Thursday, November 18, 2010

Incremental Progress? I Don't Think So

One of the things that irritates me at times in the TBLG rights community is when my people's long American struggle for civil rights is mischaracterized as an 'incremental' one. 

Umm people,  time to give y'all a little 'ejumacation' about my people's history during Reconstruction.

In 1875, only ten years after emancipation, African American freedmen had 21 elected representatives from across the South and two senators from Mississippi sitting in the US House and Senate making and voting on laws.

We had people serving as politicians at the local and state level as governors, state legislators, mayors and sheriffs.  When we weren't passing laws as in Texas to establish public schools, we were founding them ourselves.

In the wake of emancipation in 1865 African-Americans were well on the way to moving from a 15% literacy rate to an 88% one by 1890.  We were forming civic associations and other organizations, starting businesses, churches and the HBCU's that proudly serve and educate our people in the 21st century.

We had a hand in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1875, a law until it was jacked with by a conservafool dominated Supreme Court (sound familiar?) was more stringent than the current 1964 one.   Parts of the 1875 law were used by President John F. Kennedy as the basis to craft the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

And bear in mind all this dizzying pace of change was happening only ten years after the Civil War ended but was thwarted by the Compromise of 1877 that ended Reconstruction. 

So why is Moni kicking this Black History moment at you?

Because I'm tired of straight and gay people forgetting the Reconstruction period, either erroneously or deliberately mischaracterizing my people's history as 'incremental progress' and trying to use it as justification for cutting transpeople out of GL civil rights legislation.  It is not acceptable and will not happen on my watch..

I also wish to point out to the irrational GL folks who want President Obama to do in 20 months what two others presidents failed or refused to do in 16 years how clueless you sound.

African-Americans have always had periods of spectacular progress followed by rollback as the racist conservative forces retrenched and pushed back.

And boy are the conservative Forces of Intolerance pushing back hard at this point in our history.

But as always, they will lose.

Incremental progress?   Don't think so.

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