Don't Diminish Yourself

 

“I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”  President John F. Kennedy/Civil Rights Address/June 11, 1963.

President Kennedy was, of course, speaking about his calling out the National Guard to allow three black people to enter the campus of the University of Alabama peacefully to begin their collegiate careers.  I will include the link to his full speech at this bottom of this blog.  I dare you to read the entire document and not shake your head in disbelief that Kennedy had to get on national television and argue his case for the equal rights of black American citizens.

This happened in my lifetime…and in some of yours.  Are you incredulous to that fact?  We now have President Obama, a multiracial man, in the White House and this speech took place just about 46 years ago!  Unbelievable, right???   Not for me…

February is black history month…a month that is reflective and educational…and very much-needed to remind Americans of just how barbaric we have been as a people.  I am proud to be an American, but I think our grandchildren will look back at this time with the same disbelief that we feel when we read the Civil Rights Address of 1963.

Yes, here I go again with gay rights.  I refuse to stop talking and writing about it.  The issue is not going away….I know that I will achieve first-class status in my lifetime…and until that time….I refuse to shut up!!  I am sorry if you don’t want to hear about it again….but guess what?  YOU, yeah you..the guy with the funny yellow shirt on…and all the rest of you…you all NOW know a second-class citizen.  Even if the co-worker in the Birkenstocks hasn’t had a heart to heart with you yet….or Uncle Steve hasn’t introduced you to the love of his life….YOU KNOW ME!!

I am in the middle of doing my taxes and got mad as hell today.  There are about 1000 different rights that my wife and I are not allowed under the Federal Tax Code.  One of the first questions Turbo Tax asks you is if you are married?  I AM MARRIED, LEGALLY IN CALIFORNIA!  If I check the married box and submit this document, I could face criminal prosecution!!    I pay about 33% in taxes right now…and hundreds of dollars more because I am not allowed the same rights under the law as heterosexual married people!! I felt like pulling a Peter Finch and running to open the window of my office, leaning out, and shouting…”I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!”

I voted for Barack Obama and I am angry at him too! The insertion of his desire to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” the other night in his State of the Union address does not appease me. It takes a year for us to investigate and figure out that this is wrong?? At least 58 Arab linguists have been booted out of the military in the last two years. Highly educated and skilled soldiers that we need desperately….are you going to re-instate them with back pay Mr. President!!?

That is not even my biggest beef with Obama. My main issue with the President is that I know he is a brilliant United States Constitution scholar. He is a former Con law professor for craps sake!! The time is right for President Obama to schedule a speech on national television. He can even call me and I will gladly write the address for him!!

President Obama should look into the TV cameras and this should be his opening paragraph:

My fellow Americans, good evening.  I come to you tonight, much like President Kennedy did on the evening of June 11, 1963.  There is a grave injustice being perpetrated daily on millions of Americans….and tonight it stops.  I cannot go one day further pretending that the beloved United States Constitution does not stand for the rights of ALL Americans.  Gay Americans and the discrimination that they face in many facets of their daily life, is a disgrace to this great country.  All men are created equal, and the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened….those were the words of President Kennedy on that long ago fateful night…and I choose to repeat them again here.  I cannot and will not have the United States continue to ignore the 14th Amendment rights of gay Americans regarding equal protection under the law. I say this here tonight because I truly believe that all us are diminished if this practice of injustice continues for one more day.

Okay, I am stepping off the soap box for today.  I know there are a couple of you that wish I would trip and break my neck.  For the rest of you…remember, you know me.  I am your relative, I am your neighbor, I am your lawyer….I am you……don’t diminish yourself.

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkcivilrights.htm

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