Sunday, May 23, 2010

Harvey Milk Day

This weekend is the celebration of Harvey Milk Day throughout the State of California. Harvey Milk, a gay activist and San Francisco City Supervisor was murdered 32 years ago. May 22 is his birthday. There have been parades and celebrations in Harvey's hometown of San Francisco and throughout the state. It is a celebration of inclusiveness and tolerance and is a reminder to all of us to extend a smile and a helping hand out to any and all minority groups in our society.

Intolerance is one of the main causes of bullying in schools and in workplaces and many people are doing something about this. One such person is Rina Sundahl. Rina is a senior at Southridge High School in Beaverton, OR and co-president of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance. Rina has been active in her school and community by organizing a march to spread awareness of Uganda's gay genocide bill among other things. As a school art project she designed this poster to foster respect for gays:

It shows the faces of popular people in the entertainment industry who have "come out" in the hopes that it will spark discussion and thinking among young people.

It falls on all of us to spread this message of acceptance and tolerance. I also believe that it is even more important for those of us who are "straight" to do this because if people look at us and say "Well, if he/she can accept homosexuality, then maybe I should take a closer look at my beliefs". This is a basic Human Rights issue and we fight for justice simply because it is the right thing to do. I have always said and believe that an injury to one is an injury to all but this was put into far better words by Martin Luther King in his Letter From A Birmingham Jail:

"I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

Martin Luther King

1 comment:

  1. Harvey Milk Day, huh? I'd forgotten him until the movie came out. I dislike any form of prejudice. It does seem to be a natural thing for people to desire to be better than someone. Color, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, whatever it takes to make me feel better than you. Stupid but it does run deep.