By Jeff Block
The scariest part of the recent Amendment One debacle is that most of the supporters of this legalized discrimination seem so normal when you pass them in the street or the aisles of the grocery store. They don’t present as the bullies they are.
Bullies? Well, obviously! Finding a weaker person or group and then terrorizing them is the heart and soul of bullydom, and the homosexual community is an easy target.
We all agree that only one in ten people are born homosexual, so the odds are definitely on the side of the bullies. Watch out for more of this type of legalized oppression, as we have seen in other states. The fight to protect our minorities will continue for years now. We have missed a golden opportunity to stand for the American dream of equality under law.
The GOP/Tea Partiers who have forced this national shame upon us have not done a single thing to help with job creation, lower taxes for the middle-class and the poor, or in furthering educational opportunities for our citizenry. They are interested in “privatization,” which is nothing more than the theft of public property for the private use of wealthy fundraisers. Just look at the GOP initiatives to stifle the growth of public schools and advance privately owned schools operated by their cronies, to privatize water and power grid systems, and to use forced labor from private prisons to do our dirty work. Will this lead to private police and security forces compelling the rest of us to kowtow to the wealthy elite?
One bright sign from all this was the voice of those few compassionate ministers who urged their congregations to vote against this disaster. It was good for me to hear that there are many Christians who rightfully place these words of Jesus in their hearts — “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
I was also able to take some personal solace in the fact that my home of Watauga County was a shining beacon of sanity in an otherwise dismal showing across most of the state. Much credit is due each of the individuals, some at risk for their jobs or their reputations, who had the compassion and the guts to overcome their fears and stand up against discrimination in letters to the editor, in picture ads in the newspaper, and in standing out at the polls distributing information. They were joined by many others who were not so vocal but who quietly voted against the amendment to our state’s constitution that now mandates that a disparate group is officially unequal under the law.
This recognition of common humanity is a major step toward true justice in this world and in the next. Partial credit is also awarded to a wonderful group of dedicated organizers and activists who did their absolute best to get out the vote in what was otherwise a rather meaningless primary election for Democrats who already stand firmly behind the President of the United States.
My apologies to my neighbors, but your so-called moralism is leading to nothing but the reestablishment of a feudalism that rightfully was overthrown several centuries ago. Some people felt driven by their preachers to vote for discrimination, but now I call upon all citizens to vote morally against bigotry and discrimination. Vote against corporate greed. Vote against war and the continued coddling of our defense contractors. Vote for people. Vote for universal health care and educational opportunities. Vote for jobs for our own at fair wages that allow folks to pay their rent and buy their groceries. How can we not be shamed that there are households in our state where two wage earners cannot avoid going deeper into debt every month?
Actions show a person’s true faith and beliefs, and the actions of this year’s election season will either mark us a country committed to the American ideals of liberty and justice for all or will place us in the eyes of the world as on a par with the fundamentalist mullahs of Islam. God help us, and God bless us all!
Jeff Block is a resident of Valle Crucis, NC, and is the author of “Nine Years After,” the true story of his wife Debbie’s continuing battle with brain cancer.
Link to print copy of “Nine Years After”: https://www.createspace.com/3644606
Link to e-book copy of “Nine Years After”: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005CB8E3W