I’m sorry; I didn’t wear purple today,
But I have to say, in fairness—
I’m not opposed at all to gay rights;
I’m opposed to “raising awareness”
I’ll speak my mind; I’ll teach my class;
I’ll probably reach a few;
But tell me… “raising awareness”—
What, exactly, does it do?
Some homophobic moron
Could be very much “aware”
He knows that he discriminates
And proudly does not care
“Awareness” is a fiction
Roughly on a par with “prayer”
Petitioning an entity
That isn’t even there.
I will not dress in purple
(even though it sounds like fun)
I will not raise awareness—
I would rather get things done.
Explanation, after the jump:
I just found out: today was “wear purple to raise awareness for gay rights” day. I hate that stuff. Not gay rights–I’ll let my record of writing make my case there–I celebrate same-sex marriage, slap down Sally Kern… ok, there is much more, but it’s not important, cos it’s not the point today. The point is, “raising awareness” is as useless as prayer; it’s a place-holder for actually doing something. It allows people to do next to nothing (wearing purple is not quite doing nothing) and still feel they have done their part. It’s the magnetic yellow ribbon on your SUV (watch it–beyond the intro, it gets better), it’s the cartoon avatar on facebook, it’s the lapel pin… It’s prayer. It’s doing an absolute minimum and feeling like you are on the side of the angels.
Raising awareness is a piss-poor excuse for actually doing something. I don’t want to raise awareness about the pathetic funding of education, I want people to donate to Donors Choose and actually make a difference in some classrooms!
But I digress. I found out about the “wearing purple” bit from LZ Granderson on CNN.com I really like his writing, and I honestly don’t want to disagree with him here, because he is right. But damn, can’t we ask a bit more from people than to wear purple? There are candidates to support, petitions to sign, arguments to be made, people to be moved. This is an important issue, and this is an excellent time to do something about it. No excuses. No “what do you want from me? I wore purple!” If you want to feel good about yourself, feel good about yourself because you actually did something worth feeling good about. Not because you wore the purple shirt. (If memory serves, I’ve worn my purple shirt twice already this semester; why on earth would my students connect a third wearing with an actual cause?)
Ok, rant over. Other rant begins.
LZ Granderson is braver than I am. Take a look at the comments on CNN.com after his article. What a bunch of knuckle-dragging, drooling troglodytes! No, not all of them, but pinheads coming to his article to ask what sort of shirt to wear to show that they don’t support his rights. To write, for all to see, their idiotic opinion that he is worth less than they are, that his desire for the same rights they take for granted is some plea for “special rights”.
I am fortunate, here. I have fantastic commenters. Intelligent, thoughtful, even those who disagree with me have thus far done so for perfectly good reasons. Granderson gets bullies and morons. But to his credit, there they are for all to see.