Leading the Fight

These White Folks Will Decide the Future of California’s Marriage

caliactivists1

Just joining the conversation over the future of marriage in California? Were you preoccupied with getting New England on board and missed what’s going on out west? Then read Patrick Range McDonald’s excellent overview of all things activism in LA Weekly, with name drops including Chaz Lowe (Yes on Equality, the only group who met the deadline to put a Prop 8 repeal on the 2010 primary ballot, apparently), Robin McGhee (organizer of Fresno’s Meet in the Middle), Tori Osborn and David Mixner, Rick Jacobs (Courage Campaign), Geoff Kors and Massachusetts-import Marc Solomon (Equality California, which has squared off against Lowe), and Fred Karger (Californians Against Hate, which helped identify the Mormon Church as a big Yes On 8 donor). Putting all those names together means plenty of infighting anecdotes among California’s activists, because many of these folks — despite having the same end goal — don’t get along. But you know what we see when we put all those names together?

The unavoidable reality that the future of same-sex marriage in California is being led by a group of white folks, most of them middle-aged. (We couldn’t find a photo of Yes on Equality’s Lowe; we asked him to send us one.)

That isn’t to say these people are or are not qualified; that’s not a discussion we’re even trying to broach here. But for an effort that’s been so caught up on race — and criticized for being a West Hollywood-ized exclusive group of black tie event-attending veterans — it’s silly to think people of color don’t play a central role in passing marriage equality legislation. One only needs to look at the make up of people who attended Saturday’s Fresno rally to know that’s true.

Notes McDonald (as Queerty has been doing all week): “Those who criticize Equality California and the other mainstream groups that led the ‘No on 8’ effort (including the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Human Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center) say these organizations ran an arrogant, ‘nontransparent,’ ‘top-down’ campaign. That campaign, many believe, failed to utilize the passions and talents of a diverse gay community eager to defeat Proposition 8, and utterly missed the need, for example, to address the brewing unease among Latinos and blacks, many of whom voted against gay marriage.”

Lowe says he’s looking to hire a campaign manager in July for Yes On Equality after a grassroots network is firmly in place. Maybe someone who does not look like the others would bring a new voice to the table.


NB: We can already hear the complaints in the comments:

“Why do you always have to make it about race?”
Because it’s an issue worth discussing, especially when certain groups are wholly underrepresented.

“Why do you always have to bash the people leading the fight?”
We’re not doing anything of the sort here, we’re just positing there might be some non-white folks out there worth leading the charge.

“But how come you didn’t mention Person X who is black and is spearheading a pro-marriage campaign?”
Probably because that person isn’t on our radar — yes, some things slip past us! — so let us know about him or her and we’ll update.

“But it’s mostly white people affected by Prop 8.”
Hah! We’re not even gonna touch that one.


(Clockwise from top left: Robin McGehee, Fred Karger, Tori Osborn, Rick Jacobs, Geoff Kors, David Mixner, Marc Soloman)


UPDATE: Equal Roots Coalition co-founder Matt Palazzolo provides this handy list of people of color contributing to the marriage equality battle. Thanks, Matt!

Equal Roots Coalition, which landed a story in the NY Times just one week after it’s conception in November and his since maintained its position at the forefront of Stonewall 2.0. Equal Roots Coalition also co-founded, with Love Honor Cherish, OUTWest, the most extensive & powerful grassroots LGBT coalition in all of California.
Myself – Matt Palazzolo, Asian (24yo) (co-founder of Equal Roots, also head of media communications for Poll 4 Equality Coalition, lead organizer of the Obama Beverly Hilton rally which spawned national press & blogosphere fire)
Mike Ai, Asian (24yo) (co-Founder of Equal Roots, also just became LA Field Director for EQCA)
Danny Segura, Latino (29yo) (Equal Roots Outreach Director, also lead organizer for Camp Courages)

WIthin EQCA
Andrea Shorter, African-American, has proven herself to be quite formidable in the fight for marriage equality.
Vaishalee Raja, Indian, the face of media communication for EQCA

Courage Campaign:
Lisa Powell, African American, co-creator of Camp Courage and, within the Courage Campaign performing the same exact tasks as Torie Osborn. She is a legendary activist within the African-American community and it is ridiculous to put up Torie’s photo and not Lisa’s when they match up so directly.

