With Liberty and Justice For All

May 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm 36 comments

By Rick Jacobs

After watching the President’s speech last night, my hosts (I’m in town on business) took me to the White House area where we watched, photographed and had some fun with hundreds of mostly young folks who celebrated wildly.  It was an odd feeling because it’s hard to be jubilant over death, yet these folks who probably averaged 19 years in age had grown up with 9/11 emblazoned on their minds. Post-9/11 shaped their world view.  For the first time, as one sign said, the witch was dead.

On a personal level, this was all on the heels of Courage’s first-ever spring fundraising drive.  We had to reach $50,000 or we’d not achieve our match.  I know the donors who put up the challenge; they meant it.  We did not know how it would go because traditionally online fundraising occurs around an event: we won the Prop. 8 verdict or we’re being attacked and need money to beat the foes or we’re tracking NOM.  They are all sincere and necessary to the progress you have built here on P8TT and with Courage Campaign in general.  Last month, you funded a $12,000 challenge Adam issued to fund Prop8TrialTracker (and to fund site improvements this week!).  It all matters.

But this time we said to our members, “Courage Campaign has to pay salaries and fund programs.  It all costs money.  If you think Courage Campaign provides value, chip in and some major donors will match you.”  That’s what public radio does and it keeps those stations on the air.  Email is different. People get so much of it, they may just delete a fundraising request.  It’s not like radio where you can change the channel and then come back; with email, if you don’t read it, you don’t get that message ever.

As you know by now, Courage members came through with flying colors.  We exceeded our goal and then some, blowing past the $50,000 mark well before midnight on Saturday.  In the process, we got to know some of our members much better, some of whom I wrote about on Thursday.  Some of the people we talked to won the five iPod Touches; three won the special drawings for the tour of the Castro with Cleve Jones, seats to our friend Terrence McNally’s Master Class and a visit to the set of CBS’ hit show The Good Wife, courtesy of the brilliant Alan Cumming.

One thing is clear:  we have a big and strong Courage family of which you on P8TT are a key part.  We are going to work very hard to get folks together, build communication between staff and members, but also among members, much as you have done here on P8TT.  And yes, we’ll have to come back to ask for money.  That’s the way it is.  We all feel stronger, more heartened and girded for battle because of our experiment last week.

What has this to do with the spontaneous party in front of the White House in the wee hours this morning?  Everything.  Those young folks, men and women, Republican, Democratic or Independent, care deeply about America. And I assure they could care less about who is gay or straight. They don’t much care about race or ethnicity, either.  They care about a nation that promises them a bright future with access to freedom.  That’s why many of them spontaneously broke out into a series of phrases that are the essence of the equality movement, but which we so often forget:  I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

That’s worth celebrating. And that’s what you and Courage are all about.

Entry filed under: Community/Meta.

NRA terminates agreement with King and Spalding Prop 8: New briefs in support of plaintiffs’ arguments on standing issue

36 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann S.  |  May 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Congrats on exceeding the goal!

  • 2. Rhie  |  May 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm


    • 3. Straight for Equality  |  May 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      • 4. JonT  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm

        • 5. Ronnie  |  May 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm

          = ……………<3…Ronnie

    • 6. Alan E.  |  May 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      hmm I thought I posted, but maybe I closed it too early to read the brief Kathleen posted.

  • 7. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    It was odd for me to see so many celebrating over a death as well. I also do not understand the echoing “Justice is Served” I’ve read much today, re-watched the President’s remarks and still don’t find any satisfaction in killing someone.

    I do like the idea that these young celebrating people do not care about the differences that have marked generations before (gender, race, religion….)

    • 8. Ann S.  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

      • 9. Nyx  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm

        Ann, thank you for posting that quote.

        • 10. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm


        • 11. Ann S.  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm

          You’re welcome. I saw it elsewhere today and thought it was fitting.

      • 12. Joel  |  May 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm

        Thank you for posting this quote, Ann. It reflects my sentiments precisely. I knew, just knew, that this community, while acknowledging justice done, would balk at rejoicing in a human’s death, no matter how evil that human, no matter how much blood was on his hands.

        I am glad that bin Laden no longer inhabits this Earth. Others will rise up in his place, perhaps, but none so inherently evil as this one person. But to rejoice in his death is taking an evolutionary step backwards. Was what was done necessary? Yes. Was it admirable? No.

        • 13. Ann S.  |  May 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

          I admit to having mixed emotions about the entire thing. Partly because it takes me right back to 2001 to think about it too much.

          I have to give kudos to the administration and the forces who carried this out for a job well done. But I can’t be happy about it — and yet sometimes I am a bit. It’s complicated.

