Points By Drew Pritt


Something Makes Me Wonder Because Of Blake’s Think Tank
December 28, 2008, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

UPDATE….I have learned Blake did comment. Sorry for the oversight Blake buddy and thanks for the readers who follow along. I hope you are enjoying the blog.

I hope you will visit Blake Rutherford’s blog sometime soon. He really has a number of interesting articles. One which caught my eye was pleasing and disappointing. He did link to someone else’s commentary on the recent movie, MILK, about Harvey Milk. However, Blake didn’t offer his own commentary, but thats ok. I was hoping I’d get some insight into his opinion but thats alright.

In Harvey Milk, I have found a soul-mate and someone with a similar struggle. Harvey Milk was a gadfly who ran a few unsuccessful bids for office until he was elected the San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s member. From this board usually emerges the next Mayors of San Francisco. For instance from this board came later Mayors, Dianne Feinstein, Art Agnos, and the present Mayor, Gavin Newsom. So to be elected to the Board of Supervisors was an awesome election. For that time, he was the highest elected openly gay man in the nation and when Moscone ran for Governor, as many expected he would, Milk could have been the odds-on-favorite to succeed him.

He ran three times before he was elected. But in addition to being a gadfly, Milk was outspoken, brash, animated, outrageous, earning media attention, but at the same time while avowing his sexual orientation, he kept his relationships private. He also encountered opposition from the gay & lesbian establishment. He faced down many who spread scurrilous statements and lies to try to destroy his reputation and credibility.

Many of the same adjectives have been used to identify me. And when I ran for Lt. Governor, first openly gay individual to run for statewide office in Arkansas, I was trying to break the barrier. I encountered determined opposition in the GLBT Community and continue to do so with those who feel I am not outspoken enough or that tell me I cannot win in the Bible belt.

So for me, in this man, I found a soul-mate. That means a lot because every group of people and yes even every individual needs to find someone. Someone they can identify with and say, that person….that person went the path I am going on.

I hope to never face an assasin’s bullet and death as Harvey Milk did. I sometimes wonder….what if Moscone had died and what if Milk had succeeded as Mayor or later been elected. What if Milk had parlayed from the Mayor’s office into a U.S. Senate seat like Dianne Feinstein did in 1992.

Would we have to deal with Proposition 8 and all these other modern-day Jim Crow laws?

Some wonder why it’s such a big deal. Maybe you are unaware, but as a member of the GLBT Community, I cannot legally :

1.) Hold hands with someone I love of the same sex or show PDA most places in public.

2.) Cannot visit a loved one in the hospital if they are sick or dying.

3.) Property that we jointly gain together is lost or not distributed evenly if something happens to either of us.

4.) Can be refused service at a Restaraunt or Hotel.

5.) Not receive proper medical treatment or even health care coverage.

6.) Can be arrested if I am not properly attired inside my own personal vehicle.

7.) Can be forced to leave a community.

Its not just about marriage or adoption. It’s about the above and many other crazy and enforceable laws. Its also about the untold stories of profiling by sado-masochistic police officers who have beaten and even at times killed others for their sexuality. Or the fact they look the other way. Its about hearing children and young people and older people use words like, “FAGGOT” or “QUEER” and not recoiling in horror as they would words like “NIGGER” or “KYKE”

It’s about respect. Honestly, its about affording Americans the same rights that many of you take for granted. And Harvey Milk was martyred while fighting for those right.

Moreover, I still ponder on a personal level….will I get the chance to serve in office, or will my candidacy pave the way?

Will the fact that we have elected Kathy Webb to the State Legislature and Alice Lightle to a Judgeship, both of whom are proudly in the GLBT Community, mean that in the supposed “RED” state, we are getting pinker?

There is no doubt I will run again for office. I want to be Lt. Governor and could primary Halter, but I could run for Land Commissioner. There are some wonderful things we can do for the state in that office. I have teased the thought of being a gadfly and primarying Blanche Lincoln to focus attention on the Card Check issue and why it’s important we pass this legislation and why Lincoln was wrong to oppose it.

The point is this….the fight for equality never ends. It has been with the African-American and the Hispanic and women and the physically & mentally challenged a struggle….a struggle that is echoed on the base of the Statue of Liberty that applies to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Americans as it applied to immigrants from a new world.

These words and may I end by saying, thank you Harvey Milk for lighting the lamp for me and so many others :

harvey_milk_at_1978_gay_freedom_dayGive me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Drew, I would like to point out that Blake’s link on his blog is to a post HE wrote on another site. So, the commentary (and therefore the opinion) is his own. Just thought I should point this out.

Comment by Joe LaFountaine

Drew,

The commentary I linked to at InContention.com was my own.

BR

Comment by Blake Rutherford




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