rachelmanija: (Engaged!)
2008-11-06 03:03 pm

Be the change that we fight for

Yesterday night, when I had a long and grueling tech rehearsal for the Virginia Avenue Project (a theatre mentoring group for low-income kids that I've volunteered with for the last fourteen years), summed up my feelings about the last election: joy and sorrow, anger and hope.

The kids were overjoyed at Obama's victory, and sad and angry and confused at the passage of the discriminatory Prop 8. They told me they ran to friends' houses and banged on the doors cheering, and asked me how anyone could seriously believe that children didn't already know that some people are gay, and why it mattered to anyone whether or not someone else got married.

These kids are Asian, white, Latino/a, African-American, and probably other mixtures and races that I'll only know if it happens to come up in conversation. They're all under eighteen, and eager to vote when they're old enough. They wrote the plays we're teching-- one about a gay man trying to get up his nerve to come out to his parents.

I've already seen a lot of blame being handed out to certain groups, primarily African-Americans and Mormons, for the passage of Prop 8. There's nothing wrong with looking at the demographics of the vote. But let's neither forget that there's plenty of blame to go around-- no racial group that I know of had less than about 49% of its total voters voting for Prop 8 and against justice and equality-- and let's not become the forces of the very hatred and group stereotyping that we deplore in others.

If the Presidential election was consistent with pre-election polling, military veterans, white men, and people over the age of fifty, as groups, voted for McCain. As a group, Latinos, African-Americans, Mormons, and people over the age of fifty voted for Proposition 8. But I cheered for Obama and booed the passage of Prop 8 with a male Latino/white military veteran, and the next day I did the same with senior citizens, African-Americans, and Mormons. And even teenagers are not a right-thinking monolith, though I have to say that spending time with my small, self-selected crew of them gives me a lot of hope for the future.

Groups are made of individuals. Stereotypes are not reality. Plenty of GLBT people are also African-American or Mormon. When we meet the enemy, let it not be us.

Here's a good column on the subject by the always-worthwhile Ta-Nehisi Coates on Prop 8. His commenters, generally an intelligent bunch, are also worth reading. I didn't read all of them, but the first few were right on the money.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] livelongnmarry will return to continue the fight. Backstage machinations are ongoing. An announcement of our new direction should be up within the next week or so.
rachelmanija: (Barack)
2008-11-05 08:35 am

(no subject)

This is a really bittersweet election-- Obama won, but so did the loathesome, cruel, discriminatory Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in California. The legal status of thousands of married couples is now completely up in the air.

My hope is that the next four years will either let more Californians meet the married gay couples in their midst and see that they're not that scary after all, or, as is more likely, that the legal battle to divorce married couples against their will is going to be so mean and hateful that it will end up convincing those same Californians that it's wrong to force couples to divorce and also wrong to refuse them the right to marry. One way or another, I can't imagine not having a "reverse Proposition 8" proposal on the ballot four years from now. And I hope we've gained four years' worth of feelings of compassion and justice.
rachelmanija: (Barack)
2008-11-02 04:15 am
Entry tags:

Why Election Day ought to be a national holiday

Adrian has informed me that he may not be available for dinner on Tuesday, as "I'm expecting to stand in line at the polls for ten hours! And if anyone tries to intimidate anyone from voting, I'm going to stop that! So I might get arrested."

Best excuse ever! I told him that if he's still in line when I show up, I'll wait with him, and if he's in jail, I'll bail him out. And if I'm still in line or in jail, I'll take a rain check with no hard feelings. I might demand compensatory sexual favors later.

After that conversation, I decided to set my Election Day alarm for 6:00 AM and bring food, water, and plenty of reading material. Though I don't expect turn-out to be that crazy where I am, and expect it to be even less so in San Dimas, Adrian's teeny little town.

I tried to sign up for the CREDO text message election action alerts, but was foiled-- I guess you need to have CREDO's cell phone service?

