Category Archives: Equality
From the NYT:
The State Department will offer equal benefits and protections to same-sex partners of American diplomats, according to an internal memorandum Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sent last week to an association of gay and lesbian Foreign Service officers.
Wow wee, the federal government can recognize the rights of LGBT’s but the military can not? WTF? Here is what Hillary had to say about the changes in State Department policy, from the same NYT article:
“Like all families, our Foreign Service families come in different configurations; all are part of the common fabric of our post communities abroad,” Mrs. Clinton said in the memorandum, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times by a member of the gay and lesbian association.
“At bottom,” she said, “the department will provide these benefits for both opposite-sex and same-sex partners because it is the right thing to do.”
Of course it’s the right thing to do..why in the blue hell can’t the rest of the federal government and the military see that?
Good on ya Hillary..thanks for making the change. Now, pressure the rest of the departments and the military minds to do the same thing.
Go read this please. It is a beautiful yet gut-wrenching story of good people in Maine trying to level the playing field when it comes to LGBT equality in all things important to humans.
There are pictures and a video. The turnout was awesome. But the homophobics turned out as well and I couldn’t believe the shit they spewed in a public forum.
It saddens and angers me that people are so fucked up in this day and age.
Please show Dawn some love and support, she deserves our support in her fight.
I wrote yesterday about Mychal Bell, he of the Jena 6, and his plea bargain to a charge of simple battery, after his court case for attempted murder was tossed out. I thought about how the radical right has risen up lately to bitch and complain about the massive protests held in Jena LA regarding the racist rightwingers overt racism and inequality in the justice arena.
Seems I am not the only one that has sat up and taken notice. The TomPaine.com article really set me on edge as I read it, noting how horrible it actually has become since all hell broke loose in Jena LA.
The NYT has done a comprehensive writeup as well on how far the fuckwits of the lunatic fringe are willing to go to stifle the voices that are protesting the racism and the problems within our justice system with regards to people of color. Read this and weep for our country:
But since the huge Sept. 20 rally in Jena, La., where tens of thousands protested what they saw as racism in the prosecution of six black youths known as the “Jena 6,” this country has seen a rash of as many as 50 to 60 noose incidents. Last Tuesday, for example, a city employee in Slidell, La., was fired after being accused of hanging a noose at a job site a few days earlier.
If that fact doesn’t bother you, I don’t know what will my dear reader. Since the 1880’s until the 1960’s there were around 4700 men and women lynched in our country.
Read that again: 4700 men and women were lynched in these United States of America. 70% of the victims were of course black. Is it a wonder then why the noose strikes terror in the hearts of African Americans?
These ‘noose’ incidents are not just occurring in the South either. As the TomPaine writeup states: incidents are also being reported in places like Minneapolis; Cicero, Ill.; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Newark; Baltimore; and New London, Conn.(emphasis mine)
The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks hate crimes and hate groups. The SPLC’s Intelligence Project director, Mark Potok has this for us, regarding hate crimes and their rise:
These incidents are worrying, but even more so is the social reality they reflect. The level of hate crimes in the United States is astoundingly high — more than 190,000 incidents per year, according to a 2005 Department of Justice study.
And the number of hate groups, according to the annual count by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has shot up 40 percent in recent years, from 602 groups in 2000 to 844 in 2006.
It seems that the September rally in Jena — much as it was seen by many civil rights activists as the beginning of a new social movement — signaled not a renewed march toward racial and social justice, but a surprisingly broad and deep white backlash against the gains of black America.
So, it seems we are going backwards when it comes to equality among the races doesn’t it? Thousands of individuals rose up to point out the heinous acts in Jena. They pointed out how the law is not meted out evenly in Jena and they did it loud and proud, so the whole world took notice during the September rallies held in Jena LA. I was proud of them all, it made me happy to see that little town inundated with thousands of people, of every color, that wanted to show solidarity with the black teenagers being railroaded through the court system in Jena by a bigoted DA, judge and jury.