Liberty Hill Foundation
Vincent Jones, African American, aside from having his hand in every aspect of the movement he is the lead facilitator for the Poll 4 Equality Coalition

Love Honor Cherish
Lester Aponte, Latino, constantly translating all materials, calls, programs for the spanish-speaking community in SoCal

API Equality
Marshall Wong & Doreena Wong (not related), both Asian, spearheaded the most successful marriage equality campaign in a POC community. Their efforts in the API community have HEAVILY informed how the rest of us engage our communities concerning the issue.

Latino Equality Alliance
Eddie Martinez, co-chair, forging new LGBT communications within the LGBT community
Richard Zalvidar – STILL one of the leading LGBT Latino voices in California. He not only works within the Latino community but has been instrumental in creating coalitions with OUTwest and spreading the importance of POC LGBT organizing across California.

Here To Stay
Yardenna Aaron, African-American, one of the largest ties between the youth LGBT movement and the labor movement, constantly providing organizing opportunities and insight

CA Faith for Equality
Kristal Vick, African-American, huge resource in maintaining and creating LGBT Faith communications. One of the most powerful straight allies to come from Stonewall 2.0

San Diego
Sara Beth Brooks — white, but in her 20s — the most prominent activist in San Diego

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69 Comments

  • james ii

    so, why not challenge some non-white folks to do something and stop relying on the old(er) white men to carry on the fight?

    why question those who ARE doing something, as opposed to those (with the exception of, I suppose, Wanada Sykes) who are remarkably quiet?

  • InExile

    Diversity is an important factor in the fight for equality, everyone should be represented. Have you left some people out?

  • Quinn

    Pleasantly surprised by this article. I feel like it takes the racial dialogue in another direction than Queerty usually goes – THIS is how we need to be discussing this problem. The GLBT community tends to white-wash our efforts, to the peril of all. Kudos for raising the visibility of this problem.

  • parisinla

    @Queerty : “But how come you didn’t mention Person X who is black and is spearheading a pro-marriage campaign?”
    Probably because that person isn’t on our radar — yes, some things slip past us! — so let us know about him or her and we’ll update.

    Are you kidding me. You didnt even try to look for any POC leadership, you’re really just trying to stir up trouble. Its actually starting to turn me off to this blog. Its one thing to question the leadership its another incite hatred and fear unnecessarily.

  • Tony

    This is because people of color who are LGBT are dealing with extreme discrimination in their communities of origin first.

  • Tony

    opps. Typo. Remove who. sorry.

  • brett

    @parisinla: parisinla? more like parasite-in-la. there’s nothing about this article that wants to stir up trouble. i think it’s a legitimate call for diversity among our gay leaders. how can we argue with that? in the meantime, you haven’t named a single person of color that should be on this list of prominent gay rights activists. and if they DO exist, i don’t think it’s just queerty who missed them. i just read the LA WEEKLY article and it doesn’t seem there’s anyone on their list who is non-white either.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @james ii: What make syou think non-white folks have not been trying to become involved? You randomly mention Wanda Sykes, but in doing so you demonstrate you are completely and utterly retarded. The reality is that black and Latino organizations tried during the battle over Prop 8 to become involved, and were rebuffed. WHat do you want these organizations with limited financial resources to do when they are rebuffed? Ignore the fact we do not have the resources? pretend that there is no hostility? Come on. Grow the fuck up. Thats not reality. The reality is that eventually people just stop trying when someone tells them they are unwanted.

  • The Gay Numbers

    By the way- Queerty- thanks for this post. You are behind the curb, but nice to see that this is getting out there. The reality is that there was an activist in the Oakland area who wrote a diary that got a lot of play on Daily Kos about her attempts to bring the No on Prop 8 campaign into black and Latino neighborhoods. She wanted to canvass, etc. her repeated attempts to bring this up were ignored. Finally, with what view resources she had she went to canvass alone. Indeed, other black and latino activist discussed how the Yes on 8 people had people canvassing for months in black and latino neighborhood and dedicating resources there. People often say “well why don’t black gays or latino gays get involved” as if we are being asked to become involved or given a chance to become involved when we go out on a limb to ask. The reality is that those interactions are often ignored.

