Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Living History

What a week it has been!

I was talking to a 20 year old coworker at work Sunday.  I asked her if she ever heard us older folks discuss things like the fall of the Berlin Wall.  She said she had.  I said that we as a generation lived through history; in that case the end of the Cold War.  (I won't get into an argument as to the causes of said events, as I'm not in the mood.)

I told her to remember this week well, because in the years to come, she can say she lived through history.  And History it was.  Major history.

Most of this history was courtesy of the Supreme Court (SCOTUS).  You might remember them from such disasters as the Dredd Scott decision, appointing George W. Bush as president (thus costing the world over a million lives and the US billions in debt), or the Citizens United decision which legalized bribery.  Well this time, they ruled for the GOOD of the country for a change.

First was their ruling on the Affordable Care Act, declaring the Federal Tax credits legal, and thus making ending legal challenges.  (Text of decision HERE) Oh, the GOP will try again and again to repeal it, but why?  To attempt to deny the Black President his victory.  Too harsh?  I'll come back to that.  In any case, eight MILLION Americans keep their health care, including my Wife (pre-existing condition) and my roomie.  That was Major.

At the same time, and just as major was a ruling on the fair housing act (text HERE).  Here's a summary by NPR.

"Civil rights groups won a victory Thursday, as the Supreme Court ruled that claims of racial discrimination in housing cases shouldn't be limited by questions of intent.
The court affirmed a Court of Appeals decision in a case in which a nonprofit group, the Inclusive Communities Project, said that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs had contributed to "segregated housing patterns by allocating too many tax credits to housing in predominantly black inner-city areas and too few in predominantly white suburban neighborhoods."
The 5-4 ruling endorses the notion of citing disparate impact in housing cases, meaning that statistics and other evidence can be used to show decisions and practices have discriminatory effects — without proving that they're the result of discriminatory intentions.""

In a nutshell, it will be easier to bring claims of bias.  Proving intention is nearly impossible, so racists have been able to have their way.  No longer.  This means that people that the white straight majority don't like (say for example, I don't know, Transpeople) will have a chance to win cases of discrimination.

As I said: Major.

And opposed by the GOP.  Not a surprise.

During this time, another controversy was boiling- the use of the Confederate Battle Flag on State Grounds (and in official state flags) in the south.  As anyone knows who has been breathing the past few weeks, a White Supremacist opened fire in a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina.  On his Facebook page he had pictures of him with the Confederate Battle flag (which was NOT the official flag of the Confederacy, btw- it was a battle standard.)  Thinking Americans erupted, especially since the Confederate flag was not lowered on the grounds of the South Carolina state house even while the US flag and SC state flag were.  The controversy boiled over until the GOP governor of SC, under pressure, called for the removal of the Confederate Battle flag from state property.

This set off the racists Big Style.

The Original Confederate Flag "Stars and Bars."  Not what you expected, right?

What they didn't want to acknowledge was that the Confederate flag was raised above the statehouse in 1962, in defiance of desegregation.  So the flag which was merely a symbol of Treason against the USA, doubled as a symbol of racism (as it had been for many years, as the KKK and other hate groups adopted it soon after the war.)

Many have claimed that the flag is "heritage, not hate."  Ummm heritage of WHAT?  Treason.  Period.  Hate.  Period.  The Confederacy existed to show white supremacy and to keep its slaves.  That's what the war was about.  Loom up the articles of succession of any of the Southern states, and you'll see that.  Need an example?  Lets try this, from Mississippi:  (Emphasis mine)

"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin."

All have similar statements.

I'm not saying the Confederate Battle flag should be banned, as the Nazi flag is banned in Germany.  No, if you want to fly that flag, or wear it on your shirt, or whatever- go right ahead.  It's a free country.  But realize that you're aligning yourself with a tradition of treason and hate.  And if that's how you roll, well, that's your problem.  But as for a State institutionalizing a flag of treason?  Nope.  And that's what this is about.

Oh, by the way, since those events, several historically black churches have been burnt down throughout the South.  Coincidence?  I think not.

I know MANY people in the South, and all the ones I know (except one) are Loyal Americans.  They love this country.  So why do they tolerate a symbol of treason?  I have no idea.  Actually, most don't.  Know who LOVES the Confederacy and all it stood for?  The radical wing of the GOP.  The ones who HATE Obama because he's black.  Funny that.

Then, two days later: the Big One.

Equal Rights.

Gay people can now marry legally in the entire USA.

Other nations applauded.  The White House and Niagara Falls were bathed in rainbow lights.  Thinking Americans everywhere celebrated.


The GOP protested (and continue to protest).

I'm not going to go into the whole thing here, about why the GOP hates LGBT people.  I've covered it before.  But the fact is, this was a historic victory for LGBT people in the US.

I have friends whose unions will now be recognized everywhere in the country.  Well... everywhere except those run by the GOP. With Gay people achieving this major Equal rights victory, can trans rights be far behind?

Only if we work at it.

We can follow up these great victories by keeping the pressure on our elected officials.  The American public is learning more about us than ever before.  Don't let the Republican quislings stop you- make calls, get out there and MEET people.  Tell your story.  Racists don't see black people as human.  Those who hate us don't see US as human.  Show them that we are.  Let them get to know you.  Be a Positive force for Change.

Don't be surprised if the forces of hate cause a backlash against us as they have against the churches of the South.  They are desperate, and, thanks to the NRA, they are armed.  So while you're out and about- be safe.

We are living in a time of momentous change: of History.  WE are making history.

We CAN make Trans rights happen.  All of us.


It's up to us.  No one else.

Be well.


  1. Sophie - You said it very well!!! (I have an upcoming post in a non-TG blog that covers these events from a different angle, but comes to similar conclusions as yours.) Although I am still registered as Republican, I haven't voted their way in years - since the hatemongers took control of the party, and imposed their litmus tests. (Barry Goldwater must be rolling in his grave, knowing how F'd up his party has become.)

    Take care of yourself, and enjoy the euphoria we all deserve from these 3 rulings.


  2. My spidey sense says that Trans rights are not far behind. There's obviously a lot of work, education, and outreach that still needs to be done, but I feel like there's a big upswing in energy towards understanding and supporting trans issues. And I think as my generation ages and the next comes of age, it will only get better. – Katie Rrrrrr.