Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life
My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
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Monday, June 01, 2009
If you're Jewish, chances are, the holocaust has affected you somehow. If you're Black, it's likely that Martin Luther King Jr. is counted among your heroes. If you're Cherokee or Choctaw, you know the history of the Trail of Tears. But you don't have to be Jewish, Black, or Native American to understand how wrong the Holocaust, slavery and discrimination, and forced relocation are. It seems obvious to us today, but I'm sure there are still those who see Jews, Blacks, and Native Americans as something less than human -- or at least less than themselves. Most people, however, know that it is "the content of their character" that determines a person's worth, not their culture or skin color.
And yet, there is still one group that is still considered fair game for ridicule, hatred, and discrimination: the LGBT community. Gay men and women understand the pain of being the target of a ridiculous measure like California's Prop 8 and the bizarre joy of being allowed the same rights as others. But is it really just their problem or does it affect those of us who aren't gay?
Like slavery and segragation, like the trail of tears, like the holocaust, like the Japanese internment camps, like the crusades, prop 8 reduces our humanity and makes us all a little less civilized. You don't have to be gay to understand that.
Apparently, however, some people don't get that. They think that because they're straight, the discrimination against gays doesn't matter to them. But anyone who loves this country, who loves the principles upon which it was founded, who loves freedom should see that it matters to everyone.
With that in mind, I've done something I should have done a year or more ago, before it was too late. I started first a facebook group and now a website called Straight Guys for Equality to highlight that it's not just the LGBT community that believes in marriage equality but the rest of us as well. It's just a few small-minded bigots and intellectual incompetents that can't handle progress.
Lest you think that this isn't your fight, I remind you of Niemoller's famous poem, First they came... -- California has allowed a majority vote to strip rights from a specific group; you could be next. And even if you're not, if you consider yourself a civilized person, then every fight for civil rights should be your fight.
So, if you're on Facebook, I urge you to sign up for the Facebook group and if not, check out the new website. There's not a lot there, but I'll add more info (and if you'd like to help out by maintaining the web site, please let me know.) And please consider making a donation to either Equality California or the Courage Campaign. With your help, we will see marriage equality in California again in 2010.
This post is part of Blogging for LGBT Families Day. And, yes, MLK should be counted among everyone's heroes.