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Reminder: the blog Carlos in DC has been moved back to Blogger

April 4, 2012

Hello readers and all of you who end up visiting this blog:

This blog has been moved back to Blogger.

Please read Carlos in DC here.

To understand why I left WordPress.

Carlos.

The role of the United States in the Congo genocide

November 14, 2011

Between 6 to 9 million people have being massacred in Congo and Rwanda in the past two decades.

Millions more have been raped, tortured and displaced from their lands so that private corporations can extract highly demanded natural resources.

This is the result of wars promoted by interest groups and corporations of the United States and Europe mostly. You will not hear this in the U.S. media.

A Greenpeace activist protesting on November 7, 2011 to denounce the Danzer German wood producing group’s alleged involvement in the violence against the Yalisika community of Bosanga in Republic Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo Getty Images.

The U.S. House of Representatives held an informative briefing on March 04, 2011 about the ongoing war in Congoand the recently released U.N. Mapping Exercise Report, which maps and documents “the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed with the territory of the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003.” I interviewed some attendants after the hearing:

Appearing in this video:

Human rights activist Emira Woods of the Institute for Policy StudiesJaques Bahatiof Africa Faith & Justice Network, Congolese activist Kambale Musavuli of Friends of the Congo, and war survivor Claude Gatebuke of the African Great Lakes Action Network.

This blog has been moved: Carlos in DC is back in Blogger

October 31, 2011

I have moved my blog back to Blogger.

Please read details and visit the new link of Carlos in DC by clicking in the image.

Restaurant Circa at Dupont Circle.

My first and only mural in DC is behind that flat screen TV – I hope.


Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Ron Paul on immigration and the Latino vote in 2012

October 26, 2011

Immigration is one of the main issues discussed in the 2012 presidential campaign in the United States.

In one side, Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are trying to regain the trust of the mostly Latino and Native communities affected by immigration law enforcement policies, including mass incarcerations and deportations.

In the other side, the Republican Party is still calling us “illegal aliens” and talking about us like we are all criminals.

 

I think “Latinos” need to think as part of the whole U.S. we should not be treated any special than other peoples. Look at Black Americans, often dependent and usable because of the race card. I personally don’t agree with racial separations, we are people before “Latinos”.

The so-called Latino voters are extremely dissappointed on his leadership and most do not trust him much any longer. At least that’s what I hear in the DC metro area.

Photo by Vivir Latino

In the other side, the Republican presidential candidate are furiously blaming us immigrants of all the problems of this country, and during their well-covered-by-the-media debates they use a xenophobic tone to dehumanize undocumented immigrants by calling us “illegals” or “illegal aliens“.

In those debates is where I noticed Ron Paul the only GOP candidate who comes across as honest, with integrity and the character needed to be the leader of this nation in the tough times that are coming ahead. The equation seems very simple.

So when my progressive friends tell me in despair they refuse to vote for Barack Obama -but they will never consider supporting a Republican- I remind them that at the end of the day, both parties are corrupted anyways. But there is onlyone candidate in this race who seems to be telling the truth.

I’m an undocumented immigrant [...] So this post is about an issue that is very personal to me.

Let me start by saying that I’m disgusted at the hypocrisy of the current White House, lead by a president who has lied shamelessly about every issue, but especially about immigration. President Obama promised a comprehensive immigration reform, and instead he has enforced the current laws in a Nazi-like fashion, displacing about 1.2 million workers most of whom are Native, indigenous or Latinos.

Cowardly, president Obama blames the Republicans in Congress of his failure to deliver his promises, and he has used theDream Act (a bill that would give citizenship to undocumented students raised in this country) as a political tool of distraction and “hope”.

Meanwhile, Republican-led states like Alabama and Georgia are following Arizona’s bad example by passing xenophobic laws that racially target indigenous communities. Even in the Department of Justice says the opposite, those racist laws have in essence the same mentality leading the Obama administration.

It’s not like the Democrats are friends of immigrants neither. Democrat leaders use working class voters -mostly Black and Brown- for their political gain. For instance, the current anti-immigrant laws in the U.S. are based on the abusive1996 IIRIRA Act bill passed by, guess who? Democratic leader and then president William “Bill” Clinton. It was a GOP-majority Congress then, but in 2008 the Democrats had a full majority in both the House and Senate, and they did nothing to repeal that law.