          • 14. Felyx  |  May 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm

            Not happy per se… but relieved that this part is over I guess.

          • 15. Ann S.  |  May 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm

            Relieved, yes.

    • 16. Rhie  |  May 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      It’s not hateful to be happy about the death of an evil person who killed thousands in dozens of attacks over a decade.

      It’s justice because he was the cause of 9/11, the USS Cole and a dozen other terrorist attacks. He caused death, he gets death. I am not against the death penalty in theory. The only reason I am against the practice is because the US is so very bad at it. We get the right person less than 20% of the time. This time, though, we got the right guy. We took precautions to kill him and not innocent civilians.

      The death of Bin Laden is a powerful symbol that we BEAT THE BAD GUYS. WE WON. The deaths on 9/11 and other times have been avenged. It’s that simple, that human and – in my opinion – an absolutely right reaction.

      The reason people are happy – including myself – have very little to do with the actual death of a person. It has to do with finally, after a decade of promises and mismanagement, we’ve got the guy. It’s closure to the worst attack on America in recent memory.

      Obviously, joy is not the only right reaction. Everyone is going to approach this differently. I just want to explain why being jubilant about this is not a wrong, evil, hateful or bad reaction at all. It’s just one of many possible and equal valid views.

  • 17. Kathleen  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    UPDATE: Perry

    Amicus Brief of AG Harris in support of plaintiffs on the questions certified to the California Supreme Court:

    There will be a number of amicus briefs coming in today and I have the usual problem with accessing documents from the California courts. I’ll be doing my best to acquiring them and making them available.

    • 18. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm


    • 19. Alan E.  |  May 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      This says it all:

      Proponents of a successful initiative have an interest inits validity, but their role in the initiative processconfers no legally protected
      to defend a measurethat has become law

  • 20. Sagesse  |  May 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    So good to see that you exceeded your goal.

  • 21. Kathleen  |  May 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    UPDATE: Perry

    Amicus Brief of California Faith for Equality, et al, in support of plaintiffs in questions certified to the California Supreme Court

  • 22. fern  |  May 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    The irony is that seal in French is phoque, they sealed his fate all right and a good birthday present for me.

  • 23. be4marriage  |  May 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm


  • 24. Bob  |  May 2, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    confused feelings, mixed emotions,, as complicated as this situation is for us, who are finding appropriate personal reponses,,,,,

    put yourself in Obama’s shoes,,,,, Rachel Maddow caught it very well in photographs,,, the expression on the president’s face,,, watching in real time as his command was executed….

    I didn’t see any joy or celebration in him or any gloating in his speech, ( also his resonsibility,),, in informing the world of the facts of his actions…..

    but he can cross off another campaign promise, he did exactly what he said he would do,,,, he followed through…..

    his speech, offered encouragement,,, to LGBT’s specifically when he said, America can accomplish what it sets it’s sites on,,,, making direct relation to what we are still working on achieving,, like equality for all American citizens,,,,, once again he sited a word, EQUALITY the goal we are working towards

    imagine how that statement sticks in the minds of those who are anit-equality,,,,,

    he’s proven himself time and again,,, he has his eye on the prize,,, and reminds of us what Americans can achieve in terms of creating a country where all citizens are free….

    that is the victory to rejoice in,,, the goal that will be achieved,,,

    Osama has met his fate,,, his life on this earth has played out to it’s end,,,, he’s in his God’s care now,, I take comfort in that

    • 25. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  May 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      I think I’ll watch the President’s speech a 3rd time with this paradigm (EQUALITY) in mind. thanks Bob.

      • 26. Bob  |  May 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

        and also consider how that word EQUAITY rings true for the various religiions,,,,, alll are equal in America ,,, Islam, is equal to Catholicism,,, that’s so important for us to hear,, and for him to restate, those American values,,,,, it sends a direct messge to the Catholic Church……….

  • 27. fiona64  |  May 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I cannot get excited about watching privileged college students, none of whom will ever have to go to war because of poverty and lack of job availability, celebrate the death or *anyone.* Vengeance is not justice. :-(

    • 28. Rhie  |  May 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm

      So you know for a fact that none of the hundreds of thousands celebrating never were, are, or will be in the military? Really? I know that assumption to be false based on the pictures of two young men in Naval Academy t-shirts.

      I’m not going to tell you that your reaction is wrong or unpatriotic. I’m not going to say that anyone who is not jumping with joy over the news hates america and wants the terrorists to win. I don’t believe that.

      I believe that the human experience is complicated and so there will be variable reactions from tears of sadness to tears of joy. ALL of these reactions are equally valid. If you don’t feel like celebrating that’s fine. It should be fine with you that myself and others do.

