I feel like many of us are running this ridiculous race. We are sprinting toward a space where who we are doesn’t dictate our success in life.
So, this sprint is happening… running, running…
Black people cannot use the same bathrooms as whites. They can’t sit in the same areas. They can’t go where they want. They can’t work where they are qualified.
A woman loses her job because she is now a mom. Another woman can’t go beyond the secretarial desk.
And, we gather, yell, protest…run!
The Civil Rights Law of 1964 makes these discriminations illegal.
Then, police raid a gay bar taking a woman off in a paddy wagon.
And, we gather, yell… scream… march in Gay Pride Parades.
Then, a black man is beaten by LAPD officers and another man records the entire thing.
And, we gather, yell, protest…run!
A 21 year old man is killed because some men did not like that he was gay.
Members of an extremist church protest the victim at his own funeral.
We yell, protest… SCREAM… run, run, run.
Almost 30 years after the Civil Rights Law of 1964 passed, black men and women are still being beaten, even killed, by police officers.
So, now we start to gather, yell, protest…. when will this equality promised to all ever arrive?
Today, we got a glimmer of hope. We were handed a ruling that tells us the law may end up on our side. We were told this game is too long, but we don’t always lose every inning.
Today, 6 out of 3 justices said you cannot be discriminated in the workplace just because you are LGBTQ. Your sexuality does not dictate your work ethic or performance and you can’t be judged by it.
What I find even more powerful were the words of one of the Justices, Neil Gorsuch:
“Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result. Likely, they weren’t thinking about many of the Act’s consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees.”
“But, the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands. When the express terms of a statute give us one answer and extratextual considerations suggest another, it’s no contest. Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefits.”
Are we there?
We need to keep running. It’s not all done.
George Floyd’s murder has taught us that. Not only did he die under the knee of a police officer…. as he cried for help, cried for his mother… other officers and bystanders watched.
We protest and yell loudly: BLACK LIVES MATTER!
And, then, Rayshard Brooks is shot by an Atlanta officer, in the back and killed.
Run, run, run…
This race toward true human rights is too damn long. At times, it seems we will never stop running for the prize of all of us being treated equally.
I have been discriminated against in the workplace over and over and over thanks to my gender. I have been subjected to horrible sexist conversations in front of me as if it was expected that I would “man up” and think they were funny. I’ve been reminded that being a mother would make me less effective as an employee.
However, when I met Jason and fell in love and married him… that decision.. the one that made my life more livable… that one did not lead to me being fired.
I was told many, many awful things.
But… I was never fired.
I have been pulled over by police. I have received speeding tickets.
I have white skin.
I was never afraid. I was never beaten. A gun has never been pulled on me.
Today, we celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to treat group of human beings, like human beings.
But, still we need to run, run, run…..