Frank Rich makes a good point today in a nice column about where we stand 40 years after Stonewall:
Action would be even better. It’s a press cliché that “gay supporters” are disappointed with Obama, but we should all be. Gay Americans aren’t just another political special interest group. They are Americans who are actively discriminated against by federal laws. If the president is to properly honor the memory of Stonewall, he should get up to speed on what happened there 40 years ago, when courageous kids who had nothing, not even a public acknowledgment of their existence, stood up to make history happen in the least likely of places.
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As a candidate for the Senate in 2004, President Obama avoided getting into a photo with Mayor Gavin Newsom, who at the time, was embroiled in a controversy over allowing gay marriage in his city, San Francisco. This was at a fundraiser for him (Obama) organized by former SF mayor, Willie Brown.
p>I just don’t think President Obama is all that brave on these issues when it comes right down to it. His willingness to take the money at the fundraiser, but not embrace the cause told me all I needed to know.
p>I had hoped for better, but he probably has his eye on the next election and has done the math, and decided it wasn’t worth it to get out in front on this fight. More’s the pity.
Our worst problems come from within. The GLBT community has given most of it’s money to large groups that have softened our message, and in cases sacrificed groups of our own people in order to sell their marginalized version of ourselves.
p>These groups have kept a shadow over the smaller groups that more accurately report the real feelings and situations which we face. Their is no trickle-down from these larger groups to the smaller, they keep all the money which strangles the smaller group’s ability to have their voices heard.
p>There is no attempt by groups like MassEquality to unify and work with other active GLBT groups as exampled by Scott Gortikov snubbing Join the Impact Massachusetts at the Joe Biden fund raiser. Gortikov has also not answered Tom Lang’s KnowThyNeighbor.org article denouncing his actions. The word hubris comes to mind.
p>I see our own unity as our most serious issue; once we have this we will be in a much better position to negotiate with politicians. So long as we allow our own groups to work against unity we are divided and conquered.
that “The GLBT community has given most of it’s money to large groups that have softened our message”? I’m not saying you are or aren’t correct, but if you’re going to make such broad statements based on your perception of what has happened in MA, you really need some data to bolster your argument.
p>I am also disappointed in Gortikov attending that fundraiser, but iirc, MassEquality has been stunningly successful in getting good legislation passed and in blocking the nasty crap. Meanwhile, KTN has caused a hideous public relations mess here in Washington state. Perhaps some small organizations don’t win people’s trust for a reason.
What is the problem? Does it really boil down to human rights rather than gay rights? If it does, are other special interest groups really interested in protecting their human rights and by extention human rights? Is there common ground with progressive and libertarian groups?
p>Politicians have many competing groups vying for favor. The smaller the group the less interested the politicians. Politicians want to be re-elected, right or wrong has little to do with that. Numbers count. Why not seek to broaden the base to encompass as many people as possible?
p>What’s wrong with merging with groups that seek human rights?
… Mostly because I never met a politician, or indeed any human, who didn’t, in some way, fail to measure up to my expectations. I’ve long since stopped letting my expectations set my agenda. I think the disappointment felt is derived from the expectations felt and that is a compliment of sorts.
p>Myself, given the sheer weight of the Bush administrations epic fail and the excess of steaming piles of manure they left behind, I’m quite pleased with the progress the Obama administration has been able to manage so far. I honestly expected to be more disappointed 5 months in… That’s not to say I haven’t disagreed some individual decisions and found
p>There is such a thing a political capital: you can have any three of the following, but not all; more economic stimulus, global climate change remediation, sane regulation on US financial markets, continued cleanup of Bush administratin messes, sane health insurance, repeal DADT, withdrawal from Iraq, marriage equality, continued control of the HoR by Dems.
p>All of these things, I’ll note, are actively being opposed by every last Republican.
p>Of course, a unified (and patient) Democratic party would, most likely, get at least five of these things, maybe more, but that would be egregiously wishful… And probably not possible with Frank Rich (admire him as I do) running out of things to write about…
p>Remember: The arc of the moral univers is long, but it bends towards justice.
Frank Rich is gay?
… indicate that: “Gay Americans… They [not ‘we’] are Americans…”