  • erasure25

    I guess you forgot about Lt. Dan Choi. He may not be the leader of one of those fancy organizations (probably because he was busy doing something else for the part years), but he is certainly a new, respected, and up-and-coming voice.

    If one of those fancy organizations had any brains, they’d pick up Mr. Choi immediately.

  • Cam

    But our causes also always seem to have a desperation to try to include the most diverse group. If you look at some of the marriage ads, they always start off with some person with a face tattoo and 40 lip piercings.

    I figure, whoever is doing the work, I don’t care as long as it gets done. They could be all balck, all hispanic, all white, whatever, just do what you have to do to win this one folks.

  • valley1012

    You couldn’t find a picture of Chaz Lowe!? have you tried all over the internet? Very photogenic and most definitely not middle-aged. Once again, you make no sense whatsoever. There is great awareness in the marriage equality movement that we did a piss-poor job reaching out and including communities of color in the last so-called campaign. Many Latinos, African Americans and Asian Americans are fully engaged in the movement. the Jordan/Rustin Coalition, API Equality and Latino Equality Alliance are among the organizations that are most active right now. Both EQCA and Courage Campaign have hired Latino and African American staff. There was a Camp Courage in Oakland and there is one planned for East L.A. You will notice the Repeal Prop 8 in 2010 signs are bilingual (“Elimina la 8 en 2010). What is more, some of the people you have chosen to vilify in your previous articles, such as Vincent Jones, are young and not white. I am just going to stop reading your blog and urge everyone to do the same. If a blowhard yaps in the forest and no one is there to hear him…

    Let’s stop the bickering and get our asses in gear. Go to repealprop8.com. Together we will win. JUNTOS PODEMOS

  • jd

    @valley1012: That’s fantastic. Thanks for sharing those examples. The more we hear from and about black, Hispanic, and Asian gay leaders, the better.

  • J. Scott Coatsworth

    Another day, another queerty column trying to sow discord in the LGBT activist community. “Ho-hum.”

  • Lex

    I agree that the Marriage Equality movement seems to be blindingly white. At the same time, there are people of color involved in high positions in some of these organizations, including Lisa Powell from Courage Campaign. Dan Choi is also becoming a considerable voice in the realm of greater LGBT rights.

    I have to say though, that the white leadership is trying…they’re reaching out to the Hispanic community in a way that we didn’t see during Prop 8, like canvassing in Spanish neighborhoods with Spanish-speakers and translating materials and signs for marriage equality into Spanish. However, I really wish there was more outreach in Black (church) and Asian communities.

    This article brings up issues within the qpoc community about the importance of the whole marriage equality movement. Some argue that marriage equality isn’t even on the radar of qpoc because they have to deal with so many other issues, like poverty, immigration, and healthcare. I wonder if the lack of qpoc leaders in this movement is indicative of this stance.

  • Anthony in Nashville

    I give kudos to Queerty for this entry.

    Racial issues can be touchy, but when you look at lesbian and gay politics and media, it becomes very clear that non-whites are not considered part of the club.

    Is it racism? I think it’s more likely ignorance and self-absorption that leads to LGBT culture being disproportionately white. I believe people of color are interested in becoming involved, but don’t feel welcomed for whatever reason.

    I’m not talking about “DL” or closeted types either. People should know better than to count on them for anything.

  • t money

    In LA most of the people running the NO on 8 campaign were latinos. they just didnt get the big names and didnt get into the spanish language media like they should have.

    NO on 8 didnt use arnold or villagayrosa at all. they were against 8, they should have totally used them.

  • Dabq

    I don’t find this that unusual, people usually tend to get with people who they relate to or have dealings with on a personal level from other rights’s group, and, most of these folks probably don’t have any dealings with POC on any level and see or saw no need to reach out until it was too late.

    But its shocking to see this sort of thread on this site, just shocking.

