yesterday were the true cross section of the country. They were mothers, fathers, and children who, while some may say that they had every reason to be rude and ugly (being denied your basic rights tends to bring the monster out in some people), came with reverence and respect.

And most of all, they came with the belief that sooner or later, America will fulfill its promise of equality for all, even if the President has to be prodded to push the country in that direction.

Not to totally put down the teabaggers, but one cannot escape the contrast between them and the participants of yesterday's National Equality March.

The teabaggers came to Washington demanding that the ill-conceived status quo be preserved. And they did it rather rudely.

Lgbts and their allies came to Washington in pursuit of what should have been theirs in the first place. And they did it with dignity.

When it's all said and done, which group best represents the true spirit of America?

Picture taken from National Equality March webpage.

Editor's note - Okay folks. Let's hold ourselves to the same standard that we hold President Obama. Let's take this momentum and do something with it.

Related posts:

My take on the President's speech to HRC

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My take on the President's speech to HRC

Well Obama said his speech in front of HRC last night and the lgbt blogs are either propping it up or tearing it apart.

It was a good speech and I didn't expect too much from it but the nice words.

From day one of this "Why hasn't President Obama supported the lgbt community more" argument, I have spent a considerable amount of time sighing with exasperation.

The one thing I've learned from this entire situation (and it upsets me to say this) is that an empowered lgbt with no sense of direction is the most dangerous thing to the community. The mouth runs but the mind tends to be on strike.

I have no problem with the anger that some in the community are feeling. But I have a serious problem with the direction which the anger may lead us.

There is a thin line between demanding that President Obama follow through on this promises to the lgbt community and declaring him as an "enemy of the people."

Unfortunately many of us have crossed that line.

Do I want things to move swifter? Yes. Should the lgbt community give pressure to the President AND Congress? Yes.

Do I think that our biggest weakness in this entire thing are the people who have made this issue about President Obama vs. the lgbt community? Oh hell yes.

I think both sides have very good points but in weighing the casted opinions, I am little more put off by the words of some folks who take every perceived slight as some sort of license to rally people to take to the streets as some sort of solution.

I'm more put off by those who would, by way of hyperbole, imply that the President is an "oppressor" and that we should "abandon" him.

I'm put off by those who would take the guise of snobby patrons of a restaurant and view the President as a waiter who brought their drinks two minutes too late. These individuals kick aside the good the President has done for the lgbt community (it's not much by any stretch of the imagination but it's a good start - pay attention to that final word - "start") simply because they can't get everything they want at one time.

We seem to expect with a wave of a wand (or a pen), the President will take care of all of our needs. He will solve all of our problems in an expeditious nature.

It ain't going to happen like that.

In our anger at the President, we are losing perspective. Some of us may not like how he is moving on this issue but he has never been the enemy. The cause of lgbt equality has never been about him.

And that's why I ask those who spin the hyperbole at the drop of a hat where was this firm fire when dealing with religious right groups? How come we don't give the Family Research Council or the Traditional Values Coalition the same amount of hell that we are giving the President?

They give us grief every damn day. And whether we want to acknowledge them or not, they are the ones who are the true enemy in this matter.

While we wage war with the President for not taking the role of "daddy," while we engage in a circular firing squad, these groups will working to place future roadblocks in the way of lgbt equality; roadblocks that we will not address in an adequate manner.

Some in the lgbt community are suffering from a sort of "battered wife" syndrome. We are lashing out at our friends rather than our abusers. We wonder why our friends won't help us the way we want them to, but fail to realize that we are in control. No one can help us unless we help ourselves.

Despite the nice words, the lofty aspirations, the Obama Administration is a means to an end for the lgbt community. That's all. And rather than raising hell when we discover that the President does not have gossammer wings, a magic wand, or appears in a bubble in the sky that will slow descend to Earth, let's apply some good old fashioned pragmatism and cynicism to this situation.

He needs to be prodded, but not have stones thrown at him.

Kennedy needed to be prodded to support the 1950/60s civil rights movement and so did Johnson. Obama is no different when it comes to our issues..

That's how I view today's march. It is a way for the lgbt community to get empowered and gain the numbers who will lobby for our interests.

It's not about who helps us to get equality. It only matters that we get it.

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