Repeal Prop 8 March in Los Angeles
On Saturday I participated in the nationwide protest against the passing of Proposition 8. I’m not a fan of the initiative process. I think it leads to the tyranny of the majority that our Republic was designed to avoid. And we could argue all day about that, but most of the Civil Rights that were secured in the 20th Century were not by popular vote, but by court cases and legislation that was designed to protect minority rights.
So I’m bringing it back to the outlaw lovers that were my parents and Barack Obama’s parents, and anyone of “mixed race” whose parents were together before 1967. Procreation is not the primary function of love, nor marriage. But marriage is certainly a nice symbol and structure to nourish love and a family.
The “mulatto moment” for me Saturday was the echo in the story of a woman, born of a lesbian mother, but raised by two fathers, committed for over 35 years, yet just married this September. She spoke of the normalcy and security of her family, yet also of the existential invisibility. It reminded me of the days when I was expected to pick one, when asked for race or ethnicity. And her ability to share her experience resonated with the gift I feel I’ve been able to use by moving in a black world or white world with an implicit acceptance. The idea of that “gift” got me excited about Barack Obama initially. I decided I needed to vote for him when I saw this so fully articulated in his speech on race.
The gift of empathy or the ability to listen and communicate with inclusive respect aren’t the sole purview of hyphenates, but we do have to start practicing these things maybe a little earlier than people in a homogeneous home.
Oh, and now I want to start writing about the “mutts like me” joke Obama made in his first press conference. I loved it! But, I think I’ll have to leave that for later.
P.S. I added some photos and captions to my election night entry. I hope I’ll write more on that sometime soon.