Sunday, June 30, 2013

DOMA is Gone! Now What?

It's been a few days since the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. Since then I have been trying to take it all in and enjoy the victory. I have been watching gay rights supporters enthusiastically celebrate this momentous occasion. I have seen gay couples in a committed relationship, but separated by country borders, like me,  revel at the fact that they now can live together in the US. I have also seen members of the religious right and Republican Conservatives join in bigoted and hateful unity to declare absolute chaos and the end of society. They have vowed to ignore the ruling, presumably that means they won't be entering into a same sex union any time soon.

For years I have listened to the bullshit from these so called Christians and Republican hate mongers. Also for years I have seen many of these hypocritical politicians and preachers be caught in the very same homosexual acts that they condemned as defying the laws of God. I have seen my own church demonize me and other gay people, while at the same time, allowing child sex abuse by the clergy to go unpunished in the church. I have seen my church tell me and my friends that we are useless and are sinners, while at the same time the church becomes richer and richer, while the poor still suffer. I have heard people quote the Bible, after they spent hours trying to find a passage that they think condemns gays, but at the same time they ignore other passages that condemns married heterosexuals, men who have their hair cut, women and just about every single person who has ever lived. I have seen those idiots from the Tea Party, who on one hand scream for less government in our lives, and on the other hand scream for the government to regulate who can love and who can't and who can get married and who can't. Now they can't do anything about it. Let them rant and rave and hate and accuse and wither away in their ignorance and bigotry. One question I have is that many of these people prayed to God for DOMA to be upheld and many gay rights supporters prayed to the same God so that DOMA would be struck down. This same God sided with those calling for equal rights against the messengers of hate. What happened Bible thumpers? Maybe it's not gays who God hates, but you. I am sure you will have a ridiculous explanation.

Soon, many people like myself, will sponsor their partners and move back to the US, the country they were born in, but for a long time forced them to live in exile. Finally, as far as the Federal government is concerned, gays will be treated as equals. Unfortunately ignorance, stupidity, hatred and racism is still alive in well in the Southern states and in the Republican party. Let's hope that some day ALL people will be treated  equally in this country and in every country.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The GOP Can Now Breathe a Little Easier

In the last presidential election the Republicans lost the election because they received so few Black and Hispanic votes. Well their fellow Conservatives on the Supreme Court just struck down a major part of the landmark Voting Rights Act, which calls for changes in voting laws in certain parts of the country to be approved by the federal government or a federal court.  The court said things have changed, meaning in the South, and this was no longer necessary.

This is good news for the GOP who have been trying to suppress the  Black and minority voters in the South, more and more, in recent elections. Now they can successfully try to prevent Blacks in the South from voting and they have the backing of the Supreme Court AND have a chance at winning an election. What a great bunch of people, our GOP!

Photo courtesy
If the GOP has its way the above photo, symbolizing a momentous occasion in our history and which meant so much to American Blacks, will no longer have any meaning at all.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Remember Tiananmen Square

 Photo taken on June 5, 1989, by Jeff Widener (The Associated Press).

This week, particularly June 4th and June 5th, is the 24th anniversary of The Tiananmen Square Massacre which took place in Beijing, China in 1989. Thousand of students and ordinary Chinese citizens demonstrated for democratic reforms. They were met by armed soldiers and tanks sent by hard-line Communist party officials. Then the unthinkable happened. The tanks and troops opened fire on the peaceful and unarmed demonstrators, killing and injuring perhaps thousands of people. We will never know just how many demonstrators died that day, as China suppressed all information and kept this incident from its own people, and continues to do so today. Young people in China do not even know that their fellow students and countrymen gave their lives, so that others could enjoy the freedoms of democracy.

There were, however, numerous remembrances in Hong Kong, which even though an autonomous region of China, does enjoy some freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Memorials and even the mention of the event is strictly forbidden in
China. As far as China is concerned this brutal incident never happened. Some human rights activists in the US called for the US government to adopt a stronger stance on the issues of human rights in China. The US has called upon China to come clean with the massacre, to divulge the number of those killed and injured and stop the harassment of those who took part in the demonstrations and survived. Naturally, as it always does, China called this an interference in its internal affairs. Chinaspeak for "we have the right to torture and kill as many people as we wish in order to keep the Communist Party in control".

This is a tragedy that could very well be repeated it China's Communist party feels threatened again in the future. With China's new found wealth and growing economic power, we can rest assure that the US and the Western powers will say as little as they can. Money trumps democracy and human rights, regardless of what we and our European allies may say for local news consumption.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

American Immigration and Civil Rights

Over the past few months Americans and our pathetic government have been fighting, arguing and negotiating whether or not certain Americans and immigrants should be given any kind of immigration rights. At the same time the Supreme Court has been mulling over whether or not gay Americans should have the same rights as straight Americans, when it comes to marriage or the granting of federal benefits to people involved in a same sex relationship.

I began thinking back into American history when other groups had fought for their civil and human rights. I grew up during the period of time when the Civil Rights movement was in full swing. After hundreds of years of being treated as second class citizens and suffering blatant discrimination and violence against them, Blacks were finally recognized as deserving of civil and human rights. Congress ultimately did the right thing and passed the Civil Rights Bill. Lyndon Johnson pushed the bill through Congress, as Southerners, both Republicans and Democrats tried to kill every aspect of the bill, as they are doing now, in the fight against immigration reform and anything that would  grant gay people any kind of rights.

Many years ago women fought for the right to vote, as they were relegated to second class citizens. Finally they were given the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1920. It was a shame that the country actually had to vote on a basic civil right. It is more of a shame that some Southern Republicans are trying to pass amendments that would not grant a civil right, but deny a civil right, in the case of same sex marriages. In our past the American government has taken it upon itself to vote one way or the other to grant or deny civil and human rights.

One group of people that have always been left out is the only group of people who actually are the only ones who should have all of the basic civil and human rights because of the nature of their birth. These are the indigenous peoples of America, our Native Americans. Native Americans are the only people who should be dealing with immigration rights, not a bunch of old white Europeans who do not belong here in the first place.

White Europeans came to this country and forced their culture, their languages and their religion on the indigenous people. If they didn't accept this new way of life they were then slaughtered. The newcomers came to steal their land, pollute their rivers and streams, kill their game, poison their air and cut down their forests. The White Europeans then took  the Native Americans away from their homes where they had been living since the beginning of time, and put them on reservations, forcing Christianity down their throats. Women and children were raped and abused by missionaries, while the men were either enslaved or killed.

We were brought up on a culture of movies and television shows where Native Americans, known to us then as Indians, were demonized and killed off to the enjoyment of the white only audiences. The once thriving cultures and peoples of the many varied Native American tribes were decimated in one the worst acts of genocide in the Western hemisphere since the Europeans destroyed the native peoples of South and Central America. Yet the descendants of these uninvited European immigrants sit in judgement of others and decide who is allowed into this country and who is not and who deserves rights and who does not. They actually think they can be trusted to do the right thing using their own moral judgement.

Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota Nation summed up how our Congress can be trusted, when many years ago he said, "the white man promised us many things, more than I can recall. But he only kept one promise. He promised to take our land, and he took it". We should all stop a moment and think about this when we seek to be given our own civil rights.

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