By Charles Karel Bouley II
Today, June 15, 2020, I ,nor my community (I’m gay) won any victory.
Now, it believes it did, and, as often happens, with this new “win” my community, allies and media began applauding the Supreme Court of the United States for a “landmark ruling granting sweeping protections to the gay and trans communities in the workplace by ruling that LGBT people are covered under an existing civil rights law for workplace protections…” a blathering proclamation from some old White guy in a robe and five of his cohorts, with three of the sainted nine remaining true to their bigoted, hateful selves (Kavenaugh, Alito and Thomas).
And a victory is hailed. But that’s like telling those currently marching in the streets about the police systematically killing their people and abusing others with no repercussions that if the violence ends, they are victorious. No, when the violence ends, it will be because others have stopped behaving in, and getting away with behaving in, a reprehensible fashion. Just like it’s not up to Gays or Blacks to education anyone about homophobia or racism, we don’t win by simply gaining equality. That’s been the biggest myth of all: because we’ve had it all the time; and that’s been the most forgotten thing of all.
I don’t need the Supreme Court of any country to tell me or anyone in my community that they should not be fired for being a member of the GLBT community; that I should not be told I can’t rent a place, or move in; that I can’t adopt; receive health care; marry or get any other damned thing on this planted that any other human can have by nature of NOT being GLBT. Just as Blacks don’t need any Mayor, Governor, President or any well meaning neighbor to proclaim that it’s not right what’s going on and something really should be done. You think? Oh, now that you see the problem, we should fix it?
The fact is the Supreme Court had to act because the spineless Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the Senate have refused to actually legislate and end the discrimination in the workplace against the GLBT community. Hell, they’re just now getting around to try and lift the prohibition on gay men for giving blood; but, no thank you. Now that you need it you want our blood? We’ll pass. At least I will. Oh, and in June 2020 lynching finally became illegal. Let that sink in.
And these are the same people that have turned a blind eye to the systemic racism and homophobia they created in all forms of government and police. Democrats are acting like all of this is new, and must be stopped and fixed. NOW they know the names of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others. It took a beautiful young boy named Matthew Shephard being hung to a barbed wire fence for anyone to even bother noticing our murders. And they still can’t seem to care about Trans people being killed in record numbers, including Trans people of color being killed by members of their own community. Hatred abounds. And it’s been there, GLARING, for, well, forever. And until Stonewall, until gays said ENOUGH!, until now, until the Black community has said, ENOUGH! no one has cared.
In 2020 if you do workplace discrimination of any kind, your business should be cancelled, period. You should not have to be told to be inclusive, to be fair, to be kind and just. You should not fear being sued or fined and because of that act right, you should act right because it is right. You, and all of the America and the world, the time of you acting like you haven’t known all along what was going on with Gay people, men, women, lesbians, trans, the way women of all stripes are treated, the way immigrants, people of color, the way anyone different is treated, YOU KNEW and have KNOWN that the majority of the world treats these people WRONG. And you refuse to even change until some body of humans in robes no better or worse than you tell you it’s time to stop. Or until there so many people in the streets and in your face that you either change, hide, or get the crap beaten out of you regularly. You either adapt to equality or die off in business, socially, in life.
Or live in any bigoted enclave of your choice in the South, but even there, you won’t be able to murder Black people and get away with it any more, you wont’ be able to fire, not hire or demean members of the GLBT community any more. And not because of the Supreme Court.
Many of you out there have been living under the myth that my existence, an immigrants, a Black person’s, a Native American’s, that our being, our rights, our equality is up for a vote, a debate, a chat, a talk, a round table. That there’s two sides to injustice, inequality under the law, to murder of someone because of their race or sexual orientation, gender or immigration status because the person doing it is wearing a blue outfit with a piece of tin that says…what? That they are better than, who? You? Me? Nope.
Supreme Court or not, the time for oppression, of systemic hatred and inequality is coming to an end. It’s not a good day for gays when rights are “granted;” it’s a good day for non gays when they stop oppressing people and start living up to their potential as caring humans. Just like it won’t be a win for the planet if we wake up one day and really, actually, try and save it; it’s humans and everything that lives on it that will win.
I won nothing today; society did. It won the right to say that it has evolved, just a little, and in some small way will stop treating an entire group of millions of people differently just because they don’t like who they love or find sexually attractive; just because they don’t understand them. Employers won access to great employees and incredible resources in the GLBT community who can now work better, smarter, more openly and thus perform better on the job. And America won a victory of conscience because it has many “original” sins, not just slavery. It’s treatment of gays from the beginning has been horrific, right up to the present (yesterday, the anniversary of the mass murder at Pulse Nightclub, Criminal Donald Trump rescinded Trans and Gay healthcare rights for no reason and no one has stopped him, Congress has not acted). It’s time America realize the police have killed, maimed, injured, insulted and abused the GLBT community as well as the Black, migrant and marginalized people. It’s time they realized their employers, their corporations, that they empower with their life’s blood and money, often are bigoted, racist, anti-feminist hiding behind cute slogans of inclusion. How many gays on the Board? How many Blacks? Asians? Hispanics? Native Americans?
So rule in our favor, or don’t. Because young America, it’s allies, older Americans who are tired, we are coming for each and every bigoted company, every violent cop, every horrifying politician. You don’t get to marginalize the GLBT community any more; you don’t get to kill Blacks and just get away with it. You don’t get to keep kids in cages and let them die, incarcerate more Black men then put in college, society, that’s ending, now.
So thanks, SCOTUS, but you get no applause from me. No offense but you simply did your job, you upheld justice, you took the words in our founding documents and made them real for all. It’s a pity people look to you to do that and wait until you say they have to until they actually do.
I don’t treat people equally because a law of any man or woman tells me to; I do it because in my heart, in my dog’s eyes, the eyes of someone you help, or love, or simply smile at, in the person you lift up, in the song you help sing and the smile you help create you know in your SOUL it’s the right thing to do. And I’m an atheist, so don’t go there. Not keeping a job from someone because they are GLBT is human; not killing another over belongings, over man-made laws, over poverty, over race, over gender, is human; treating people with respect and dignity no matter where the paper in their hand or the language on their lips says their from is human.
I don’t need the Supreme Court to tell me I count equally as a human. It’s just a shame it has to tell so many of you.