      • 29. fiona64  |  May 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm

        I had a Naval Academy shirt — and I never went there. Just so you know.

        You are free to feel and think whatever you want; I’ll not gainsay you your right to do those things.

        I stand by my position all the same; I cannot get excited about watching this kind of behavior. It endangers everyone — including my stepson, who is on active duty in Iraq. Anyone who was offended at the Saudis dancing in the streets after 9/11 (the people whom Dubya and his crowd tried to pretend were Iraqi in order to push their agenda) should not be surprised that people in the Arab world will find this behavior offensive to *them.*

        Yes, human experience is complicated — but vengeance is not justice. Never has been, never will be.

  • 30. AnonyGrl  |  May 3, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I’ve avoided talking about the bin Laden situation because I felt conflicted, and I am actually glad to see that people are realizing that the celebrating in the streets was kind of wrong.

    Yes, he was a bad man. Yes, he did some TERRIBLE things. But no, I am not EVER happy when someone is shot dead.

    The pictures I have seen of people celebrating in the streets of Washington DC and New York remind me quite strongly of pictures of crowds of people in the middle east shooting guns in the air or burning flags…

    I understand the need for catharsis; I am frightened about the display of fanaticism.

    • 31. Rhie  |  May 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      It’s not wrong to show joy over good news. It is good news that Bin Laden is dead. It’s a powerful symbol if nothing else.

      Personally, I find it frightening that so many people are so comfortable judging others because they feel differently about this. It’s really scary how easily you and others assign bad motives to actions you don’t understand. It reminds me of North Korea where there is just one view about everything and people who dissent are told they are evil or wrong.

      It makes me sad that so many people are so willing to write off other’s feelings and experiences. This could be a great opportunity to learn about another person and perspective. Too bad too many people just want to play more us vs them political games.

      • 32. fiona64  |  May 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm

        How are we any safer for this action, Rhie? Seriously, I would like to know your perspective on this matter.

      • 33. AnonyGrl  |  May 3, 2011 at 1:06 pm

        Hang on there, Rhie… I am not assigning any motives. I am merely telling you what it looked like to me.

        I get that you have strong feelings on this, that is obvious from your response. However, at the moment, you are guilty of the crime you are accusing me of; judging ME because I feel differently.

        Honestly, if you re-read what I said, I UNDERSTAND catharsis, which, for many this was. But whether you like it or not, and no matter how bad a person he was, Osama bin Laden was a human being, and he was slaughtered, and THAT makes me unhappy, and watching people CELEBRATING that makes me even more so. And I am as entitled to that set of feelings as anyone who was expressing their joy at the situation is.

        I am not saying that what those people in those crowds were thinking necessarily had “bad motives”. I am only telling you that to ME the images I mentioned have more similarities than differences and that what it LOOKED like to ME was fanaticism.

        I don’t want to have a blow up over this. I freely confess that the term “patriotic” makes me uncomfortable most of the time. For reasons that are my own (and I will discuss privately with you, if you want), I don’t support the troops. I don’t think we needed to be in Iraq at all, for any reason, and am equally unsure about Afghanistan. You may disagree with me, and that is fine, but please don’t jump to conclusions about what my feelings mean. And don’t accuse me of not allowing others to have differing opinions, even if I do disagree with them.

        All of this is why I was reluctant to express my views in the first place. And so, I am done with this topic. I won’t defend my position anymore here, if anyone is still concerned, they can contact me privately for further discussion.

    • 34. Rhie  |  May 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      I am sorry for the bluntness of that post. I am just feeling a bit attacked but it’s not always about what I feel. I know that there are a lot of good people here who have different views, and that’s OK. I don’t want to see us at each other’s throats because we disagree on how to express our feelings over a news item.

      So, I ask for forgiveness for my part in that.

      • 35. AnonyGrl  |  May 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm

        You know I love you! Even if we are disagreeing on something, it is OK…

        I don’t want you to feel attacked, and I hope that you did not from what I said. If so, I apologize, it was not what I intended.

        Smooches to you!

  • 36. Bob  |  May 3, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden,,, he called it to himself,,, an extremist, terrorist,,, who willingly accepted that eventual demise,,, as part of the price for his actions,,,,

    deranged as he was, taunting the world,,, from his hideout,,, he met his fate,,,

    I mourn the loss of a human soul,, that succumbed to the forces of evil,,, which altered his beliefs, to such a degree he acted them out, and infuenced others to accept his beliefs and act on them for him,,,,,

    mourning of the loss of the human soul, occured long before the evil extremist was shot….

    and the work of humanity continues toward creating a world where the resort to evil will be less enticing, with enhanced opportunities for Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness……


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