  • Jon

    QUEERTY is absolutely right to ask where are the qpoc in the leadership. This was an important issue that came out of the last campaign and continues in the community. Representation was certainly one of the issues discussed on Sunday’s meeting.

    But it’s unfortunate that QUEERTY failed, once again, to perform even the most simple research to determine the facts. If you want to see some of the diversity of the folks in the room last Sunday go here: http://unitethefight.blogspot.com/2009/06/leadership-summit-organizations-going.html
    Click on any of the pics and take a look at the faces.

    As far as qpoc in the organizations that are working on marriage equality, a simple basic search brings up some of the following:

    Andrea Shorter, Vanessa Lopez, Michelle Ortiz, Vaishalee Raja, Joseph Arroyo, Gabe González – EQCA
    Lisa Powell – Courage Campaign
    Vincent Jones – Liberty Hill Foundation
    Chaz Lowe – Yes on Equality
    Matt Palazzolo – Equal Roots Coalition

    that’s a short list and there’s more… but you actually have to do some research to find them and not just expect the information to show up in your e-mail inbox. Hopefully as we move forward, even more qpoc will emerge and become part of the growing coalition toward equality.

    But back to QUEERTY — try doing a little digging on your own. It’ll be good for you and you might even learn something.

  • asianinla

    thanks for posting this. as a queer asian who has attended meetings and met these white leaders before, I say imagine the racism that asian americans face in a typical weho bar and magnify it ten times. One of the people you posted a picture of I have met 6 or 7 times before and he still never remembers me. After a while, I’m like, whatever. Let me work in my own community.

  • alan brickman

    so true..the ones who will get through the door will always the attrctive ones or the white ones…

  • The Southern Belle

    The truths reported not withstanding I do find this intellectually starved article more a nuisance than news.

  • getreal

    @Jon: Thank you John this is such a phoned in story.

    To everyone else: I was at Meet In The Middle and at every Camp Courage (Courage Campaign) you have never seen a more multicultural group. This is just bad journalism notice they post Torie but neglect to post her BLACK co-creator of Camp Courage. If they are going to throw mud they could at least do some research. I would bet they never even came out to California to research any of these stories. Even the person they quoted about the leadership conference took them to task for misquoting them. This is disappointing. This week there have been 5 stories detailing events I attended that were WILDLY inaccurate. This is another example and is just irresponsible. As a daily reader of Queerty and someone who really has enjoyed the site in the past this is disappointing. What is happening to this site? Have more stories been so wildly inaccurate? David Hauslaub please address sir.

  • getreal

    I personally know four people in that photo and all are committed to diversity and work with a varied racially mixed group of activists. I’m a person of color and I think this is race baiting. So you single them out for being white and make a point of ignoring the many people of color black,asian,chicano,middle eastern they work with on a daily basis.

  • Prof O. G. Whataschnozell

    Who do you think you are fooling? What this amounts to is desperation and confirms this is losing steam and fast. I guess the elite forgot that it’s minions do notice things and will talk.

    This is politics and personally I am glad that it is failing. This issue is being pushed down the throats of americans by a few at the expense of the many. Keep an eye on these people featured and their political careers afterwards.

  • james ii

    GayNumbers: Thank you so much for your intelligent and respectful answer to my inquiry. It says alot about you.

  • NICHOLAS

    Yes, these are the ‘white folks’ who are fighting for our rights… AND there are also GLBT persons of different races/ethnicities who are making major contributions to the equality movement. All of those who contribute to the fight for equality – regardless of their race/ethnicity – should be respected and recognized for their efforts. SHAME ON YOU QUEERTY for trying to stir up divisiveness and difference within our own community. GLBT Americans are forced to deal with more than enough negativity from those who are against us. We do not need negativity within our own community – rather, we need to support each other and stand together as one to overcome the obstacles and oppression that we face.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @james ii: Respect is going out there to do a little research before assuming that queer people of color were not involved or interested in gays issue such as Prop 8. The level of assumptions made here often based on ignorance is stunning. I know that everyone has a right to an opinion, but at the very least we should try to have those opinions involved by facts or we are no better than what we seek to fight against. it’s that simple. People have used misdirection, ignorance and other tools against gays, blacks and other minorities forever. We can not make their mistake, and think we are going to achieve anything better than they did.