Actually, Bill Clinton incarcerated more Black and Brown men than any U.S. president in history.

Immigration is a very important issue for our Natives and Latino communities, regardless of what the elitist Hispanic VP of TV station Univision says. Well, she was born in Spain and educated in Miami. What does she know about our plight?

The current immigration crisis has affected our lives deeply, please read this report of Boston University about the impact of detentions and deportations on Latino families. The reality is that we immigrants are facing really tough times in the U.S., with broken families, increased poverty and an unknown future.

How can’t this affect us? About 53% of Latino families in the U.S. have a member who is undocumented, and those who can vote will think about this in 2012.

Reelecting Barack Obama would be a terrible mistake for this nation in general, as he is ruling for the rich and their corporations, while he is endorsing war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and recently Libya. Now he is invading Africa and preparing to attack Syria and Iran, and perhaps even Venezuela, Obama has proven to the world that he is not for the people, he’s worst than Bush.

As some of you know, I’m an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S. for over 14 years. I’m aware that I might never get U.S. citizenship, considering the current abusive mentality ruling the U.S. government’s policies and actions regarding undocumented immigrants.

However, I like to present my opinion about the issue of immigration, given the concern the candidates and the media are showing -mostly to blame us of their failures. So this post is about an issue that is very personal to me.

Let me tell you also that I participated actively in the 2008 presidential campaign by helping a few friends with online activism, in order to support the electrifying election Barack Obama. That is something I deeply regret 3 years later, not for the learning experience but because of the consequences of that election. Obama lied to all of us.

So here comes Ron Paul who unlike Barack Obama, has a lifetime record of proven consistence between what he says and what he does.

Photo Getty Images

Ron Paul on Immigration

This is what Ron Paul proposes for immigration, from his campaign website:

Secure the Borders – A Matter of National Security

A nation without borders is no nation at all.

It just doesn’t make sense to fight terrorists abroad while leaving our front door unlocked.

Unfortunately, for far too long, neither major political party has had the courage to do what is necessary to tackle the problem.

Instead, we’re presented with so-called “solutions” that involve amnesty proposals or further restricting Americans’ civil liberties through programs like REAL ID.

Ron Paul opposes both of these schemes and believes they will only make illegal immigration and the problems associated with it worse.  He has been proud to see states exercising their Tenth Amendment rights and protecting their citizens by refusing to comply with the unconstitutional REAL ID law.

While the federal government neglects its constitutional responsibility to protect our borders, it continues to push mandates on the states to provide free education and medical care to illegal immigrants at a time when the states are drowning in debt.   This must not be tolerated any longer.

Like most Americans, Ron Paul also understands just how valuable legal immigration is to our country.

Immigrants who want to work hard, obey our laws, and live the American Dream have always been great assets.

I agree. The U.S. cannot enforce its immigration laws unless it includes an vast and realistic enforcement of border security.

This is a very complicated issue, because it is not about militarization of the U.S. – Mexico border, or constructing a multi-billion fence, but about monitoring the border region with technology and devices that can stop not only the cruel human trafficking of workers, but also the trade of illegal drugs and armaments in both sides of the border.

This border enforcement will not happen under Obama.

Because as long as corrupted mafias control the White House and Congress, there will not be any border security. It is a great business for corporations and cartels to have unprotected borders where they can sneak in cheap labor, drugs and guns both ways. Meanwhile, thousands of innocent people die in the desert, and many are being robbed, raped and abused by traffickers. And some of those who make it, will eventually get incarcerated.

Common Sense Reforms

If elected President, Ron Paul will work to implement the following common sense reforms:

Enforce Border Security – America should be guarding her own borders and enforcing her own laws instead of policing the world and implementing UN mandates.

No Amnesty - The Obama Administration’s endorsement of so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, will only encourage more law-breaking.

Abolish the Welfare State – Taxpayers cannot continue to pay the high costs to sustain this powerful incentive for illegal immigration.  As Milton Friedman famously said, you can’t have open borders and a welfare state.

End Birthright Citizenship – As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be granted U.S. citizenship, we’ll never be able to control our immigration problem.

Protect Lawful Immigrants – As President, Ron Paul will encourage legal immigration by streamlining the entry process without rewarding lawbreakers.

