Here’s a partial list of what I read this summer and am still reading:
My Disillusionment in Russia by Emma Goldman
The Heart Is A Little To The Left by William Sloane Coffin
Begin Again by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
The Soul of America by Jon Meacham
I graduated from the University of South Alabama with a major in political science and minor in sociology many years ago. I was a member of the debate team and awarded the John David Meredith Award. I studied Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Ethics, St. Augustine’s City of God along with various works of Kant, Hegel and Kierkegaard. While I could not quote from any of these writings today, political history, thought and behavior still intrigue me.
Perhaps knowing my background, you can better understand my concern surrounding the removal of nondiscrimination protections by the State of Texas last week. The State of Texas under the misguided homophobic leadership of Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick is deliberately endangering its LGBTQ citizens. Housing, employment, healthcare, spousal benefits among other LGBTQ discrimination bills are simmering on the desks of various Texas legislators. These bills, if introduced and passed, will legalize discrimination.
It’s a big “if,” right? Indeed it is. If Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) and United States v. Windsor (2013) are overturned, how will that impact the civil rights of same-sex couples holding marriage certificates from various states? My fear is that Texas, along with other states who have constitutional amendments or statutes declaring that “marriage” is between one man and one woman, will reinstate its prior laws. Willing and morally complicit state and federal politicians stand ready to cease protections of the LGBTQ community.
My wife and I will evaluate our safety and well-being in the State of Texas after the 2020 elections. If the majority of the citizens of Texas value hate, discrimination, racial injustice and white supremacy, then I fear we will move. I searched the Human Rights Campaign’s municipality database to find a “safe” place we could live. Usually couples look at state and local tax rates, affordability of housing and the healthcare ratings of a community when selecting a place to live. Safety is my main concern.
A dear friend expressed her concern to me when her daughter announced that she was queer. “I cannot protect her from the hate and violence that may come her way,” she said. I could only nod my head and express my understanding.
I am holding on to the sentiment expressed by Abraham Lincoln in his First Inaugural Address, 1861:
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearth-stone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”