I’ve been pretty busy with work, so I haven’t had time to blog, but some of the events that have unfolded over the last few days have prompted me to jump back up on my soapbox for a few minutes. I’m going to make a couple of statements, then expound on them. Ready?
Okay…here we go.
Statement #1: Chik-Fil-A can support whatever it wants.
Like it or not, they are free not to support same-sex marriage. They are free to be a religious-based organization. They can choose to only recognize traditional marriage standards. You can boycott them. You can march in front of their restaurants and call them homophobic, evil or whatever you want. But it’s not going to make a difference. Beliefs that deeply rooted are not going to change because of a few picket signs or angry letters to the editor. I would bet the farm that Cathy et al would close the franchise down before they would change their stance. So, don’t waste your energy. Express your disdain by driving past the restaurant and eating someplace else.
Or you could send everyone you know to a Chik-Fil-A, then have them donate a dollar to a local Gay rights advocacy group as penance. And don’t forget to let the restaurant know you did so.
Statement #2: Racism is alive and well.
Many of my friends seem to be shocked by this revelation. It makes me smile that some of my friends are so pure of thought that these things don’t occur to them, and it makes my heart sad when I have to point this fact out to them. I wish I could have the same idyllic attitude, but alas, it seems my reason for being is to be a litmus test and sounder of the alarm for others. I’m okay with that. But please, when I tell you that outside of your immediate scope, there are people who still hate on the basis of skin color, I’m not trying to be mean. I’m your reality check. No more, no less.
But the debates from the last few days have made me question things, and so, I am going to throw the big question out there: Fifty years ago, would we have been friends? Would you have supported my right to sit where I want on a bus or in a restaurant, or would you have complained that I had an “agenda” as I was fighting for my equal rights as a black person? Or go back further in time — would you have objected to my agenda to have equal rights as a woman?
How are those fights any different from the one being fought now?
Now, before you tell me, “but it’s not the same thing, you’re comparing apples to oranges,” let me stop you. You’re right, they are two completely different issues.
But they are still both fruit. Fruit born from the same seed of ignorance and intolerance. Just as the fair and equal-minded had to shout down the detractors to equal right for women and blacks then, the same thing is happening now.
Speaking of detractors, let’s talk a moment about Obama haters.
No, I don’t mean those who oppose President Obama’s policies, I mean those who hate the man.
Dislike his policies all you want. Call him out on what you perceive as a lack of experience and inability to run the country. I got no beef with that.
But those of you who hate him because you hate the idea of a black man being in the Oval Office, I’m onto you, and I will call you out whenever I encounter you. I’ve got a big booming voice, and I’m not afraid to use it.
Because if I let you hate him and remain silent about it, it is only a matter of time before you start hating me. Because I’m black. Because I’m a woman. Because I fit some other stereotype you hold dear to your heart.
So, now, friends, maybe you understand my frustration with some of the things that have been said over the last few days. For some of you, it’s just idle chatter with no immediate implications. But for me, it is so much bigger than that. I cannot allow anyone to roll back time and force me to fight for my rights all over again. Not gonna happen. Not while I’m still breathing.