#Human Rights Campaign
Queer Challenge to “We’re Just Like You”
Love this so hard for skewering the homo-normative narrative that mainstream gay rights organizations like Human Rights Campaign (HRC ) is content to sell to politicians an public in order to achieve same-sex marriage (let’s not call it marriage equality, shall we?).
“We’re just like you” glosses over what is truly problematic with heterosexist power structures and institutions, easily ignoring the sexism, racism, and classism that riddles gay life as much as “straight life.”
And for gawd’s sake, so many are in relationships that aren’t perfectly middle-class, white, single-national, able-bodied and monogamous, and what, those folks don’t get equality too?
The Saudi Marathon Man →
#Boston Marathon Bombing
The truth of the matter is that this innocent victim of the Boston Marathon Bombing was suspected, scapegoated, harassed, and villainized by people and the media without evidence simply because he had the misfortune of being a brown person while doing what most others were doing too at the site. Simply, this is the injustice of racial profiling.
Amy Davidson writes:
We don’t know yet who did this. “The range of suspects and motives remains wide open,” Richard Deslauriers of the F.B.I. said early Tuesday evening. In a minute, with a claim of responsibility, our expectations could be scrambled. The bombing could, for all we know, be the work of a Saudi man—or an American or an Icelandic or a person from any nation you can think of. It still won’t mean that this Saudi man can be treated the way he was, or that people who love him might have had to find out that a bomb had hit him when his name popped up on the Web as a suspect in custody. It is at these moments that we need to be most careful, not least.
It might be comforting to think of this as a blip, an aberration, something that will be forgotten tomorrow—if not by this young man. There are people at Guanátanmo who have also been cleared by our own government, and are still there. A new report on the legacy of torture after 9/11, released Tuesday, is a well-timed admonition. The F.B.I. said that they would “go to the ends of the earth” to get the Boston perpetrators. One wants them to be able to go with their heads held high.
"As something as horrifying as this afternoon in Boston is literally unfolding, as we are worrying about loved ones who may be affected, we already have to worry about the consequences of backlash violence. We have to worry about the sensationalism in the media. We have to worry about being attacked because of the color of skins, the turbans or hijabs on our heads, the beards on our faces. I pray that people in the United States and beyond have learned something in the last 11 and a half years. I pray that the collective response to today will be drastically different from the knee-jerk racism that pervaded the days, weeks, months, and years after 9/11/01."
#Boston Marathon Bombings
White People “Preferences” = Yellow People Problems | They're All So Beautiful →
Adding the discourse of sexual racism—though this piece never uses this term—is this interview with The Henry, a self-described “hairy Asian muscle panda,” at theyreallsobeautiful.com.
In addressing the prevalent, “No fats, no femmes, no Asians” on online profiles, The Henry connects the problem with identifying racial preferences in the historical context of racial discrimination. He says:
Baby Asian gays see this sort of “no Asian” stuff on gay profiles so early in their unsure gay lives… how do they feel as they get into their gay adult lives? Fucked up! So you’re not responsible for racism because it’s a physical “preference,” but to state it in a way that makes baby Asian gays feel bad about themselves is awful. White people during the Civil Rights Era did not “want” black people in their businesses. Did that make it ok to put up signs that said “No Blacks”? It’s just a preference right? People would post those signs. Signs that make young black kids feel unacceptable to your place of business. Fine for those people to feel that way about black people but you don’t have a right to put up that sign. It is “racist” yes, but the real problem is in how it affects the victims of something under the auspices of preference. So your stated “preference” on your gay profile makes it so you get what you want, but it may as well be a “no blacks allowed” sign as far as baby gay Asians are concerned. Whether it’s racist or not? I don’t really care. It bothers me that it makes baby Asian gays feel undesirable because of their ethnicity. That’s just criminal.
Read more of the interview here and to revisit my piece on sexual racism in MetroWeekly, check it out here.
Yes, Travyon’s Death Is an LGBT Issue. No, LGBT Politics Aren’t Limited by White Privilege →
Akiba Solomon’s op-ed at COLORLINES.COM is an important call out on the political myopia of those in the gay rights movement. In particular, Solomon takes down Washington Blade editor and co-owner Kevin Naff for his recent opinion piece, “All aboard the Trayvon bandwagon,” where he is all too self-righteously privileges LGBT struggles over racial injustice, as though both things never intersect. Naff concludes:
But portraying Martin as a hate crime martyr is premature and irresponsible. We don’t know the facts and in the weeks since the Martin shooting, LGBT people have been attacked, shot and killed in the U.S. without a press release or peep of protest.
Only through his own racial privilege could he hierarchize sexuality over race as though LGBTIQ people of color don’t experience discrimination because of both things often at the same time.
Naff, of course, is just a mouthpiece to elements in the gay rights movement who clearly do not see the broader vision of social justice: that even when LGBTIQ attain the same “rights & privileges” as our heterosexual/gender-confirming counter-parts, the fight isn’t over because racial injustice remains in the lives of LGBTIQ people as well.
Trayvon Martin, White Denial and the Unacceptable Burden of Blackness in America →
Essayist Tim Wise’s analysis on Trayvon Martin’s murder and the working of white denial is spectacular. Thanks Manny G. for the lead. Below are two great quotes; The first on empathy, which is underlines the progressive perspective of politics and society:
Empathy — real empathy, not the situational and utterly phony kind that most any of us can muster when social convention calls for it — requires that one be able to place oneself in the shoes of another, and to consider the world as they must consider it. It requires that we be able to suspend our own culturally-ingrained disbelief long enough to explore the possibility that perhaps the world doesn’t work as we would have it, but rather as others have long insisted it did.
And below, a reminder of how racial privilege contours political postures.
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from someone suggesting that perhaps we should begin to sport buttons like those that became so ubiquitous in the case of Troy Davis last year. You know the buttons, right? The ones that said: “I am Troy Davis.” The ones that aimed at solidarity with an unjustly executed man, but which, on the lapels and t-shirts of white people seemed, to me at least, more banal and offensive than anything else, since we were not, in fact (and would not likely ever be) in the position of Troy Davis.