November 13, 2008
This finger-wag brought to you by HRC
Posted by: Chris
Unbelievable. Just when I think "the nation's largest LGBT political lobby" can't make itself any more irrelevant to the lives of its supposed constituents, Joe Solmonese et al somehow manage to go the extra mile.
After failing to lift a finger to help organize days of protest following the passage of Proposition 8 and three other anti-gay ballot measures, the feckless leadership of the Human Rights Campaign finally acted.
Are you ready? Drumroll, please. Solmonese issued his "weekly message" one day early!
Normally, I would wait until Friday to write to you, but with all that’s going on right now, I felt it was important to speak to you today.
Yeah, I was shocked, too!
But simmer down, folks. It's not like Joe is interested in speaking truth to power, our offering some actual plan to mobilize the protesters' grassroots energy into achievable goals. No, no, no. That would conflict with the Beltway bargain HRC has already struck with the Reid-Pelosi-Frank-Baldwin contingent in Congress to take our ENDA and hate crimes and hush up till 2011.
So instead it is the protesters themselves -- how dare they act from the bottom up! -- who are treated to a classic P.C. finger-wag in this Very Special Episode of Solmonese Speaks:
To reverse the outcomes of November 4, we must embrace our passion and anger, and redirect them to tasks that have as yet gone undone. We must take this election as an occasion to look inward.
Inward? I remember Obama saying that "we are the change we are waiting for," but surely Solmonese isn't blaming gay folk for HRC's "No on 8" hide-the-gays strategy that has failed all 30 times it's been tried before. Oh yes! It seems that minority voters were justified in stripping gays (of all races) of our fundamental rights because we have not sufficiently bankrolled a broader social justice agenda.
In our California, Arizona and Florida campaigns, we asked diverse communities to hear our stories and respect our rights. But have we heard the concerns of the people we asked to listen to us?
We assert that equal marriage rights are basic human rights. We must also show that our concern for human rights does not end with marriage. We must make clear alliance with those we seek as coalition partners. As we ask communities of color and religious communities to engage and partner with us, we must demonstrate our commitment to the people and issues they care about.
Specifically, Solmonese calls on the gay rights movement, already tiny in number and overwhelmed financially and politically, to devote out energy to "forty-seven million uninsured" Americans and "legions of children are denied equal opportunity by failing schools, violence, and racism."
Putting aside, for the moment, that gays have always contributed time, energy and (especially) money to the political party organized around these other social justice issues, Solmonese's primary goal here is the ole bait and switch.
Finally, as the pièce de non-résistance, there is the classic call to action that accompanies the Solmonese missive. He begs us to "join with [him] and thousands of others and pledge to become an 'extremist for love' and fight to overturn these amendments."
That's you, Joe, a tuxedo-clad "extremist for love" with a quarter-million dollar annual paycheck. And the accompanying "take action" link? You guessed it -- a web form that captures your contact info and email address for the HRC database, consigning you to a lifetime of fund-raising solicitations.
With "activists" like this, who needs the bigots? I wonder if he'll even show up for a protest.
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