WC77 – Updrafts by Dan Vera

Edited by Dan Vera

The exchange of thoughts is a condition necessary for all love, all friendship, and all real dialogue.
Jorge Luis Borges

The Christian Right says bring back the melting pot. Restore ‘traditional values.’  Re-institute prayer in schools. Preserve the primacy of Western civilization (the only one that matters anyway). And not least, protect that critical bedrock of American greatness: ‘the American family.’  Such pronouncements reveal an intense, even pathological desire to perpetuate a thoroughly obsolete myth of America, and through this, a repressively orthodox system of sociocultural entitlement.    Marlon Riggs

Third World populations are changing the face of North America.  The new face has got that delicate fold in the corner of the eye and that wide-bridged nose.  The mouth speaks in double negatives and likes to eat a lot of chíle.    Cherríe Moraga

If I have one word for fellow Christians, I would ask them to keep their eyes on the love of Jesus, and not to confuse the blood at Calvary with the KoolAid of homophobia in America.  We have to call into question our own particular prejudices that we inherit, that have nothing to do with the loving gospel of Jesus.  That challenge is to the Black Church precisely because we have too many Black folk who are suffering because of the inability to talk about sexuality.    Cornel West

Question: I have always felt that feminism/gay rights was piggy backing off the civil rights movement. I will never forget and never forgive feminists for basically throwing Fannie Lou Hamer out of their movement because of her deep opposition to Abortion. Your movement is profoundly, to use your own neologism, classist and I suspect racist.

Suzanne Pharr: I think that there is deep racism and classism within the women’s movement, and the gay and lesbian movement. But I also think there are individuals and organizations in both those movements that have gone to the line on the issues of civil rights. I wouldn’t say that we piggybacked on the civil rights movement. I would say we’re a daughter of the civil rights movement. It gave birth to the women’s movement, the gay and lesbian movement and to The People With Disabilities movement. I think we should never use the scarcity model when thinking about civil and human rights. That is, we should not think that if someone else gains civil rights protections, that it will take away something from me. We are seeking a democracy here, trying to build one, and it’s going take a large sense of generosity and tolerance and inclusion.    Suzanne Pharr

What passes for identity in America is a series of myths about one’s heroic ancestors.    James Baldwin

I love the wry motto of the Paleontological Society (meant both literally and figuratively, for hammers are the main tool of our trade): Frango ut patefaciam — I break in order to reveal.”    Stephen Jay Gould

There is a very advantageous position among leftist writers who live in capitalistic countries who enjoy all the benefits of democracy and great profits they earn while attacking democracy while they live in a democratic country.  Maybe if those writers lived in a communist country from where they could not get out – they might change the way they think. Since living there, they would not be able to write a word!  So for us, who suffered so much in Cuba,  it’s infuriating to see people enjoy all the security that comes with democracy – getting pleasure attacking it and becoming rich from doing this!    Reinaldo Arenas

We’re always constructing ourselves, so I don’t think there’s an end to it.  in fact, to me it’s liberating to not think of identity as some organic property that we have to find and stick to, but actually something that is constructed, or that’s imposed, that we can then counter by taking a different route and re-dressing it, and the re-dressing it again.  It’s like having every possibility at your fingertips, as opposed to some natural sense of who we’ll be imprisoned by for the rest of our lives.    Todd Haynes

This is just an excerpt from this issue of White Crane.   We are a reader-supported journal and need you to subscribe to keep this conversation going.  So to read more from this wonderful issue SUBSCRIBE to White Crane. Thanks!

Updrafts is a regular feature of  White Crane.  If you have a little bit  of wisdom to share with us, send it to us at dan@gaywisdom.org

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