  • Gurlene

    This site is sounding more and more like a one man, stressed out operation. I mean really, 5 inaccurate articles in one week.

    It has reached the point where quantity is taking the place of quality.

  • Lex

    @Lex: Either someone is pretending to be me or this is just a coincidence. Hmm. :)

  • GBM

    Gurlene, That’s Queerty for ya. After all these Blacks against Gays Posts for so long…what more is there to expect?

    If you don’t deal with Black LGBT groups.

    How would you know????

  • Captain Freedom

    Chaz Lowe isn’t white. He certainly isn’t middle-aged. He sure is cute though!!

  • osocubano

    @Gurlene: Sort of like general motors, and look what it did for them…

  • Sara Pollaro

    This is a very irresponisble and poorly researched article. Thanks to Matt we actually have some real insight into what is happening in the California equality movement. As a very involved activist I am so proud that almost every meeting I attend and every event we throw we get to do so along side some of the most powerful people in the movement and guess what? They aren’t white!! This article undermines the POC community in a very intense way. Their extrodinary work is being completed ignored, but why? We can not do what we are doing without our courageous POC leaders and it’s time to give them credit where credit is due, not leave them out of a movement by poor reporting. Come on, it’s time to move yourself from behind the desk and get out there and see what is actually happening.

  • Jason Chan

    Queerty gets it wrong again.
    That picture of the cute, young guy that catches your attention at the top of your white person mosiac is NOT Fred Karger. Fred is a nice man in his late 40s, early 50s.

    Also to make mention of the Marriage Equality struggle without Andrea Shorter is racism on your part not the movement. You just decided not to mention this woman who co-founded “And Marriage for All” and then joined EQCA to further develop her work and that is some how the white leadership’s fault?

    Queerty get back to celebrity gossip and boys with six pack and bikinis because you are not doing the news thing real well.

  • Alec

    @Jason Chan: They seem to be on target with this DADT issue, if not Prop 8.

    Evaluate each one on its own terms.

  • Dabq

    @Jason Chan: Speak the truth Mr Chan! But, does anyone really come here for real facts on real issues that are of relevance that the glbt community???

  • M Shane

    It doesn’t seem that complex: (1) older White men have far more money that they want to protect. Don’t kid yourself on that one. Wealth is almost always inherited in America; it’s not a land of opportunity. (2) younger people often seem to be more politically aware of the inappropriateness of gay people trying to act like Heterosexuals, and are interested in sex and community more than the new closet. If they are not educated to the realities of assimilationist politics vs. gaty liberation in school they learn from word of mouth and instinct.
    Trying to find a new niche for homophobia only appeals to people who grew up with more shame.

  • TANK

    @getreal:

    I think it’s also a lot of effete liberal white guilt manifested in tokenizing. EIther way, it’s pretty sickening.

  • Beth Holden-Soto

    What exactly is the point of this poorly written, divisive article?

    If you can’t find any POC’s that are working on the Marriage Equality issue, then your eyes aren’t open. Were you even in Fresno during MITM4E? PLENTY of diversity amongst the speakers on stage.

    Also, I think it’s rude to post a photo of Robin McGehee, who is a GRASSROOTS ORGANIZER, who has nothing but thoughtfully positive intent in her organizing, really killed herself organizing MITM4E, and had nothing to do with the bungled No on 8 campaign.

    This article: RUDE, INACCURRATE, RACE-BAITING

    Grade: F-

  • Derrick Mathis

    This is stunning. Out of all the people of color on that list contributed by Matt Matt Palazzolo, I’m the only one who lives in an African American community and goes door to door talking to African Americans about repealing Prop 8. Matt knows me. He knows I desperately could use any and all help to canvass in the African American communities of Los Angeles. He knows I’ve been vocal and courageous in my opinion and my stance in terms of my commitment to educating African Americans in Los Angeles about marriage equality in Los Angeles.

