With the overturn of Proposition Eight yesterday, I find it difficult to sit at my computer and write about something that isn’t profound. I wish that I had the smarts to write about this historic event but the truth is that I don’t. I don’t have those kinds of smarts. I am not really book learned enough, not really socio politically educated enough, not really legally savvy enough to write anything about yesterday’s events.
Much to my dismay, I am little more than a person who is ruled by their emotions. I have spent my life being lead around by them and trying to regain control of them; and while I can attest to the fact that, over the last ten years, I have gotten control of them enough that I am actually able to stop a tear from falling, as it wells in the corner of my eye, I am able to stifle a laugh before the upper lip curls, indeed, I am able to stop the curl from happening, nevertheless, at my core I am a person whose emotions are intact, are tangible, somewhere.
My emotions regarding the overturning of Proposition Eight are hopeful ones. The emotions I felt when Proposition Eight was created were angry ones. Not complex. Also not surprising. These are the emotions that a person with a heart should feel regarding these heinous laws, any and all heinous laws that attempt to hold down, hold back, hold still any group of people who are simply trying to carve out a simple and happy existence on this planet. And for what? For political gain and for religious judgement. I would venture to say that these are the two reasons for any kind of prejudice. People who hate usually do so in the name of a God in which they place their faith. Does everyone see the dichotomy of that statement? I hope so. People who oppress usually do so for the sake of power. I have no editorial for that statement. It’s a plain as the gay on my face. Oppress. Power. Ta Da. So here we are. A group of people in today’s society who just want to be happy, have jobs, homes, families… and a plain little band of gold, without feeling like we are puppets and pawns to be used by politicians and pioutists (I know that isn’t a word – but it should be; somebody call Webster’s please and fix it), fighting for the rights that have been afforded everyone. Women fought for equal rights. Blacks fought for equal rights. Today gays fight for equal rights. In 2010. Gays fight for equal rights.
What world are we living in?
At times, during the last year, I have thought Pat and I should move to a foreign country where we are welcome. The only problem is that we happen to love America. We happen to love New York. And most of our family is here. Yes, we have family abroad in the United Kingdom and in Australia. We could go to those countries and hang out. We could move to Argentina. We could leave this place, this place where we are unwanted and unloved; but would that be running away? Shouldn’t we stay and fight? Yes. We should. We should do what we can to change the hatred and bigotry of the United States of America. We wouldn’t, though, be changing that. We would only be changing laws. Because the people who hate us, will always hate us; because that is what they know. They are the people who still hate blacks. They are the people who still hate Asians. They are the people who still hate women. Come on, now; you know them. We all know someone who is openly racist, openly misogynistic, openly ageist; and they don’t attempt to hide their bigotry. When they say those offensive words ( you’re not going to make me put them in print, are you? ), the disdain drips from their lips. When they pass by a B-Boy, a strong woman, a Middle Easterner or a gay couple, their eyes narrow to slits as they daydream about the physical violence they would like to inflict upon the objects of their disgust. We have these people in our lives. When is the last time you said to a friend “I am offended by your use of that word” or called someone on their bigotry? To remain silent is to consent.
It would be nice to say that the time has come for prejudice to end. Sadly, that is not going to happen in this country. Hatred and judgment are the great American pastime. That is why the churches and politicians flourish. Fortunately, this is not an absolute. Happily, there are politicians and spiritualists (not religious, but spiritual) who recognize the good in the human race, who declare themselves the champions of equal rights, who go against that which other visitors of church and Capitol Hill will spend their lives opposing. There are leaders and followers who will continue to plan protests, create Facebook pages, head up fundraising events, give speeches, sit on The Bench and, yes, even blog so that we might be able to change the country, change the world.
Judge Vaughn Walker, I salute you. I acknowledge you as a person of integrity and fairness. I recognize you as a good, a great judge. You are one of our heroes. I will remember your name.
Attention has been paid.