Letters – March 28, 2008

Posted on 27 Mar 2008 at 3:00pm

Commending the Senators
I am an avid reader of Dallas Voice and an avid supporter of the DFW Senators. I attend all their events, and I am very pleased with those events. They are both informative as well as entertaining.

The Senators should be commended for all their hard work.

Denise Moore
Irving

Thanks for recognition
As a cast member of "Queer Anarchy," I want to thank the readers of the Dallas Voice for naming it Best Stage Production. What an honor to know we touched the hearts and opened the minds of so many in our community.

Through Christopher Soden’s words and Mark Brian Sonna’s vision, we tried to shine a light on the complex issues we all face as we seek to identify ourselves in this sometimes oppressive society. This light shines in us all, and it has a name: Pride.

Phillip Davis
Duncanville

Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps
I recently was shot down again in an interview for part-time work today, due to "holes in my resume."

I’ve been pulling myself up by my bootstraps for a long time now, by first earning an associate of applied science degree and then an associate of arts degree. I graduated magna cum laude.

I could only explain my absence from the workforce by offering to show my transcripts and putting a positive spin on my situation. I was quickly dismissed and accused of "hiding something," even though I was completely truthful on my resume.

I guess I should have blurted out that I was a long-term AIDS survivor and sick for many years but now able to work again. I doubt that would have worked.

Employers — If an applicant comes to you with "holes in their resume," don’t automatically assume the worst. They might have a very good reason that is inappropriate to discuss in a job interview. You might even give them credit for not lying about their experience.

I used to think that as a nation we gave people second chances. Now, I feel that the phrase "pulling yourself up from your bootstraps" is only part of a myth.

Actually, we prefer the blessed, the lucky and the favored.

It is also interesting how employers offering part-time hourly work with no benefits seem to feel they are really offering something special.

Edward H. Smith
Dallas

Democrats can have healthy debate
I’m baffled by the notion that people actually think that, as adults, we are so narrowed-minded and shallow that we are unable to have a healthy debate.

For once we have multiple candidates that support our community, making it a difficult choice for most of us. We actually had to look at other issues to make a final decision.

I was at the nine-hour endorsement meeting as were friends of mine from Austin. There were many communications sent out about the endorsement meeting and every single member had the opportunity to come.

Did a nine-hour endorsement meeting suck? Sometimes yes. But at other times it was fascinating to see the exchanges taking place. As someone who sees apathy all over the place, it was refreshing to see people that engaged and informed, regardless which candidate they were supporting.

Should there be a better process to endorse? Maybe. But that should be dealt with in the planning stages of the endorsement process. If you are convinced that the system doesn’t work then get on the committee and change it.

As a John Edwards supporter, I had many lively debates with Obama and Clinton people when Edwards was still running. Had an outsider been listening, they would have assuredly assumed there was angry tension between the two debaters. Nothing would have been further from the truth.

I do not believe the endorsement was "railroaded" at all. Simple math: Clinton people outnumbered Obama people. I’m pretty sure this is called democracy. I know it’s been a while since we’ve seen that but this is what it looks like.

And the presidential endorsement — there was much debate among those who showed up about even endorsing — was not the most important of the day. We had nine hours of local and state candidates asking for our endorsement. It is much more critical for and important to these people.

I do not feel like any Stonewall members feel disenfranchised, not from anything I’ve seen or heard. We all know what our job is and that is to make sure that we do not have another eight years of Bush, which is what we’ll get if McCain wins.

We also know how critically important it is for our down-ballot candidates to have our complete focus. The only thing I’ve heard from competing camps is the same thing I heard when Edwards was still in the race: "They are all great, and we’ll support whoever wins."

That is the bottom line. And honestly, if anybody has a right to pout, it’s the Edwards supporters. Helloooooo! Your candidates are still in the race!

Suzanne Hickman, board member,
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas

Will the conventions be fair?
With the Texas Democratic Party Senate District Conventions being held this weekend (Saturday, March 29), I wanted to alert the community to what happened at the Senate District 23 Democratic convention in 2006.

I am a Democrat because I believe the Democratic Party to be the party of equality, justice, liberty, respect and economic opportunity for all persons. Unfortunately, the 2006 SD 23 convention caused me to doubt this belief.

I was a delegate and a member of the Resolutions Committee. In that committee, we discuss and vote on resolutions covering the gamut of current issues. At the 2006 convention, the Resolutions Committee voted down a resolution calling for universal health care and when it was brought to the floor of the convention, the convention affirmed they did not support universal health care.

Equally appalling, the Resolutions Committee voted down a resolution calling for gay and lesbian families to have equal rights to marriage and the benefits thereof. African-American committee members abused their one-vote majority and block-voted against the resolution while every other person on the committee voted for passage. During the discussion, some of the African-Americans even cited the Bible as justification for their vote.

When I brought this block-vote up to SD 23 State Sen. Royce West at the Dallas County Democratic Party Labor Day Picnic, he brushed me off saying, "That’s only one issue. I’m sure we agree on almost every other issue."

To those of us suffering from this discrimination, it isn’t only one issue.

In the 1967 Loving vs. Virginia case, the United States Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling stated, "Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man.’" The ruling declared anti-miscegenation laws banning interracial marriage unconstitutional.

I have heard Eleanor Holmes Norton — an African-American woman, chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1977 to 1981, and current member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington, D.C. — state on several occasions, including her keynote address to the Dallas Black Tie Dinner in the early 1990s, that "sexual orientation is the functional equivalent of race for the purposes of civil rights law."

I hope the GLBT community and the readers of this paper will watch to see whether African-American delegates to Saturday’s convention once again abuse their majoritarian power to deny the minority GLBT community our just civil rights. I know I will be watching.

Geoff Staples
Dallas



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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 28, 2008

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