Monday, January 21, 2008

HRC's Not Even Close To The MLK Legacy

”The Human Rights Campaign salutes the enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His courageous leadership continues to inspire us in our work to fully realize his vision of fairness and justice for all people.

This weekend, the GLBT community joins the rest of the world in remembering the great work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose life helped move our country closer to realizing the true meaning of “equality for all”.

As we remember Dr. King, let's reflect upon our solidarity with the continued fight for civil rights and equal opportunity for all Americans.”

That was a statement from HRC's Joe Solmonese about King Day.

The last organization that needs to part their lips and try to lay claim to the MLK legacy is the Human Rights Campaign. When it comes to transgender Americans, their actions are more akin to segregationists such as George Wallace and Strom Thurmond than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

You have tried for a decade to select our leaders and suppress voices in our community critical of your political policies. You have arrogantly tried to thwart transgender people's attempts to speak to our federal legislators about the lack of civil rights coverage. You have fostered the 'illusion of inclusion' in order to inject the tranquilizing drug of incrementalism into a situation that requires immediate and comprehensive legislative remedies.

And don't make me laugh when it comes to courageous leadership. While 300 other organizations encompassing a rainbow of diversity in the GLBT community stood with their transgender brothers and sisters to say that cutting us out of legislation we needed was wrong, HRC waffled, dithered and then bucked the rest of the community to support Barney's gay-only ENDA. You responded with silence when Barney Frank attacked our community from the floor of the US House.

Fairness and justice for all people includes transgender Americans as well. It's a lesson that you exclusionary peeps in HRC continuously fail to not only learn, but practice as well.

So do me, other African-American transpeeps, and transpeople in general a favor. Until you show us through your ACTIONS that you truly understand the King legacy and start working to pass legislation that will benefit people other than your narrow segment of the population, please refrain from trying to lay any claim to the legacy of the greatest American we African-Americans ever produced.


genevieve said...

A great article, Monica. Dr. King lived and di what he preached-something HRC has yet to demonstrate in regards to transgender and gender variant people.


Monica Roberts said...

That's why i'm calling them on it.