Sunday, January 24, 2016

Our Favorite Subject To Bash

And not without cause, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), they make it so easy for us to criticize.
‘Establishment’ criticism of HRC strikes a chord
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
January 24, 2016

Sen. Bernard Sanders retracted his comments about the Human Rights Campaign days after he made them, but labeling the nation’s leading LGBT advocacy group as part of the “establishment” last week struck a chord with some LGBT critics.

Some said Sanders was correct in labeling as “establishment” the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT group known for black-tie fundraising dinners, lauding corporations with pro-LGBT records in its Corporate Equality Index, close ties to Democratic Party leaders and support for Republicans who back LGBT rights (even when their Democratic opponents are stronger on LGBT issues).
[…]
Andrew Miller, a member of the New York-based grassroots group Queer Nation, said Sanders’ comments were accurate.

“I’m surprised Chad Griffin wasn’t flattered that Bernie Sanders labeled HRC ‘part of the political establishment,'” Miller said. “Griffin, who has just returned from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, certainly runs the organization as if that’s what they aspire to. It’s gratifying that at least one American politician understood — at least for a moment — that HRC represents the 1 percent, not the majority of the LGBT community nor the values of LGBT Americans.”
One of the reasons why many in the trans community does not like the HRC,
One of the chief criticisms of the Human Rights Campaign is the view that it has been historically reluctant to insist on the inclusion of transgender people in the LGBT movement. In 2007, HRC ignited a firestorm by declining to oppose a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that prohibited discrimination only on the basis of sexual orientation and omitted gender identity.
[…]
“Especially those who are a little older, my age, believe the HRC is exactly that, they are the establishment,” Juro [Rebecca Juro, a New Jersey-based transgender advocate] said. “They’ve constantly resisted change, they’ve consistently resisted going beyond the rich, white gay level of support. They had to basically be forced into it, embarrassed into it by journalists, columnists and protests. So, I think especially within the trans community, I think calling HRC ‘establishment’ will help [Sanders] a lot because that’s exactly the way transgender people see HRC.”
On the website Unicorn Booty, Jason Parsley writes about what the HRC can do to improve their relationship with the trans community
Hire More Trans People
As president Chad Griffin has done an adequate job of hiring more trans staff and in the past year HRC appointed Hayden Mora, a trans man, its deputy director.

“With Hayden as deputy chief HRC now has a trans person in on the upper level meetings,” Beyer said. “That’s a start.” While Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center added, “I am impressed with how many trans people they’ve added under Chad’s leadership. That’s a really good sign of their intentions.”

Promote Trans Equality
HRC has done a spectacular job using their resources promoting same-sex marriage. Trans activists want the same effort to be put into highlighting their issues — including trans equality.

“HRC needs to use their media shop to promote trans equality. We see full color celebrity ads from HRC promoting marriage all the time,” said trans activist Rebecca Juro. “They could likely win some brownie points with trans people by making and running ads promoting an inclusive ENDA and trans equality in particular.”

Promote Trans Equality
HRC has done a spectacular job using their resources promoting same-sex marriage. Trans activists want the same effort to be put into highlighting their issues — including trans equality.

“HRC needs to use their media shop to promote trans equality. We see full color celebrity ads from HRC promoting marriage all the time,” said trans activist Rebecca Juro. “They could likely win some brownie points with trans people by making and running ads promoting an inclusive ENDA and trans equality in particular.”

Support Other Trans Organizations
HRC’s resources and pockets are deep. So deep in fact that Griffin’s annual compensation at HRC was over $400,000 in 2012. Of course that’s a drop in bucket for HRC’s total revenue, which amounted to more than $50 million in that same year.

Some trans activists would like to see HRC use some of that money to support fledging trans organizations across the country.

Tackle the Issue of Trans Violence
Violence against the trans community is often ignored by authorities, underreported by victims, or ignored and/or underreported in the media. And since crimes against any minority is usually rooted in intolerance, ignorance or fear it will take an aggressive campaign on HRC’s part to really tackle this issue.
And I will add something that they should not do…

  • Don’t make the Transgender Day of Remembrance a fundraiser
  • Don’t dictate to trans organizations and 
  • Don’t take credit for state organizations

And lastly but most important,

  • Don’t propose state legislation without discussing it with state organizations. 

It will take a lot more than lip service to win back trans support, it will take deeds and time.

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