Oh, I know I’ll catch hell for this post. I don’t care. Yesterday was a special day in America. The Hate Crimes Bill was passed and the President signed it into law. Yeah, on the official tip I let it be known that I wasn’t happy that the bill was attached to the defense budget. But deep down inside, I’m happy that the Hate crime bill has been passed. I’m happy because it sends a signal to those who feel that they can harm and abuse other people simply because of their sexuality and/or identity. The bill simply says to the warped minds of America, play God, if you dare.
That’s a powerful statement made by a federal government. Our federal government. So yes. Though I have problems with the bill being attached to something that feeds a loss of life elsewhere, quiet as it’s kept, I’m proud.
So privately I rejoiced in seeing the gratitude expressed by my LGBT community over and over. I loved reading the lovely things people said today in various groups and on their Facebook pages. Today was a time for celebration for many. And they didn’t hold back…God bless them. And yet, there were those.Those people. Those hardened unappreciative sarcastic embittered souls who just couldn’t, wouldn’t, let today’s act by the president of the United States—be a good thing.
Here are a handful of quotes:
“Hopefully he will also talk about his inaction on DADT and defending DOMA and why he continues to fail the LGBT community.”
“Heck he could just issue a presidential directive to end DADT…I think what it really takes is courage and integrity…things he lacks it seems.”
“Its to little, too late”
“The point is this bill as a rider has NOTHING to do with Obama…it was a low hanging fruit. Obama can sign away DADT in two seconds…but nothing, Obama did NOT have to defend DOMA…but when it comes to things that actually take a little bit of corage and integrity…nothing.”
“What has he accomplished in one?”
Defending DOMA CHECK! (effectively lumping LGBT’s in with pedophiles and people into beastiality in the defense of DOMA)
Ignoring his ability to end DADT, CHECK!
Signing a bill that was already in the works well prior to his administration. CHECK!”
I read this stuff as I was going from profiles to group posts today. I couldn’t believe the vicious toxin. The nastiness, the absolute ingratitude. I thought about my activities this last Sunday—screaming hoarsely across a yellow divider at Griffith Park in counter protest of the Tea Party Express—reading these quotes and thinking as I read them that the things these gay people were saying weren’t that far from the Teabaggers I protested against on Sunday.
I get so tired of the jaded and hideous negativity from these people. It’s such a downer. And despite the gains small or large, it doesn’t reflect positively on the LGBT community. And these people refuse to see it. Maybe I take these things to heart a little heavier than most. After all, Obama is African American as I. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel an extra dose of pride at the fact that the first black president of the United States signed the Hate Crime into law.
But you know, I’d read all of those things earlier in the day. So, they were not to be dwelt over. Last night, after accepting an invitation from my mom for dinner, I sat with my youngest sister (a young woman in her twenties) playing with my niece of 1 1/2 years–her daughter. My mother sat on a couch nearby. In the midst of conversation my sister typing into her laptop as we talked suddenly burst out with this story about one of her Facebook buddies who expressed his contempt for the president in signing the hate crime bill.
Bringing her laptop over to where I sat she showed me the guys profile, his update and a trail of 64 comments that followed. He was a young African American man. In his early 20s. This was his Facebook update:
“WOW PRESIDENT OBAMA IS TRIPPING NOW, YOU SAY YOU A CHRISTIAN GUY BUT SIGN A BILL TODAY SUPPORT THE QUEERS WOW, YOU NOT MY PRESIDENTS NOW I AM GOING INDEPENDENT NO MORE DEMOCRATS… FOR ME… OBAMA COME ON NOW.. YOU SUPPORT SAME SEX MARRIAGES WOW”
As I read his update I thought about all those gays today who shit on Obama’s signing of the Hate Bill. How they for some reason thinks this guy is on easy street—how he’s just dallying along. Not one of them privy to the kind of ugly assaults and attacks on Obama’s character—FROM THE OTHER PERSPECTIVE. Oh, no. It’s all about them. I also thought about all those black men who so quickly forget or who weren’t raised to be humbled by the agony and pain of prejudice that our forefathers and mothers went through—the freedoms that those like Martin Luther King gave up their lives for. How could this young man be so deranged and deluded in his supposed God fearing thinking as to disown President Obama for taking a crucial step in acknowledging the humanity and equality of all men and women in America.
A young black man disowning our black brotha president for protecting others from hatred and harm.
He wasn’t alone. As I said there were 64 comments to his update. A couple of his buddies supported what he said. BUT…the majority of them—the rest of the young black commentators—his friends—did not. And that included my baby sister. Who actually let him have it in 3 or 4 comments all in CAPS.
It was her statements that saved me. Yep. My baby sister. Standing up—because her big brother is gay. And she was not having it. I had absolutely no idea she felt the way she did. I never remember us ever talking about my sexuality. In short: she’s the one who made my day today. It was her words that snapped me out of my own toxic resentment of the things I’d read as I sat there peering into her laptop. It was her love that restored me once again as compassionate and hopeful for my fellow man. It was her words of rage in those comment boxes that cooled my anger at the less than kind things said about the president today. It was her loyalty to me and to humanity that made me recommit to my misguided heterosexual brothers and sisters.
And so my friends, while many of you rejoiced that the Hate bill has been signed into legislation, I got to be reminded about the healing power of love. And how it transcends all. Even me.