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Friday, December 4, 2009

Obama: Got Guts?

Yes, my friends, we are right to be disappointed and upset about the slow progress of equality and civil rights, including marriage rights, ENDA, DADT, and UAFA.

But in the midst of our justified anger, fellas - do keep it all in perspective.  My truckbuddy David Mixner, long-time activist, recently called the current situation in the United States "gay apartheid."

Now David has paid his dues and been on the front lines for civil rights for all Americans since the Vietnam era; and he's worthy of a lot of respect from those of us who, unlike David, have never been beaten or jailed for taking a public stand.

But I do think his phrase overstates the case.  As I've posted recently myself, things could be worse, much, much worse for gays, and in my own lifetime, they have been.

So while we're pissing and moaning about our own government - give a thought to the holocaust our brothers and sisters in Uganda are facing right now.

And I say, even if Obama doesn't do another goddamn thing for gays in his whole life, he must speak out against this genocide about to happen in Uganda.  Mixner thinks so too.  Don't you agree, boys? 

From Andrew Sullivan:
This gay Ugandan blogger's latest post is here - a heart-rending blend of disbelief, optimism and pessimism. From the comments section, a reader asks:
I hope the bill wont see the light of the day. How about your safety and that of other gay men at the moment?
The blogger's response:
Ha, life is unfair. No real assurance, or insurance to it.

Ok, seriously, what about our safety? Well, we are making lots of noise as and when we can now. When the bill becomes law, those of us who are out will be most likely hauled in for any more 'promotion' of homosexuality...!

But, sometimes, sometimes it is actually worth the while to hang out ones neck. Afterall, I will only die once.... Gallows humour. But, better than nothing.
"I will only die once." God have mercy.  The courage of the defenseless - the courage of St. Sebastian.

This law was inspired and directed by American fundamentalists, showing just exactly what they would do to us if only they could.

Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out:
Earlier tonight, Rachel Maddow aired an excellent 10-minute news segment about the Republican and evangelical leaders who, despite deep ties to Uganda, refuse to tell their close friends in the Ugandan leadership not to proceed with an antigay genocide and mass suppression of the families, doctors, and pastors of allegedly homosexual Ugandans.

The segment implicates Senators James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., members of The Family, mega-evangelist Rick Warren, and others in silent complicity with genocide.

Bottom Line:  You can tell the President what you think he should do about this murderous plan here.  He wants to hear from you, he said so during the campaign many times - remember?

I remember, as I've posted, being beaten by homophobic bullies in high school; yet they broke no bones, drew no blood, the only lasting scars were those on my soul.  But I hate a bully.  I look at what's happening in Uganda now, and I see the same thing, a million times worse, about to happen.  And I think, there but for the grace of God am I.

Will Obama stand up for just one shining moment and tell the bullies to back off and leave the little guy alone?  Does he have the guts to take a stand for what's decent, for all those precious human rights he loves to speechify about?  Will he lift one finger to protect those at the mercy of religious hatred over there? 

Will you?

Write.  You voted for him, didn't you?  You're paying his salary.  He owes us this much.  At the very least.

P.S. - This law will go into effect next month, if passed.  Time is short.  And I'm furious that other world leaders - Gordon Brown and Stephen Harper, to name just two - have already spoken out face to face with Ugandan leaders - but not one damn peep out of my President.

Why the hell aren't you East Coast boys picketing the gates of the White House already?  And the Ugandan embassy?  You got guts?  Or at least nuts?  Or not? 

Or is it really true, what they say about all us sissies?  You tell me.


Stan said...

It's sad but you know how it is Russ. The only thing most gays are worried about in this country is what they are going to wear to the bars this weekend.

Russ Manley said...

Yeah Stan and that type will still be primping and preening, giggling and gossiping, when the fundies engineer a coup and start loading us all into boxcars . . . . Which is why Larry Kramer famously once said, "I hate gay men."

But of course the circuit boys and party boys aren't all there is to us. Are they?

Jeepguy said...

I don't think that the pink triangles we would be forced to wear on our chests would be much of a fashion statement, but I don't suppose that the boxcars would smell that much different than some of the bathrooms in the bars! :)
Nevertheless, I would like to think that there are more than just a few of us with the brains and motivation to make our voices heard on issues like our country's position on the Ugandan situation. I followed the link in your post to the WH and wrote to Obama about this. I've never written to the President before, so this is a first, but I think it is so important for the future of the world, the US, and us.

I can well appreciate your perspective on how things have improved for gay people over the past few decades, having experienced the verbal abuse and humiliation I felt growing up. On the other hand, it's hard to be patient with the slow pace of progress. I think it is important to keep our presence out there and give a clear message that we aren't going to just go away if we are ignored.

Russ Manley said...

Well good for you Gary. And yes, we're here, we're queer, we're not going away; it's our country too. Things are changing - just slower than we want. But having to work for what you want is good for your character, right?

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