14 November 2008

One never truly knows who one's friends are - really

When I was a kid, a very prominent citizen of our town died. He was very well respected. When "they" cleaned his house out, our community was stunned to learn the man had a well used KKK "uniform" hanging in his closet. I remember how shocked my parents were when they learned the news.

Today I'm in both shock and mourning. I used the LA Times search engine to see who donated to the Yes/No campaign. It's a data base that one can search by zip code or name. When I typed in my three local zip codes, I was shocked beyond belief. I know every single person who donated to the "yes" campaign. I know them personally. The hate is no longer abstract -- it is personal.

One man, Leon Fairbanks, whom I thought was a friend, donated $15,000 to the hate campaign. I almost fell out of my chair.

One of my very best friends Kim Kunz, a member of the stake presidency, donated $1,000. Another friend, who used to work for me, Ruth Vrajich donated $1,000. She has a board and care facility in Atascadero.

The son of good friends of mine donated $500. He is a 21 year old LDS, married student with a baby and they are struggling to pay the bills and he found $500 to donate to the hate campaign.

Every single "yes" donated in our three town/city area is a Mormon. Every single person.

I was very relieved, though, to see that more people I knew (LDS) did not contribute.

As I write this post, I'm watching a documentary on the History Channel called Voices of Civil Rights. It is documentation of the actual expediences of blacks and whites who were living in the South during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s. The similarities between then, and the black experience, and now, the GLBT experience are eerily similar.

Thanks to my parents, I suppose I'll never understand hate and bigotry. And I'll never understand how a group of people who used to be second class citizens can discriminate against another group of people. I'll never understand the Klan mentality -- and that's what they are, Klansmen.