Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: equity

In the spirit of Stonewall, a US flag and the rainbow "pride" flag (and their reflections) form a backdrop the words, "Stonewall 50" in this design.

The spirit of Stonewall

The Artdog Image(s) of Interest

I moved the posting schedule around some, when I realized that June 28 is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Like the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the 50th anniversary of Stonewall Means Something.As Ben Power put it in The Rainbow Times, “Stonewall was the flashpoint that gave painful birth to the modern LGBTQ Rights Movement”

In honor of the occasion, I’ve been diving into history. It’s given me a new perspective on the spirit of Stonewall. It’s also given me a new respect (read that awe) for the courage of the folks who threw punches at the Mafia-controlled NYC police outside the Stonewall Inn that morning

Small side note: I set this post to go live at 3:00 a.m., the time the police raid that started the riot reportedly began.

In the course of my life I’ve been friends and/or acquaintances with enough smart, funny, amazing, creative people who get classified within the LGBTQIA+ rainbow to realize they’re really not abnormal-in-a-negative-way at all. Nor are they as rare as some would have you believe.

Unusual, yes. Frequently. It’s one of the things I love best about these friends: their creativity.

Rainbow flags fly above a crowd of people outside the Supreme Court, where a landmark decision ruled same-sex marriage is legal under the Constitution of  the USA.
Rainbow flags fly above a crowd of people outside the Supreme Court, where a landmark decision ruled same-sex marriage is legal under the Constitution of the USA.

But one thing’s certain: my friends would be far less free to be their smart, funny, amazing, creative, unusual selves if there hadn’t been massive strides made since Stonewall. Sadly, however, despite the fact that we now have marriage equality and an openly gay man is in the top tier of Democratic Presidential contenders, we do not live in an LGBTQIA+ friendly world.

Most of the societies that contributed children to the great experiment that is the United States of America were repressing and hating and killing LGBTQIA+ people just as virulently and for a far longer time period than we enslaved black people. 

Nor are we doing enough to make it clear once and for all that we repudiate those attitudes. Lately, we seem to be losing ground! But this is not the time to quit.

May the spirit of Stonewall rock on!

IMAGE CREDITS: Many thanks to Queer Projections, for the “Take a moment to remember” photo/design, and to NewNowNext for to the photo of rainbow flags outside the Supreme Court. Great appreciation also to The Rainbow Times for the “Stonewall 50” design in the featured image.

Making progress . . .

The Artdog Image of Interest

Have we made progress? Some. Could we improve more? Undoubtedly.

How has life changed for black Americans?

From Visually.

In matters of equity and social justice, no picture is ever static, and progress is always relative. This infographic was created in 2014, so the data is already 5 years old or older. But this is a moderately recent snapshot of where we stand. 

I normally celebrate February as “Social Justice February” in a nod to Black History Month. But remember that--as with feminism–greater social justice makes the world a better place for ALL of us. 

IMAGE: Many thanks to Visually and the team of Noureen Saira, designer, and Elliott Smith, writer, via University of Phoenix, for this infographic “snapshot.”

Counting our . . . you’re kidding, right?

As I write this, we are one week and counting away from the most feared and dreaded election in recent memory. The news stories and commentary, and all too often our social media, email inboxes, offices and homes are rife with discord and polarization.

Seems like a strange time to talk about gratitude for blessings.

Yet, here we are at the dawn of November, the month of Thanksgiving. Traditionally, this is a time for Harvest, for in-gathering and coming together, and yes, for a time of meditation upon our blessings.

As you’ve possibly noticed, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, I’ve been following monthly themes in the images, quotes, and at least some of the articles I’ve been posting this year. Months ago, in my editorial calendar, it seemed a good idea to make this month’s theme “Creatively Grateful.”

I’m not sure what I was thinking. It’s certainly true that many of us are gonna have to get real creative to find anything at all to be grateful for, in this scorched, cratered battlefield of a social discourse.

Or so it seems, at first knee-jerk.

It’s true things have been tough, lately. We’re only gradually pulling out of a “jobless” recovery, and income disparity is wider now than many realize. Worse, that disparity may be polarizing us into ideological ‘tribes,’driving us further and further apart.

But with all these forces driving us apart, how can we buck that trend, and work together?

I’d like to start by invoking, with gratitude, the bedrock values that we’ve used as a guide and touchstone in the past: that we’re all created equal, that we all have certain rights, including the right to be heard, to follow our conscience, and to think for ourselves. We can’t dictate how others must believe–and, just as important–no one else can dictate how we must believe. 

Whatever happened to justice for all, and innocent until proven guilty? Whatever happened to generosity, and neighbor helping neighbor? Whatever happened to reaching across the aisle, and working for the common good?

We can reclaim those values. We can demand them. We can live them, no matter what others do. And when we consistently live them, we can change the climate of our social and political lives.

But first we must look beyond our fearful little tribes and realize we’re all just people. We may not see eye-to-eye on all things, but we also know that blood in the streets is not the road to peace. There is a more excellent way.

It starts with gratitude for our society’s foundations, and it blossoms into respect for our fellow citizens.

Let’s be grateful for an institutional framework that has kept our elections mostly un-rigged, our successions of power mostly peaceful, and our rule of law–while clearly not flawless–founded upon a thirst for true justice.

Let’s extend a hand, and curb our impulses to name-call and denigrate each others’ ethics or intelligence. We can do better. Let’s make that roll-call of blessings. Let’s remember the vital ties that bind us together–even now.

We can do well by ourselves, our neighbors, our political allies and opponents. We can do well by our country. Hope yet abides, and blessings abound. Can you count them?

IMAGES: Many thanks to The Sustainable Leader, for the “political tug-of-war” image, and to Lori Rosenberg for the meeting-of-hands image, and Hideaki Matsui for the handshake photo.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén