Tag Archives: Civil Rights

Congratulations, But We’re Not There Yet

(Republished from Sept 2015)

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of progressive changes here in America. While some show us just how far we’ve come, others let us know just how far we still need to go.  I was reading the latest piece here on The Kinfolk Kollective (brilliant writer btw, check her out) about Viola Davis and the nonsense (read bullshit) that ensued.

While I did not watch the awards, I saw the immediate spreading the joyous news of Viola Davis’ well deserved win on social media.  I think she’s an incredibly talented actor and I was very happy that she received her due in this well earned recognition.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Actress Viola Davis accepts Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award for 'How to Get Away with Murder' onstage during the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 20: Actress Viola Davis accepts Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award for ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ onstage during the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Later I saw her speech, along with the very short and spread out list of other firsts and I was saddened to realize how little progress we’ve made in this area. To be honest, since I’m not a fan of the awards shows or their history I had no idea until this moment how far behind we were in this arena.

I remember seeing Halle Berry’s acceptance speech in my younger years thinking “cool, we’re there” and being completely oblivious to the fact that we are so far from it in this vein. Viola really hit the nail on the head when she pointed out you can’t win awards for parts not written. It’s a simple problem with a seemingly simple solution.  Right?

But of course no one can have their 15 seconds forget 15 minutes, in the sun before critics and assholes feel the need to tear people down with their own Ignorance.  This phenomenon was never more apparent than when a Tweet by an unnamed white actress (only because I refuse to offer any publicity with her name attached) who felt that Viola should have allowed someone else to write her speech for her. Are you kidding me?

So here we finally have the first African-American woman in this country to win an Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama, and this person felt, either out of jealousy of the win or personal discomfort because it didn’t align with her life of privilege, that it should have been censored or desensitized for those who prefer to speak out of their asses because their heads are buried deeply in the sand.

If I can offer a brief but meaningful segue  – One of my favorite movies is A Time to Kill starring Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and the ever powerful Samuel L. Jackson. The 1996 movie is based on the book of the same name by John Grisham, and is a story told from the defence attorney’s perspective as he digs deep to defend his client (Samuel L. Jackson) accused of murder after killing the men who repeatedly and brutally assaulted his young daughter.  McConaughey’s closing speech as Southern defense attorney Jake Brigance is one that will stop your heart and give you the deepest understanding of racial divide that you never saw coming. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to watch it here.

After you regain your composure, feel free to join in the singing “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” from the Broadway musical Avenue Q and be sure to invite and include almost everyone you’ve ever known to join you in the chorus. There’s no shame in realizing that down deep you have some racially disparaging leanings at your core.  Of course you couldn’t.  You didn’t realized that you’ve been groomed this way from birth and while you may wash away some of it, there’s a couple of places you didn’t know were even there.

American society historically has been very racist and it didn’t stop with the end of the Civil War. In fact, slavery didn’t even end with the war. If you’re not familiar with Juneteenth look it up.  Don’t be surprised if you’re not familiar with it. It’s an event that is not taught in schools.  Why?  I don’t know.

I didn’t learn about the racially motivated Internment Camps to restrict the freedoms of Japanese-Americans during World War II either.  We learned a fraction of the relocation and atrocities committed against Native Americans by white settlers and Americans, too grievous a list to reference here.  Then again until the casinos opened, most folks thought that Native Americans were more historical figures than living peoples.  Out of sight, out of mind.  I guess that’s what that actress was hoping for with her tweets.

American History books would have us believe that this country was settled in harmony with only a few gunfights, a really cool railroad, the creation of the pony express and some really funny clothes and mustaches, then a few battles as part of the Civil War and once the war was over, we all continued living together happily until the 1950’s when we became a society divided again (for some unknown reason that nobody remembers I’m sure…) leading to Rosa Parks being the catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement with the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Every generation does a little bit better, but we have to strive for it to keep progressing as parents, as industry, as a society, as a country.  Dr King said it best in his historic I Have A Dream speech “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”.  While I have always been moved by, believed in and agreed with that sentiment, we need to remember it just as much now as on that historic day in August 1963 on the the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

I am constantly judged by those who see me as a caucasian woman, when the reality is that I am a genderfluid individual who only racially identifies as human, formerly married to an Afro-Cuban man for 10 years (which was illegal within my own lifetime btw) and is someone who has family and friends in every color of the rainbow and every position along the gender spectrum.   That’s not to say I’m not free of prejudice, not even close.  What it means that race and gender are not my identity nor is it my sole scope of experience for viewing the world around me; and as I recognize these flaws within myself, that awareness allows me to target it for removal like radiation directed toward cancer cells.. but only if I choose to do so.

