Movement to Movement

by HayesisHigh420

When Dorothy Height, the grandmother of the Civil Rights movement, died on 4/20 this year, a light bulb lit up in my head about the vast power of the people and how unstoppable it really is. What I realized is there will always be opposition but determination combined with unity and effort always wins.

Historically-speaking every time people couldn’t stand being oppressed they did something about it. What I’ve noticed is that the powers-that-be cave in only when the people’s force is overwhelming. Even for basic rights like voting and being recognized as one whole human being (not just 3/5ths) it took a monumental, focused and coordinated effort to get it done. Also remarkable in these cases was the swift decapitation of the the Civil Rights movement’s leaders. It’s no coincidence some of our most radical thinkers (Malcolm X, MLK JR, JFK, RFK and Medgar Evers) were all condemned to death, much like Jesus, for being effective in orchestrating revolution against an establishment of resistance.

Radical thinking intimidates those unfamiliar with it because it requires them to make sense of something with which they’re not at all in accordance. That’s how most Americans felt listening to abolitionists during the days of slavery. This is the typical reaction resistant to and spooked by change. The same thing is currently taking place with the Gay Rights movement and I feel from this the Legalization Movement can learn quite a lot — just as it can from the Women’s Liberation and Civil Rights movements of decades ago.

Growing up in the 80’s, I was an avid fan of Black History, and Civil Rights activists, and I recall telling my mother as a young kid that the next major wave of activism will be centered around gay rights because society didn’t like them the same way they don’t like black people. That’s just the evolutionary path the country was on with regards to human rights. If we came from a time where the prevailing attitude was that women had no place in the voting booth and a law got amended to change that, then it’s clearly possible to use an opposing opinion to change the one that’s already in place. It’s my opinion that what consenting adults do in their bedroom is their business, but more importantly that all humans should be entitled to “human rights.”

From Jim Crow to Apartheid I’ve grown weary of institutionalized prejudice because these practices are based off misguided fears and they hold society back. People find interracial dating gross and they find homosexuality gross until they meet someone who dispels their discomposure. This is because their assessment had no foundation in the first place. If you can’t get convicted in a court of law on charges that have no base than there shouldn’t be a notion preventing equal rights for gays or agreeing with a law based on racism that is still keeping marijuana illegal in the country.

Basically, racism’s got to go. Race had a lot to do with the election results in November of 2008 and it may again be an interference this time with Legalization on the ballot, if the fight isn’t well-planned and executed.

The entire Fall of 2008 I watched ads on TV scaring voters into believing their Kindergardeners would be taught about gay marriage, right alongside their ABC’s, unless they voted against it. The ads created enough of a stir to push the frightened into voting — solely out of dread. Mind you this was an issue where the other side wasn’t even going to fight it because not enough of them cared, yet they allowed some silly far fetched notion to compel them into action.

In the case of Legalization more people enjoy marijuana than you think, and if all those who care worked to educate the masses into making an informed decision, we’d all agree that it makes all the sense in the world to legalize a plant that literally helped build this country from the ground up.

Keep in mind that our missteps are predominately self-inflicted wounds. The ironies impeding all  civil rights revolutions is funny. The escalating cartel violence in Mexico — which exists because of the overwhelming profit margin from the sale of illegal drugs in this country — is taking up the focus, time and resources of our government. This is the same government that banned marijuana because of racism towards Mexicans. Yet it’s interesting that the cartel violence wouldn’t be as fever-pitched if weed were legal.

Race influenced voter turnout in Obama’s path to election as all African-Americans got to see an accomplishment we only dreamed of: The first black leader of the free world. For all the endured oppression and intolerance — it seemed as though anything were possible with Obama’s election into office. Black people didn’t care that he was raised by his white grandparents because there was a bigger picture in sight — but during this historical moment few of us empathized with the homosexual community enough to vote with them and figuratively begin shutting the door on prejudice by granting them equal rights.

I’m sure if we follow the model of the civil rights movement with marches, rallies, smoke-ins not just sit-ins, with organization and mobilization, the people will ultimately win out. Or I could put it to you this way: would you support gay rights if it guaranteed legalization? I bet you would without even realizing that they’ll forever be one in the same. Those of you in California voting this fall ought to keep it in mind that there wouldn’t be a Prop 215 SB 420 if it weren’t for gay rights activists in San Francisco. Legalization is the next big movement. We can’t go forward without studying how those before us won and lost. Now’s the time.


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