That's kind of a rhetorical question, because I already know the answer in most cases. You're not doing anything, are you? Here are a couple of points to consider:
- Proposition 8 ELIMINATES a right that people already have, despite the fact that people having this right hasn't hurt anyone or anything. In my opinion, that makes Prop. 8 a civil rights issue more than a gay issue. Do you enjoy the rights you have? Do you think it's fair that just because a majority of people doesn't want you to be able to do something, you shouldn't be able to? Let me tell you, if it were left up to a majority vote, you'd be surprised at how many civil rights that make total sense to you would be eliminated. I think if the majority had their say, you'd see the end of abortion rights, the rights of pretty much any minority to vote, and pretty much anything that benefits anyone who's not upper-middle class and white. This issue is no different. You know this.
- The Yes on 8 people have raised about $10 million dollars more than the No on 8 people. Research has found that both sides have VERY effective ads, but only one side can afford to put those ads in front of voters. Further, Yes on 8's ads are full of flat out lies that people are believing. No on 8 needs money so they can counter these ads with the truth. Yes on 8 is raising more and more money every day. Their contributors go way beyond the borders of our state, because they know that the whole country is watching to see what California is going to do.
- According to polling, the race is very close right now, and in favor of the Proposition being passed. In reality, the situation is probably even worse than that. In California in 2008, people are more likely to lie about their position on this issue than to be overtly homophobic. When I phone-banked for No on 8 this past Friday, I found that about half of the people I spoke to were against the Proposition, a quarter were for it, and the rest claimed that they were undecided or declined to state their position. How many of that last quarter of people do you think really have made up their mind and just didn't want to say? By the way, all of my calls were to voters in NORTHERN California, so this sample doesn't include people in the more conservative areas of the state.
What all this means is that, if you care at all about civil rights, you need to DO SOMETHING. This is important! Just being against this Proposition is not enough. Talking with a few like-minded friends is not enough. Writing a blog post is NOT ENOUGH. In my opinion, here's what's needed, in order of priority:
- Money. This is the most important. Money gets the message out. It levels the playing field. I know that it feels less effective to just throw money in to a hole and hope that whoever is in that hole does the right thing with it, but you have to trust that the No on 8 people know what they're doing. You can go to www.noonprop8.com to donate, and for latest news. It's easy.
- Communication. Talk about Prop 8. You have a blog... write about it. Ask others what their position is. Inform people who have the facts wrong. Record a video for my sad little effort. The important thing is that people who are undecided see that it's ok to be against this. They need to see that this isn't just something that matters to the gay community. They need to see people who are just like them doing what they know in their heart is right.
- Phone bank. Go over to 2278 Market Street (San Francisco) or wherever your local No on 8 office is and offer to work the phones for a couple of hours. People need to be called and reminded of the importance of this. Some people need to talk it out a little, again with someone who seems to be just like them, before coming to the right decision. Some people need a little firing up. Also, while you're there, you can make a donation. They take credit cards.
Seriously... no more complacent slacktivism, people. Picture yourself opening up the paper on the day after the election and reading about how an entire group of people has lost a basic human right. How are you going to feel about that, knowing you did nothing to stop it? Are you ok with that? Are you ok with knowing that it went down right in front of your face, rather slowly I might add, and you ignored it and just let it happen? What's it going to take to see a little bit of action?
Originally posted on pop.vox.com