Friday, June 26, 2009

We Want The Same Things You Do

"The ideals and ambitions which the Negro entertains for himself are precisely those which the white man entertains for himself. And this the white man foolishly resents."

NAACP founder Archibald Grimke spoke these words ninety years ago, and they still ring true for African descended people be they gay, straight, bi, cisgender or transgender.

All I or any African descended person wants in life is to have a decent job at a livable wage, a nice place to call our own and lay our heads, affordable health care, a quality primary and secondary education, love and marry the person we choose, raise happy, healthy, morally upright children, and live our lives free of unnecessary bull feces.

In other words, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Is that too much to ask?

Alas, for some people it is. Our 400 years in the Americas and across the Diaspora has been a long sorrowful tale filled with having to deal with unnecessary caca, violence and racist negativity in between the fleeting moments of spectacular forward progress as a people.

The negativity toward African descended people has been directed at us by whites either wallowing in privilege or who foolishly refuse not only see our common humanity, but resent and resist any progress made toward first class citizenship.

Heaven help you if you are a member of the TBLG community. Your humanity is further diminished in their eyes.

As I will continue to repeat until I'm buried six feet under my native Texas soil, I didn't give up my Black Like Me card, my American citizenship, or my humanity when I transitioned, and you are sadly mistaken if you believe that.

The 'We the people' in the United States Constitution applies to me and my TBLG/SGL brothers and sisters as well.

President John F. Kennedy stated in a televised June 11, 1963 speech on civil rights that, "When you give rights to others, you expand them for yourself."

I want rights expanded not only for transpeople like myself, but you cisgender ones as well.

No delays, no bull feces, no excuses.

The beautiful thing about passing the just introduced ENDA and hate crimes legislation is as President Kennedy wisely pointed out, extending rights to the TBLG community expands them to the cisgender community at the same time.

So who in their right mind would have a problem with that?

The usual suspects on the wrong side of the arc of the moral universe.

Even if the laws are passed, it's signed into law by President Obama and the moral arc finally begins bending in the direction of justice for TLBG/SGL people, it will still take time for the heartless to get with the program and realize that it's no longer open season on the lives of TBLG people.

The sooner the haters realize that, the sooner we can all get to work building a better America we can be proud to pass on to our future descendants.

And for the first time in a long time, I'm hopeful of seeing that occur in my lifetime.

No comments: