Day 107 11/6 '20
If your call for "unity" does not begin with the statement that Black Lives Matter, I reject it. If your call for "unity" does not start with the acknowledgement that the humanity and dignity of Black people, of Latine people, of Indigneous people is unassailable, I reject it.
If you call for unity without declaring that humanity, dignity and a basic right to exist belong unequivocally to gay, lesbian and queer people, I reject it. If you call for unity without without proclaiming that humanity, dignity and a basic right to exist belong unequivocally to transgender and nonbinary people. then I reject it.
If you cannot state that women are without exception as fully human as men, then your call for unity is false.
I will try to acknowledge your humanity, and I will try to preserve your human dignity. I will fight for healthcare that includes you, for clean air and water and climate that can sustain your children and grandchildren, for economic justice that relieves your burdens, for systems that support and feed you and your family. But I will not defend you. I will not join hands with you.
I will reject your beliefs because they are not equal to mine and they have no place in society.
“A quote widely attributed to James Baldwin, but was, in fact, coined by Robert Jones, Jr. on August 18, 2015 on Twitter, succinctly states the intention of Son of Baldwin:
We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”
A note from the author, Robert Jones, Jr.: "I said this originally in response to public disagreements between social justice activists I witnessed on Twitter. I wanted to note that despite having different ways of accomplishing what is essentially the same mission of liberation, it's important to keep each other's humanity in mind. I initially didn't think about the broader impact of what I said until it went viral. I find it especially meaningful given the prospect of a Trump-led America, where bigots have found new energy and resolve. It's a reminder that no dogma supersedes any person's inalienable right to liberty. It's a statement meant to let, for example, the queer-antagonistic business owner know that no matter how fervent their religious convictions, it doesn't grant them the right to discriminate against or dehumanize queer people in the public sphere. That's the price of living in a civilized society. What they believe in their own private spaces is one thing, but the moment they enter public spaces, they must abide by the standard of equity that is inherently ours from the minute we are born, simply because we are born. James Baldwin, someone I deeply admire, once put it like this: "From my point of view, no label, no slogan, no party, no skin color, and indeed no religion is more important than the human being."
-Son of Baldwin