Posts tagged ‘Civil Rights’

Pete Seeger (1919-2014): My job is to show folks there’s a lot of good music in this world, and if used right it may help to save the planet.

My job is to show folks there’s a lot of good music in this world,
and if used right it may help to save the planet.

—Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

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I’ve witnessed great social change in my lifetime; the 20th century was full of tremendous progress thanks to an ever-flowing river of brave leftist advocates and leaders who kept us moving forward…

Eugene Debs, Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson, Rachel Carson, Martin Luther King Jr., Betty Friedan, Cesar Chavez, Harvey Milk…

They inspired progressive action towards the ideals of liberty, equality, justice and opportunity for all.

Today we lost Pete Seeger, another shining star among American progressives. His voice lulled me in my childhood, singing out against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War and steadfast in facing the coercive House Un-American Activities Committee. He opposed the arms race and the Vietnam War and staunchly supported the environment and civil rights.

We heard his patriotic shouts of protest in “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”, “If I Had a Hammer, “We Shall Overcome”, and “Turn, Turn, Turn!”. These verses are now part of America’s forward-looking psyche.

Pete Seeger’s words and works will embolden future Americans wanting to forge a more perfect Union. His now-departed soul is another seed planted in the fertile ground of progressive America, blooming with the cosmic energy building towards a better world.

A good song reminds us what we’re fighting for.

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This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender ☮

This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender 

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SupremeCourt

I was in the second trimester inside my mother’s womb when the Stonewall riots erupted in 1969. I was born at the dawn of the modern fight for gay and lesbian rights in the United States.

I was three years old when the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. I was growing up in a world where the medical establishment would not consider me sick.

As a teenager I was frozen by the horrors of AIDS and the clashes between regressive government policies and fearless gay-rights activism. I knew I was attracted to males but amidst this conflagration my future was uncertain.

In my twenties I marched in Pride parades, raised thousands of dollars and bicycled 500 miles to support AIDS-related charitable organizations, and worked at pioneering companies that offered benefits to same-sex domestic partners. Yet as an out gay person I was excluded from serving in the US military and witnessed the odious Defense of Marriage Act become law.

I was living with my partner of nearly eight years in 2003 when the Supreme Court struck down Lawrence v. Texas. It was no longer illegal for me to expressly love someone of the same sex.

During the past ten years, politicians and religious leaders shamelessly made gay people scapegoats in campaigns and pariahs on television and radio across America. They called me immoral. They blamed me for the decline of the country. They accused me of taking away rights of others, corrupting children and destroying marriages and schools and churches.

Continue reading ‘A Part of the Family’ »

President Barack Obama Reelected in 2012 (photo Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Our leaders are not perfect.

We as a nation are not perfect.

But we can be.

I love you, America.