    I was among the first a couple of days ago to come to this blog and defend the meeting of grassroots activists that occurred last Sunday when Queerty accused those leaders of having a hush hush meeting and keeping the public out.

    And today I come to Queerty to see this. Wow. I am just stunned.

    I’m so hurt right now. I’m not so sure the grassroots activist community is something I want to be a part of anymore. It’s too hard. And I care too much.

  • Gurlene

    @GBM: Dear I appreciate the response but I am confused as to who you are directing your comments at. Is it me or Queerty you are speaking to?

  • Gurlene

    @osocubano: You hit the nail on the head with that one. I also think gay media in general is heading in the same direction at the speed of light.

  • getreal

    @TANK: As someone who was name checked as an person of color activist in this article when people incorrectly use words like tokenism with regard to the current state of the equality movement it is not only hurtful but wrong.

    @Sara Pollaro: Thank you Sara I agree with you completely and it is unfortunate that instead of covering what is actually happening they are inventing issues that do not really exist in our state. I also want to thank you for your commitment and work in this movement and I am sorry that they are using your race as an excuse to unfairly malign people working for positive change in our state.

  • TANK

    How is it wrong? And how is it incorrectly applied to the content of this article? Clearly the motivation for this isn’t getting people of color involved, as they are; they were just strategically ignored by the editorial. It’s about leadership positions, and even then, the role of people of color was ignored in favor of an opinion disconnected from experience. Those positions do not really have a tangible impact on bridge building or advancing that particular cause, though, as they don’t go out into the community and do the leg work themselves; they delegate. So once we rule out that, all that’s left is tokenizing.

  • TANK

    And tokenizing (of this type) is how guilty white liberals practice racism.

  • getreal

    @TANK: Most of the people on that list are heading up organizations so they are in leadership positions. I understand that this article applies to a lot of places and historically the equality movement has been very white. My point is that it is not a very good assessment of what is going on now in our state and this article is clear indication that Queerty did not bother to do much research about what we are actually doing or even bother to ask or interview anyone in our vast equality community in california on this issue.

  • getreal

    I know that was an accident. Everyone knows you are a committed and powerful activist and leader in our state. Do not think that you are not admired, loved and respected for your many contributions to the equality movement.

  • TANK

    @getreal:

    Let me make it really clear. The article is implicitly chastizing gay rights advocacy groups for not having more people of color in leadership positions. Why is this? The cover offered is in the backdrop of the passage of prop 8, black and latino communities need to be reached, and the only way to do that is to employ black and latino people in leadership positions. Black and latino people volunteer at these organizations; they are, in some cases, employees of them. This was overlooked. As to the leadership positions, an executive director’s primary function is acquiring funding for its organization–make no mistake. Many of the different programs within that organization have a very wide berth to determine the content and strategies pursuant to, say, being more inclusive. So once again, what’s left…is racism.

  • getreal

    @TANK: I’m working in the Ca. equality movement I know it is very, very diverse you don’t. You know absolutely nothing about what is actually happening here and this article did nothing to change that you are not even an activists just a complainer so I will go back to ignoring your posts. You are a troll who sits on the blog like a spider and does NOTHING for the movement. Good luck doing nothing I’m going to go back to WORKING for positive change.

  • getreal

    To Derrick

    I know that was an accident. Everyone knows you are a committed and powerful activist and leader in our state. Do not think that you are not admired, loved and respected for your many contributions to the equality movement.

  • TANK

    @getreal:

    I don’t think you’ve comprehended my point at all… There’s a big disconnect going on, and it’s on your end.

  • TANK

    I’m working in the Ca. equality movement I know it is very, very diverse you don’t.

    For example, I am not disputing this…

  • valley1012

    Y ahora la versión en Español: Queerty esta equivocado como siempre. (Queerty is wrong, as usual) ES MUY LOCO!

    Lester

  • derrick mathis

    No Lester. I’m afraid Queerty is right. I’m so sorry. But I think they’re right after today.

  • GBM

    @Gurlene:
    At Queerty Boo! Not you. :)

  • getreal

    @derrick mathis: This was an oversight. Know that. We allow things like us to divide us and we can’t we have so little time till 2010.

