Monday, November 10, 2008

Mark Oshiro: Protesting Proposition 8, Now You Need Your Allies


This story was sent in to me by a reader.  I had no idea there was violence breaking out at these protests.   According to two videos posted here and here, not only has violence occurred, but apparently wrongful imprisonment. There is a written testimony of Oshiro's  experience on his blog.

I am going to admit to something publicly that I probably should not.  Normally coming across a case like Oshiro would cause great anger on my part.  I don't believe that anyone's rights should be violated.  I believe that people have a responsibility to protest social injustice, and that the government has a responsibility to allow this to happen. 

In the case of Oshiro as much as I believe from watching both videos that this was definitely a wrongful arrest, there is a part of me that is so filled with anger at the racist attacks that have occurred that I am finding it hard to drum up the necessary angst to write the scathing post that I normally would have written.

This is the problem with the racism that was engaged in by some members of the GBLT community, at a time when they desperately need allies they have alienated people.  I have always worn my rainbow ally flag with pride but in the last few days it has been difficult to speak on behalf of a movement that seems to have no problem not acknowledging the hierarchy and white privilege that is a great part of their organizing tactics. 

I recently read this article which was tweeted by Rebecca Walker, and it only added to the conflict I am undergoing, as it starkly pointed out issues that POC that are GLBTQI are currently facing that have not been prioritized. 

It saddens me because the GLBTQI community has always been a second home for me.  I have many close friends that are gay, have gone on pride weekends, and I teach my children that love is love, it does not matter who it is between. Now as I look on with astonishment, this community that I have always considered to be a second home is throwing people like me under the bus.

As I look at Oshiro's photo I want that rage back.  I want back what those racists took from me.   I feel robbed and violated.  Yes I can get married to any man that I choose, but that does not mean that my heart did not break when I heard about PROP 8. 

The idea that the pain of the social injustice at the passing of PROP 8 was solely in the gay community is false.  People that are your allies hurt for you, and those of us that have been targeted by racism hurt even more.

Please help Oshiro if you can.  Despite the hurt, rejection, and pain I know that we cannot  heal until we begin to look beyond what divides us.  He is a human being like any other, and deserves to be treated fairly. 

I know that as POC we are continually asked to turn the other cheek and bestow forgiveness on those that have wronged us. It is painful to continue to extend an olive branch when the same mistakes keep occurring, but the minute we stop forgiving is the minute we admit that no change is possible.


Anonymous said...

Your last paragraph really says it. This past week has shown that the mistakes of the past are not at rest, nowhere near. But I am inspired to keep moving forward because I know that is what has to be done.

I've been reading your blog for a while now, though I rarely comment. It was quite a shock to me to open the page and see Mark's face, who I was pretty good friends with in high school. He is a good guy and he genuinely does want equality for everyone. I think that the vast majority of No on 8 protesters are like him and the assholes who are playing the racist blame game are not doing us any favors.


polerin said...

Haven't had a chance to read the linked article yet, but something in the second video really angered me. It is yet another example of the GLBT reaction being hurtful.

Please. Someone explain to me how carrying a sign saying "Mormon Scum" is going to make things better, and not worse? Arg.

Queers United said...

The police brutality in the video is awful. You know, I more than anyone welcomes and cherishes our allies. Please don't see the racism as a depiction of the thoughts of most gays. There is a lot of anger and hurt which is understandable but neither blacks nor gays are inherently bigoted we need to work together to create a brighter future.

Glennisha Morgan said...

I don't think I even want to see the video but, I really wish the racism, discrimination, and hate would just cease. There is no need for it. We need to only be spreading love.