Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Spining the Summer Sizzle Part A

And away we go! Another round of news, views, and more of what we always hope you are looking for from COP 24/7 as we countdown to our tenth anniversary. Did we say, count em "ten" damn years of huffing and puffing to produce an online presence that we had no idea of where it was going or what impact it would have. Just as a recall, this forum has covered the gamut. Ranging from female circumcision to ongoing crazy rants from Sen. Jason Rapert. (R) of Conway. Believe it or not, there's more about this wingnut in this posting. But meanwhile, who knew that this social experiment would evolve into a open digital town square that has outwitted, outplayed and outlasted many who joined the fray years ago. Its none other than, Corneliuonpoint, that's who! Now lets dive in to see what's really going on....

HRC Survey Says!!!

In case you missed it, the Human Rights Campaign has announced it's findings about "the needs, experiences, and priorities of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Arkansans." The survey’s results show that LGBT Arkansans are just like their friends and family members—living, working,
volunteering, and going to church within their communities.

However, the assessment also finds that LGBT people face daunting amounts of harassment and discrimination and enjoy no legal protections at either the local or state level." This is notice is apart of the groups Project One America initiative that is set to roll out across the Mid-South. Now not to be to cutty about this, but there have been a dusty
shelf full of assessments, surveys and all manner of data gathering that has already told this same story.

Of course, many of you my dear readers would not know that, but trust me. All of this is basically nothing new including another rotunda press and photo op to read the edict of yet another study that repeats what many of us in the field not only already know, but get this "live every day!" Alright, kudos to HRC for this hastily arranged send up to share this news and move forward with their hiring of  State Director Ms. K. Johnson, of which we applaud, but if they needed an assessment why didn't they just ask to read Ms. Johnson's capstone piece that I have no doubt would have served up similar conclusions.

If not that little academic work, maybe the could have asked to see my most favorite of assessments, the SHARP Report published circa 2010 by all those smart and loveable folks from Harvard Law and Policy Clinic.  Let's face it my people, we got assessments out the ass including that LGBTQ Health Initiative Smoking survey that's pending. So now that we again know that we got "needs" what the heck is going to be done.

It appears that there will be a effort to "change hearts and minds" and advance enduring legal protections, and build more inclusive institutions for LGBT people from the church pew to the workplace. I'm all for all of that. Count me in just as soon as I can get a living wage, understand what constitutes the "LGBTQ community," ponder the care paradox of the affordable care act and ongoing local HIV infections and why COP 24/7 has been talking about it all for ten years and counting. Welcome to the party HRC, I'll get out the party hats and confetti.!!

The Rapert Cited Among the Worst Elected

Say it ain't so! Did our own Rep. Jason Rapert make national headlines again? Oh Wow, what are they saying now that we should most likely be embarrassed about. Alternative news outlet, City Beat from Miami called on 50 writers and editors of the alternative press from across the land — combined their collective genius. They named 53 of the nation’s worst elected leaders from 23 of the largest states and the District of Columbia, then separated them into five categories: hatemongers,
sleazeballs, blowhards, users and boozers, and horn dogs. And there’s more than just the usual stodgy Washington losers.
There hall of shame included Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona who is always over the top with that recent botched prison house killing to her  infamous, immigrant-bashing legislation called Senate Bill 1070 and rode a wave of xenophobia to electoral triumph, a book deal, conservative accolades and liberal opprobrium. She did this despite massive goofs such as claiming that headless bodies were routinely found in the Arizona desert, blanking for several seconds during a TV debate with her gubernatorial rivals and claiming her dad died fighting the Nazis when he actually worked in a munitions depot during World War II and died 10 years after the war ended.

Then there's Rep. Rapert, who is described by Max Brantley in the piece as " the Elmer Gantry of the Arkansas Legislature — a Brush Arbor Baptist preacher, bluegrass fiddler and proprietor of a putative African missionary effort that specializes in countries where homosexuality is a crime. 
The Republican from Bigelow’s outrage at the “radical homosexual lobby” and “elitist judges” over the march of marriage equality knows no bounds. On his passion meter, that subject is up there with his views on President Obama (he wants him impeached), fracking (it’s seriously good) and abortion (uh-uh). On that last issue, Rapert tried to pass a six-week abortion limit but settled for 12; it was immediately invalidated by a Republican federal judge who, unlike Rapert, still believes Roe v. Wade guides federal law. 
Yep that's our little Jason, standing with Black preachers on the capitol steps, ranting about this and that and hopefully being sent back under the rock he crawled from come this November. If you are not registered especially in Faulkner county, by all means do so, because this busta is got to go!
Silver Lavender Programs for August
"We're Still Here," will be the centerpiece of programming presented by Arkansas LGBTQ Elders, a program of CAR.(Center for Artistic Revolution), August 23, beginning with a meet and greet at 1pm with the film presentation at 2pm and panel discussion to follow at the Darragh  Center inside the Main Library, 100 Rock Street in downtown Little Rock. 
According to Richard H., the event is an ongoing effort to fulfill the emerging groups mission to "founding an organization to morph into a SAGE Affiliate to address the needs and issues affecting LGBTQ seniors in central Arkansas and Little Rock.
The film We’re Still Here shares the untold stories of the first generation of children who were born with HIV in the 80s and 90s. The film follows director Grissel Granados as she embarks on her own journey to seek out other people who were born with HIV and create community where it hadn’t existed before.
For the first time on screen, people who were born with HIV are telling their stories in their own words and on their own terms. The individuals featured in this film share their stories of love, loss, fear, hope, and survival.
We’re Still Here gives testament to those who weren’t supposed to be here, and who refuse to be forgotten in the history of HIV/AIDS. Check out the groups Facebook page for more information or to volunteer or donate, e-mail: SirEdwardCoke@comcast.net.

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