As a ‘woman of color’, the color brown my dear reader, I have long considered the Republican attacks on illegal immigrants as a bigoted issue that paints brown people as the big brown menace to blame for all things that ail America. The rights attempt to paint this issue as part of the ‘war on terror’ has made me sick to my stomach. Seems I am not alone in that regard either. From the TomPaine writeup:
But it’s also becoming true on a broader scale as well, with a rising tide of openly espoused ethnic bigotry manifesting itself in myriad ways, particularly on the immigration front, where Latinos are increasingly targeted by rhetoric emanating from the very highest levels of Republican leadership that manifests itself in a tide of hate crimes; and in the “war on terror,” which has provided for an opening for a variety of right-wing figures to spew hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric, with similarly predictable consequences.
Isn’t that interesting? Oh, its very interesting to me. I am glad that people are finally putting two and two together as it were. Even CNN has an article that points out how the FBI has stated that ‘hate crimes’ have jumped Eight Percent in the last year with racial hatred accounting for more than half:
Police across the nation reported 7,722 criminal incidents in 2006 targeting victims or property as a result of bias against a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin or physical or mental disability.
Disgusting no matter how you look at it, unless of course your a rightwing nutjob that still believes that people of color and gays are taking over the nation. It should also be noted that “Only 12,600 of the nation’s more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies participated in the hate crime reporting program in 2006”, which should also bother the hell out of progressives and people that despise bigotry and racism.
You want to know what really jacks my jaw? That people like Bill O’ Reilly feed the bigotry live and in living color nightly via our airwaves. They push the rightwing nutjobs into action with quotes like this one:
But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. (emphasis mine)
Disgusting on every level wouldn’t you say? We are NOT a nation of just white, Christian, males. We are a melting pot of all colors, genders and sexuality. We are NOT a nation that should be governed by only the “all white boys club”. All of us should receive representation. Every Single Last One of Us. We All pay taxes, we all add to this nation in one way or another and we all deserve to have a voice. Our, the collective ‘our’, taxes are paying the salaries of those congressional representatives and that worthless man we call President. I will be damned if I will shut the fuck up so that the fearmongerer’s among us get to run this nation into the ground and take us back 200 years to when women and blacks were just considered “chattel” to be traded or used as the white, Christian males saw fit.
Crossposted at UnCapitalist Journal
On the 40th anniversary of the ruling in Loving v Virginia, MIldred Loving has released a public statement that really must be read. I’m going to post the full text below the fold and encourage others to distribute it far and wide, put it on Fark and Digg and Reddit and anywhere you can for the widest possible reach. Americans need to read this statement and see how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go to protect liberty and equality in this country.
Loving for All
By Mildred Loving*
Prepared for Delivery on June 12, 2007,
The 40th Anniversary of the Loving vs. Virginia Announcement
When my late husband, Richard, and I got married in Washington, DC in 1958, it wasn’t to make a political statement or start a fight. We were in love, and we wanted to be married.
We didn’t get married in Washington because we wanted to marry there. We did it there because the government wouldn’t allow us to marry back home in Virginia where we grew up, where we met, where we fell in love, and where we wanted to be together and build our family. You see, I am a woman of color and Richard was white, and at that time people believed it was okay to keep us from marrying because of their ideas of who should marry whom.
When Richard and I came back to our home in Virginia, happily married, we had no intention of battling over the law. We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn’t that what marriage is?
Not long after our wedding, we were awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the “crime” of marrying the wrong kind of person. Our marriage certificate was hanging on the wall above the bed. The state prosecuted Richard and me, and after we were found guilty, the judge declared: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” He sentenced us to a year in prison, but offered to suspend the sentence if we left our home in Virginia for 25 years exile.
We left, and got a lawyer. Richard and I had to fight, but still were not fighting for a cause. We were fighting for our love.
Though it turned out we had to fight, happily Richard and I didn’t have to fight alone. Thanks to groups like the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, and so many good people around the country willing to speak up, we took our case for the freedom to marry all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that, “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” a “basic civil right.”
My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.
Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.
I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.
The country fixed a mess like this before, created by Theocrats..we need to fix it again. Don’t let the mutha fuckas win!