Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We're Trying To Make HRC Better, Not Tear It Down

HRC and its defenders has been on a furious spin offensive in the last several weeks.

They've been trying to paint its numerous critics like myself as 'transgender conspiracy theorists' and other nastier epithets in other corners of the GLBT blogosphere I won't waste bandwith repeating.

For the white transgender community, the dwindling ranks of HRC supporters have been trotting out the new jack spin line of that tired 'horizontal hostility' crap they used to peddle that states we HRC critics are trying to 'tear down HRC'.

Au contraire my HRC Kool-aid drinking friends.

As an African-American who is considered a major transgender leader and has the Trinity to prove it, I see this contentious debate as healthy and normal. I also subscribe to the African-American definition of leadership as set forth by Dr Ron Walters.

The task of Black leadership is to provide the vision, resources, tactics, and strategies that facilitate the achievement of the objectives of Black people.

These objectives have been variously described as freedom, integration, equality, liberation, or defined in the terms of specific public policies. It is a role that often requires disturbing the peace. And we constantly carry on a dialogue about the fitness of various leaders and the qualities they bring to the table to fulfill this mission.


The bottom line is that I not only subscribe to this definition of leadership and try to practice it, it is also one of the litmus tests I use to judge whether an organization is doing what it's supposed to do.

The flack that HRC is catching from me and other transgender leaders is because HRC for a decade has not lived up to their claim as being the leaders of the GLBT community. Their actions have been deceptive, dismissive and disrespectful of my community. They have continued to act in a manner devoid of moral authority and made decisions that are harmful to the transgender community. Their relentless pursuit of money over passing inclusive legislation that benefits all of us has caused major chasms in the GLBT community. What's even more infuriating about it, they are arrogantly unrepentant and alarmingly clueless about it.

Their arrogance in repeating the Republican strategy in regards to African-Americans of trying to create 'acceptable to HRC' transgender leaders, demanding that we only have one organization to negotiate with them, and ignoring the leaders that we have chose is also galling as well.

As an African-American, I have multiple organizations that speak on my behalf. So does the gay and lesbian community. Why would you egotistically demand of the transgender community something that you don't follow yourselves?

You have left us and our supporters no choice but to picket your dinners until some attitudes change at 1640 Rhode Island Ave, NW. We're human beings beyond sick and tired of being treated like bargaining chips in some game of congressional poker. We need legislative protection like yesterday, and if you are the 'leading civil rights organization' that your relentless PR claims it is, show some leadership by passing am inclusive ENDA that's a win-win situation for the entire community, not just wealthy straight-acting Caucasian gay men and women.

Nelson Mandela eloquently stated, 'no true alliance can be built on the shifting sands of evasion. illusions and opportunism.'

That quote describes the decades long history between HRC and the transgender community and the drama that goes back to Stonewall between the GLB and transgender communities. The choice is yours. It's either building a working partnership based on respect that treats us as equals, bust your asses to pass an inclusive ENDA in 2009 while beginning an honest dialogue with your harshest critics, or continue to face a long, hot no justice, no peace spring, summer and fall of protest at every event that has an equal sign attached to it.

Crossposted to the Bilerico project

4 comments:

Polar said...

Amen!

Monica Roberts said...

I just kick the knowledge and they call it a 'conspiracy theory'

Polar said...

Hey, how can you tell Joe Solmonese is lying?

Ans: When he is standing in front of a transgender audience with his lips moving, regardless of who is moving his strings.

Don't talk to him without a polygraph operator present.

Monica Roberts said...

Don't talk to him without a polygraph operator present..

That statement also applies equally to about a third of Congress, some of the business community, and some NCAA coaches during recruiting season as well ;)