Human Rights Campaign Should Respect All Human Rights sign now


My membership with the HRC ended in mid-2006, and I, from this point on, will refuse to devote any of my money or time to this organization. Initially, qualms arose with this organization as I better understood how deeply entrenched in identity/assimilationist politics it is. However, my recent decision to have no further affiliation with the so-called Human Rights Campaign is a direct result of the findings revealed in the Buying for Equality material recently released (2007).
While it is true that many multi-national corporations are attempting to incorporate LGBT-friendly policies into their faŠ·ade of Diversity Programs, one must consider the question of equality from all angles, not from the merely self-interested vantage of LGBT rights. If one were to consider that Shell Corporation received a score of 85 on the Corporate Equality Index, one would think that Shell is doing quite a bit (though not enough) internal work to further the plights of human dignity and equality. However, scratching the surface just a bit reveals that Shell has been strongly tied to political murders in Nigeria (those who protested Shells oppressive and intrusive presence in the country were summarily hanged by the countrys militaristic government) and has degraded or destroyed much of the lands of the Ogoni people in that country. Similarly, Coca Cola Corporation, granted a lofty score of 100 on the Index, has been quite thoroughly condemned by independent investigators (including a delegation headed by the New York City Council in 2004) and various human rights groups with involvement in the death of a myriad of workers in a bottling plant in Colombia, primarily those who were attempting to form unions to better ensure their human rights. The list could go on for quite some time concerning what the Human Rights Campaign views as steps toward equality and what actually happens to people in the worldDow and its ties to war crimes, Kraft and its ties to Altria, the tobacco giant, etc. Suffice it to say, the egalitarian image most corporations put forward is not to be trusted whatsoever. Why then are we so keen on thrusting forth the contents of our wallets, purses and pockets to these monolithic murderers? More importantly than this perhaps, why and how has the gay community been co-opted by corporate culture?
Shouldnt we, as part of an oppressed minority, be quite carefully considerate of the rights of others, as well as skeptical of the dominant forces in society? It is nearly impossible to isolate one variable in a social equation (how class, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, age, etc. interact and overlap), so it is more than disheartening to see the largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality in the United States omit so much consideration of the civil rights of those other than we who are categorized under the nebulous moniker GLBT.
More should be done to incorporate a richer understanding of the many issues at play in questions of sexuality and gender. More should be done to ensure that LGBT persons care not only about their own rights, but the rights of all other human beings in this terrifying place we call the world.

Cordially,Joshua Michael Sebrasky

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Ursula KellerBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
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Human Rights Campaign

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