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Prop 8: Maintaining Mental Stability

In response to the piece on Prop 8 about race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and the election I tweeted, womanist musings sent me her post on the subject and asked for my thoughts. As I posted:

(Regarding homophobia in the black community) I believe the issue of the black church cannot be overstated. And I hope that more African-Americans of all backgrounds can find a way to affirm their connection to the divine, or that which transcends ordinary reality, without dismissing or degrading others.

(Regarding racism in the GLBT community) I think it's important to maintain mental stability at all points of intersection. There are no monolithic black or white or GLBTI communities, and we should not proceed as if there are. Animosity and anger are important but also dangerous emotions. These directed at a group can create a potentially disastrous result. Careful, considered response will more likely yield more positive, non-incendiary results.

Working with people who support the right of all beings to be free, and cultivating understanding and compassion for those who do not is a good way to stay sane. It's certainly worked for Obama. Speaking to the best part of each of us, the part that wants to act with openness and integrity.

I certainly think it's important to try to build on the Obama win in whatever ways possible, rather than undermine the tremendous feelings of forward momentum. Adding to the rhetoric of change is a good idea. Getting into an alienating, acrimonious war that leaves all of us wounded? Claiming hierarchies of oppression? 

When you plant wheat you get wheat. When you plant rage and blame, you get rage and blame. As many philosophers have said:

In times of war, study peace.  

I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

November 9th, 2008


Comment #1 by Mignon on November 10, 2008 - 5:17pm

It's so strange...(laugh) I guess I'm out of the loop. As a femme of color who's partnered with a white transman, all I felt was anger and sadness -- and motivation to get out and participate in this particular fight. But I've heard more about it not being black people's fault (from other black people) than about the more pressing issue of how disorganized we are as an lgbt community.

I can't say I've run into any white gay folks who've been angry with ME; with the fact that this was even brought up as a vote, sure, but not with anyone (or any group, incidentally) personally. Gay folks have, in this century, gotten complacent with certain ideas -- one of them being that they're accepted totally. And Californian gay folk seem to forget that California isn't the most liberal place in the world, even though we all like to believe it's so. Remember the fight over UCBerkeley's quota system? Yow.

After reading articles about how it seemed to have gone down (i.e., even some gay people didn't know which way to vote, in that some thought a vote "yes" meant they were voting for gay marriage), I still don't see the point to all the anger. I get the confusion, and the complacency argument. Are we really all reading the same things, or am I missing something? I ask the question seriously.
But truly, if the fight was this incendiary before (and if the grassroots campaign was better), perhaps there would have been a different outcome.

Or maybe not.

I also have to say -- I was saddened to read the piece by Jasmyne. I don't understand why one right (or group of rights) is intrinsically more important than another. She refers to people who are sick with AIDS, homeless, etc...yet, isn't that part of the problem, in that gay folks are unfairly taxed for health benefits, even when they do have domestic partnership privileges? How are these issues really separate?
For the record? All the black gay folks I know want to get married. It's very important to them. That's one universal truth in my world, regardless of what kind of queer they are. I LOVE that about us -- to me, that's the height of optimism.

Incidentally, my favorite response to the vote was Melissa Etheridge's, who said she won't pay her taxes. THAT gets people's attention. (smile)

Comment #2 by Anika on November 10, 2008 - 8:20pm

I've been meaning to condense my posts. please forgive the length here.
Not surpiresed LAT published Jasmyne's article, but I was shocked at her lack of education on the very subject. at very least google the darn thing! Was she trying to say Af Am's don't need/deserve benefits? She reps the anti rights movement apparently, and the cheese stands alone.
Marriage Rights:
Tax Benefits, Estate Planning Benefits,Government Benefits, Employment Benefits,Medical Benefits, Death Benefits, Family Benefits,Housing Benefits, Consumer Benefits,Other Legal Benefits and Protections:
• Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
• Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
• Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
• Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
• Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
• Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

Comment #3 by rebecca on November 11, 2008 - 6:52am

Are you all on my FB feed? There is a very long discussion about this piece, and the several I posted after this one. I was amazed by the range of perspectives I found on this.

This is another post I found interesting on the subject:

Comment #4 by anika on November 11, 2008 - 9:08pm

Not onto it, what's your FB feed? Fire board? pls post linx, didn't see it on your blog list? many thanks.
...lookn forward to one big happy family..more thanks

Comment #5 by Mignon on November 11, 2008 - 9:17pm

Am with Anika on this...what's FB? (laugh)

Comment #6 by rebecca on November 12, 2008 - 4:07am
Comment #7 by anika on November 12, 2008 - 4:39am

am so late to class, yikes.
of course fb, will get there eventually : )

Comment #8 by best patek philippe replica on December 31, 2013 - 7:15pm

A watches that operates on nuclear energy has absent on sale.

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