Sunday, June 14, 2009

GLBT Peeps, If You Want Your Rights, Fly This Flag

The gay community has gone through post mortem after post mortem in terms of dissecting why the Prop 8 fight in Cal-ee-forn-ia was lost last year. But I doubt anyone thought about one simple change that will help immeasurably in this struggle.

Flying the American flag.

Since today is Flag Day, starting like yesterday, the TBLG community should make sure Old Glory is front and center at every protest, every march, and the backdrop at every press conference that's held from now until the next electoral showdown in 2010 and beyond.

One factor as to why the GLBT community continues to lose is that it hasn't forcefully made the unassailable case that we are AMERICANS who deserve and are demanding our constitutional rights.

And how do we do that? The easiest way to prove that we are is by flying the flag.

By continuing to fly only the rainbow flag we make it ridiculously easy for the right-wing Christohaters to paint us as un-American.

Making sure that American flags are front and center and prominently displayed is a major lesson of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

The immigration movement made the same mistake early on, but after getting savaged by conservative haters about the lack of American flags quickly picked up on that error and swiftly corrected it.

An immigration protest now doesn't happen without American flags being prominently displayed and dispersed amongst the marchers and I fail to understand why the GLBT movement continues to make this fundamental mistake.

Yeah, I've heard the philosophical reasoning that some of you sent my way when I wrote about this topic last year. I know some of you have issues with the American flag. But if you want your rights, better get over those issues with the quickness and bury them

It's time to realize that only flying the rainbow flag not only isn't going to cut it, it's past time to try old school tactics for the new millennium.

Face the facts that no American civil rights movement agitating for the constitutional rights of a minority group has been successful or done so without consistently flying and prominently displaying the American flag at its myriad events.

And gay people aren't any different as far as the powers that be are concerned. We are seen as the 'other' unworthy of rights. Mike Huckabee's November 2008 comments on The View that 'the gay community hasn't suffered enough' for their rights should have clued y'all in to that jacked up line of conservathinking.

So it is incumbent upon the GLBT community to prove the haters wrong and establish we are red-blooded Americans.

What the Stars and Stripes represents at its fundamental level is our country. It is not a bought and paid for symbol of the Republican Party or the conservative movement, who by the way NEVER fail to fly it at their events.

Failing to fly it makes the rights case a non starter with persuadable people who do believe in mom, apple pie, fairness, the American Dream and tear up when they hear the Star Spangled Banner.

And if you won't do it for yourselves, do it for the TBLG veterans who served and the GLBT service members who died defending it on foreign soil so you can use it.

Crossposted to The Bilerico Project

1 comment:

Grand Matamore said...

I am not American, but seen from Canada, your comment seem to fall in line with the right-wing idiocy called fake patriotism which you guys south of the border endlessly yammer about. This kind of talk goes in line with the right-wingers who were calling Obama "not patriotic" because he didn't wear a U.S. flag pin one day. One's patriotism is not judged by whether you fly your country's flag, but by your actions. You say in your previous entry that "The Republicans don't own the flag", but they sure own the boneheaded arguments which use the flag to disparage groups fighting for their rights. I mean in the case of immigration reform, the very issue in question is whether one is American or not, from a legal perspective, and it totally makes sense to respond to the criticism of patriotism. But in the case of sexual and gender rights, anyone criticizing activists for not being American is clearly disingenious, and addressing such arguments is a never-ending road. I mean it's not a citizenship issue. For example, there was a meme in right-wing circles that Dr. Tiller killer James von Braunn is a lefty. How do you counter that? At some point you have to ignore the lunatic arguments and focus on what actually matters, not let one be distracted by whatever insanity the right-wingers come up with. I don't think that flying American flags at GBLT rights protests is going to make bigots less so and go "fine, let's have 'em marry". It's just wishful thinking.

By flying American flags, you fall in line and re-enforce the right-wing meme that flying your flag shows your patriotism. You can be a white supremacist and fly your American flag, and conservatives will applaud you. "At leest he wuz paytreeoteek!"

What does the American flag mean then?