Saturday, June 09, 2012

HRC: No Trans, Youth or 
POC S.F. Speakers & No Regional Meetings

There may be a new executive director at the Human Rights Campaign, but there's no evidence I can see indicating a change in the group's inadequate democratic engagement with the LGBT community beyond their donors and supporters. Here's an indication of how regime stability and continuation is the HRC agenda.

At tomorrow's 10 a.m. homage to Harvey Milk at his old camera store on Castro Street, the following gay and straight white men over thirty will be the only official speakers according to HRC's release: Chad Griffin; Cleve Jones; Dustin Lance Black; Danny Niccoletta; Frank Robinson; Alan Baird; and Wayne Friday.

Not a single gay youth, trans person or person of color among them. Do we really need to hear Jones for the 2,304,569th time speak about Milk? And why such a focus on Milk? No disrespect to the man and his legacy, but it should be a given that Griffin reveres Milk and need not put on a photo-op to prove it.

HRC's coronation tour for its new president, and de facto Official National Gay Leader, clearly is not about engaging beyond HRC's friends nor are their substantive events planned for community dialogue. All photo-ops, glad-handing and receptions that say change is not coming to HRC.

Over at the Bay Area Reporter blog, Seth Hemmelgarn writes about his conversation with HRC pit bull and ward boss Fred Sainz regarding my complaints about their extremely limited promotion of Sunday morning's photo ops in the Castro and any chance Griffin will soon hold town halls:

[Sainz] also said the group won’t be holding regional forums. Sainz said that it’s typical for news releases to be sent out shortly before events. Invitations to the gatherings “went out a long, long time ago,” he said. The event at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy “is in essence a public forum,” Sainz said. He added that Griffin wanted to come to San Francisco immediately “because that’s how important Harvey Milk’s legacy is to him.”

Would have been great if Griffin could have a larger agenda in San Francisco, beyond giving respect to Milk and taken the time to speak at a more convenient time and day about what he will do about affordable housing and healthcare for LGBT folks regardless of marital status.

1 comment:

John R said...

I'm inclined to agree with your thoughts on HRC and their newly appointed (annointed?) leader. HRC was positioned to make a new beginning ... to recreate itself in such a way to become MUCH more relevant to ALL of the members of the LGBT community. Let's be honest ... few of the milestones reached in LGBT equality the past several years came about as a result of the involvement of HRC. Because so many from both the LGBT community and our hetero brothers and sisters who support our equality see HRC as the premier rights organization for the LGBT community, they should be at the forefront of the many efforts for equality being strived for across the country. Instead, they've become known for throwing fairly nice cocktail parties, expensive dinners, and ... well ... that's about it.

Here's hoping that the new leader of HRC embraces his joining the organization as a real opportunity to become an organization truly dedicated, in ACTION as well as resources, to the furtherance of equality for all Americans.