On “Identity Politics” at #NN15, and Intersectional Security

Of course #tcot folks are erupting in glee at the visible, audible split which happened between these two camps – the economically-oriented social democrats like Sanders and O’Malley and the socially-oriented “social justicists” like the #BlackLivesMatter and DREAMers movements, the latter of whom were disappointed by the social democrats’ economic answers to the concerns of racial, LGBT and immigrant justice. What was one going to expect from those who use the word “nut-roots” as a catch-all disparagement?

But I wonder about this split, not because of “disunity” among the attendees supposedly equaling “disunity” among progressive, liberal and social-democrat voters for the Dems in 2016. I wonder about this split because it portends of a disenchantment among those who ally with the left and center-left of American politics for the barest weathering of top-down material disruption – the ravages of the free market, the decline of PoC-dominated inner-city neighborhoods, the lack of grassroots control over the distribution of resources, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, etc. They’re disenchanted because those ravages have happened under both Democratic-endorsed mayors and Republican-endorsed governors and presidents alike, and the socio-economic conditions which MLK Jr. had decried in the last years of his life remain with us.

When liberals point to the likes of “Fightin’ Bob”, FDR, and other folks who set the tone for the socio-economic populism of today’s Democratic Party, or point to the New Deal in the 1930s, the power of labor unions in the 1950s, and the social safety net of the North and West of the earlier 20th century, they are pointing to a time in our history in which African-Americans and Mexican-Americans were scared for their very lives, LGBT people were prosecuted into prisons and sanitariums, and women were finding out how little power they had across the board over their daily lives.

So if the point of reference is all sorts of irrelevant to the growing body of non-European-descended, non-male, non-cisgender, non-heterosexual – OK, we’ll just call us the “non-traditional American voters” – then what would be the best point of reference? For progressives? For liberals? For social-democrats and democratic-socialists?

Maybe this is what separates the current wave – those who are both disenchanted with the purely-economic reforms + the silence on intersectionality of the 2016 Democratic candidates and angrily disgusted with Republican activists’ antagonism + over appeal to traditional privilege.

Intersectional Security

The Non-Traditional American voters want something that cannot be given by the current American political frame: security (in most senses) against all ravages, some foreign and most domestic, which beset the Non-Traditional American and their communities at home and their related peoples abroad.

Without this security, on all fronts and in all respects, these varying sectors of American society are disengaged from the political process and are won over to other countries’ (and entities’) interests. They were excluded for so long from this process, their need for security only being recognized within the last 150 years of our country’s history (in delayed increments).

Liberalism serves the purpose of liberalizing the status quo to allow for more sectors of people to enter politically, progressivism democratizes the political structure, and social democracy democratizes the economy. But none of those solutions, as much good as they have done, address the personal and communal security and justice of the sectors. Neither liberalism, progressivism nor democratic socialism address past wounds which persist among the previously-oppressed diversity of sectors, nor do they seek for their full communal security.

This is where terms like “#intersectionality” come into play. This is where “don’t pull up the ladder” comes into play. This is where #BlackLivesMatter comes into play. It goes to the heart of just how well these “non-traditional” sectors of society fit into an equitable society. Their security – of mind, of body, of resource, of community – is a great concern. And only a few of those securities are explicitly protected in our laws and institutions.

And so many of us are feeling less than secure right now. African-Americans, Meso-American immigrants, Women, LGBT+ people, disabled people, and so on. College students, service workers, cannabis users, ex-cons denied reintegration, sufferers of pedestrian gun violence and tyrannical police are feeling insecure, as well, but so are those who are dealing with historical and present wounds which have impacted their communities and cultures in adverse ways. How will we address the injustices which face us when we don’t have a proper frame of reference for what our security should look like?

Security comes before Justice, so even “Social Justice” doesn’t cut it. We need an Intersectional Security, and we need it in our lives, our homes, our community, our country and the Free World. This is the security which needs to be addressed by all candidates for political office, not mere “identity politics” or “class politics”.

Sanders, O’Malley, Clinton, or whoever should recognize the need for Intersectional Security at all levels and facets of government. The “Founding Fathers” never envisioned the need for such security, and our government is ill-fitted to accomplish the job. And when our structure of government or society can’t do it, we need leaders who will replace and/or repair that structure.

