Non-violence is very weak in the theoretical sense; it cannot defend itself. But it is most powerful in the action situation where people are using non-violence because they want desperately to bring about some change. Non-violence in action is a very potent force and it can’t be stopped. The people who are struggling have the complete say-so. No man-made law, no human ruler, no army can destroy this. There is no way it can be destroyed… And so, if we have the capacity to endure, if we have the patience, things will change.
Sometimes I grow weary of the coarseness of discussion in this country.
Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
GLAAD put out a TAKE ACTION alert over the violent language the hosts of the Rob, Arnie, and Dawn In The Morning™ show, heard on Sacramento broadcast radio station KRXQ. The last line of the GLAAD action alert reads:
When contacting KRXQ, please ensure that your emails and phone calls are civil and respectful and do not engage in the kind of name-calling or abusive behavior.
Many of us stayed within the lines of reasonable behavior. We responded with thought and force of conscience to those who would deride our community.
However, my friends, many others in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community didn’t heed that GLAAD call for restraint. On air this morning on KRXQ, Rob, Arnie, and Dawn all spoke of the hate mail — including death threats — from some of our community members regarding the hate talk of Rob and Arnie against our transgender youth. These responses of verbal violence against those who were verbally violent to us didn’t help us at all; they hurt our cause of making the case against anti-gay and anti-transgender speech.
I’ve seen too much hate to want to hate, myself, and every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear. Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents and say: “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you…. But be assured that we’ll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we will appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.”
–Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968), A Christmas Sermon for Peace on Dec 24, 1967
Stop. Our LGBT civil rights movement is often compared to the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. But, in one way we have not embraced the messages of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, and Cesar Chavez. Many of us still are thinking in terms of the philosophy of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth instead of living the message of Mahatma Gandhi:
You must be the change you want to see in the world.
I want a better world for LGBT youth…for transyouth. I want for them what Mahatma Gandhi wanted for himself and his country:
I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.
We don’t need to speak violently to those who use verbal violence to describe us. We don’t need to harm our movement by speaking the words of hate that we want quieted — to be self edited — in others.
You want something to do regarding the verbal violence of the recent Rob, Arnie, and Dawn In The Morning™ broadcasts? My next diary will be about reasonable action you can take to hold Rob and Arnie accountable for their verbal violence directed against our transgender youth.
* GLAAD Action Alert On Rob, Arnie & Dawn in the Morning Radio Show TransYouth “Tirade”
* On Transitioning Transgender Youth II – The Other Side Of The Coin
* On Transitioning Transgender Youth