I read the post by Adam Bink, “Misdirected Anger Over ENDA” and I have to say I’m pretty damn appalled. His first contention:
“I reject blame placed upon people who choose to focus on an issue and pound on it. In the first place is prioritization. By my own estimate, probably 80% of my posts and online organizing in the past three months have related to marriage equality. I focused on marriage in the Corzine race, Maine, New York State, DC, California, and New Jersey. I did this in part because of prioritization. At least 4/6 of those fights, in my view, were a more urgent priority than ENDA. Maine and Corzine happened on Nov 3rd and there is no way to change that. A deal was cut to have a vote in NYS before the end of the year. NJ needs to happen lest we get screwed the next several years by Christie. That’s not mine or anyone else’s fault, that’s the nature of the beast and the timeline of elections, and that is part of the reason I chose to focus on them over ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) .”
This is very shocking to me. I can’t think of a more classist/heterosexist answer if I wrote it myself with that intent. Boiled down to its core, it says “ENDA doesn’t effect me, so I don’t care.” As a person that’s advocated on the behalf of gays and lesbians to marry, I find this almost as shocking as John Aravosis trying to get transgender people punted out of ENDA in 2007. There is no one piece of legislation that effects more LGBT people than ENDA. Both DADT and gay marriage are important from a fairness perspective. If you can’t find a place to live or a job because of your sexuality or gender identity, how important would either be? This may not be to important to a white gay man with political science degree from the University of Rochester and an Masters in political management from the George Washington University, but for your average queer (especially a gender variant one), this legislation is VITAL. Having a place to live and work is a pretty basic, core, life sustaining need.
He also said:
“I chose ME as my priority just as Jill is entitled to choose ENDA as hers. Yet it’s my fault, in part, that a markup got postponed because I asked people to focus on equally- perhaps more important and urgent- fights? By Jill’s logic, I suppose I’m entitled to write a post blaming Jill for helping lose NYS because she “sucked all the oxygen out of the room” at The Bilerico Project around ENDA. I suppose it’s also my fault we don’t have the votes on DOMA, DADT hasn’t advanced and children are still starving in Africa because I’ve been asking folks to help with other issues.”
If this were an apples to apples comparison, Bink might have a point. But Bilerico gets a LOT less traffic than OpenLeft (the Alexa Traffic rank of Bilerico is 110,291th, while OpenLeft.com is 42,250th), and there are plenty of people on Bilerico posting about about gay marriage. She wasn’t blaming Bink alone, but ALL gay media.
He went on to say:
“ENDA is not the only important fight in the world. I would also direct attention to Chris’ piece last night on how to build your own netroots organization. If you are upset by the perpetual suckitude of marriage activists like me for, you know, working on marriage too much, go build your own effort, and I am more than happy to help where I can.”
I hope he never again ID’s himself as an LGBT activist, since this pretty much lays out that he wants marriage and doesn’t care about anything else. If that isn’t a giant “go fuck yourself, get your own rights”, I don’t know what is.
He ends with:
“So I find this kind of circular firing blame game unhelpful. I have limited time to write and mobilize, and a right to prioritize issues. We all do. ENDA is far from over, and blaming activists like me for a House committee markup postponement is misdirected. Better would be to channel the losses over marriage into “hey folks, we just got screwed on marriage in multiple places and we’re about to get screwed on ENDA- let’s make sure we don’t” activism. And to build your own efforts through methods like Chris’ recommendations, reach out, and stop saying your priorities are more important than others’.”
If he finds this kind of “circular firing blame game” unhelpful, maybe he should put down his gun. This is one of the most naked statements of the white gay elitism I’ve ever seen. Bink can’t seem to find the time to criticize the ENDA postponement, but has no problem finding time to criticize Wiess.
This kind of attitude is why I’ve pulled back from activism. Bink’s attitude isn’t one that is uncommon in the upper crust of the LGBt leadership. Until transgender people realize that groups like the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the National Center for Transgender Equality are funded by wealthy gays and lesbians whose agenda is focused mainly on gay marriage, we will continue to told to shut the fuck up, and go to the back of the bus.