Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm Ready to Jump In

Hello All,

I want to share this post by Jessie Daniels, "The DREAM Act and the Failure of White Gay/Lesbian Progressives" posted today at Racism Review. In it she discusses gay organizations:

"...leading gay and lesbian organizations, such as NGLTF have mentioned both the DREAM Act and DADT – but as separate, single issues.   In separate press releases this week, Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) came out in favor of the repeal of DADT and the DREAM Act."
 I think this is exactly the direction we need to be going in. It seems to often that we get distracted by our divisions. As I've discussed in other posts we need to unite. I know that we are not the same. Men and women we know are not the same just like apples and oranges are not the same and cats and dogs are not the same. We know that racism and sexism, homophobia and xenophobia, classism and religious intolerance are not the same. This does not mean that women and men do not deserve to be treated equally under the law. They do. We cannot make a hierarchy of oppression. All oppression is bad, whether it's because you're female, LGBT, Black, Latino, Asian, Muslim, Pagan, Mormon, immigrant or student, 65+, etc. I applaud Rea Carey for supporting the repeal of DADT and the DREAM Act. Not everyone is making as much of an effort. I understand a small college student blog with 6 followers has a lot more leeway in terms of what I can take about. She goes on

...the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest (and predominantly white) gay rights organization, has had a lot to say on DADT, but has had very little to say about the DREAM Act.  White gay bloggers like Dan Savage and Joe.My.God. have mentioned the DREAM Act along with DADT, as they have been updating their readers about the lame-duck session of Congress. The Advocate, a magazine popular with white gays and lesbians, has tons of coverage about the repeal of DADT, but has had only one piece about the immigration (in November) but nothing to date in the archive about the DREAM Act, except as the scheduling of that vote threatened to affect repeal of DADT.  And, perhaps most disappointing for me to see personally as a church-going lesbian, the moderator for my denomination issued a press release that heralded the triumph of this single issue.
 These sources have their focus but we cannot forget that the fight for equality is not limited. So many of the systems of stratification we live in, in the US and abroad are interconnected. We cannot abolish racism without combating sexism and the other -isms. We cannot stand in our corner and say we did it, while another group is not successful. DADT has been repealed which is brilliant but the DREAM Act failed. Both are important to me. They are the same fight. Some would disagree but think about it. Lesbians and gays are not allowed to serve in the military if they are open about it. Young children come to this countries with their parents. My parents moved from the Bronx to Buffalo when I was little. I had no say. These children don't either. They attend school here and some go to college to better themselves but are not citizens and the path to citizenship for them currently is probably not easy or quick. The DREAM Act would make it easier for them granted they meet certain criteria. Every Civil Rights issue has similar aspects. No one chooses what color to be born, what person they will be attracted to, what sex organs they are born (or not born) with, what level of education their parent has etc. The fight for social justice and equality is about repairing these problems. Things have changed. That does not mean we're done. In the 60s, students of various races worked together, the Black Panthers worked with the Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, why can't we do this today on a large scale?

That's what I can end this with. We know that working together with other groups is not easy but can be done. What is the next fight and who is ready to jump in? I'm in!

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