Remember the Arab Spring? Fueled by social media, the people of several Arab nations started taking to the streets five years ago to demand a different way of life, a change in the relationship they have with their governments. Now granted, the Egypt, Libya and Syria of today may not look exactly like what we might have expected as a result of the protests – but if we look at our own history in America we can see that, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, its arc is long but does indeed bend towards justice.
So we need the Arab Springs, and the long hot summers of discontent — but they’re just the beginning.
For those who have watched the “Godfather” trilogy starring Al Pacino among many stars as Michael Corleone as the head of a powerful crime family will recognize the intensity of my quote to start this blog. Michael throughout the movies is portrayed as the good son, who is attempting to take the family business and turn it from a dynasty of crime to one of legitimacy. Almost at every turn there is some action by other crime families, which keep him from reaching his goal. This idea carries all the way to the third movie where we find Michael in a fit of frustration say: "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
For the last several years I have said and thought “Gay Pride” had really lost it’s punch. It was no longer a large political, social and spiritual gathering bringing together hundred’s of thousands of queer folk to stand in solidarity for a common cause. In fact over the last several years it seemed to me “Pride” had become simply a major street party and a vendor’s dream come true. When the decision was made in Atlanta to move “Pride” from June to October, I thought, well, if it is going to be a party at least the weather is better!
Then much like in the “Godfather” movies, in step the religious and political right. Just when the community seems to making incredible progress on the road to equality the heat from the right gets turned way up. We begin to see headlines and tragedy from several parts of the country: