The ENDA Stall

The thrill is gone.

I voted for Obama, even contributed to the campaign thinking a Corporacrat was better than a Corporacan.

I was never all that thrilled about him as he always seemed too conservative and corporate.  I knew he was deep in the pockets of the Christo-fascists like Rick Warren.  That he wasn’t as much of a friend to the LGBT/T communities as people thought he was.

I feel less inclined to attack our own such as HRC, NGLTF etc for playing the lobbying game, even though I am not too sure that we have much chance of winning that one. Considering how one side of the corporate power structure loves using us as scapegoats and how in spite of a 60/40 majority the “liberal” side of the corporate power structure seems unwilling or unable to actually change much of anything.

Perhaps they will dole out change in drips and dabs.  Things like the hate crimes bill were easy since they love the prison industrial complex.  ENDA is harder because we have seen very few civil rights laws protecting minority groups passed on a nation wide basis since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which cost the Democrats rule for over 40 years.

Do people remember what was going on in the 1960s that brought on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  It was as much “Burn, Baby, Burn” as “I have a Dream”.

Now they have ratcheted down the controls and we live in a police state where demonstration tactics that were misdemeanor malicious mischief are now felony terrorist acts but maybe it is time to roll out the non-violent protests of marching and sitting in.

Demanding equality rather than paying lobbyists to beg for it.

Maybe it is time to join with other groups and form one big movement with lots of demands, real demands like economic justice and equality for all and not just our one particular “community”. We have let identity politics divide us when we need to put those aside and unite to win on issues like Nationalizing Health Care, Saving the Environment, Ending Discrimination.

I haven’t seen very much talk among the TS/TG communities regarding the Health Care debate, yet so many of us are among the under/unemployed and totally with out health care.  Perhaps this is due to many outspoken people on the internet being relatively privileged or perhaps it is due to taking for granted that we will be used as sacrificial lambs and that SRS is as radioactive as abortion.  But just as women’s health care issues in general do not began and end with abortion our special needs do not began and end with SRS.

Transsexualism/transgenderism is very much a gray area matter that would be all too easy to classify as a pre-existing condition.

Health Care is the topic of current debate and we should be yet more voices for a government run single payer public option that can not discriminate against TS/TG folks.

The Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for employees to form unions that would help protect workers from capricious firings and end the tyranny of employment at will where the employer can fire for no good reason.  There is power in a union and TS/TG folks could very much benefit from being part of the union movement.

I am from an era when we took to the streets, a time when being an activist did not mean being part of a corporate “activist” organization.  It meant grassroots organizing and direct action.  Not sending a soft spoken, well dressed supplicant to Washington to beg favor from some one bought and paid for by vastly rich and often very conservative corporations, the very  corporations represented by a corporate controlled mass media.

I have heard grumbling among some ENDA Activists that the Same Sex Marriage Issue is taking too much energy and our focus should be on the passage of ENDA.  Yet ENDA is a battle actually being won, if not on a national level, then on a local one.  Thinking globally and acting locally has resulted in a large number of cities passing anti-discrimination laws that are trans-inclusive.  The same can be said of many corporations adopting trans-inclusive non-discrimination language in their employment policies.

It often seems that we see little in the way of results from the national organizations.  When one looks to these organizations and answers ads to become an organizer one all too often finds that the title “organizer” has come to mean at the low end anyway “professional beggar” or fund raiser, cold calling asking for pledges to support the salaried Washington Lobbying staff.

Maybe instead of quietly wining and dining people who throw us under the bus, treating them to dinner and campaign donations in far away DC we should instead make noise in the local party activities as their constituents.  Such activity might stir us from our complacency and result in more positive movement in a favorable direction than we have seen in recent years as a result of the professional activism by our national organizations.

Too often any complaints about the failure to show results have been treated as ingratitude by the various national organizations such as HRC.  Now HRC represents someone, but some how I am always left with the feeling that the someone HRC represents is not a working class LGBT/T person but rather an upper middle class person  considered a target demographic when selling advertising for publications such as Out or the Advocate.

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