Perhaps, assuming I don't get stuck in line for eight hours myself, I'll cruise around and see if any polling place needs Election Fairy water or coffee or snack deliveries.
rachelmanija: (Barack)
2008-10-17 12:21 pm
Entry tags:

Blatantly partisan post; ignore if it offends

Quote of the day regarding McCain's debate performance, from an LA Times article:

A Republican media savant with no small experience in presidential politics e-mailed me, “He’s Bob Dole morphed into Howard Beale from Network. I’ve had fistfights with guys who looked less angry. I don’t see how he gets on a commercial airline and passes security.”

At this point, I only see five scenarios in which McCain could win the election:

1. The Bradley Effect. This is a controversial theory that white people lie on polls and say they'll vote for black candidates when they actually won't, for fear of being considered racist. Note that it is a theory about lying in polls, not about racism in general. If the Bradley Effect is not actually occurring in the McCain-Obama election, it does not mean that there is no racism: it means that the racism is already reflected accurately in the polls. I personally think that the polls probably do accurately reflect the extent to which racism is affecting the election and that the Bradley Effect, if it exists, will be too small to make a difference.

2. Vote fix via Diebold voting machines. I really hope the Obama campaign has a plan for this possibility.

3. A real or fake al Qaida tape endorsing Obama in order to throw the election to McCain in the hope of igniting a world war when he launches a war against Iran. Hopefully this won't happen, and if it does happen, hopefully it won't work.

4. A terrorist attack, either by an American masquerading as a Middle Eastern terrorist group in order to throw the election, or by an actual Middle Eastern terrorist group in order to throw the election. I really hope this doesn't happen. But if it does, I hope everyone votes exactly the same way they were planning to vote the day before, or it will really be a case of letting the terrorists win.

5. Obama reveals himself to be a lizard-alien on live TV. Though honestly, so long as he doesn't also reveal that the purpose of his health care plan is to keep Americans as healthy as possible because they taste better that way, I would probably vote for him anyway.

ETA: Or assassination. I think this thought upsets me so much that I didn't even think of it until I posted. But I don't think that would elect McCain, I think it would make for Biden in a landslide. God I hope Obama's Secret Service is good.
rachelmanija: (Firefly: Kill you with my brain)
2008-10-16 11:10 am
Entry tags:

Zombie McCain calls saving women's lives "extremist."

Had I still had any shred of respect remaining for John McCain, I would have lost it when the moderator asked them about late-term abortions. Obama said they had to remain legal if the mother's life or health was in danger. McCain sneered, made air quotes with his fingers as he said, "The mother's health" in contemptuous tones, and added, "That's an extremist pro-abortion position."

...I don't need to break your hearts with tragic links proving that yes, pregnancy can be dangerous and can actually kill women, right?

In related news, given that it's on the yahoo news site in a set of 499 debate photos, I guess this photo was not doctored. Um, wow. McCain attempts to eat Obama's brain.
rachelmanija: (Heroes: Save the world)
2008-03-21 12:42 pm
Entry tags:

Peace Vigil

The other night I went to the peace rally at the Federal Building. It was small but enthusiastic-- as was the Free Tibet rally across the street! There was lots of supportive honking and peace-sign flashing, especially from the city bus drivers. It was a cold night, colder than I remember any others this year. Our breath condensed in the air, and my fingers got so numb I could barely hold the candle.

Remember how I met [livejournal.com profile] dawnybee at the WGA rally several months ago? She was at this one too, though neither of us knew that the other would be there. Synchronicity in action... and some more when the guy we got to take our photographs turned out to do business in Pune, an Indian city I've been to a ton of times... the same business I'm in, TV animation. Schmoozing at a peace rally: only in LA.

Here's Dawnybee's photos. I'm the woman in the jean jacket. The intent was just to cover the event, not make art, but the blurred lights in the background are surprisingly pretty.

Next time I'll try to alert you folks earlier to events so more of you can attend, should you support the cause. I will probably be hitting the streets in support of gay marriage next, since I'm on some mailing list alerts for that.

Make your voices heard.