Monday, October 17, 2005

Marching?

The Millions More Movement has come and gone. Some of the speakers were interesting. Some offered good ideas. Some were a total waste of time. And, not surprisingly, Minister Louis Farrakhan offered several good suggestions that will probably not happen, but were a welcome injection of practicality in a slightly disjointed event rife with rumors, division, and blah blah-ism.

As I previously mentioned, Keith Boykin's potentially powerful remarks about the Black gay experience didn't find their way onto the program. Cleo Manago, founder of the Black Men's Exchange, a group that recognizes and embraces a "diversity of sexual expression between me," did get to express the gay or same-gender loving (in his words) presence. Sadly, his short, rushed remarks went almost unnoticed.

I'm less interested in the content of Saturday's events as much as the money and energy in putting it together. Yes, the mass gathering gave America a broad-stroked look into Black America, but did it really? There is an African proverb that says you must eat the baobab tree (an enormous tree) one bite at a time. Could the resources invested in this gathering not have been better spent on regional gatherings?

As exciting as it is to look out onto a sea of like-minded people, I don't know how much these marches actually do. It's not like the feds are in their offices. If we can't get them to pay attention to us when we do something as inexpensive as voting for them, what does trampling on the Mall do?

I don't like feeling hopeless, so I'm going to reflect on something else as important. Recently, I had the chance to hear Rev. Mel White, founder of Soulforce, to speak. Soulforce is, among many things, an organization that seeks to undo the spiritual damage that religious organizations have done to lesbians and gays. White was a ghostwriter for, and part of the inner circle of leading religious leaders, including Jerry Falwell. He didn't come out until the early 90's, and his journey is an interesting one, so I hope you'll visit the Soulforce site.

I'm not sure I don't want to march, but I want something to march for. It's not about visibility anymore, for if we, whoever "we" are, question whether or not we're visible, look at pop culture. From the adoption of urban slang, hip hop and hip hop apparel by White people, to the supposed metrosexual, marginalized communities have made themselves seen. I want to be more than seen, and even more than heard. How do "we" (women, the poor, immigrants, the disabled, people of color, queers) get respect and get to be taken seriously? That I'll march for.

2 Comments:

Blogger Shark-fu said...

I'll march right alongside you, sister! This black woman will wear out a pair of shoes to march against poverty, oppression and hate!

Hows about we get a Real Majority March started?

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dmfinny said Cleo Manago's "rushed" Millions More speech went un noticed. Then how do they explain four magazine cover stories, and over 3000 e-mails from all over the world?

8:45 PM  

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