Recently, I sat in a Unitarian Fellowship service and listened to the minister deliver a sermon encouraging his audience to work towards racial equality as well as equality for LGBT people. He used examples of modern day racism and homophobia. Specifically the murder of Jordan Davis and Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill.
For those who think about and work towards actualizing a non-racist, non-heterosexist society, the march towards equality can feel lonely. Often, I look around my mostly white, heterosexual, middle class community and I wonder if others are thinking about these issues. Here was a man, explaining racism and homophobia to a mostly white, mostly heterosexual audience.
He discussed that love’s opposite is fear, not hate. More specifically, he cited decisions that are made as a result of fear, like ‘stand your ground’ laws. A study indicates that in stand your ground states such as Florida, whites are 354% more likely to be justified for the killing of a black person, which is how George Zimmerman was acquitted for his murder of Trayvon Martin.
Homophobia, the minister stated, is often rationalized using language of ‘a higher moral ground’. Uganda is a prime example of this language. It’s minister of ethics and integrity stated of an anti-gay bill, which imprisons gay people for up to life sentences, 'Ugandans would rather “die poor than live in an immoral nation”'.
'Homophobia is widespread in Uganda, where American-style evangelical Christianity is on the rise. Gay mhttp://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140218/uganda-takes-moral-high-ground-over-anti-gay-law-0en and women in the country face frequent harassment and threats of violence, and rights activists have reported cases of lesbians being subjected to 'corrective' rapes.'
Those who use violence and rape to back up their assertions of having a higher moral ground are delusional, if not psychotic.
The minister’s message was that action must be taken. Basking in the comforts of white American middle class is collusion with the rampant disregard for human life that citizens in our own communities, and around the world are facing.