Sunday, May 1, 2011

Reflections of an Off-Year Election

Originally Posted on November 4, 2009

Considering today’s implosion of social networking site frustration over Maine’s Question 1. I need to evoke an old high school teacher of mine to follow through the process of “the next step.” I’ll get to Alan Benson in a moment…

In a previous posting, I offered up the suggestion of lobbying instead of rallying for rights on a Federal level. Good idea, right? It still is – but yesterday’s polls mean more to localized issued issues that have an impact on Federal ones.

We get frustrated because it seems we do little to further our cause. It is convenient  to post our frustration online as opposed to doing something about it. I’m certain we all do things to help further the cause of societal equity and improving our quality of life in our own way. We always promote our nation as a polyglot of cultures as opposed to one that employs a form of institutional apartheid. We’ve gone too far as a culture/community to find ourselves on the wrong side of history by the virtue of rants without action.

However, we must be extremely careful as to how to manifest “action.” No, the GLBT do not have a H. Rap Brown telling fellow GLBT people to burn down their gayborhoods as a form of protest. We don’t have a Malcolm X to stoke our anger to stand up to the complacent queens in our community and refuse to acknowledge the existence of heterosexuals in our lives!

We do have the Human Rights Campaign. However, I’ve already discussed their relevance when we are becoming restless again towards societal equity in this country.

In fact, we don’t need any of these people! Instead, think of what we can do!
Actively support Annise Parker’s runoff for Mayor of Houston, Texas. She has a Facebook Fan Page, BTW (and a Twitter, a Flickr page, a LinkedIn page, etc.). The Houston Mayoral runoff is December 12.  
Query both Kasim Reed and Mary Norwood as to their stands on the GLBT community in the City of Atlanta. Let both of them know they are accountable to one of the city’s highly active cultural/community groups, not just their base constituencies. This includes those of us who live outside the city and patronize businesses there! The Mayoral runoff in Atlanta is on December 1. 
Then, in 2010, we need to vigorously and actively campaign in the mid-term elections. If you live in a district or community that has representatives supporting your cause – stand behind them and engage in dialogue with them to ensure they have your best interests in hand. For those who do not, we must confront these people and inform them that they cannot represent us. Even if we do not live in their district, we can throw our support for the opponent of said anti-GLBT politician. We also need to make the point to said anti-GLBT politician that there are those in their district who are not only GLBT, but are voting, tax-paying citizens. 
Again, Alan Benson taught those of us at Reseda High a lot about understanding the impacts and consequences of actions to further societal equity. He also taught us about the concept of proper, intelligent debate backed with a passion for the issues and tenacity to further the cause of the intentions of the Constitution. We also need to keep in mind that the document that holds this country together was used to divide it in the past. We’ve gone great lengths in the past Century or so to neutralize the threat to divide this nation again.

We’ve seen how extreme measures to separate and divide people from each other legally can implode countries around the world. We’ve seen it here on our soil as well. We can prevent this from happening again.

Yes, a majority of you are angry right now. Let it out! Then, when you get to a calmer space, think about what you will do next – or, in the near future. You vote, you pay taxes and do everything your citizenship warrants you to do. Your voice cannot remain silent, but do so directly to those you either support or disagree with – not just on here without a conclusionary action.

I always go back to the quote from Steven Biko in times like these: "I'm going to be, as I am, and you can beat me or jail me - or even kill me. But, I'm not going to be what you want me to be!" That always motivates me to keep on going in the face of hatred and setbacks towards my equal place in American society. That is why I always believe in the power of the United States Constitution and the democracy that shares debate and discourse - backed with electoral participation paid by my taxes.

Let's not get too angry over it too long - we have a lot to do in the meantime. We need to simply get busy - and stat!

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