Tag Archives: Southern Poverty Law Center

Dear Donald: A Plea For Decency

19 Dec

trumpstampDear Donald:

How unfortunate that the only truth you managed in the past two years was that the “election was rigged.” Sadly it was rigged on your behalf. While I fear this plea will fall prey to your pathological narcissism and thus will not be heard, I make it nonetheless.

It looks as though you may be assuming the role of President of the United States. May I implore you to rise to the occasion — to comport yourself with the gravitas of the role of a world leader?  You are NOT representing yourself here, rather you are representing every person that lives in the United States. Sadly, you have “drained the swamp” (your words) directly into your cabinet and have caused great alarm for all targeted people and communities living in the US. This is not just about misogyny, but about how someone who demonstrates every day that his ego rules over all else and whose success is rooted in the oppression of women, people of color, the LGBT community, people with disabilities, and all of the intersections therein.

For you and your followers, we need something to prove you all are not racist, homophobes, misogynists, breeders of hate. Your appointment of white supremacist and homophobe Steve Bannon does not inspire hope. Your appointment of white supremacist and homophobe Jeff Sessions further deteriorates any modicum of trust in your judgement. Sessions who was declared “too racist” during the Reagan years is now fit to be in your cabinet? One can hardly take solace in your appointment of Rex Tillerson, the Director a US/Russian oil company, as the next Secretary of State–conflict of interest much?  In fact, every appointment you have made demonstrates great disdain for the office they will hold and nothing but contempt and disrespect for the American people.

According the the Southern Poverty Law Center, CNN, Time, The New York Times, and myriad other publications, hate crimes have increased exponentially since the election. Sadly, you have done nothing to disavow any of this horrific behavior. As such, your silence condones it. Your supporters have grown so emboldened that they are ushering in the New Fascism. Ohio has just passed some of the most restrictive laws that preclude women from governing their own bodies. Louisiana has now passed laws that declare LGBT protections illegal, thanks to eternal homophobe Jeff Landry.

Given the evidence of the intercession of the Russians to influence the election in your favor, I know many are now worried about war. Is this what you want to be your legacy? Your inability to understand diplomacy, the need for intelligence meetings, (I know you consider yourself “biggly smart”), your disdain for science and for education should alarm us all. This is where I hope I am categorically wrong. I hope we do not end up in another war because of you. I shall take no pleasure in telling your supporters that they have only themselves to thank for another war and the loss of human life for caprice.

Yes, while I suspect this plea will be wholly ignored, I also implore all people living in the United States to resist the New Fascism, for us all to stand in solidarity, to work together to ensure that your threat to democracy does not prevail. Mr. Trump, “Have you no decency sir?”

I shall end this letter asking everyone: who will you take action to stand with and harbor? Sweet Honey in the Rock: Would You Harbor Me?

Black History Month 2013: Julian Bond

18 Feb

Julian_BondToday we honor and celebrate an outspoken pioneer for civil rights and social justice and one of my personal heroes. Horace Julian Bond was born in Nashville in 1940. He grew up in rural Fort Valley, GA, where his father was president of the university. He enrolled in Morehouse College, where he helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He became its communications director and helped organize protests against segregation in public facilities in Georgia. He left school to spend more time as an activist; he would return to Morehouse and complete his BA in English at the age of 31–yay for English majors!

After the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, Bond was one of eight African Americans elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. The House refused to seat him, citing his vocal opposition to the Vietnam War. He lost an initial court case but appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices ruled unanimously that Bond’s freedom of speech was being denied and compelled the Georgia House to seat him. He served in the Georgia house until 1975 and then in the Georgia Senate until 1987.

While still serving in Georgia politics, he co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center with Morris Dees in 1971 and served as its president for eight years. He also worked in education, teaching at a number of universities until 1998. That year he was selected as chairman of the NAACP, a role he held for 11 years. He helped create the 100th anniversary celebrations for the organization in 2009.

Julian Bond is an amazing voice for social justice and truly understands the intersections of oppression. He reluctantly boycotted the funeral of his friend Coretta Scott King because it was held in a viciously anti-gay megachurch. He shares King’s support of the LGBT community and has been a vocal advocate throughout his career.

African Americans […] were the only Americans who were enslaved for two centuries, but we were far from the only Americans suffering discrimination then and now. Sexual disposition parallels race. I was born this way. I have no choice. I wouldn’t change it if I could. Sexuality is unchangeable.

He has also recorded a marriage equality spot for the Human Rights Campaign and has notably observed, “If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married.”

