Sunday, January 18, 2009

Being A Truth Teller

During and after the wake of the racist attacks on me from the Queerty commenters over my Obama post, my mind kept drifting back to a quote attributed to the late poet Gwendolyn Brooks.

Truth-tellers are not always palatable. There's a preference for candy bars

One of the things about me and this blog (and any other one that I'm given the honor to post to) that won't change is that I'm blunt and to the point about calling out bullshit when I see it. It hasn't made me the most popular person sometimes in GLBT circles, but that's the cross you bear when you are striving for the higher goals of passing broad based civil rights legislation, creating an inclusive community and a better world for all.

If you're going to solve the tough problems we have in the GLBT community and beyond that revolve around race, gender, class and inequality, you have to honestly and openly talk about them, even if that discussion gets contentious at times.

As an African-American leader, I subscribe to the principles of Black leadership and try my best to role model them. In addition to as Dr. Ron Walters articulated it, the task of Black leadership being to provide the vision, resources, tactics, and strategies that facilitate the achievement of the objectives of Black people.

Those goals are freedom, integration, equality, liberation, or defined in the terms of specific public policies. It is a role that often requires and results in you as a Black leader disturbing the peace when you speak truth to power. It also make some people uncomfortable and causes controversy at times as well.

Yes, we have those problems in the GLBT community since we are a microcosm of the parent society. Ignoring those problems or candy coating them won't make them go away. Neither will viciously attacking people who bring them up in the course of fostering honest discussion or because they are expressing an opinion which runs counter to your worldview.

One of the promises I made when I started this blog that in the best traditions of my people, I will tell it like it T-I-S is. If I see something that's wrong, or feel that we can and should be doing better on an issue, I'm not going to hold my tongue or shut down the word processor to placate the folks that prefer doing nothing or chomping candy bars on tough issues.


Wonder Man said...

and we appreciate it...continue being our voice.

Monica Roberts said...

Glad somebody appreciates it.

Go Go Jo Jo said...

speak on it sister girl.

Go Go Jo Jo said...

hmmm...wandered over to another post saw some chump talking shhh...and had to say something. i hope you don't let the *cough*deluded*cough*
haters get you down. you do excellent work and make the LGBT blogosphere more complicated because of it.

Nichole said...

Inconvenient truths are the most inconvenient things, Monica!! And generally speaking will arouse the ire of those who wish to ignore them for whatever reason.

I have admired now for a couple of years your unfailing ability to "call 'em as you see 'em" without regard to what the "acceptable" thing might be.

One of my favorite quotes is this: Freedom fighters don't always win, but they're always right. -- Molly Ivins. Fits ya like a well-worn glove, luv.

I see no need to remove the glove! :)

Jackie said...

You are deeply appreciated Monica. keep on telling it the way you see it and telling us what we need to know. and, thanks for the Gwendolyn Brooks quote. She was one of America's greatest writers. Her poetry was wrapped in truth.

Monica Roberts said...

Molly Ivins was one of my sheroes. I have two of her books on my bookshelf now.

Always like Gwendolyn Brooks too