Thursday, August 8, 2013
"In talking about the 1936 Olympics, I do not equate what is happening in Russia to what happened to Jewish people during World War II. I just want to remind you that the Holocaust did not happen overnight. It was subtle. Surgical. In silence. These new anti-gay laws are disturbingly similar to the anti-Semitic Nuremberg laws Hitler passed before the 1936 Olympics. And with the Pew Institute finding 84% of Russians believe society should reject gay people, perhaps some saying they object to gays for fear of arrest, the world should question how far Russia intends to go. We should question how far Russia, our lukewarm ally, intends to go and what our participation in the 2014 Olympic Games will look like generations from now." - Openly gay sports journalist LZ Granderson, writing for CNN. Hit the link and read the full essay.
Via JMG: Civil Rights Pioneer Bayard Rustin And Astronaut Sally Ride To Be Posthumously Awarded Presidential Medal Of Freedom
Civil rights pioneer (and gay man) Bayard Rustin, who organized the 1963 March On Washington, and astronaut Sally Ride, who (at her request) was outed after her death of cancer last year, will be among the recipients of this year's Presidential Medal Of Freedom awards, the highest honor given to any civilian. Via press release from the White House:
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Executive Order signed by President John F. Kennedy establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as the first ceremony bestowing the honor on an inaugural class of 31 recipients. Since that time, more than 500 exceptional individuals from all corners of society have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Obama said, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year's honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation's gratitude."The Human Rights Campaign reacts:
Bayard Rustin’s contributions to the American civil rights movement remain paramount to its successes to this day,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “His role in the fight for civil rights of African-Americans is all the more admirable because he made it as a gay man, experiencing prejudice not just because of his race, but because of his sexual orientation as well.” Rustin was active in the struggle for civil rights for sixty years, from organizing early freedom rides in the 1940s, to serving as key advisor to Dr. King, to helping found the A. Philip Randolph Institute.The 50th anniversary of the March On Washington is August 28th.
But his advocacy was far from limited to the rights of African Americans. He worked to end apartheid in South Africa, fought for the freedom of Soviet Jews, worked to protect the property of Japanese Americans interned during World War II, and helped highlight the plight of Vietnamese “boat people.” And in the 1980s, he also spoke up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, testifying in support of anti-discrimination legislation in New York. “Bayard Rustin dedicated his life to advocating for fairness and equality and overcame prejudice to help move our nation forward,” added Griffin.
RELATED: Some of this year's other recipients will surely upset the wingnuts. They are: Ernie Banks, Ben Bradlee, Bill Clinton, Daniel Inouye, Daniel Kahneman, Richard Lugar, Loretta Lynn, Mario Molina, Arturo Sandoval, Dean Smith, Gloria Steinem, C.T. Vivian, Patricia Wald, Oprah Winfrey.
Labels: Bayard Rustin, civil rights, LGBT History, LGBT rights, Medal Of Freedom, Sally Ride, space program, White House
There’s a strong streak of anti-essentialism in feminism, just as there is in Buddhism. It is the understanding that something like gender is not fixed or absolute, that not all women or men have some masculine or feminine essence that defines us. To put it in Buddhist terms, gender has no 'self-nature.'
- Nancy Baker, "Of Samurai and Sisterhood"