This Intersectional Security is about our structure. Let’s make it happen, and prepare ourselves.


FW: Will a restaurant franchisee support Georgia’s License to Discrimate?

So its very important that some questions be answered! I am making this blog post to ask our LGBT activists, organizations and LGBT media to be that loud voice asking several questions of several people.

1. What are State Representative Allen Peake’s views on the legislation? Does he support it? Will he vote for its passage?

2. Will State Representative Allen Peake abstain from voting for this legislation and realize the conflict of interest because his business will be affected by the new law if it passes.

3. IF State representate Allen Peake does support this legislation and votes for its passage, what are the views and what would the course of action be by any of the parent companies that franchise restaurants to Allen Peake’s company, C&P Restaurants.

via Edric Floyd: Telling It like It is!: Will a restaurant franchisee support Georgia’s License to Discrimate?.

Oregon: A State for Women

Two things I noticed today:

I find it gratifying that women in Oregon are making such strides, particularly to enshrine such “equality under the law” on the basis of sex into their constitution.

Unfortunately, even after the unsuccessful fight for the federal ERA in the 1970s and after so long since the Nineteenth Amendment’s passage in 1920, these 22 states (and their various extensions of protection from mere employment to full equality under the law) stand alone out of so many states which have not constitutionally-enshrined gender anti-discrimination law. We don’t have such protection which could greatly benefit the future of half the U.S. population enshrined into the majority of constitutional documents in this country.

Why can’t we in the other 28 states spell out equality in the sexes to our states’ residents through the second highest laws of our states? Why are we so reticent to spell out gender equality? Do we even believe in the government recognizing our equality, or are we still ruled by people who represent the interests and privileges of half the population of our states?

And then we wonder why New Hampshire can’t bring forward a constitutional amendment to define equality for all sexual orientations?

Our collective mindset is our most potent enemy. We must change that mindset at all levels.

Congrats to Oregon and Gov. Kate Brown!


McEwen has a watchful eye | QNotes

McEwen believes — and has often been able to prove or link together — deliberate attempts by rightwing groups to twist facts, mischaracterize scientific studies and malign LGBT people in the process.

“They say they are standing on God’s principles and God’s law,” he said. “Okay, if you’re doing that, why do you have to lie? Why do you have to do all these other things?”

Exposing the right’s hypocrisy and their intentional efforts at discrimination defines nearly all of McEwen’s passion and citizen journalism. He’s challenged some of the biggest names on the right, and even got one to admit the truth, he said.

“I had a conversation with Robert Knight,” McEwen recalled of the man who has worked with Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council, two of the nation’s largest anti-LGBT groups. “I asked him about how he used junk science. He said, ‘Yeah, we use it. So what?’”

via McEwen has a watchful eye | QNotes.

We became silent about things that matter. That’s why we lost.

The good news: Muscogee County went blue for Carter, Nunn and Bishop. Incumbent state reps Hugley (unopposed), Buckner (against a Republican challenger), and Smyre (unopposed) all won Muscogee, and no Democratic incumbents lost in the General Assembly.

The bad news: Only Bishop is going to federal office. None of the Democratic slate won statewide officeRoslund lost against McKoon for the state Senate. Wasn’t even close.

The post-mortem meeting for the Democrats in Columbus-Muscogee is on Saturday morning. Words will be traded. Fireworks may go off.

But I appreciate this month that I spent volunteering on the campaign with so many forward thinking, proactive people.