As long as our borders remain wide open, the security and safety of the American people are at stake.

As President, Ron Paul will address immigration by fighting for effective solutions that protect our nation, uphold the rule of law, and respect every American citizen’s civil liberties

I agree with most of these statements, even though the campaign team with Ron Paul need to explain his ideas in a more humanitarian way. As some of my friends point out, these proposals appear to be extremist, racist and xenophobic. Many progressives and independents are resentful about them.

In this video, Ron Paul explains to the right-wing journalist Jorge Ramos of TV station Univision, his views on illegal immigration. I like the fact that Ron Paul doesn’t use race as a factor to modify his policies in order to manipulate non-White people:

Ron Paul seems very honest and authentic and that is his personal signature. Unlike the Democratic party leaders and activists who use Immigration Reform as a political tool for elections -convincing Latinos, Blacks and Natives to support them every two or four years based on racial division- and a way to profit in the “non-profit” sector.

Reform that benefits all

Yes. The obsolete U.S. immigration laws need to be reformed to reflect the current reality of the world, which is facing crisis of human displacement.

The current laws are intended to punish undocumented immigrants -eliminating the effect not the causes- instead of providing workers with a realistic legal way to migrate, and those of us here with a path to citizenship that can benefit all the parties involved.

This allows a few private corporations to make a profit out of mass incarcerations and deportations. The Prison industry linked to the War industry is among the biggest lobbyists and donors of Washington politicians, including Barack Obama.

Paul calls for the end of the “Welfare State” which I support. Undocumented immigrants like myself, do not need handouts nor charity from the U.S. government. We should not come here to beg or to live off social programs intended to help those citizens who are in extreme need. Even if we pay taxes -we do thanks to the IRS convenient immigrant-friendly policies.

Living in the U.S., I have never used any welfare program from the federal government, but I have witnessed how some undocumented immigrants have used them by using fake IDs or stealing other peoples’ identities. They are a minority among us, but it happens too often and they give us a bad name. That corruption is allowed by the current system.

Also, the U.S. government should reform its immigration laws to prevent corporate corruption, workers abuse and human trafficking. It should give people a chance to legalize our status not only by paying fees and filling up forms, but mostly through self-financed years-long, community based educational programs that would guide immigrants to understand the meaning of becoming a U.S. citizen, by learning the values, rules, cultures and ways of living of the peoples of this country.

In this sense, I sympathize with those who are afraid or suspicious of the cultural isolation that many Spanish-speaking immigrants choose as a result of fear, prejudice, rejection or racial and class division. Many new comers, especially Natives and Blacks stay separated from the U.S. mainstream Anglo culture, because they are kept away by the language barrier and their own media, which promotes a “ghetto” mentality of self exclusion. This does not help our communities, especially our children.

No, I am not for cultural assimilation based on White supremacy, but I think immigrants should respect the values of the majority of the current population of this country.

No, I do not support the end of birthright citizenship, but I think is necessary for this country to prevent immigrants to come here only to have a child and then return to their homeland, hoping that they will get citizenship (and its social benefits) when their child turns 18. I personally know of cases of Peruvians who live in Peru and have traveled to U.S. hospitals to give birth to their children. That corruption mentality needs to be ended.

Finally, I think that this country needs to be honest with its responsibility on the increase of illegal immigration in the last two decades, caused mostly by economic and military policies created by Wall Street and Washington, DC. These factors have affected the lives of millions especially in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America.

For instance, the so called Free Trade Agreements with Mexico and Central America, have destroyed the economies of millions of workers and indigenous farmers, while U.S. funded internal conflicts with the support of the CIA and the Pentagon, have displaced millions from their homes in those regions.

Those who oppose the legalization of immigrants, need to understand that most people do not come to the U.S. illegally by easy choice, not at all. Many of us come here as a matter of survival, as a way to survive poverty, discrimination, violence.

But as Paul states, other group of people migrate here only to take advantage of the “welfare system” of this country. I have seeing many undocumented immigrants faking marriages and labor certifications just to get U.S. citizenship, including gays and lesbians who pretend being heterosexuals -they pay or get paid for those frauds. That is corruption.

Also, it is very important for those who advocate for immigrants rights to listen to the other side. I’m trying to do that, because I know many U.S. citizens who are afraid or angry at the increasing number of undocumented workers, especially in these times of economic hardship and high unemployment rates.