Hate is a cancer of the human soul and prejudice is only one of its symptoms.  As we’ve seen in the past year racially motivated crime at an all-time visibility.  Understand that because of our changes in technology, these injustices are more visible than ever before, and with it comes the demand for accountability and change.

Please recognize that these are far from the only injustices that are occurring.  Young vets coming back are dealing with having to fight not only for their earned benefits but the continuing the fight they’d thought they’d left being as it haunts them constantly, creating an unprecedented veteran suicide reaching record numbers that this country has never seen before.

Transgender individuals, both adult and youths are assaulted and murdered daily, make up a majority of the homeless population as backs are turned on them at every turn and maintain a suicide rate of over 40%.  These two things in particular you don’t see on mainstream news because they don’t feed the fires of racial tensions and controversy, instead they breed empathy and compassion.  That doesn’t sell advertising.

The honest truth of the matter is that it’s going to take many more generations of Americans to water down and weed out experiences known as daily reality for many, many people in this nation both past and present, but it takes work, and a lot of it.  There is no room for complacency, the old adage is true “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”.

We as a nation and a society need to be proactive in repairing the current wounds and old scars of injustice for ALL of our citizens, not just the majority and the underserved need to be sought out.  Trust needs to be built, that’s the hardest part, and the nightly news makes sure to work against that because that’s how they get viewers and sell advertising.

So please look to the disparity around you and know that you can be the catalyst for change.  Compassion and empathy can make the difference in whether someone continues living or chooses dying.  Never forget that Rosa Parks wasn’t some visionary radical, she was a woman tired from a long day at work whose feet hurt.  Even the smallest pebbles can create the biggest ripples, you can be a superhero, all you have to do is use your powers for good.



Reblog –> Kim Davis: Fuck your stance!

For those Christians who disagree with the SCOTUS ruling. “Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.” Romans Chapter 13 v. 1&2

This is the best Op/Ed piece I’ve read to date on this subject. Kinfolk Kollective for the win! ~ Maggie

Source: Kim Davis: Fuck your stance!

Kim Davis: Fuck your stance!

Kim Davis

I’m always confused and horrified by the people who proclaim to do the Lord’s work. It makes me wonder if the Lord is doing background checks. Once for a job I was required to pass a written exam, have a phone screen and three in-person interviews, pass a 10-year criminal background check and a hair follicle drug test, verify my education credentials and employment history, and provide five professional references. Yet, people are being chosen as representatives of the supreme being with ease. I know they say good help is hard to find, but I didn’t realize even the Lord was having trouble finding decent candidates.

So when I found out you were the newest hire of the Savior, I just knew you hadn’t been properly vetted. I’m wondering why if the Almighty does not approve of same-sex marriage, he or she would even allow legislation to pass. Seems that with the Lord having universal unchecked power, it’d be easier to either remove the evil spirit of homosexuality (side fucking eye) from the hearts of those afflicted. Instead, though, you were chosen to take a stand against this evil.

I’m curious to know when exactly did the sanctity of marriage become so important to you. I wish I had a flow chart to understand your many marriages and divorces. I’m a visual person, so that would help, but in the absence of it, I understand you’ve been married four times to three men. I also understand that you have twin sons by your third husband whom were conceived while you were still married to your first husband. I was going to try to explain the rest of your “love” life, but my head is hurting just trying to unravel that shit. I guess if there were a formula for it (I’m a math person too), it’d look something like marriage + adultery + divorce + children born out of wedlock + marriage + divorce + marriage + divorce + remarriage = saint.

