Tuesday, April 25, 2006
While I see the connections between ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc..., there are many who say those are all separate issues that should be tackled in their own way and time... and by their own folks concerned about those issues.
Listening to Front Page this morning on KJLH (I am a total Dominique DiPrima fan... she's doing her part to really enlighten people!), I am reminded that there are many folks in our communities who think the fight for equality is one that should be fought in separate ways, by separate communities of people.
In L.A. now, the big discussion is about immigration and how this issue affects communities of color. With the KJLH Front Page listeners, many have turned it into a black vs brown argument. Logically, it doesn't make sense. Not all immigrants are brown. Not all immigrants are illegal. And definitely not all immigrants are of Mexican descent. Sounds like "divide and conquer" to me, but many say you have to take care of your own backyard before you can tackle the forest... so to speak. What do you think?
One thing that's totally overlooked in our national discussion is an entire geographic area of the U.S. that's basically ignored in the discussion of poverty, healthcare, jobs, and way-of-life. The Appalachian Mountain areas of the eastern U.S.
A couple writers I'm aware of have written fiction and non-fiction about the issue of class as it relates to the Appalachians -- Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina and Trash) and Crystal Wilkinson (Blackberries, Blackberries and Water Street). Check them out.
But I'm wondering what you think... Are there connections between issues and opressions? Is class the category that should unite people in the fight for equality? Does a critical look at class issues take away from discussions of discrimination around ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation? I think they're all linked and interconnected, but many disagree.
What about LGBT people living in Appalachia, rural America, or chronically impoverished and unemployed in our large cities? We tend to think all of us are SINKS (single income, no kids) or DINKS (doube income, no kids) with tons of disposable income. Maybe that's another commentary. Maybe that's a novel or short story idea...
What's the discussion in your part of the world?