Today was Harvey Milk Day in California. Milk was serving as a San Francisco supervisor when he was assassinated by a fellow supervisor, Dan White, in 1978. He was the first openly gay elected official at the time. Milk’s life was brought to the forefront once again in 2008 by Sean Penn, who portrayed him so eloquently in the movie, “Milk,” written for the screen by Dustin Lance Black.
On my way home, I heard on the news that a navy warship would be named after Milk: The USS Harvey Milk. Mr. Milk did serve as a Navy diving officer during the Korean War. Wow!
It appears that we have come a long way since the 70’s, but have we really? Judging from the rhetoric on the airwaves, the screen at home, the web, I don’t know. Just a few days ago, Dharun Ravi, former Rutgers University student, received a mere 30-day jail sentence for his malicious cyberbullying, invasion of privacy, and bias intimidation that contributed most likely to victim Tyler Clementi‘s suicide, two days after Mr. Ravi broadcasted Tyler’s intimate encounter with another male in his dorm room. Unfortunately, the current laws only provide protection and retribution for bullying with actual physical violence by a perpetrator. There are no laws that address the extent of psycho-emotional carnage that the Internet and technology can cause in misguided hands.
One need only to listen to a few soundbites of what the prospective Republican candidates have been saying as they pander to their constituents over the past weeks to see that it is still difficult to live in America if you’re not white, not male, not straight, and if you want to have a say on what goes on between your legs. I’m reminded of Rabbi’s Shmuley’s blog about the Republican Party’s Trifecta. Read and have fun!
It seems that so much has changed. That we have come a long way. And yet, so much still remains the same.
- Harvey Milk Day Recognizes Fallen San Francisco Hero (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Happy Birthday, Harvey May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978 (ronskemp.wordpress.com)
- San Francisco Debates Naming Navy Ship After Harvey Milk (queerty.com)
- Lighter Sentence In Clementi Bullying Case (npr.org)
- Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days in Prison (jdjournal.com)