About those #HRC squares (via agnesgalore.tumblr.com):
“…But I actually feel sad and more than a little angry. Okay, a lot angry. Folks, the HRC is an organization run by rich white men. They have consistently chosen not to support trans rights. They have consistently silenced POC organizations and organizers. They have accepted donations from, and even honored, multi-billionaire corporations who have done more than their fair share to contribute to the unequal distribution of wealth and to systematic racialized and gendered oppression in the US. Their vision of “equality”—as obviously signaled by their logo—is not, and never has been, equality for all. It is equality for those who can afford it. It’s equality for those who can prove they are “just like everyone else,” who respect and embody gender normativity, middle class sensibility, and white supremacy. It’s equality for those who don’t care about coalitional politics, and who endorse both trickle down economics and trickle down civil rights….”
Thank you to Alicia Sanchez for sharing this post and to @agnesgalore for posting it. From the comment and reblog thread, more than a few folks, myself included, got their life.
Last week, like so many others, I used the red equal sign in my support for marriage equality. The more you know. I’m leaving that post up in the spirit of accountability but switching the square for this nifty image, courtesy of Nik Ribianszky (FB):
I’m also expanding and reaffirming the addendum I included in the same post. My support for marriage equality–for those who want to get married–is unequivocal. That said, the dialogue around marriage equality is problematic.
“Marriage is a conservative institution. It licenses certain kinds of relationships and not others based on a template that reproduces a status quo rooted in conservative Christian religious values. Those values reflect a bias that is both normative and cultural in a pretty blatantly chauvinistic way. And if you don’t think that bias is all that big a deal, consider for a moment the way conservative Christian norms have justified American Indian removal and forced assimilation, slavery, Jim Crow, excluding women from the vote, bans on abortion, sodomy laws, and systemic discrimination against Jews and other religious minorities. And then consider for a moment how those same values are currently being used to promote a permanent war against Muslims.
The fundamentally conservative nature of the marriage contract is why, I think, younger conservatives are growing more supportive of same sex marriage. Extending marriage rights to LGBT people does little or nothing to address the structure of oppressive family laws and values in society. It also does very little to change the core of the conservative agenda which is, fundamentally, about power and control. This is evidenced by the fact that young conservatives are increasingly supportive of same-sex marriage at the same time that they continue to be champions of austerity who are deeply opposed to public funding of critical safety net programs. And many are terrible on issues of race, equating black and brown people with destructively out-of-control sexuality, crime, and government debt. So their attitudes about LGBT people may have changed, but their worldviews remain pretty much the same. They’ve just let monogamous same sex couples off the hook for certain societal problems, which is essentially what they’ve been doing all along for heterosexuals who marry….”
For more on the #HRC square and the way it ties into the problematic rhetoric around organizing for marriage equality, see Derrick Clifton | What’s Behind Criticisms of Those Red Equal Signs in Your Facebook Feed?
“…Just the sight of the HRC logo recalls that scary possibility of broader disengagement given how the organization has represented itself so far — and what’s below only scratches the surface.
The HRC has appeared more concerned with praising corporations and financial institutions that continue to oppress the poor and play reverse Robin Hood to screw many folks (LGBT* included) out of homes and livelihoods.
The HRC has yet to make a strong, substantive appeal on youth homelessness, which disproportionately impacts LGBT communities.
The HRC has a long history of throwing trans* people under the bus. Many folks still remember them dropping the “T” while attempting to push the Employment Non-Discrimination Act through Congress in 2007… and it still failed to capture enough votes to pass in the Senate and become law. They’ve since reverted to supporting a trans-inclusive bill, yet many still feel the sting.
The HRC has tokenized and otherwise has given lip service to issues pertaining to LGBT communities of color. Racial justice (or even an allusion to it) isn’t even listed on their website’s “issues” tab as part of a broader strategy. And dare we not address how that functions from within, given the racism many people experience in LGBT* spaces and forums.
Yet the HRC has thrown almost the full weight of their strategy, fundraising moolah and public platform on the issue of marriage equality. And they’ve done it for a while now…”
“…The normativity of monogamy married [pun? intended.] to the ability to receive financial aid and benefit and tax breaks, as well as the literal violence of the rhetorics of “same gender” / “same sex” to folks who are intersex, genderqueer and transgender compel the inquiry: who is this “we” and what is the “this” that is seemingly being attained? Of course, one could claim that a general public would need be educated about such queer variances and that what is most pertinent in our now moment is the celebration of the now moment, a prepositional displacement banishing the concerns of others for the now moment. But then the most we do is submit to – even if we’d rather critique – the power of the state, reinforcing its capacity to extend by excluding. It seems that everywhere, folks have aspirational attachments and none of us occupies a position where this could never be possible, though historical marginalization tends to be thought as shoring up against such aspiration…”