This bitch is fascinated by the politics within social justice movements. How to move forward, when to move forward, who to move forward with…that shit is just beyond interesting! And the issue of who gets left behind is particularly fascinating to me since...well, ummm...history has a habit, if you know what I mean (wink).
I've made a study of how movements address inclusion and why more often than not they don't do it well. Oh, there are a lot of reasons…racism, classism…the flawed theory of gradualism. Year after year the calls for solidarity rise up and year after year that solidarity is rewarded by bullshit…by "maybe next year", "the timing just isn’t right" and "your issues aren’t really our issues anyway". Too many organizations fail the moral test by backing almost there legislation versus inclusive legislation and choosing half assed advancement rather than pushing for true victory.
One of my favorite examples of this is the American Women's Suffrage Movement. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote was ratified without any reference to race. Suffragettes, fearing that a lack of Southern support would prevent passage, had kicked women of color to the curb despite our unique need for a protected vote. As it turned out, the amendment made it through without full Southern support...wince...and all that curb kicking may have been for naught.
Yet on the curb true suffrage remained…for some 45 additional years...until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 addressed the issue of race that the 19th Amendment failed to. History is littered with examples that demonstrate that half assed equality isn’t equality...it is always not quite a victory.
I hope that the LGBT equality movement I'm proud to be a part of will learn from history and see that to claim true victory full inclusion is the only option...but I guess the pain ain’t so bad when you’re not the one getting cut and the wait doesn't seem that long when you're not still standing in line.