Bond is currently a Distinguished Professor in Residence at American University in Washington, D.C. and a faculty member in the history department at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, where he teaches history of the Civil Rights Movement. He also finds time to advocate for responsible legislation to address climate change. What an amazing and inspirational figure!  Bond is a national treasure!

Hero of the Week Award: May 25, Max Hirsh and the Southern Poverty Law Center

25 May

Hero of the Week

When you go to a professional for care, it’s very hard to deal with a betrayal, much less demand that the professional be held accountable. This week’s hero stood up for himself and found an organization committed to helping him.

Max Hirsh of Eugene, OR, went to a psychiatrist to get help with his depression and his ability to form romantic relationships. He told the doctor that he was gay (he’s 22 and has been out since he was 19) at the beginning of therapy. Over the course of the first few sessions, however, the doctor kept pushing issues like Hirsh’s athletic abilities, his teenage relationships with girls, and how many positive male role models he had in his life. These seemed like distractions to Hirsh, who was stunned when the doctor finally told him, “But you’re heterosexual.”

Realizing that the doctor’s strategy was to change his sexual orientation, a practice known as conversion therapy, Hirsh terminated therapy. After a few weeks of family pressure to continue working on his depression, he returned to the doctor, however, who assured him that he was “fine” with Hirsh being gay. Nevertheless, the stealth conversion therapy continued. Hirsh terminated again and has filed a complaint with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the Oregon Psychiatric Association. Helping him with the complaint is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has taken a strong stand against anti-gay activity in recent years.

Because the complaint is still under investigation, the doctor’s name has not been disclosed. The APA has stated, however, that they take such charges seriously. Not only would this behavior violate informed consent, the APA came out clearly against conversion therapy in 2009. Christine Sun, deputy legal director at SPLC, wants them to be even firmer, stating,

Our immediate goal is for the APA to take these allegations seriously and ultimately ban conversion therapy by its members.

That’s a goal worth fighting for.  I hope to eventually be able to publish the name of the psychiatrist because he is a danger to the LGBT community.

Hero of the Week Award: November 4, Julian Bond

4 Nov

Hero of the Week

This week’s HWA was a great pleasure to compose.  Julian Bond has been a long time personal hero of mine, and he is one of the most widely recognized civil rights leaders in the world.  He served as Chairman of the NAACP from 1998 to 2010.  Bond was also the first President of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). This past week, Bond created a video for marriage equality, thus earning him this week’s HWA.

The video is one of a series of videos produced by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).  Click here to see Julian Bond’s video.  Kudos to Bond for continuing to serve as a pioneer for civil rights for all.

Blake Mycoskie, Founder of TOMS: No Love For The Gays

9 Jul

In Bed With Focus on the Family

If you follow TSM, you know we are all about philanthropy and social justice.  How horribly sad that the homophobic Blake Mycoskie is in bed with Focus on the Family.

Mycoskie’s company TOMS, donates a pair of shoes for every pair of shoes purchased.  I could so easily support this and get behind this type of philanthropy, save that Mycoskie and his company TOMS supports one of the quintessential hate groups, Focus on the Family, which was named as a Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  I am now calling for a full Boycott of TOMS Shoes!  Mr. Mycoskie, if you would like to chime in here, please do. I’m curious how you will justify funding and partnering with a well recognized Hate Group.  Click here to see the full article.

Update: 2:43 pm PST July 9, 2011: Here is the “Apology” issues by Mycoskie.  Sorry! I just don’t believe you!  Really? You had no idea about Focus on the Family?  You are a liar and a whore.  Does this mean you will discontinue the partnership with them to sell shoes in Africa?

Women’s History: April 15, A Very Taxing Woman

15 Apr

A Taxing Woman

Up until today, I have found a woman to acknowledge and honor for women’s history.  Unfortunately, there are also women that make history for all the wrong reasons. There are women that have no sense of history or that buy into our misogynistic culture and become hateful balls of hell.  I find Maggie Gallagher to be one of the most dangerous anti-woman, homophobic bigots in the media today.  This morning, our Maggie will be testifying before congress to defend marriage (I had not realized marriage was under attack).  Maggie is the founder and president of the National Organization for Marriage, a classified Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Her appearing before Congress is much like the KKK testifying before congress to defend segregation. The hearing starts at 10:00.  Of course, the panel which Maggie will be testifying before is stacked with Republican homophobes. Click here to see the full article.  At the end of the day, if my marriage is threatening your heterosexual marriage, there is something wrong with you!

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