Sunday, May 13, 2012

Everybody's Got One

Happy Mother's Day Mother, wherever you are.
Mother passed on May 25, 1984, coming up 28 years ago later this month. I miss her regularly. She was born August 14, 1909 in Muskogee, Oklahoma of truly pioneer stock.

Mother was 11 years old before women in the United States had the right to vote, prior to that time they were legally second class citizens. On August 18, 1920, Congress finally ratified the 19th amendment giving all women the right to vote. Even at that the vote in the Senate was 56 for and 25 against ratification (weren't those 25 a stupid lot?). It seems unbelievable that this obvious civil right was denied to women for so long but it was.  Even after ratification by the needed 3/4 of the 48 state legislatures, it wasn't until 1984, 64 years later that Mississippi, the last of 12 hold out states, finally ratified it making it 100%.

The civil rights act of 1964 giving our Black citizens the same rights as Whites was also a torturous path to passage. We all have seen the pictures of George Wallace, the Democratic governor of Alabama, standing in the doorway of the University of Alabama refusing to allow Black students to enter. We also remember Lester Maddox, the Democratic governor of Georgia who kept a supply of axe handles in his restaurant to beat Black patrons should they try to enter. Maddox, by the way, did not win a majority of the popular vote and was appointed, not elected, by the Democratic state legislature of the time.

My how things have changed. This broke the back of segregation in our country and was the pivot point that turned the deep south away from the Democrat party and President Lyndon Johnson who led this Civil Rights Act, and turned the deep south into majority Republican states. To say that racial, religious and sexual preference prejudice does not exist in the south today is a lie, i know because i live there. Heck, 45 years ago racial intermarriage was against the law in 14 states.

Today we are confronted with this same incredible obstinacy that borders on class stupidity in denying members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) communities the right to their inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. Thank goodness most of these obstinate people will make the change and act to support this freedom because in their hearts they know it is the right thing to do. They know this human right is guaranteed to ALL Americans in the Declaration of Independence. Inalienable means something that cannot be taken away and cannot even be given away. Anyone who stands in the way of this inalienable right is on the wrong side of history. If you don't know that, you don't know jack.

The GLBT community has been the whipping boy for a large segment of people all of whom may not be aware of the bigotry involved in their denial of recognition.

This right is overdue and regardless of how many states vote to outlaw this inalienable right like North Carolina just did, that is only temporary. I would say that North Carolina just showed its ass, but a great many people there voted against this prejudice which is proof that change is coming and this vote will not stand. Freedom and Liberty is coming for all as sure as the sun will rise in the East. The obstinate will not accept this easily, i am sorry to say. It will be tested in the Supreme Court but the right to same sex marriage is coming as sure as the next rain.

This bigotry too shall end, you just need to be jussmartenf to understand it.

Happy Mothers Day, Mother. You taught me well.


  1. Well said. They are shooting themselves in the wallet by missing out on the billions of $$ in revenues from wedding venues. As you chronicled the easing of struggles by decades and time - I hope marriage equality meets with this same ease of passage as I am getting a little to old to wear white on my wedding day. To Bob.

  2. Great Blog Jack! I hope you don't mind me recommending your post to others. I love your historical perspective. I’m reminded of the comment someone made that in America we do the right time once we’ve exhausted all other choices. You’ve also seen and learn a lot from your life experiences. I find the argument of equal rights for GLBTs takes an interesting perspective when looking at the global community. USA is no longer taking a leadership role on human rights.