January 17th, 2006

don't let your mouth, grrr

fuck HRC: reason 7,949,026

Dear HRC Membership Committee:

I just wanted to let you know that HRC's latest membership campaign epitomizes what I object to about HRC. "The Civil Rights Movement of Our Time"? Surely you jest.

Even President Bush can admit that the civil rights movement has not brought Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream to fruition yet.(http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060117/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush) Yet too often, white-led gay groups distort the reality of present-day racist oppression by acting as if "gays are the new Blacks"--as if the struggle for Blacks was over. I can only imagine the cognitive dissonance that a Black person reading this slogan would experience. Not to mention other peoples of color, who RIGHT NOW are being denied civil rights far more tangibly damaging than the right to marry, because of Bush Administration policies like the USA-Patriot Act and the work of legal scholars like John Yoo to legalize torture. Human rights campaign indeed.

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, that I will never become an HRC member while it continues to insist on such a narrow approach to working for LGBT freedom. To do so systematically disrespects struggles like the civil rights movement from which all other social protest movements have drawn so much, and makes a mockery of the coalitions we should be building to end oppression for all people.

From King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail":
"Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals....

"I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate... Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will."

I hope these words will inspire HRC to deepen its understanding of the importance of according respect to its Civil Rights forebears, give up some of its privilege of apathy, and use its power and reach to benefit queers of all colors and nations and to work in coalition with all who face oppression.

Yours sincerely,

x-posted to sparkle_shortz; write to membership@hrc.org if you are so inspired. You can view the stupid campaign on their homepage until they stop running the special membership drive. Fuckers.
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