Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that’s not important
No freedom till we’re equal, damn right I support it — Macklemore “Same Love”
That is another song from a very talented artists, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Personally I believe that any one who can flip from rapping about taking Grandpa’s clothes in Thrift Shops (see my previous post HERE) to tackling such a sensitive and timely topic like LGBT rights in the respectful way that was shown is amazing. It is so refreshing to see a rap artist, a lyricist — saying something heartfelt and positive. Not using “gay” or its other nastier terms as a hatred filled insult, but recognizing the humanity that we all share and the love that we all wish for. *hand clap* Yes sir, I will be buying your album. Find more information on Macklemore at his website. Download album from iTunes HERE.
However, on that same idea of love — we find politics cowering in the corner typically. In the realm of politics and public life, it can be easier to stay silent for the sake of your political career on many controversial topics: abortion, LGBT rights, affirmative action, racism, sexism, heck all the isms. It takes just as much courage for a moderate politician to speak out about their beliefs and values, that it does for a rapper to. Possibly even more courage on the national stage of the 24 hour Liberal/Conservative newscycle, of your words and actions becoming fodder against you via youtube clips and MailChimp news letters. Where that one courageous thing you say, turns up in opp ad’s on PAC websites and churns the money machine (anyone remember “You didn’t build that” or “Binders of women” from the last campaign cycle? — by the way I was at the “You didn’t build that” stump speech because it was in my hometown — and boy did they spin that one out of context! “Binders” was just unfortunate without any spin required. Sorry Mr. Romney.)
Yesterday was the second inauguration of Barack Obama for his second, and last term. Mr. Obama has broken many cultural milestones during his historic rise to the Presidency and time as President. From being the first African-American Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Law Review; to running a historic nomination race against the first viable female candiate — Secretary Hillary Clinton; nominating the first Latina Supreme Court Justice — Justice Sonya Sotomayor as well as installing the third and fourth women Justices Period (Justice Sotomayor and Justice Elana Kagan); passing the Lilly Ledbetter Act to equalize pay across gender for equal work; using the power of his political capital to pass the first comprehensive health policies that assist most Americans; using his Executive Order powers to allow children who are undocumented immigrants a chance at citizenship, and those same powers to allow research to be done on firearms. Now in a long list of “firsts” and “milestones” — President Barack Obama was the first president to discuss equality to LGBT citizens ever:
“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — (applause) — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.” — President Barack Obama, January 21, 2013 [full text can be found at Colorines.com]
So thinking on the teachings of Dr. King and others — what do we as citizens do now. Do we remain silent and allow not only our LGBT friends and family members, but any other human being to remain marginalized? As the President said: “If we are turly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.” — are we loving each other equally? Are we giving the same love to an immigrant who looks “white” that we give to one who is clearly of Latin descent or even Middle-Eastern? Are we giving the same love to our fellow human beings who have special needs and medical disorders as we do to able bodied citizens? Are we giving the same love to impoverished and working-poor humans, that we give to someone who appears wealthy when we interact with them? Are we giving love through assistance — medical, education, food, shelter — or are we witholding that love, that equality for them to just “stop being lazy” and for them to “pick themselves up by their own bootstraps?”
Taking a slight liberty with the President’s address — I found myself wondering about all of the failings that go on. All of the missed opportunities to love and create equality. I happen to identify as Christian — one of those Jesus followers who admittedly has been embarrassed of late at the behavior of some of my brothers and sisters. My fiance, more agnostic/atheist depending on the day and time, always questions my fellow Christian’s behaviors. As he aptly states: “It’s not God that concerns me, it’s his followers” — meaning he might be a bit more open to this all-knowing being in the sky if not for some of God’s representatives here on Earth. And I can understand that. Sheesh we look like a lousy bunch sometimes. Yelling and screaming the bible verses that help our point, and ignoring the five others that negate it. Some of us talk the talk, but never walk the walk. Some of us walk the walk just enough for a photo op (yes Paul Ryan I am looking at you and your soup kitchen debacle!) and then move on with our lives. So if we are called to be equal, and to love one another ….lets do that. Lets not only love one another as we are called to in John (see below), but also love the least of us and do for them as we are called to in Matthew (see below). Even if you do not identify as Christian — you still know what love is. So lets be inspired by such strong words that the President gave on a cold January day, and search deep within ourselves — talking to God or the Uni-verse, or what ever deity/being/science you identify with. And perhaps find that love to give to all others, not just select others this year?
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another
Matthew 25:34-36 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me