  • Patricia Lassiter, who spent months out of this year working campaigns, making and answering calls, taking crap from some fools and desperate activists, knocking on doors across Columbus to get the vote out – first for Mayor Tomlinson in May and second for the statewide Democratic slate of candidates. I personally admire Patricia’s personality, work ethic, ability to organize and progressive politics.
  • Mary-Kate Clement, who graduated from Marquette and flew from Chicago to Georgia to join Patricia in helping the county’s coordinated campaign. I stayed late in the office with Patricia and Mary-Kate on several nights when they had to get things wrapped up and called in. I am so sorry that she had to see her own home state go to a Republican governor (and Wisconsin, where she previously interned for Mary Burke, going back to Walker for another term). Her mother, who came by our office several times, is cool. Hope they do well in the future.
  • David Smith, spirited and knowledgeable 17-year-old who made phone calls and knocked on doors for the campaign. He is a party activist in the making.
  • William Viruet, native New Yorker who GOTV’s on a very down-to-earth level and does a mean massage.
  • All of the people – of all ages, even slightly underage – who gave their time and energy to this campaign – Berlinda, Tom, both Bills from the UU Fellowship of Columbus, Charlotte, LaVon, Marlyne, Alice, Eddie (Mr. “Souls to the Polls”), James, and several others. You all did the great work for a Blue Muscogee.

But now I am furious, and the colleagues who I met over this month know how furious I am with what just happened.

The Democrats lost across this country. Low turnout happened in several states, and yet it was not for a lack of African-American voters. Older voters, as usual, turned out more for the vote than younger voters.

And yet, progressive legislations won on the ballot at the SAME DAMN TIME. Across the country!

  • Minimum wage increases passed by voters in Arkansas, Nebraska, Illinois (advisory), Alaska and South Dakota
  • Marijuana possession decriminalized by voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., while Florida gained 57% in favor but not the 60% necessary for passage. 6 Michigan municipalities’ voters passed similar measures.
  • California voters passing the reduction of dozens of nonviolent property and drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, resulting in potential thousands leaving California’s prisons.
  • A severe anti-choice “personhood” amendment being defeated in Colorado and North Dakota.
  • A fracking ban being passed in Denton, Texas and Athens, Ohio.
  • Dallas voters retain SOGI-inclusive NDO for city workers
  • Washington voters backed a criminal background check on all guns.

And I’m not the only one who noticed this. The Nation noticed this contradiction of voters supporting progressive legislation and voting for regressive candidates in the same election, so did Ring of Fire Radio. And I wonder “WTF just happened?”

And I’ve learned so much from reading articles about how populism won at the local and state levels, even as the GOP expanded their reach in many state legislatures.

A few words to the Democrats and to progressives all over Georgia, especially the state leadership in Georgia.

  • Stop being cowards on our principles. Stop apologizing.
  • Support our president and Obamacare.
  • If party leaders are cowards, throw them out. They are bums.
  • Shut up about money. No seriously, DNC/DSCC/DCCC/DGA/DLCC, stop sending me emails asking for contributions to the party’s war chest every damn day. I’m sick of being begged by career party activists for money when they don’t pull their weight.
  • Embrace your constituencies like your life depended on it.
  • Campaign on economic justice like your life depended on it.
  • Meet more often, like the party is your second, more secular church.
  • Don’t be afraid to remove those who don’t adhere to progressive principles.
  • If you can’t throw out the bums, do everything to make their political lives difficult.
  • Primary those who won’t carry their weight or have gotten too soft in their seats.
  • Campaign on issues. Not party, not personality, not demographics. ISSUES. Hear the issues, speak the issues, vote on the issues, poll the issues, build alliances around the issues, raise money on issues, publicize the issues, saturate local media with issues, recruit and test your candidates on the issues.
  • Do NOT disrespect progressive activists who are doing the work if you’re not doing it yourself. Or else you will get ripped a new butthole, in public, by me.

I have more to say, but all in all, let’s up off of our asses and campaign as progressives, not the “NON-REPUBLICANS”.

As MLK said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter“. The voters cared about issues. We didn’t. We need to care about issues, to push them by whatever means necessary, and to embrace those who care about them, like our President. We need to care about the compassion of our government, and we must say it every time we get. Or else, there is nothing progressive about us.


Australian Opposition Leader gives the business to right-wing Christian lobby

Amazing speech. And its not just because he directly supports marriage equality in his speech. Or the fact that he said this in front of the right-wing, anti-gay Australian Christian Lobby. Or the fact that he quotes MLK and JFK. Or that he directly addresses income inequality and cuts in foreign aid. YES.

via Bill Shorten speech to the Australian Christian Lobby 2014 Conference – YouTube.