December 18, 2009 When is Blogging Our Discontent Not Enough?
So, while rushing from Georgia State’s cafeteria to class one day, I bumped into this obnoxious display:
Since Atlanta is this fabulously gay bubble in a sea of conservative bible-belt Georgians, it’s not uncommon to see people by train stations or parks listing reasons why homosexuals (homeless men and women, fornicators, porn watchrs, and wanton students) will burn in hell. However, to have these anti-gay protesters on Georgia State’s campus was unusually confrontational and a bit shocking. It was interesting to see how organically the student response evolved that day. It started with anger at the audacity of these individuals. What began with some unconstructive heckling “Hey A$$hole, go home!!”, eventually became a counter resistance to the hateful messages being spewed from these guys’ megaphones. I was proud that the students at Georgia State stood up for something we believed in, sixties style, on my little campus in Atlanta.
After all, GenY folks are apparently notorious for not really doing the whole marching in the streets thing. Friedman dubbed us Generation Q (for quiet) for our propensity to voice our discontent with government policy on facebook twitter rather than running to the streets, burning bras, and getting pummeled by police like these kids:
There are a lot of theories from fellow GenYs about why our first impulse is to leave angry comments in response to societal issues we disapprove of. Some attribute it to the rampant hypocrisies present in our country’s political institutions that are so overwhelming, that we don’t really see a point to screaming for our government to do anything. Another theory is that the reason we’re not willing to get our skulls bashed in to fight against “the man” is because as Meredith from Ypulse.com puts it “we actually, you know, like the man.” After the recent election of Obama that’s an understatement. Technically, we freaking love the man. Right? After all, it was the tweeting, facebooking, and iphone apping habits that are frequently cited examples of our political “apathy”, that were a huge part of his history rocking victory.
Well, Obama may be our homeboy but the blatant denial of rights to homosexuals is a nasty issue. A big one, that very clearly flies in the face of what we have been taught about this country and more importantly DIRECTLY AFFECTS so many young LGBT people it’s crazy. Beyond the refusal to legally acknowledge gay and lesbian unions, the extent of discrimination against homosexuals globally is appalling. For instance, a new law being signed onto Uganda’s books that has criminalized homosexuality and if passed, would punish gays by life in prison or death if caught…well, being who they are. The scary thing about this legislation is that the moment I heard about it, I wondered how many other countries would move to adopt something similar. Rwanda already has a similar law in the works Sad to say, it wouldn’t be so far fetched for the country of my own heritage, Jamaica, to consider adopting such a law right in our backyards.
How is the international legalization of murdering homosexuals different than Europe’s decision to rid their continent of Jews some 50 years ago? And is writing about it to all of you guys enough? With lives at stake, somehow I don’t believe that it is. However, in a world where our views are increasingly shaped by the information we’re obtaining through the internet, I am not convinced that marching around the block is enough either…so what is?? What does it take for GenY to collectively respond to this frontier of injustice that is happening in our lives right now? If social media is our weapon of choice in a fight for a better world, how can wield web 2.0 to effectively to change the status quo?