Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Under the Radar Homophobia

As Alison Bechtal has noted the frontier for LGBTQ rights has moved to the next generation; high school students and younger are coming out. Unfortunately, they are being meet with a lot of homophobic actions such as that of the School Board of White County (Cleveland) Georgia School Board which banned all non-academic/curricular clubs in the White County High School a year after a Gay-Straight Alliance, PRIDE, was organized. This ban circumvents the Equal Access Law. PRIDE now meets off campus, yet other non-curricular clubs, such as the shooting club, still meet on campus. That the High School officials allow some non-curricular clubs to continue to meet on campus while barring others is discrimination and violates the federal Equal Access Act which requires GSAs to be treated like any other student group. The ACLU has filed suit against the White County School District officials for violating the students’ rights under the federal Equal Access Act and the U.S. Constitution; and has asked for a preliminary injunction to let non-curricular groups meet on campus again.
Fortunately, Federal Courts have ruled in students favor across the country (Salt Lake City, Utah; Orange County, California; Franklin Township, Indiana; and Boyd County, Kentucky).

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Public Citizens Strike

Yesterday morning I awoke early to watch Elie Wiesel on Gabe Pressman's show (WNBC). Wiesel is a voice of reason, the wise statesman...who while remarking on not only the Holocaust but on the more recent genocides repeated his core philosophy that hate is not the opposite of love, but indifference is "...to remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all..."
Willful indifference, that is the sin of this President and his administration--over and over and over--the War on Terror, Iraq, Katrina, AIDS/HIV, poverty . . .
Silence is the voice of complicity, and as Audre Lorde put it "Your Silence will not protect you." We need to demand from our President and his administration, from our political representatives, from our friends and neighbors, from ourselves the truth, the voice, and the actions that make us the greatest liberal democracy.
I am very afraid that if we remain silent and indifferent we will not only lose this democracy, but we will be complicit in the death of this noble experiment of democracy (it is messy), along with the literal deaths of many many other peoples here and abroad.
The French philosopher,Bernard-Henri Lévy, called the silence of the American left "as the "semi-comatose state of the American Left." ("A Letter to the American Left" 2/10/06 http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0210-36.htm). We need to shake off this lack of efficacy, this deadening dread that the democratic party has long sold their soul, we need to DO SOMETHING.
I suggest something akin to the Women's Strike ( see http://www.globalwomenstrike.net/) -- The PUBLIC Citizens Strike. A day in which we all demand and call for the impeachment of this adminsitration, for they have failed Democracy 101 here and abroad.

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