Wednesday, February 28, 2007

GLBT rights and justice

i received two emails today that i want to share with you.
both are about abusive and violent acts perpetrated against gay and lesbian people.

we have a long, long way to go in this country and globally in creating a world in which gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people can live free from the fear of oppression - in the form of individual prejudice, hate crimes, institutionalized homophobia, and state violence.

from the human rights campaign:

In Detroit last week, 72-year-old Andrew Anthos was riding on a city bus and was asked by a fellow passenger if he was gay. The passenger then followed Mr. Anthos off the bus and attacked him with a metal pipe. Mr. Anthos died from his injuries Friday night and according to media reports, police are continuing the investigation without any solid leads.

Under the current federal hate crimes statute, federal authorities have no jurisdiction to assist in this investigation, even if local authorities were to request that assistance.

The Human Rights Campaign is asking all of us to contact our Representative and urge him or her to cosponsor the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Please take action today. Click here.

and from metropolitan community churches:

Time Magazine has designated Jamaica "the most homophobic country in the Western hemisphere." Over several years, MCC has documented an alarming pattern of overt hostility, violent attacks, and murder of LGBT people in Jamaica. These incidents have received little coverage by the Jamaican media and have often been ignored by the civil authorities.

In the latest incident, three gay men in St. Andrew's parish were attacked by a mob on Valentines Day 2007. While being rescued by police, one of the gay men was gun-butted by an officer. Another was hit by a rock thrown from the mob. All of the men were taunted with anti-gay slurs by police officers.

MCC is asking people to write Jamaica's Prime Minister,
The Most Honorable Portia Simpson Miller at a short message to ask her to speak out publicly against the violence, to establish a tone of respect and tolerance for all life, and to guarantee the human rights and safety of Jamaica's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens. (And to help us track responses, please send a copy of your e-mail to MCC's Communications Department at

thanks to rebecca and dad for making me aware of these two incidents and avenues to respond.

Monday, February 19, 2007

whites resisting racism

wanted to share one small example of white people standing up with people of color against racism i heard about recently.

2007 is the 200th year anniversary of the confederate general robert e. lee's birth.
in richmond, the former confederate capitol, public money has been spent on plans for the anniversary, including a half a million dollars polishing the monument to the general in time for the sons of confederate veterans to celebrate his birthday.

on january 12, 2007 the sons of confederate veterans were met with protesters, white and black, from the NAACP and the virginia anti-war network, stating their opposition to taxpayer money being spent to glorify the racist lee. here's the full story.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

st. valentine's day

tomorrow is st. valentine's day.
most people i know either love or hate the holiday.
so i decided to do a little research about the origins of the holiday to try to figure out what i think about it. what i found was that there is not even close to a consensus on who st. valentine was or how the holiday came into existence. so, rather than writing a really convoluted post, i decided i'll just share a reading about love that is meaningful to me with you instead. (for those of you who are interested, here are some pages on st. valentine's day from american catholic, wikipedia , and

If our common vocation is to be lovers, perhaps we can be more conscious of what justice is in our own lives and in the world; conscious of our own passion with and for each other. True Love is a most revolutionary act. It is exactly the opposite of romantic love. To really love is to topple unjust structures, bringing down the prinicipalities and powers of domination and control at all levels of social relation. To say I love you is to say that you are not mine, but rather your own. To love is to advocate your rights, your space, your self, and to struggle with you, rather than against you, in our learning to claim our power in the world. To love you is to create love with you, whether in the exchange of glances heavy with existence, in the "passing of the peace" we mean, in our common work or play, in our struggle for social justice, or in the ecstasy and tenderness of intimate embrace that we believe is just and right for us -- and for others in the world.
From __Our Passion for Justice__ by Carter Heyward

ps the image of the heart is from mars. seriously.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

some pet peeves

a few things that got on my last nerve this week:

1) on friday, i saw this guy riding his bike down the street while smoking a cigarette. needless to say, he was not wearing a helmet. i know that this really shouldn't have bugged me. this totally should have been one of those live-and-let-live-things. but all i could think was ...

dude, why don't you buy a big, gas guzzling car? any help you might have been doing the environment or yourself by riding a bike is getting cancelled out by the cancer machine in your mouth and the fact that when you fall off your bike because some car comes too close to you and you can't react because you've only got one hand on your bike you're going to get a concussion because you're doing a very stupid thing and riding your bike without a helmet.

(ok, i totally realize that he was probably riding his bike because he enjoys riding his bike, or it gets him where he needs to go. and he was probably smoking the cigarette because he enjoys smoking cigarettes, or he's addicted. and yet, his simple act of enjoying himself really got on my nerves. does this make me a bad person? why do i think i can be the bike police, when i only started riding a bike a month ago?)

2) joseph biden. joseph biden's recent comments about barack obama were historically inaccurate and racist. in case you missed it, senator biden (who is running for president) said this about fellow presidential candidate barack obama, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." i'm shocked, and rather disgusted, by how forgiving people have been about this comment. this is the same guy who last year said, “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.” He explained this comment by saying that he has great respect for, and supports, the growing Indian-American population in Delaware. i'm not sure how this comment shows respect, but maybe i'm missing something here...

3) i ride the train to work every day. i've noticed this new phenomenon (sorry for those of you who are tired of hearing me harp on this) of parents, who are riding the train with small children, listening to music with earphones. often their children are trying to talk to them. i say "trying" because the parents can't (or won't) hear them. i find it very sad. your child is trying to communicate with you -- stop ignoring them! i get that it's early, you're tired, and maybe your child is getting on your last nerve, but ... you are still their parent.

4) did y'all hear about this story? a florida college student who was raped went to the police to report the crime, and instead of being helped, was arrested for a 2003 misdemeanor warrant. to add insult to injury, she was denied emergency contraception in jail becuase of a jail worker's religious beliefs. one more example of how the criminal "justice" system is often an instrument of oppression.

i promise my next post will be more uplifting than this one! thanks for letting me vent!
p.s. i love comments...thanks for everyone who is reading regularly and encouraging me via email. feel free to leave me your thoughts/comments on this page too.