After a protest over the cover up of issues using pro-LGBTQI stances, led to condemnation of vandalism cause, has the world in general lost our will to fight, or care, for the greater good?
There is general condemnation today abounding about the “pinkwashing” of several bank machines and police stations in Auckland, New Zealand.
The group behind the vandalism of an ATM, or as it was branded a “GAYTM” – painted to celebrate pride season – is Queers Against Injustice. They claim that the bank in question, ANZ, is using Gay Rights as a cover up for more disturbing social injustices.
No one has yet taken responsibility for the attacks on the police stations, but the “activists” attached a note to their work which read as follows
PINKWASHING: a term used to describe how the LGBTQIA struggle is co-opted to whitewash over unethical behaviour.
“1. Israel uses a pro-LGBTQIA stance to distract attention from its military occupation of PALESTINE.
“2. We see it in AOTEAROA [the Maori name for New Zealand] when corporations (such as ANZ) strategically use gay-friendly marketing to increase profits by exploiting their workers’ rights.
“3. We saw it at the PRIDE parade on Saturday when a Maori transwoman was tackled by a security guard, her arm broken, and she was refused medical attention by police while she was protesting the inclusion of a POLICE float in the parade.”
There has been widespread condemnation by the attacks, by both straight and LGBT groups, with many saying it is poor form that the activists resorted to vandalism to make a point.
Which has me thinking, are we so refined and overprotected in society today, that we suddenly feel the urge to tut tut every time someone makes a political statement? From a close observation, across social media, many leading gay voices, are disapproving of such action, as nothing more than petty vandalism.
And sadly this is quite worrying. I am most definitely not condoning this sort of behaviour, but what i do condemn, is the idea that people shouldn’t be allowed to make a statement.
That is really what the whole issue comes down to. In our modern world of 24/7 surveillance, we are terrified to step one toe out of line, no matter for what worthy cause. We’d much prefer keep our heads down, and go home to our cozy fire, and sip our ice cold G&Ts. Because after all, it doesn’t affect us.
But everything affects us. No matter how hard we try ignore it, everything has some consequence for us no matter how big and small. As the statement from he activist above claims, many governments and businesses use a pro-LGBT stance, which is popular today throughout the Western World, to distract folk from more sinister stances they may take on other issues. This affects every LGBT person directly, as we are being used as a cover, or a scapegoat.
This should outrage every person who is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Asexual, as it pretty much playing us for nothing more than fools. We should not be allowing our rights and fight for equality be used as a scapegoat, for whatever reason. But, alas we have so many for the community, simply unimpressed and dissatisfied that anyone could “embarrass” us or “step out of line.”
Violence against anyone is deplorable and I would never stand for it. But as much as the voices out there scream about this is a “not a peaceful protest,” surely throwing paint on a wall, or machine is about as peaceful as activism can get.
Our struggle is not over, yet more and more people are becoming complacent, with a mindset of “sure isn’t it grand now, better at least than it used to be anyway.” And while true, we should not just give up because we are 75% there. Our fight was born out of activism, and disturbing the peace.
Change does not always occur through a simple march and banners. Sometimes something a little more drastic is essential. And while pinkwashing may not be the most appropriate solution, it is better than being complacent about issues you feel strongly about.
I am not an activist, and do not condone this behaviour. I am simply expressing our right to protest.