Finish What We Started

I had this boss. She made this mug. She called it her procrastination mug. She never did finish painting it. When she moved to Texas, she put this mug in my mailbox with a note that said, “Keep this mug. It will remind you to always finish what you start.” Each time I use this mug I laugh a little. But tonight, two days after passing Amendment 1 in North Carolina, this mug has a more significant meaning. Finish what you started.

Since the day I learned that North Carolina was putting an amendment on the ballot during the Republican presidential primary election to recognize marriage between one man and one woman as the only legal domestic union recognized as valid by the state, it has been my personal mission to defeat this oppressive legislation. Two days ago, May 8, 2012 (put that in the history books), about 20% of North Carolina’s registered voters successfully passed a law to deny the rights of an entire community of people.

That hurt me. That hurt my friends. That was not the end. We will finish what we started.

What I have known, but what has been the centerpiece of conversations I have had over the last few months is that people do not understand how privilege affects oppression. We are so blinded by our privilege that it is impossible for some to understand why issues like Amendment 1 are oppressive. And it’s not just about the LGBT community. It’s about Trayvon Martin, it’s about racial profiling in Arizona, it’s about access to health care and other resources, it’s about education.

Oppression is everywhere. Oppression happens every single day. Our country was founded on oppression. We were taught to ignore oppression. Let’s stop this nonsense. Let’s call a spade a spade, embrace our privileges, examine the affects of our privilege, and then use our privilege to end oppression. Let’s finish what we started. Who’s in?

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