Anthony Carter

Bullying: Don't Ask, Do Tell

Filed By Anthony Carter | February 21, 2011 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: All in the Family, anti-gay bullying

"Didn't need no welfare states, everybody pulled his weight, you knew who you were then, gurls were gurls and men were men. Those were the days".

In the brilliant and way-ahead-of-its-time show, All in the Family, a bigot, is forced to deal with a world that is constantly changing. bullying.jpgIf left up to old Arch, blacks would still be colored and bringing down property values, gays would be the butt of every joke, women couldn't vote or be heard and it would be ok to refer to Italians, Jews and Polish folk as anything but humans first and then Americans.

Archie was a bully. A comedic one with great timing but a bully nonetheless.

I know all about bullies.

As a cute, little black kid who sang and danced from the time he could walk, I was a target even before I knew the psychological deals I would have to strike in an effort to survive.

Reading at a college level in the fourth grade and producing plays and live shows in my basement didn't engender much love and awe inspiring adoration in my working class east side Detroit neighborhood. As a result, I never learned to deal with bullies as a kid.

Bullies rely on us being afraid, intimidated and viewing them as bigger than life. What a joke. I now know how to effectively deal with them and it is my honor to share my wisdom with all the folks who, like Fannie Lou Hamer, are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Marriage equality and equal rights under the law is never going to happen.

It will never happen as long as we continue to ask others to do what is right. Bullies never come to the realization that what their doing is fucked up. Bullies do not have epiphanies. Instead, they only respond by you not backing down and then telling them, "My friend, the party's over. This is how this is going to get handled."

Why are we waiting on someone to give us rights that should have been given long ago? Why are we still hoping that we can convince people, the majority, the ones with the power, that we really are just the same.

What a waste of time. We are not just the same. We have quirks, fuck ups and folk you wanna lock in the basement when company comes over and yet we are not the same. Our humanity is what makes us similar. Who we are, what we become, and what we do is something completely different.

I recommend that we gather forces and pool our resources. First, we have to realize that we are not of one mind on this or any issue and then not allow that to determine the work that should and needs to get done. It is most difficult to get a movement up and running and stay focused on what's important if every interaction is centered around whether or not at some point you and I will hit the sheets (for further discussion on fetish see my blog entry, "After the Fever").

True power comes from being able to severely implement change and watch as the culture adjusts. At some point in every movement, people got tired of asking and decided to do some serious, do or die taking.

We are now at this point.

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I've always wondered why we have an LGBT culture that ASKS for what it already deserves, and is addicted to holding "Equality Fundraisers" as if we need to SPEND money to buy our rights and convince others that we are "likeable" enough to deserve these rights.

I've always held that TRUE power comes from WITHHOLDING money, as in a tax revolt, and not from spending it, but I'm alone on that one.

I wonder how many other minorities would accept being EXCLUDED from the Constitution, have their families and children demonized, and still pay their taxes year after year after year?

Are we Americans or NOT?! I say if we are segregated from civil law, we do not owe a dime to this country. God knows this segregation causes financial burdens as well as serious psychological ones.

Anthony Carter Anthony Carter | February 21, 2011 5:57 PM

Great John,

I/We have to get nasty and in people's face in order for change to occur. Change is rarely pretty or quiet.

Balancing a Malcolm X approach to a MLK approach has always been difficult for any minority fighting for better representation. Both are needed. Whites could have ignored King's non-violent Christian movement to a much greater extent if Malcolm X and fellow travelers weren't making clear what was going to happen if King's centrist, comformist message was oppressed.

Our movement too needs an uglier, more confrontational side. We used to have it with ACT-UP and Queer Nation. But for now we are pretty much stuck with HRC.

Our young people are our future. We have to protect and empower them.

Tony Soprano | February 22, 2011 9:46 PM

Anthony wrote:
> "Archie was a bully. A comedic one with great timing but a bully nonetheless."

True. But, many BLACK comedians from that era also had great timing, and, while not necessarily equatable to "bullies", these comediatns still got in their fair share of racist (and chauvanist, ageist, etc.) zingers. Examples:

Sitcom Character
Sanford & Son - Red (Redd Foxx)
The Jeffersons - George Jefferson