Discrimination Knows No Boundaries

Detention Center

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Trump Administration's ban on travel from certain Muslim countries on the basis of a narrow definition of national security expands the policy of discrimination against immigrants, people of color, and the LGBT community. The Dept. of Justice, which should protect our civil rights and liberties, has chosen for political reasons to establish a series of policies that discriminate against all of these categories.

Public demonstrations about police brutality against people of color and transgender folks, draconian measures against immigrants crossing the Mexican border, and reversal of a policy protecting the civil rights of the LGBT community have had limited impact in changing these policies. The clear intent is to spread fear and division in the country as a calculated appeal to the most extreme elements of the Republican Party. The blatant callousness is so appalling that most people don't know how to respond it. Public expressions of anger and frustration have limited effect on the autocratic form of government that now rules the nation.

Our Constitution established a balance of power among the three branches of government that has apparently been breached by the complete deference to the Executive Branch. Our founding fathers were particularly concerned about the potential of a dictatorial President who might assume unlimited power and rule as a King. We are facing that possibility now as our President has publicly expressed that would be his preference.

The euphoria about of ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court reversing the prior criminal laws against homosexual sex and the recognition of same-sex marriage may have lulled the LGBT community into thinking that we had won our search for civil rights. Yes, we have made significant progress in recent years through court cases, but we've had little success in passing legislation. We had a sympathetic administration for eight years, but that attitude has been completely reversed into total hostility. We're lumped into the category of "the others," i.e. the people that the WASP power structure that has dominated political and economic power for generations has chosen to attack.

And so Pride Month this year seems not so much as celebration as time to renew our vigilance to protect our civil rights. We still have a lot of economic power, and we can choose to assert it. The repressive legislation of the North Carolina General Assembly has threatened economic development as well as the civil rights of minorities, and that has had an impact. They reversed one of the most egregious sections of one law, but it only papered over its intent.

Clearly the only logical response to dealing with all of these issues is to get out and vote this fall and to change the political landscape at all levels of government.