Tag Archives: gay rights

The power of those doggone Internets: Rally in Seattle…and the world

At the marriage equality rally downtown seattle on TwitPic

Yesterday saw the eruption of equal rights rallies around the globe in response to the pro-discriminatory Prop 8 victory in California. Rallies come and go, but I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a I’m-mad-as-hell-and-I-won’t-take-it-anymore movement to demand equal rights for ALL citizens, regardless of religion, gender or orientation. I also have a feeling that there is a wave out there that is coming to shore, and here’s why:

One week ago, Amy Balliett of Seattle talked to a friend on the phone and both decided they needed to take some action on the Prop 8 issue–globally. One week later–ONE WEEK!–rallies took place all over the world with thousands of people participating. Estimates in Seattle alone are 6,000 attendees. How did they do it? They used the massive power of social networks and tools on the internet.

They set up a wiki overnight that connected multiple cities and organizers and facilitated info share and networking easily and instantly. They spread the word through twitter, through email, through facebook. Before anyone knew what was happening or how far the news had spread, Saturday was here, and thousands took to the street. Awesome, truly awesome.

And now, we move forward from here. The big message was as simple as it is challenging: talk to one person every day who may not share your opinion about marriage equality. Talk to the person in the cube next to you. Talk to someone who hasn’t really even thought about the issue. Talk openly, not aggressively. Listen. Share. Because at the end of the day, opposition to equal rights is usually more about Fear than it is about hatred. We have to believe that in this world that is getting smaller and more complex every day.

And getting the same rights as everyone else who pays taxes, works, votes, participates, and lives in our neighborhoods and cities and states and country is not too much to ask. It’s the very least we can ask for.

Onward.

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Real Americans vs. what… Un-Real Americans?

I personally love how politics is so happily intertwined with Scobleizer’s blog. It’s a risky thing to do because people will criticize your POV and that could impact your credibility in other, non-politicized subjects you undertake.

But another part of of me, the one that loves the political geekery of Scobleizer, wonders if the open minded perspective that runs through his brand of politics doesn’t also form the basis of his views on web apps, the open source movement, social networking, vast info sharing, and all the rest. I think it does.

So recently, I enjoyed his post where he borrows Dave Winer’s post on I am not an American. Dave lists all the ways that he is not an American, according to the extremely narrow-minded right wing definition of who is an American.

And in no small part did I enjoy this post because it joins in a growing chorus of the bigger US who do no fit in the narrow mold offered up by so-called real Americans–we are all growing so tired of this nonsense, at once dangerous and silly as only divisive rhetoric can be.

So let me add to the list:

I am educated, have advanced degrees, and am bi-lingual. I also like really good cappuccinos. I guess I am not an American.

I enjoy an open mind, even though sometimes it’s challenging, and really do want to learn new things from people who don’t think exactly like I do. I like diversity, I really do. Apparently I am not an American.

I am part of a network of people who think small changes to one’s carbon footprint really does make a difference, if only because we have to start somewhere and becoming conscious is a great place to start. I am not an American.

I am a lesbian, and have lived through calamitous times to fight for my rights. I have been subject to judgment and discrimination but still I know most people do not wish me harm. My friends, neighbors and family support my non-sanctioned relationship; after nearly 20 years together, I look forward to a legal marriage, even if it means going to another state to do it. I am totally not an American.

My government has helped me go to school and university, has set aside some of the most gorgeous areas on the planet for my own enjoyment, and has created and maintained highways and byways that I can travel–land, water and air–to go anywhere I want, has laid the foundation for a sense of safety and help in disasters, and has helped my city and state to make hundreds of changes that lead to a better environment. Proof, I am not an American.

I do not belong to an organized religion and admit that I wonder if organized religion will be the ruin of us all, but I do have a spiritual practice that involves buddhist meditation. There you have it, I am not an American.

I believe our government has saved our collective ass at key points in history and does best with more, not less, participation from each of us. I believe a democratic government can and should help us all be better global citizens. I am not an American.

I believe our public schools have been the envy of the world in the past, but are not now, and that the whole system is being undermined by the same fear-based forces that refuse to see themselves as part of a greater whole, part of a global community. I am not an American.

I believe we have an opportunity…no, a duty to lead the world in thinking about global climate change first, with greater technology and creativity, and the willingness to participate in change at a local, individual, state, national and global level. I am not an American.

Finally, I am very very proud to be part of that large group out there that doesn’t fit into the divisive, narrow confines of what the vocal unreal-american minority calls Real America.