Saturday, May 04, 2013

Quote of the Day

It’s true: corporate America runs the LGBT movement, or at least the part of the LGBT movement that gets press time and donors. Their sponsorship keeps the LGBT movement from addressing the issues that matter most for the LGBT community and beyond.

. . . [M]any of the biggest donors to the Human Rights Campaign, the multi-million dollar nonprofit that receives the bulk of donations for LGBT issues, are drone manufacturers. These donors profit off of the United States’ use of drones to kill civilians, including children, with little oversight or accountability. Drone manufacturers are far from the only ethically dark gray to black donors to LGBT advocacy organizations: a brief perusal of any major LGBT organization’s list of donors reveals that corporate black hats like Bank of America, BP, Coke, and Nike all provide major cash to LGBT nonprofits.

And it must be acknowledged that these corporate dollars do some good: programs that encourage the leadership development and empowerment of LGBT young people, the election of LGBT public officials, and advocacy for greater research into LGBT issues would be practically impossible in the modern economy without significant corporate donations. Yet there is something antithetical about a movement for equality and justice funded by the forces in the world most responsible for widespread economic and social inequality.

When the LGBT community is not united with social movements that address the issues facing the most marginalized LGBT people, with racial justice proponents (proportionally more people of color identify as queer), with those fighting against systemic poverty, with pacifists, are we really making any progress? Or has the LGBT movement been kidnapped by power elites advocating for their own interests?

. . . Queer activists around the country, from radical groups like Southerners on New Ground (SONG), and Queers for Economic Justice, are connecting the dots between queer liberation, pacifism, and economic and racial justice. Countless more groups and activists, with or without 501c3 status, are fighting to make sure that queer liberation – not LGBT equality – is tied up with justice for all oppressed groups around the world.

Progress for queer people means nothing if it comes at the expense of others also marginalized and fighting for justice. Gay advocacy paid for by companies that poison the land, treat their workers unfairly, and assist in the killing of children from other nations is worthless in the long run. If we truly want a world where LGBT people are equal, we have to recognize that such equality is contingent upon justice for all people. . . .

– Hannah Kapp-Klote
"Human Rights Campaign: Largest LGBT Donors Are Drone Manufacturers"
May 1, 2013

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Lose/Lose Situation
Quote of the Day – March 29, 2013
Quote of the Day – April 2, 2012
John Pilger on Resisting Empire

Recommended Resource:
Selling Out: The Gay and Lesbian Movement Goes to Market by Alexandra Chasin (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001).

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