Talking Cultural Diversity

a discussion board for cultural and diversity issues by Thomas Kochman and Jean Mavrelis

The Good, the Bad, the Sad, and the Ugly

By Thomas Kochman - 06.26.2015

Commentary and Comments from the KMA team:

Charleston, South Carolina

Angela D. Henderson

Although this is a celebratory day for the LGBT community, it remains an immensely sad day for those in, and around, the African American community. Indeed, it’s somewhat disconcerting — this juxtaposition of joy on one hand and tremendous grief as the funerals in Charleston, SC continue.

These are peculiar times. From a business perspective, the buying power of the LGBT community is immense — that alone ensures that issues of importance to that community will be heard and, eventually acted upon. Case in point, the ways in which the networks air same sex programming is at an all-time high. Conversely, the buying power (influence) of African Americans remains insignificant — particularly as it relates to justice system fairness and influence.

During the arraignment for the monster that murdered the bible study group in SC last week, the judge, for some reason only known to himself, felt the need to speak about the grief of the killer’s family — this was as inappropriate as it was disturbing. Would this Judge have made the same comments if one or more of the victims were personally known, and therefore made human, to him? There is a feeling, in the AA community, that the loss of black lives in American society is an acceptable one.

The combination of in-custody murders, the all to frequent shootings of unarmed youth, and last week’s bible study shootings are eerily reminiscent of times long past — all of which are deeply disturbing.

Angela Byars Winston

As celebration spreads, mourning continues. A Luta Continua for peace and justice.

Tatyana Fertelmeyster

Today is also a day of the first of nine funerals in South Carolina. Based on legal decisions, race discrimination was supposed to be over a long time ago.

Kenneth Addison

See Monica Lindsey Ponder’s article in the Huffington Post.


Supreme Court Ruling On  Gay Marriage

Leah M. Rouse

Tough stuff in Indian Country….mostly split along lines regarding religious orientation when examined closely. Here is a link from Indian Country Today.

Here is another link on gay marriage within the Navaho nation.

Luis Vazquez

I am excited from New Mexico, even when our governor tried to stop it, we passed it a while ago and all celebrated. Now we can really celebrate and my niece can finally marry her partner in her own state. Some mixed reactions due to religion, but overall positive. Hard to believe in New Mexico.

See the following link on Latino reaction to the Supreme Court ruling.

Tatyana Fertelmeyster

Being LGBT is not a crime in Russia. A propaganda of the LGBT lifestyle to minors (whatever that might mean) is an administrative (not criminal) offense. But in Russia everything is open to interpretation.

Charleston and SCOTUS Ruling

Gudy Grewal

The Supreme Court decision yesterday, about making marriage legal for the LGBT community, created a milestone in the US history. Now the law in United States of America dictates that LGBT people also have the right to get married, just like their heterosexual counterparts, granting them (LGBT) the institution of marriage. Yes, this right for marriage for LGBT people was overdue and USA happened to be one of the very few developed/ democratic countries that needed to pass this. While we rejoice about this, let us also keep in mind the struggle that LGBT community went through and the many lives that were lost. Let us be cognizant of the fact that homosexuals had to fight every inch of the way for their birth right of marriage as humans- a right that heterosexuals take for granted. As the international community always looks up to America, I hope that this law will become a role model for other democratic countries like India. India’s Supreme Court went backwards in history by recriminalizing homosexuality in late 2013, when it upheld a British colonial-era law of 1880s. This law states and punishes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” with up to 10 years in prison. Due to this Indian law, homosexuals are not safe in India. Over 500 LGBT people have been arrested so far this year.

Also, as we Americans rejoice about the U.S. Supreme Court decision, there have been other very painful events that have happened in the last two weeks. Hatred amongst human beings is still very much a part of the U.S. culture. The Supreme Court decision (for LGBT people’s right to marriage) came on a day when funerals were being held for the nine American lives lost in Charleston, South Carolina. It took these beautiful nine people to die to even start taking action about the removal of the confederate flag over Government buildings- a flag that symbolizes slavery and has no place in current America.

So, while I join by homosexual fellow beings in their celebration of a great milestone in their struggle for equality, my heart still remains heavy with sorrow for all the lives that we have lost and continue to lose in the name of racism, almost non-existent gun laws, and other discriminatory acts in America.


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