|November 16, 2004|
Intolerance and Racism
When I was a child the South was segregated by visual symbols of division. Those symbols, such as "whites only" water fountains and rest rooms, "whites only" restaurants, schools, housing and churches stood defiantly as a message to the world that, "whites ruled here." The only thing that has changed in the south in the last 50 years is that the signs have been removed and replaced by a seething prejudice against everything non-white, non-christian, non-heterosexual. It is a prejudice that has learned the nuance of how to sell division as patriotism and exclusion as godliness, a movement that has spent the last 50 years circling the wagons of discrimination and disguising itself in a new language of bigotry and hatred that is heavily veiled in religious syntax.
we approach 2005 it is acceptable to despise homosexuals in the South
as long you define it as "defence of marriage" or "defence
of family" and it is patriotic, even noble to marginalize blacks
and hispanics, ethnic and religious minorities as long as you frame
it as "protecting values" or "protecting cultural values."
In the week before the presidential election, a co-worker, describing her son's dilemma over whether to vote for Bush or Kerry, made the following announcement to the entire office, "my son can't make up his mind whether to vote against the war, or against the queers." I cringed because I am one of those queers and as I walked away from the chorus of laughter I wondered how many of us queers have given our lives in service to this country so that she can freely exhibit her ignorance with such hateful and malicious disregard for the feelings of others.
Like all other minorities this election has proven to me that my government is no longer on my side. It will not protect me from the majority voices of hatred and intolerance any longer.
In fact it will make intolerance a ballot initiative and allow the majority to cast a vote of social exclusion against me.
It will strip me of social equality, it will rob me of my humanity
and send me on my way alone to wonder when a nation of the people,
people and for the people wandered from the path of liberty and justice
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