To those of you who think the lives of 12 million undocumented are identical, I remind you that we immigrants do not run this corrupted system of labor abuse and human trafficking. We did not create this worldwide crisis of the increasing inequality between the rich and the poor. Do not attack us, fight to change the system that is hurting you as well. And remember that not all of us are the criminals the media shows almost every day.

So how do you change the system? Maybe voting for a new president can help.

For once, I am extremely convinced that Barack Obama will not solve the immigration crisis if reelected. He has proven with his actions that he is a dishonest man who cares little about the poor and the oppressed. I believe that he intends to continue using the Latino votes while incarcerating and deporting at least 400,000 workers every year, and keeping immigrants in the limbo of uncertainty and fear.

Like I wrote before, I will fight my case to legalize my immigration status, but if I am ordered to leave the U.S. I will do it knowing that my only crime was to overstay my student visa, that I tried to follow the laws but the laws made it impossible for me to follow them.

If I decide to return voluntarily to Peru where I am from, it will be because I do not want to get incarcerated and abused by asystem that profits from human exploitation, a system openly supported by the current Democratic party and president Barack Obama.

So, in behalf of human rights for immigrants, the safety of humanity and world peace, I think that Ron Paul might the best choice for the 2012 presidential elections. At least he is telling what he really thinks. So I invite Latinos, Natives, and anyone who is eligible to vote in the U.S. to watch carefully and consider supporting the candidacy of Ron Paul.

President Obama misused legacy of Martin Luther King Jr at Memorial dedication in DC

October 16, 2011

This morning president Barack Obama dedicated the long-awaited Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC.

President Obama misused the legacy of King and the dreams of millions of people, in a speech where he praised the legacy of King while as president he is doing exactly the opposite. The words of Obama did not match his actions.

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. is a brave man who have inspired me – I learned of King since I was a kid growing up in South America- and he has inspirided millions in the w0rld. MLK is a hero not only for the U.S., but for the whole humanity.

President Obama and his family at the foot of the MLK Jr Memorial statue today. (Photo by Sarah Courtney/Fox News posted by Mark Knoller)

This might upset some of the readers, but this is my most honest opinion. I suspect that if Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were alive, he would be embarrassed and upset by the actions of presidente Obama as the first Black U.S. president.

The betrayal of Obama to the people who elected him -and to all the people in the world who saw him as a symbol of hope, peace, justice and true change- is a painful fact that many don’t want to accept yet, especially African Americans who still judge the president by the color of his skin.

From what I saw and heard today, it was a hypocritical ceremony. The fact that the most pro-war president in recent U.S. history inaugurated the memorial dedicated to a fierce anti-war activist, would offend anyone who respects the legacy of King.

Today we witnessed how the U.S. mass media machine manipulated the great values shared by the people of this unique country. Black American heritage and the legacy of MLK Jr. are being misused by the White House.

Here are some of the words that president Obama said today:

For this day, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s return to the National Mall.  In this place, he will stand for all time, among monuments to those who fathered this nation and those who defended it; a black preacher with no official rank or title who somehow gave voice to our deepest dreams and our most lasting ideals, a man who stirred our conscience and thereby helped make our union more perfect.

The monument itself is far from being a symbolic piece for American heritage especially for Black Americans. It was made in China by a Chinese sculptor with Chinese granite. China was one of the few nations in the world to castrate African slaves so they won’t mix with the locals. I’m not saying that Blacks should reject anything Chinese, but the material chosen -very White stone- is just wrong in every sense.

The MLK Memorial is surrounded by memorials dedicated to mostly White men who slaved Natives and African peoples, and of monuments dedicated to unnecessary cruel wars. The Korean and Vietnam wars are shameful pages of human history, where imperialism caused the killing of millions. Not much has changed since then, and today we have wars conducted by a Nobel Peace prize in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and soon Uganda-Congo and possibly Syria.

[...] And finally, there are the multitudes of men and women whose names never appear in the history books –- those who marched and those who sang, those who sat in and those who stood firm, those who organized and those who mobilized –- all those men and women who through countless acts of quiet heroism helped bring about changes few thought were even possible.

