Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Monday, June 28, 2010

Divided We Fall

Tonight the LGBT community stood up on behalf of the Hispanic community in an effort to put an end to Senate Bill 1070. On the 41st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, organizers against SB 1070 have launched 30 Days of Protest. Over the course of the next month there will be countless protests, prayer vigils, and marches to bring awareness to this civil rights issue. Those in attendance seemed proud that it was the LGBT community that was chosen to kick off the start of these awareness days. For me, it was great to see both communities standing in soladarity.

Everyone I spoke with seemed to be in consensus about one thing. SB1070 is an issue that all communities need to be aware of and speaking out about. Although this bill targets the Latino community we all know that hate is hate, no matter the guise. And when it is witnessed all need to stand up and take action. Those that sit in silence give permission to injustice.

I know there are many within the LGBT community that believe that this is not our issue but I take issue with this position. I take issue with this for two reasons. First there are members of the LGBT community that are also members of the Hispanic community. To turn a blind eye to our brothers and sisters would be denying our own. But the primary reason this reasoning does not fly is simply this - hatred is hatred. Whether you are a member of the targeted community are not, we cannot sit idly by and allow this to happen. Trust me, this many people would not be boycotting our state (externally and internally) if they were not genuinely pissed off. And they have very good reason to be pissed off.

To put it plain and simple, SB1070 will be used to target and harass the Latino community. Undocumented Canadians, Asians, Europeans or Africans will have nothing to worry about. They will not be getting the question, "Where are your papers?" So I'm proud to see other communities recognize the wrong in the bill and take action to end it. United We Stand; Divided We Fall.

On hand this evening were some distinguished leaders from both the LGBT community and the Hispanic community. Tom Simployt was one of the first to speak and he recited one of my all time favorite poems, First They Came. I think it is only appropriate to end with those powerful words . . .

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

and by that time no one was left to speak up."

The author of this poem is unknown but I will close with a question, "If we can not speak up for others, can we really expect others to speak up for us?"

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