Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rainbows Breaking the Suface

Obama Speaks to Marriage Equality Issue

He done gone and done it. President Obama announced to the world the results of his final evolution on the issue of marriage equality in the LGBTQ community. In his methodical, thought driven and heartfelt expression of words resulted in the first American President to support a marriage option being offered. His striking verbiage and stately demeanor was prefaced by his references to First Lady Michelle Obama and his observation of daughters Sasha and Malia's friendships with the children of same sex couples as apart of his evolution. Furthermore he noted that those within his administration whom have committed and healthy relationships and other's that have demonstrated the fact that they deserve the choice to pursue a "marriage" recognition of their partners played a significant role in his decision. I'm proud of Mr. Obama for speaking his convictions after what must have been a thoughtful process. He was not hurried to make a "forward" decision nor bowed to being berated into taking a position that he was not comfortable with taking. Great decision makers usually weigh all the facts while seeking to assess if their decision is the right one. Amazingly just a few years ago, many in the LGBTQ community were bemoaning and under cutting what they had perceived as an abandonment of his campaign promises. Somehow the gay "wish list" was lacking and their was an air of unhappy voters who didn't want to talk about hope and change anymore.

The Gay Power Mafia types were folding their checkbooks, writing all types of surly Opt-Eds and acting as if there one night stand had left without leaving their number. All of this despite Obama's constant moves to embrace the LGBTQ community with appointments, addresses at the Human Rights Campaign gala, commemorating Gay Pride Week with proclamations, no DOMA charges, and signature repeal legislature as Don't Ask, Don't Tell, it didn't seem to be enough. Gays continued to act as if nothing had been done or that they had been left out of the process, when nothing could be further from the truth. As a reminder the administration created and Twittered about the laundry list of accomplishments that should shut up anybody whom believes that Obama has not had gays and lesbians on his radar. You can find it on which offers a timeline of activity ranging from White House receptions to major policy decision.

With the marriage confirmation, the campaign money machine has begun to ring off the chain. I've seen notices that are using the Stonewall Uprising date of June 1969 as a rally cry for contributions. It seems that yesterday after the statement, at least One Million dollars was raised in 90 minutes. Today, POTUS will wing his way to George Clooney's Hollywood conclave for a $40,000 a person fundraiser that will make the cash dash go stupid.

I'm proud of the President as man of conviction, fully understanding that this culture war bombshell will be spinned by his opponents into a firestorm of criticism. I've always believed that "you've got to stand for something or you will fall for anything." I value men of integrity, substance and fortitude in the face of making the hard decisions. Unfortunately I'm not whipped into a frenzy about the marriage equality issue, as I am about the lack of economic parity, continuing racism in the LGBTQ community and the many other inequities in folks lives that as I've stated previously don't promote going to the chapel in no hurry. Let's be clear, Obama has stated that all marriage decisions will be up to the states to decide. Presently 39 of the 50 states including Arkansas and now North Carolina have bans on any moves to allow any marriage equality. He has no plans to offer any legislation or measures, therefore all we really know is that he is willing to accept the notion of gay folk getting married. As for anything else, everyone has to deal with where ever they are and what ever the law states in their area. In the meantime, I'm down with Obama and hope that each of you will share some dollars with the campaign, take some time to do some volunteer work and nothing else damn it, please vote for the candidate of your choice.

Occupy Little Rock Out of Luck

The permit for OLR is ticking down to expiration next week. It seems that although the group has been basically civil and raised little to no ruckus, certain power players and shot callers have enough and want the area cleared for the summer festival spectacle of RiverFest is my best guess. City Director Erma "fingers" Hendrix has quipped numerous times as to her displeasure at the encampment and in true Hendrix fashion has referred to tenants as "garbage" and didn't retreat from those comments. As you may have learned Ms. Hendrix is one of my favorite gadfly that makes me hold my face in that McCauley Caulkin face slap look. If you recall she was the director whom spoke ill of gay folks a while back, but didn't know who she was messing with at that time. She's the loose cannon that often fills my WTF files and more. According to OLR organizers they've attempted to "make nice" with the city but it seems that there's been a disconnect from any further negotiations. As far as I can tell, OLR was one of the last of the encampments left standing. Even though there were some small demonstrations, many speeches and lots of internal meetings, their message didn't move more folks to "occupy" anything. I admire each of them for there energy and enthusiasm, but can the organizers actually point out any viable outcomes of their micro-movement? Has anything changed and did there existence create any synergy among other local social justice groups? If they fade to black, will anyone really remember what they stood for or why? My own mother is an example, when she said, "exactly what are those folks in them tents trying to prove?" Occupy Little Rock came and will go, however, I hope that the spirit of civil disobedience and public protest will find it way into more social change groups as we go forward in this election year. Thanks OLR, good try!

Buidling Bridges to Diversity Abstracts Sought

The host committee producing the 33rd convention of The National Association of Black and White Men Together, Inc, July 24-27, 2013 is seeking individuals, community based organizations, ASO's and or individuals who would like to submit a summary abstracts based on the "Building Bridges to Diversity" theme and the tracks of :

1. Organizational Capacity Building

2. Intergenerational Issues and Dilemmas

3. Health and Wellness

4. Communty Advocacy and Activism

The summary should include contact information, presenters and organization affiliation, overview of presentation and equipment outlines. Each empowerment session should plan to run aproximately 60 minutes in length. For more information contact:  Currently the committe is also seeking additional members to serve in numerous capacities and volunteer positions. Local contributions, in-kind services, advertising opportunities and sponsorship will be available. Additional information on NABWMT can be found at:

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