A few miles away from the MLK Memorial, the people of the U.S. have taken two main public squares of the city, as they desperately protest the current system of abuse, privilege and injustice promoted by the White House and Congress –both controlled by the corrupted elites and their abusive private corporations.

Many people in this country are living difficult times as capitalism faces its deepest crisis ever, but Barack Obama who has appointed only Wall Street employees to his economic team, has ignored the protesters’ demands but somehow referred to them as “the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there”.

It is right that we honor that march, that we lift up Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech –- for without that shining moment, without Dr. King’s glorious words, we might not have had the courage to come as far as we have.  [...]

The most significant discourse by MLK today is not only the “I Have a Dream” speech –which is exploited by the U.S. government to ignore the anti-war and anti-poverty activism done by King before he was killed. This speech was ignored by Obama who is conducting 3 illegal wars. This is why Doctor King was assassinated:

President Obama went on to say:

Look at the faces here around you, and you see an America that is more fair and more free and more just than the one Dr. King addressed that day.

Not true. U.S. citizens make today one quarter of the world’s prison population, there is so much inequality in this country today where the rich is getting richer and the poor is getting poorer, violence and lack of opportunities still affect non-European communities and racism is as strong today as in the 1960’s. Just look at what is happening in Alabama and Arizon.

We live in times where civil rights and basic freedoms are attacked by a paranoid U.S. government which spend billions on controlling its population by spying on phone calls, emails, trips, finances and any private data. The people of the U.S. is today controlled and repressed by the Prison and Armament industries, while illegal U.S. drug cartels keep making good business, and being non-White in this country is still a disadvantage.

Today, Black families are torn apart by the mass incarceration of Black men -causing a 72% single mothers rate. Labor abuses and slavery occurs in this country as well as the exploitation of undocumented workers as cheap labor -we are even blamed for the U.S. deficit. Meanwhile the unemployment rate grows to levels never seeing in U.S. history before.

 He tells us that we have a duty to fight against poverty, even if we are well off; to care about the child in the decrepit school even if our own children are doing fine; to show compassion toward the immigrant family, with the knowledge that most of us are only a few generations removed from similar hardships.

This is the same president who have incarcerated and deported over 1 million undocumented immigrants, most of them indigenous peoples of the Americas, separating families and traumatizing children for the rest of their lives. How can a man be so shameless?

I will continue this post later.  As I deal with the harshness of being an undocumented immigrant myself, I have to find ways to make a living somehow — while trying not to let fear and the uncertainty of a safe future defeat my soul. It is hard.

Those of you who read this might be asking yourselves “Why is this illegal disrespecting my president? If you don’t love it, leave it…” I’ve heard it all before. But I do love this country and I wish one day I would call it my own. It is painful for me to see it falling into uncertainty and sadness.

Instead, I want you to think about today and these crucial moments faced by this country, this is a crucial time for the world and humanity.

To Black Americans, I don’t intend to disrespect your values nor ignore the meaning of having an African American president inaugurating the MLK Memorial. But let this be a lesson to be learned by all of us who have faced racism in some way in our lives: the ethnic heritage of Barack Obama does not define what type of human being he is.

The current system of corruption, abuse, wars, injustice, racism, xenophobia, inequality and mass manipulation that is ruling the United States is not what Martin Luther King Jr. fought for, the country we see today is not what Dr. King gave his own life for. Not at all.

My landlord, a 65 years old Black man who has worked over 35 years as a public schools worker, has to work cleaning offices in order to survive these difficult times. Otherwise he would lose his home to the abusive bank that is taking most of his salary.

Dr. King was a man of flesh and blood and not a figure of stone that he inspires us so.  His life, his story, tells us that change can come if you don’t give up.  He would not give up, no matter how long it took [...] And that is why we honor this man –- because he had faith in us.

I wish president Barack Obama were the honest man we all thought he was. I’m not interested on his previously-written-by-someone-else speeches. Excuse me but I have lost faith on Obama, a man who has betrayed the legacy of MLK, someone who is working for the selfish rich and the corrupted mafias of this country.

Obama is not the one who will change this nation for the best, and I dislike him using the legacy of MLK today in order to continue manipulating and distracting the people of the United States from what is happening to this country.