  • M Shane

    I will add, without any qualms that gay persons, perhaps because they have so much internalized homophobia, hence their attempts to copy straight couples’ marriages, have a huge additional prejudice against other minorities to
    decrease their chances of being any more different–obviously so.
    If they accept themselves, instead of hiding further my guess is that they will empathize withother minority people and accpt them as they ought.
    Civil unions would go a long way to straighten out that delusion.

  • getreal

    @M Shane: With all due respect I think your post was really naive. Civil unions are 2nd class citizenship and they offer as many as 100 fewer (depending on which state you live in) protections under the law as marriage.If you don’t ant to marry more power to you that is not the point. All Americans should have the same rights period and marriage inequality is an issue that straight people can get behind and is is harder to defend than other issues that are more cerebral and less heartfelt. If you don’t want to get married don’t but join the fight for lgbt people to gain the right to CHOOSE and to have full equality under the law. Get in the game.

  • LatinoInLA

    “Equal Roots Coalition, which landed a story in the NY Times just one week after it’s conception in November and his since maintained its position at the forefront of Stonewall 2.0. Equal Roots Coalition also co-founded, with Love Honor Cherish, OUTWest, the most extensive & powerful grassroots LGBT coalition in all of California.”

    Wow Matt, is Equal Roots also on the verge of curing cancer too?

    You could do with some humility my friend. Seriously.

  • getreal

    @LatinoInLA: So instead of posting something that could help push the movement forward it seems productive to you to post a criticism of someone working every day for change? That is your contribution?

  • parisinla

    @LatinoInLA: ERC would be proud to lead the charge in a cure for cancer, and I’ll be the first one to let you know if and when we do.

  • LatinoInLA

    Getreal…calling someone out for their shameless self-promotion and encouraging a little humility is a healthy thing. Good for the movement. This kind of thing will lead to trouble if not put in check.

  • getreal

    @LatinoInLA: There is nothing shameless or self promoting to highlight your work in the equality movement. Particularly since this bogus article tried to pretend that the many people of color working daily for change in our state DO NOT EVEN EXIST. It is not self-promotion to correct misinformation with fact. Since you are in LA why don’t you start doing some work in this movement instead of criticizing those of us who are. No one is saying Matt or other activists like him are the second coming but at least we are willing to get our hands dirty instead of sitting on our behinds doing nothing and passing judgement. Try doing something for the movement you might like it bitching doesn’t count.

  • Sara

    @getreal: Thank you. You said very well. Matt works night and day sometimes the poor kid doesn’t even sleep and this is the first time I’ve ever heard him toot the Equal Roots’ horn and the only reason he did that was to prove that POC people play a powerful part in this movement. THEN a POC comes along and tells him to stop promoting the work of POC people which is probably why articles like this get written. It wasn’t for the promotion of self it was to prove a point about the POC communities contribution. Seems like people don’t even know what this article or this discussion is about. Self aside, ego aside, focus, come on people we have to.

  • Seattle Mo

    My contribution to the movement will be to scan photos from news articles for non-white faces and then write a column about the number I find. That’s how I’m building a movement against oppression and to end liberation!

  • Chaz Lowe

    I would like to clarify that I am Latino and not white. I’m also not middle aged… who knew that being a gay activist would turn me into a middle aged white guy? :)

    Thanks,

    Chaz Lowe
    Yes! on Equality

  • R. Miguel

    The question is this: Do you want to attain civil rights or not? If you do, then you have got to get people from minority communities in leadership positions.

    It is not enough to have volunteers or hired employees from those communities. When you are trying to reach those communities you need the input of the people from those communities. That means leadership positions.

    Translating literature into Spanish, although a step in the right direction, will not do it. You need to translate it culturally! It is the responsibility of the leaders to bring the people and resources needed to win.

    The people leading the battle should be commanded for their efforts, but criticizing their errors is not only healthy, it will make them more effective.

    As for me, I will make a series of commercials, which I will post on youtube. I will tackle content the organized leaders have not had the courage to air.

  • AndrewW

    Equality and Diversity are two very different things.

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