Summary and Question
The authors begin with a recounting of the Stonewall Rebellion, which happened when police raided a nightclub for LBTQ+ citizens and attacked them. In this chapter, the authors are proposing a more radical vision of equality. They want systemic change. What does that mean? It means that instead of approval of same-sex marriages for the purposes of getting health coverage and giving same-sex partners rights in making health decisions, they want universal health care for everyone. Instead of hate crime legislation, they want to address the causes of hatred: poverty, police violence, mass incarceration, and housing shortages. In other words, these authors are seeking change beyond their interests as members of the LGBTQ+ community. A more free society–in immigration, support for families, providing adequate housing and health care, might end all of the -isms–not just sexism and anti-gay attitudes. They posit that we need to eliminate the “oppression wars.” You know what they are: My story of slavery is worse than your story of anti-gay and violent attacks because of how you move in the world. Or, my story of genocide, (thinking about indigenous and First Nations people), is worse than your story of slavery and yours of anti-gay policies. Suffering is suffering. We end it for one group, we can end it for all. Being an abolitionist means ending mass incarceration–ending it, not mending it. It means the end of individualism and the beginning of collective responsibility and caring. Do you think that this is impossible? Why or why not?