Settle with the current for the future of the “movement”

Curiosity killed the cat – as the saying goes to caution our human minds on curiosity and carefully asset our beliefs at some point, or risk the damage of loosing our senses. After reading the short story by Alice Walker titled; Advancing Luna- and Ida B. Wells I couldn’t help but be curious and ask “What is the point”. Is the story about the black civil rights leader, an advocate for equality and justice who rapes Luna, a white female social worker or is the story about Luna’s friend, the black curious female friend who voices her thorughts through her writing?

For me, the title said it all, it is about the injustice Luna suffered by the hands of another, in a act that was a violation of the basic human rights of an individual.  However, Walker’s story is not about the criminal act of rape, rather the events leading up to it and the odd ending without an answer just proves to show that perhaps its it just too complicated for us to fully grasp in one story telling incident or even a mass of a movement.

Does that mean that the human civilization has no fix to it and we should just do our best in living our own lives at the best of our ability? Is there truly no justice as Walker states in the beginning of her story for this civilization that so many brilliant minds gathered to shape? Absolutely not! In attending to our civilization, we as people of the society are responsible for presenting and sharing the truth as we know it so that others are aware of it and have the option to make better judgements.

Though Ida B. Wells had advised Walker not to write about the incident. fearing that it could harm the civil rights movement,  it still does not justify the fact that it was a wrongful act on another human being. The concern over the black race took over the concern over the human race, and thus contradicted the central belief assured by the civil rights movement; all men are equal.

Intensified emotions took over me to the fullest in advocating for Luna who had to not only stay “hush hush” about the rape incident but also had to re-live it. When the rapist broke down crying in her bed, she had to empathize with his sadness, reinforcing the inferiority she felt when he raped her. Is logic that simple? If we take out the equation of black and white in this story, then it becomes the story of rape and injustice, by which everyone would support condemning the criminal- which in this case was Freddie Pye, the uneducated, filthy, sad, poor, black man speaking in front of some “elites” about being a victim of a nation. Addressing his concerns on being “politically correct” in defining words instead of understanding feelings sustained by those condensed in the definition of those politically corrected words. What is the use?

Yet, in the end, when I stepped back from the story and took a moment to gain perspective. I calmed down relentlessly in the need to breath – then i I understood why. Yes, i concur, the civil rights movement had not only brought equality in the eye of the law to black people but to all races and indigenous groups. However, not by fighting for truth and full justice, but by compromising a few injustices for the particular people in the movement in the promise of a better tomorrow. In the hopes that the future generations might be able to come up with something better; a just world in which human beings come first before any race, organization, country or nation. That is my belief and that is my understanding, not to be mistaken for my acceptance of this story. The platform at which i make my opinion today, was set for me by the people like Ida. B Wells, Alice Walker, Luna, and even Freddie Pye. Most settled with the current and accepted what they could not change in their time. Again I understand, but I still will not accept.

“hush hush”

Prop 8 backers call for reversal of court ruling

by Tenzin Shakya and Audrey Arthur

Photo Credit: Steve Rhodes (Flickr)

Proponents of Proposition 8 presented their case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, citing procreation and children’s well being as a rational basis to appeal an Aug. 4 ruling deciding that the proposition is unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel, consisting of Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt, Judge Randy Smith and Judge Michael Hawkins, reviewed the case brought forth by

“We believe there is clearly a rational basis justifying the traditional definition of marriage,” said Charles Cooper defense attorney to the appellants. “The key reason that marriage has existed at all, in any society and at any time, is that sexual relationships between men and women naturally produce children.”

Proposition 8 was passed by California voters in 2008 defining marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. However, in an August ruling, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said the proposition is unconstitutional and infringes upon equal protection rights of gay and lesbian couples. Proposition 8 proponents then issued an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Although the court has no time limit, most cases heard by the Ninth Circuit are decided between 3-12 months. If the judges decide the proponents have legal standing, their case may continue to the California Supreme Court. Else, the federal appeals court may issue a decision without referring to the Supreme Court.

Cooper argued that the historical definition of marriage has existed now and “for all time immemorial.” Society has no interests in relationships such as platonic male-female relationships or same-sex relationships because of their inability to produce children, Cooper said.

Protestors outside of the San Francisco 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

“When a relationship between a man and a woman becomes a sexual one, society immediately has a vital interest in that,” Cooper said. “Society needs the creation of new life for the next generation.”

The interests of society are threatened by unwanted pregnancies and pregnancies out of wedlock, Cooper said, because such instances often leave the mother to raise the child alone. Cooper suggested that the traditional home of one father one mother is the most beneficial environment to raise a child.

“Society will have to step in and assist that single parent in all likelihood, that is what usually happens, in the raising of that child,” Cooper said. “But as well as the undeniable fact that children raised in that circumstance have poor outcomes.”

Judge Reinhart of Los Angeles responded, “That sounds like a good argument for prohibiting divorce.” The statement initiated a wave of laughter throughout the courtroom.

He also questioned how such an argument would invalidate a same-sex couple from raising children in California and creating a happy, healthy family unit.

Cooper stated he was attempting to give examples of procreation to exhibit the clear distinctions among same-sex couples and opposite sex couples.

Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart responded to Cooper’s statements.

“It doesn’t matter how the child comes into the world,” said Stewart. “Family law in California recognizes that same-sex couples do procreate.”

To portray opposite-sex couples as traditional or ideal is demeaning toward same-sex couples, Stewart said, in that it implies gay or lesbian couples are less desirable.

“California does not discourage that in any way or say one is more desirable than the other,” Stewart said.

Theodore Olsen, an attorney who has led the challenge against Proposition 8, reacted to comments made in the appellant’s brief referring to problems that may occur with children if Proposition 8 is overturned.

“Proposition 8 needs to be enacted because the existence of same-sex marriage will make children prematurely occupied with issues of sexuality,” the brief read.

“That is nonsense,” Olsen responded. “If that was the course of justification, it would equally warrant the banning of comic books, television, video games and conversations with other children.”

Olsen criticized campaign methods of Yes on 8 and their emphasis on protecting children from potential harm of same-sex marriages.

“That was the original rationalization–protect our children from thinking that gay marriage is okay,” Olsen said. “Well, what is the matter with that? It must be something with the gay people.”

Olsen said such campaign strategies promote the idea that children must be protected from “these people.”

Judge Norman Randy Smith of Pocatello questioned the validity of any argument due to the equal rights that all couples share.

“What is the rational basis then if homosexuals have all the rights that heterosexual couples have?” asked Smith. “We’re left with a word: marriage.”