I’ve been out of writing commission for a little while now. My only excuse is: this baby is coming, and life is upside down!
… That doesn’t change, does it?
|Monya A. Stubbs|
I’m also reminded, as I write and petition for the equality and affirmation of my LGBTQ sisters and brothers, that the continuing battle for civil rights cannot pick and choose whom to favor. The progress for LGBTQ acceptance has come leaps and bounds, even in the last decade (and I'm living proof of that). Simultaneously, the present-day U.S. political landscape seems to continually unwind much of the racial progress made in the Civil Rights Movement. Contemporary Tea Party/Libertarian dogma deconstructs the responsibility of a government (“by the people, for the people…”) to defend certain basic rights, leaving it in the hands of a free and unfettered marketplace to somehow elevate human greed into a benevolent, equalizing force.
Similar arguments can be made about the stymied progress of the Feminist Movement.
I am convicted, spiritually and intellectually, that the Civil Rights Movement needs to be reignited, and broadened in its scope. We cannot call for affirmation of our gay and lesbian neighbors if we are not demanding equality and liberation for our black and brown neighbors, as well as parity for women. We too easily pick and choose where our focus goes (understandably, because time and resources are finite) rather than demanding all civil rights for all people, in simultaneity. But energy builds on itself, and when enough of us begin to speak with one voice, the finitude of our efforts becomes unimportant because of the number of us standing up and saying: we demand human rights; we demand equality; we demand justice.
When asked how she felt about the success she experienced in leading so many enslaved men, women, and children to the free North, Harriett Tubman is reported to have replied… “I freed a thousand slaves. If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more.” The greatest challenge Tubman encountered was not the dangers of escaping from the South to the North… Rather, according to Tubman’s statement(s), the greatest challenge she faced was one of ideology. The enslaved men and women whom she could not convince understood the institution of chattel slavery as natural and absolute. (29)
What injustices and oppressions have we accepted as natural and absolute? What horrors have we numbed ourselves to, rather than facing head-on? How do we change the tide, starting today?