We get so excited about the people who won office. We’re delighted that the worst-case scenarios did not come to fruition (yet).
And then we see a spate of hate crimes.
The most dramatic of these was the killing of GLBTQ patrons at Club Q in Colorado. The threats to GLBTQ identified people are incessant, the incidents are far greater than the big incidents that result in mass shootings. Our lives are consistently under threat. In subways, in schools, often by our very own families, and the johns who take advantage of our bodies.
The other story, that is not surprising, is that two men were arrested in Manhattan for threatening to harm a synagogue. The press has documented that hate crimes against Jews have increased astronomically over the last two years. This is not just the case in the U.S., but across Europe as well. Chilling.
Perhaps there’s something we can learn about the ways in which GLBTQ and Jewish communities are targeted.
I like to think of these populations as wedge populations. Populations that get targeted to prevent unity on other issues.
You may or may not know that I identify as lesbian. I am squarely part of a wedge population and have had far too much time to mull over what on earth is happening to my community.
When we or Jewish people are targeted, it is because people are trying to hamper progress in other areas where we the people strive for equity.
When black people make loads of progress economically or politically, Jews are often blamed for that. They are perceived as non-white people who are throwing other white people under the bus.
Nothing in what I wrote in that last sentence is actually based in reality.
But those who are hell-bent on continuing the project of white supremacy rely on those arguments to whip up increased fervor and continued attacks on Jewish populations. And Black people are just as susceptible to attacking Jews as anybody else, case in point, Kanye West, or as he is now known, Ye.
It was Jewish oppression that split the women’s march movement in 2016. We were all united about women’s rights and the threat to those rights under the Trump administration. And Israel pulled us apart as women. Women in Israel and the occupied territories have much in common as women. Globally, we have so much in common as women . . . nope. Don’t pay attention to that though.
When people are attacking GLBTQ communities, they are hell-bent on hampering the progress that women’s liberation has made. You’ll notice that this is coming at the same time that the Dobbs decision has allowed states to set their own policies about abortion. You will notice that many of the people who advocated to make sure that Dobbs was passed are looking to overturn Obergefell, the decision that allowed gay marriage, and actually eliminate the right to birth control.
That’s right, birth control. And you thought that was settled.
These are people who are determined that rigid conceptualizations of what it means to be male or female stay in place.
LGBTQ people are clearly a threat to that. And we fundamentally know that rigid ways of expressing sex and or gender are fundamentally harmful.
These people are seeking to pull women out of the workforce and return to the 1950s, but I suspect they’re more interested in the 19th century.
So, the elections are done, except for Georgia, but the work starts, or should I say continues, now.
We are in a time where there is immense backlash to all manner of measures that allowed for equity for any number of targeted populations. And frankly, as many of you know, none of us have really attained anything resembling full liberation.
In this Thanksgiving season, it is time to change the things that we cannot accept any longer. It is time to create the communities and societies that allow us to be much more deeply in gratitude.
There may be any number of arguments over the Thanksgiving table this year. We need you to connect with family members who feel threatened by the current situation.
Because it is in united actions that we take to push our political representatives to do the right thing for all people that creates the socities we want. This includes Jewish communities and GLBTQ communities.
With that, I hope you enjoy your holiday. And it’s time to pull together your own political agenda. Don’t let the bullies shove you out.
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