So, to be clear, the Lord has no issue with you having four marriage licenses and three divorce decrees in your name, but to put your name on a marriage license for two adults of the same sex (as you are paid $80,000 annually to do) would be an abomination, right? Lady, bye! When you stood your ridiculous ass up there crying at that rally yesterday, I become ill. Watching all those hateful people celebrate your bigotry was too much to bear. And it’s not that I believe you should be forced to issue marriage licenses that you have some religious objection to issuing. I just know that if you work at McDonald’s, you should expect to serve burgers (or whatever that meat-like concoction they serve is) or be fired.

You campaigned and were elected by the people of that county. You damn sure didn’t tell gay and lesbian couples not to vote for you because you objected to their homosexuality, but now you’re refusing to serve them based on their homosexuality? Huh? Your religion has no place in the courthouse. If you wanted to be able to impose your beliefs on others, you should’ve applied for a local church. But I get it, a church in Kentucky wouldn’t be able to pay you as well. Nor would you have the clout you now enjoy. You would only be preaching to the choir, surrounded by other bigoted, ignorant sanctimonious folks. You love the prestige your position affords. I watched how you ate up the wild cheering and applause yesterday. You love being a martyr for the cause.

But the truth that none of the motherfuckers cheering you on will tell you is that what you’re doing is neither bold nor unusual. You are not taking a stand for something. You’re continuing the pattern of this country was founded on. You are not Rosa Parks, you are George Wallace. You are determined to stop progress. You are using your power to infringe on the civil rights of other people. You, ma’am (and I use that term with much reservation), are no hero. You are a coward. You are a zealot. You are a hypocrite. You are full of shit.

If you truly want to live by the tenants set forth in the Bible, you should’ve started before your own marital history became a series of do-overs. No Catholic could’ve refused to accept your filings for divorce because of their beliefs. They would have had to do their jobs because their religious beliefs cannot be imposed on you. That is what the separation of church and state means. You stand on a podium built on the trust of the voters and reinforced with your oath. You do not have the right to do your job only when you agree with it. You have every right to step down and take a job that won’t require you to issue marriage licenses to couples whose relationships don’t comply with your beliefs. You have the right, unfortunately, to be spiteful, selfish and intolerant. You do not have a right to allow those attributes to affect your job.

I know you felt like a superstar up there, with Huckabee by your side egging you on, but you’re no star. If he is in your corner, you can be assured you’re on the wrong side of history. Huckabee is the same piece of shit who stood up for Josh Duggar, a child molester, while making no mention of the well-being of his victims. You stood holding hands with a person who forgives child molesters while seeking to punish consenting adults for their romantic relationships. Do you not understand the absolute bullshit cake you’re serving? Your argument is not rooted in anything other than hatred. You are brainwashed.

I read that you’re in church three times a week. I sure hope one of the times isn’t during your cycle because the Bible strictly prohibits women from entering the Lord’s house during menstruation. I also hope you’re eating only fish on Friday as instructed, though I doubt it because you look like you enjoy a good burger. I know you don’t abide by the Commandments since we have verification that you committed adultery. Wait, do you even read your Bible, or are you just using the Cliff’s Notes, highlighting and committing to memory the parts you can manipulate to fit your bigotry?

And I won’t even begin trying to explain that homosexuality is a trait you’re born with because it will fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. Anyway, I don’t believe you are owed an explanation of anyone’s sexuality. Gay people do not have to detail all their innermost desires and life history to justify their feelings and love to you. They are free to exist as they are, kissing, loving, hugging and being with their partners without the approval or understanding of a fucking soul. No one required certification for why you hopped on and off the merry-go-round of love, but you expect gay people to suppress their desires and live a lie, or be persecuted.

Now I know you’ve been released and will go back to your job. I have a feeling Huckabee, Cruz and the bigot bunch have put the battery back in your back. I really believe you’ll deny licenses to same-sex couples again. And I promise you that one monkey won’t stop the show. Gay people will get married and if it costs your well-paying job and prestige, that’s just icing on the rainbow-colored cake.