Back to Square One

Now we can clearly see why “Later” is not a viable strategy when it comes to people gaining equal rights.

When a segment of society, no matter how small, doesn’t have equal rights, there is never going to be a “better time” to work towards their equality.  Justice delayed is justice denied.

This is not rocket science.  It is a matter of ethics and morality.

And it certainly doesn’t demand being called a “selfish prig”, as I was yesterday, for wanting those equal rights.

I have to ask which of the rights enumerated after the break you would be willing to surrender so as to not also be a selfish prig.

Here’s a basic principle:  People should have the right to protections in the workplace from unjust dismissal and/or harassment or other discriminatory practices, in housing, in medical treatment, in public accommodations, from having their gender (and hence their marital status) change from state to state, and equal treatment by the legal system regardless of their sex or gender (and for me, gender is a matter of personal identity rather than being biologically determined at birth) or race or national origin or disability or sexual orientation.  Or religion, to which our constitution has always given priority.

To my way of thinking, if you can be protected on the basis of your religion, which is something a person chooses, there is no reason people should not enjoy some minimal degree of protections for deciding that life might be worth living if they had a sex change operation.

Yesterday I was informed that equal rights for transfolk are just a “personal agenda”, a “special concern”.  Just more of those “special rights” I guess.  And that was at Daily Kos.

So…back to the drawing board.  It would be great if people who are supposedly democrats would at least get on board with this equal rights thing…and yes, they are civil rights we are talking about, even if it isn’t about race.  Civil rights are the rights due to equal citizens.

If we can’t get Democrats on board, how in the hell are we going to make equality happen?

Maybe somehow we could add the right not to be murdered.  Would that be too much to ask?

Two weeks from tomorrow will be Transgender Day of Remembrance.  November 20 is the day each year that we remember those who have fallen over the past year due to hatred of us.  There are always too many names.  TDOR was founded by Gwen Smith to honor Rita Hester, a transwoman of African American heritage who was murdered in Alston, MA on November 28, 1998.  She was visciously stabbed 20 times in her apartment by person or persons unknown.  A candlelight vigil was held on December 4, 1999…which inspired the Remembering our Dead project.  I suspect this year’s list of new names will be lengthy.

What happened after she was murdered was typical…and was captured by Nancy Nangeroni:

In Memory of Rita Hester

Skating late last night

I retraced the vigil path

Found two candles burning on Rita’s step

So I added one more

and wondered how it felt

to feel the knife strike so close to home.

They called her a man

Called her a transvestite

They said she lived a double life

But we know better

We know the truth

We know why Rita died.

I still hear your mama’s cries

Haunting the canyons of my mind

You were just too much girl

for somebody else’s world

I gazed into the windows

of the bar where you were last seen

I searched each patron’s

eyes for the signs of guilt

I heard again your mama cry

“Who took away my child?”

echoing off the canyon walls of brick and steel

I still hear your mama’s cries

Haunting the canyons of my mind

You were just too much girl

for somebody else’s world

I still hear your mama’s cries

Haunting the canyons of my mind

You were just too much girl

for somebody else’s world


Skip to comment form

    • Robyn on November 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    …is not free.

    Would someone like to try to explain to me why equality should have low priority?

  1. … that filthy comment, and hide rated it.

    Pity one can’t do that in meatspace.

    I have seen this notion all too often, the idea one is “selfish” to care “only” about their own issue.  It’s been around a long time, it was wrong then and it’s wrong now.

    Winning equality for anyone is winning equality for everyone.

    I am not just saying this as a slogan … I truly believe I’m not free and equal until you are.  If that’s selfish, then I’m selfish.

    • Noor B on November 5, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    for any length of time today.  What a hideous thing to say!  What the hell is wrong with people over there?

    If it is any consolation, Robyn, the incrementalists were out in force earlier in the week.  It’s been an ugly, ugly week.

    • Robyn on November 5, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    …available in Orange.

  2. If there’s one thing the history of society makes clear, it’s that if an injury, and oppression, an exploitation can be visited on one person or group, it can likewise be visited on all persons and groups.  There’s only one line of defense against that reality:  Solidarity.  Forever.

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