On Not Forgetting My People
Wisdom and smartness are not my guiding principles, though. I value wisdom, and will take knowledge over smartness every day.
I do still fight for trans rights. Some folks do not think I am doing so any longer. Some have even suggested I have sold out, lol.
I understand that as well — I stopped talking about them pretty much exclusively. I started talking more about human rights.
Folks find that disconcerting — and for good reason. When you stop talking about the distinctive ways in which oppression works on different groups, you often find yourself having to fight for the least oppressed, and that leaves behind the more oppressed.
That happens, though, because the people who often lead such efforts are the least oppressed. They have the money to do so, and money is in such short supply with the richest 1000 people in the US having 90% of the money in the US that they become the power players.
This is because we decide fights and capacities on terms built by those who oppress us. We have to work within a system that is stacked against us.
Even if we were to give every single American over the age of 16 that earned less a basic income of 20,000 dollars a year, it wouldn’t make a difference in that equation — it wouldn’t change the imbalance, and it would not end the wealth inequality and classism and removal from power of those outside that group.
Because the larger issue isn’t about money. It is about Rights, Equality, Equity. Money is a tool to get those things, but you cannot buy them.
You can only buy insulation from injustice regarding them. Which is not a solution.
The solution is to fight for rights, COmprehensively, not incrementally. Incremental is great when you are in power and they will get done, but to do so you have to have that power for a good portion of time — a decade, and often more.
Those rights are anathema to those 1000 and the rest of the upper percentages — the top 10%, really, which starts at roughly 100k for the most populous areas.
It can drop down to 50k in some parts of the country, but nationally, it comes in at about 100k.
Those making a 100k or more are effectively the ones who matter in this nation — everyone else is just there to make it possible for them. Most of them do not donate to charities or churches. They donate to politics.
If we collectively force them to put human rights, as a whole, in a form that people now and understand, into law, and make it so that laws and justice must serve those things, then we get Trans rights.
And women’s rights. And Rights for people of color and the disabled, and in case you didn’t know, trans people are all of those things.
So when you say to me that I am not fighting for trans rights, remember that that is what I am fighting for the hardest — in a way that unites us in a common goal, that builds on the needs of allies who are, yes, often really fucking bad at supporting us, but really good at supporting their own.
If we were in power — progressives with the radical idea that human rights should be the basis of law and justice, not property and wealth — then yes, they would throw us under the bus.
Or try to. And I would be speaking more directly about trans issues. But right now, with so much on the line, and the status quo shaken up within our side..
Now is the time to make that a reality. That radical idea of law and justice in service to human rights — and make no mistake, it is a massively radical concept, far more radical than *any* economic idea, because it will fundamentally change the way economics operate and, most importantly, will undermine the power and the ideas that have driven the economy for nearly 120 years.
It is so radical that a lot of people who do give it thought, are scared of it. On all sides.
As usual, overwhelmingly white folks — not a dig, just pointing something out. Also, in the arena of economics, a lot of people who make a lot of money from the current system as well.
There is no middle class anymore. It is not the secondary 30% — making over 60k a year in what are usually 2 income households. 60 to 100 k is only a 40,000 a year difference. That is where the so called middle class is, less than half the country — truly, barely more than a quarter of it, scant more than 25% of the population.
That isn’t a middle class when 60% of the country is effectively in poverty and struggling. That is an upper class. With everyone else in the lower.
So do not tell me that trying to jigger the system to save the middle class is going to do anything when the only people who benefit are nowhere near the middle. The middle is the upper 10% of you spread it out by where the money is.
That is the politics of money — and we need to step away from that kind of politics and look to a different kind, A kind that is radical, that challenges everything and forces people to take a stand on where they are.
Either you are for human rights, or you are not. And if your effort is not first and foremost about them, but about the money that protects people from having to deal with them, then you are not for human rights.
You are for human wealth. Not a bad thing, mind you, but not something that is radical in a way that even those right of center can see the justness of.
Human Rights appeal to everyone in the mainstream. They are the basis and the heart of what is righteous and good in our nation. And now is the time to force them, when we have someone who is so obviously and overwhelmingly opposed to them, but does not know he is.
He would sign it, because he wants to be a hero. He would sign it, because he wants to be remembered for something besides being a yuge fucking prick with tiny hands.
He would sign it, because he wouldn’t understand how it would hurt him.
That is why I speak to human rights. Call it strategy, call it focus, call it the radicalization of the left if you want — I don’t care.
But do not call it forgetting trans people. Because as I am reminded every day, we exist, and life is too damned scary for us right now.
Also, we need to block the nom of Gorsuch until after the Grimm decision comes down.