Speak Up

It’s just a few days now till the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. This of course got God and me talking about the election again and I couldn’t help but complain some more about Proposition 8.

The thing is, from an analysis of exit polls and other data, one of the things that made it possible for Prop 8 to pass was the high turnout of black voters. They came out in droves to vote for the first major party black candidate, and also to vote for Prop 8. I know there’s enlightened individuals out there but, as a group, the African American community has been complaining for a long time about having their struggle for equality compared to the struggle for gay rights. When pressed for why the two don’t share common ground they seem to always fall back on the argument that we queers can pass for straight but blacks that can pass for white are a vanishingly small part of the population.

I’ve never been able to figure that one out. What makes it better to say that we can have our rights if we just suppress and crush the very core of our being, if we just deny who we are we can be tolerated, we can’t actually have our rights, we can’t get married, but we can be left alone and that should be just the same, that should be good enough. It’s like that old rhyme, “sticks and stones / may break my bones / but words will never hurt me.” Well, when an estimated one third of all teen suicides is gay-related, I’d say that words can hurt us, they can hurt us a lot.

I’d just like to remind everyone out there, every minority especially, of the famous words of Pastor Martin Niemöller:

In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

RSS feed


No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.