Monday, November 22, 2010

Trust But Verify

That was a mantra of the Reagan administration during the Cold War days when they were in the process of engaging with the Soviet Union to enact nuclear weapons reduction treaties during his second term.

This post grew from an at times contentious  discussion I was having on FB Friday that was started by a young white transperson upset that someone called her an 'Aunt Tom' and a sellout.

For definition of a sellout, see the life of Supreme Court injustice Clarence Thomas, but I digress.

To me, what makes you a sellout is aiding and abetting our community's enemies for your own self comfort, financial gain and advancement at the expense of your marginalized community.

This person also expressed the opinion  that some of us in the trans community were overly concerned about our cis enemies, and thought that we regarded all cis people as guilty of hatin' on us until proven innocent.  

If you wish to survive and thrive as a marginalized person in a hostile environment, you'd better have a 'trust but verify' mindset.    Soon enough their actions for good or ill will expose exactly whether they are an ally you can trust to have your back or whether they will stab you in the back when they think you aren't looking.    

Let's get real for a moment.  There are cis peeps that hate us period, and there is no changing their ossified minds, having an open dialogue with them, or much less even trying to have 'kumbaya' moments with them.  They have made up their minds that they want to destroy trans people for fun, profit, to advance their conservative (or other)  political agenda or all of the above. 

It's the height of insanity to try to approach them in the spirit of Kingian love and get them to see the error of their ways when you have other more persuadable Americans that you can use logic, fairness, spirituality and reason based arguments with.  

These open minded people are willing to listed to our case and are persuadable to our cause.  These are the people we need to spend the lion's share of our valuable time talking to.   With them on our side, together we can push back and outflank the hard core and hard headed Forces of Intolerance peeps who will only be knuckled dragged kicking and screaming into the 21t century.  

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