DREAM BOOGIE, By Langston HughesIt is a warm, bright pleasant evening here in Long Beach. The kind of evening people say reminds them how lucky they are to live in Southern California. The atmostphere is festive... or it would be, but for the serious reason we are all gathering here.
Good morning, daddy!
Ain't you heard
The boogie-woogie rumble
Of a dream deferred?
You'll hear their feet
Beating out and Beating out a --
It's a happy beat?
Listen to it closely:
Ain't you heard
like a --
What did I say?
Sure, I'm happy!
Take it away!
In my neighborhood, Junipero and Broadway, and the small coffeehouse that inhabits that space are the spiritual downtown of the Gay and Lesbian Community of Long Beach. And in about five minutes, thousands of them are going to start a march about two miles away and end up in the park across the street from my redoubt here in the coffee house.
The reason is fairly obvious for anyone who has been following the news today... some religious wingnuts have managed to convince a plurality of California voters that Gays and Lesbians are not real people, and the legal arguments used to try to overturn that opinion in the court were weak and almost entirely without merit.
It wasn't unexpected.
But there's a lot of anger pulsing just beneath the surface. It's Two-Thousand-and-freekin'-Nine, when are we going to join the rest of the world in the 21st frakin' century already?
But it's more than just gay marriage. These people, my friends and neighbors are the proverbial canary in a cultural coal mine; The last quasi-acceptable social hatred. It's the low hanging fruit for a group of people have an agenda for all of us.
Unfortunately, we haven't figured out to beat them at their own game yet. Like I said, there's anger, but also a lot of naiveté and credulity about their opponents... This mix of barely contained rage and a fundamental misunderstanding of what their enemies are really after is trouble for us all...
That's the great thing about Gay politics... any occasion for a march or protest is marked by lots of music, pulsing dance beats from the clubs and bars, lyrics of liberation set at 120 beats per minute. It's a disco revolution, where the rebels wear uniforms festooned in rainbow colors; it's a form of camouflage.
So there will be happy blaring disco music, dancing in the street, and people celebrating themselves loudly and in public... but listen closley... you think it's a happy beat?
Police are setting up barricades on Broadway, as the marchers start to make their way down to the park. Folks are starting to gather in front of the bandstand in park, where they have set up a PA and will hold the rally portion of the evening.
So... what am I doing here? Have I gone madder than bastard on Father's Day? I mean, this is about Gay Marriage... I am a straight married white guy, what could this possibly have to do with me. Existential politics aside for the moment, the fact is that these are my friends and neighbors who are protesting for the right to be just like me.
How could I walk past them on the street, look them in the eyes or mingle with them in the coffee house without doing everything I can to support them in this time. This is my neighborhood (at least for another week or so) and these are my neighbors who need me. Forget the fact that I support their cause 110 percent, these are my people here...
The march is now visible making it's way down a now-vacated Broadway. People with signs hanging out in the coffee place and the corner there waiting for them to arrive. Time for me to pack it up and get to the park...
At first it was a pretty inspiring sight... at least two or three thousand people trying to cram into our little park in front of the bandstand. They just kept pouring in off the street waving signs, blowing whistles, chanting...
Then the speakers started. They were okay, but for the most part uninspiring. They preached the need for love, respect, equal rights, blah, blah, blah... These are all well and good, but none of that is going to win an election, and that is what this is all about now; getting a measure on the ballot for the 2010 midterm primary.
Okay, I hear you saying "well then what Mojo? What do we do?" Here's what:
Commercial idea-- "prohibiting gay marriage: brought to you by the same people who think touching the hands of the snake-oil selling boob on the TV screen cures cancer and who think dinosaurs are freekin' Jesus Ponies (safe link)
If these people really want to rumble in the larger arena of culture, then I think it's high time we take that fight to them. Look, everyone likes to feel smarter than the next guy, and I can think of no better way to help people do that than by letting them know that voting against gay marriage is tantamount to ratifying this other goofy shit, because in the minds of those proposing it, that's exactly what it is, even if they won't come right out and say it!
Keep the pressure on and let everyone know they have skin in this game. Why do I keep saying this? Here's a quote from the Institute on Creation Research, a supposedly scientific institute:
"[...]What about the use of deception by government officials (rationalized as required for national security, or to avoid a riot, or to promote a “social injustice” policy)? What about civil rights, discrimination, and the persecution of Christians?Yeah, this is all apparently "science."
The Bible provides knowable answers to all of these moral decision-making questions, either directly or indirectly. The Bible’s moral values are not like relativistic situational ethics.
All physical, biological, and spiritual reality is created and maintained by God in Christ and revealed by the Spirit. All teaching, no matter how profound, attractive, or eloquent, should be tested by its fidelity to the Word of God.
Commerce (business) is the complementary discipline necessary to distribute the “useful things” to everyone.
In essence, commerce is complying with the “fill the earth” portion of the mandate.
Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden and told to “dress and keep” it. They were not told how to do so, only that it was their responsibility before the Creator to maintain and develop what had been provided for them. As the population of earth grew, it would be necessary to develop skills to make their tools and talents available to others. That procedure in modern terms is “commerce.” "
They even go so far as to say that our current legal system is "evolution-based" law. It is all one big thing for the Xtian right. And so far, they have been much better than we at exploiting the general public's apathy about their desire to kill pluralism in society.