Do You Get It?
A young black man is chased out into traffic before being beaten, his jaw fractured, his life changed. Another young man is chopped to pieces by his attacker, his body parts placed in plastic trash bags and spread throughout the NYC transit system. The stories are many. More disturbing, the stories are recent. They read like a 1950s and 60s newspaper. They sound like the victims of race mongers of yesteryear, but they aren’t. They are the stories of gay men attacked by predators that are incensed and blinded by a trait these men cannot change. Like the complexion and race of their predecessors, they are hated for an aspect of themselves that is as much a part of them as the color of their skin or their eye color. I realize my blog family is primarily straight. It is to you that I bring the problem because it is those in your circles who are the perpetrators of these atrocities. Like a silent attendee at a Ku Klux Klan meeting, you are aware that the plan is to exterminate those different than those sitting with you. You can continue to sit quietly, hear the plan and do nothing; safe in the belief that if you’re not striking the blow, you’re not really guilty of anything. I’m here to tell you that you are. Each time that you are party to a conversation that degrades someone for being gay or pokes fun at a lifestyle your compadres don’t understand, you’re cosigning the violence. If you had your druthers what would you say to that person who, back in the 1960s, sat-in on a conversation that included, “Niggers are just dirty and need to know their place.” Would you say, “Hey, as long as you’re not using the “N” word then you’re cool in my book”? Would you accept their excuses that they love black folks and understand that it was just the way things are, so there is nothing they could do? I suspect you wouldn’t. I believe you look back on footage of the disasters of the civil rights movement and can break a comforting smile at those white individuals that stood shoulder to shoulder with the black marchers. It’s your turn. Will you join the fight against injustice, violence and intolerance or will you be a silent witness believing that your apathy renders you innocent of the crimes against your fellow man?
Recharge, Rethink, Renew
The last couple of months have been trying ones. With the end of the summer and the cool weather making a quick sweep through the Apple, my mood has changed into a somber one and my ability to overlook the little annoying daily idiosyncrasies of life are fast becoming unbearable. I visualize myself kicking the old woman standing on the left-hand side of the escalator (intended for folks who want to actually keep moving) in the center of her back – it’s like that. Thankfully, I’ve scheduled a long vacation with the folks and am set to take-off in just two weeks. Eleven days in Puerto Rico should serve to recharge my batteries, rethink my future and renew my down-trodden spirits. I’ve even managed to schedule a date on the island even before I arrive; how’s that for resourceful – or as my buddy VD in DC would quip… “Hookah!” Now, the battle is in counting down the days until my departure. I’m breathing deep and trying my best to see the sun through the clouds.
Thug Passion; Relax and Enjoy
In 1996 Tupac Shakur came up with a song titled Thug Passion. At about the same time he also discovered a drink by the same name that combines Alize and Champagne. The drink is dry and fruity and feels light on the stomach – important when you’re out and trying to have those abs look flat as a board. Note: More than 4 of these babies in less than two hours will have your head spinning and your toes tingling; you may also need a pain killer the next morning.
Some people are disturbed to have the black civil rights movement of the 1960s in any way compared with the current gay rights movement of today. Both minority groups suffer(ed) violence, discrimination and the perception of their oppressors that they should just accept their less-than-equal rights in society. Do you believe the two movements share the same inequalities and issues OR do you believe the gay movement disrespects the black civil rights movement by making the comparison?
Keep passin’ the open windows…