(No Matter What our Beliefs Happen to Be)
By Ernie McCray
This Kim Davis situation is just too familiar for my liking, too much like it has always been in this country based on what I’ve seen in 77 years.
I mean I have no idea what this woman’s work entails in a day. But one of her tasks seems, to me, like a dream job, where all she’d have to do is a little soft shoe with jazz hands and a big smile and sing: “Howdy do. Congratulations, you two. Here’s your marriage license. Toddle-oo!”
But she can only do that for “Adam and Eve.” “Adam and Steve” or any woman whose honey is a she has to be insulted by her for all the world to see because of what her scripture has taught her to believe.
And, in spite of this incredible hateful breach of gay people’s rights, the woman has thousands of worshipers praising her for standing up for her “beliefs” which aren’t written anywhere in Kentucky’s “Issuing of Marriage License Guide,” it wouldn’t seem to me – and cartoon-like GOP folks seeking the presidency praise her name, with no trace of shame, with no apparent modicum of human decency.
Oh, to borrow from Fannie Lou Hamer back in the 60’s, I am so “sick and tired of being sick and tired” of seeing people’s civil and human rights trampled on because of society’s handful of hateful beliefs.
As far as I’m concerned you can hate me all you want. Loathe me until your heart’s content. I truly, like most black folks I know, don’t care. We’re too busy trying to put food on the table and pay the rent and hope our kids can make it to school and back smarter than they were the day before and safe and sound. We see being detested as a given in our country. No big deal.
What really riles us up, though, is when the abhorrence of us is used in tangible ways against us, when it’s used to deny us, like it has in the past, of: a nice seat on the bus or a seat anywhere at the movies; a chance to live in choice neighborhoods; a place at the table in cafes; a swim in a public pool with white kids; an opportunity to skate at the rink at any hour it is open on any given day.
And because of the apathy we Americans have towards bettering our ways of relating to each other, the struggle goes on…
We come up for air in the midst of all the hate, and cry to the very skies “Black Lives Matter” to a reply of “All lives matter” which is a big problem because we’ve never been sincerely included in concepts of “all.”
And, let me tell you, not being a part of “all” can land you on some mean streets where your children rarely see examples of how nice life could be, where crimes can become choices that are relatively easy, where your children can be shot down in the street, out of anger that runs deep, no matter the perpetrator, a gangbanger or the police.
The horror of it all is that it’s based on beliefs. Beliefs like: all one has to do when they’re low on the totem pole in this society is “pick themselves up by their bootstraps”; if you haven’t committed a crime you shouldn’t have anything to worry about; black men are beasts; affirmative action gives people a huge leg up.
And our biggest social sin, perhaps, is the indelibly ingrained belief in our collective national psyche – although we will never admit it – that some people are just “less than” others. Complete with the obligatory “mob” that has always been around struggles for freedom in our country – the picture of that today, the hooray-ing worshipers of Kentucky’s Rowan County Clerk who yell their soul destroying beliefs to the heavens.
She’s taken an old American story and run with it, a story of one group of people, in this case a bunch of homophobes, trying to lord it over people they hate.
And I doubt that there’s a single LGBTQ human being out there who cares that this woman doesn’t like them.
But you can bet that they are intensely rankled that she has been allowed, as a public employee, on the taxpayers’ dime, their dime, to interfere with their desires to simply marry whomever they choose.
So, as I ponder such thoughts, I can only hope that we as a country are getting past not appreciating such a beautiful concept as “freedom for all,” that we are nearing a point where we can let the Adams and Steves of the world just be – no matter what our beliefs happen to be.
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