You can listen to this well prepared speech:

I suggest you also listen to this spontaneous, honest, heart-felt speech:

Update:

Cornell West arrested at Supreme Court

Christopher Columbus should not be celebrated: VIDEOS of protests in Washington DC

October 12, 2011

We cannot celebrate Christopher Columbus because he was a criminal who started five centuries of death, robbery, racism and imperialism.

We should not glorify and thus justify Columbus’ horrendous legacy of crimes against the whole humanity, because we will be justifying the continuous abuses caused by colonialism and racism.

Christopher Columbus -like most of the European invaders of the world- was a despicable man who believed in White supremacy, he was evil and sold humans as a slave trader in Africa and the Americas. He was a religious fanatic who believed in the supremacy of European people, just because his God mandated it to be that way.

We will not celebrate Columbus because he started and promoted the biggest holocaust in human history, the genocide of Indigenous peoples in the Americas -which was justified by a hateful religion and by a mentality of European supremacy and imperialism.


These VIDEOS show part of an anti-Columbus protest held in Washington, District of Columbia, this past October 10th, 2011 in the Columbus memorial at Union Station.

Stop glorifying genocide!


We should never celebrate Columbus of any of the men who committed such horrendous mistakes made in the past. We need to learn from those crimes, because the first contact of Europeans and Natives peoples did not have to be that way. In fact, the arrival of Colon was not the first time White immigrants arrived to this land. It was the first time they came hungry for gold, food and blood.

Not much has changed

This past Monday, the U.S. government celebrated a holiday in honor of the slaver Columbus. The office of the first non-fully European president of the U.S. Barack Obama, issued a declaration recognizing Indigenous peoples:

These explorers [invaders], and countless others that followed them, encountered indigenous peoples that had lived in the Western hemisphere for tens of thousands of years.  On this day, we also remember the tragic hardships these communities endured [genocide, slavery, forced displacement, abuses that still happening today].  We honor their countless and ongoing contributions to our Nation, and we recommit to strengthening the tribal communities that continue to enrich the fabric of American life.

This declaration was another symbolic gesture of hypocrisy, as millions of Indigenous migrants from the South are being incarcerated and deported by the U.S. government. Most embarrassing, the capitol city of this country has a sports team labeled “Redskins“, among hundreds of other teams across the country named Chiefs, Redmen, Indians, Savages, Braves, etc.

The fate of Natives peoples changed since 1492 and turned our lives into nightmares that continue today.

Native peoples are still being killed today while the high rates of poverty, unemployment, suicide, drug addictions, children mortality, prison population, human-caused diseases, labor abuses and mass displacement among the Native communities of the U.S. and the rest of the Americas, are outrageous and inexcusable.

This is why we protest Columbus and his legacy.

We do not ask for revenge. We want understanding of humanity of why we are diverse and that we are related to each other. We will not move on beyond the painful legacy of colonialism, unless we recognize our mistakes, we apologize and commit to prevent genocide to ever happen again. We will never celebrate or be silent about it .

Because if we celebrate Columbus, we justify death, wars, racist hatred and crimes against humanity in the name of false values — it is happening now in Congo, Sudan, Libya, Palestine and other occupied regions of the planet.

We protested this week, do your part.

Re-educate yourself and those around you.


Videos by Carlos A. Quiroz. Graphics and photos posted by American Indian Source, Peruanista, Ross Wolfe

When I met Frank Kameny: pioneer LGBT civil rights leader has died – VIDEO

October 12, 2011

Frank Kameny, a pioneer of the LGBT civil rights movement in the United States, has died at age 86 while sleeping at his home in Washington, DC.

Franklin Edward Kameny was born in New York City and lived most of his life in Washington, DC. He was a World War II veteran, a Harvard PhD on Astronomy, and he was fired from the U.S. government in 1957 for being homosexual.

Kameny fought his case unsuccessfully at the U.S. Supreme Court (1961, first gay rights case ever filed). Since then he dedicated his life to organize and advance the LGBT civil rights movement in the U.S. The documents of his activism are now part of the Library of the Congress.,

He was very approachable, wise and kind, I met Kameny a few times during public acts where he was invited, and I interviewed Frank Kameny briefly in June 2010 during the Capitol Pride Parade a few days after a street in DC was renamed after him.

At least I got to thank him.

Frank Kameny in Washington, DC, in a photo dated in 1970

Every great social movement needs great leaders that people can look up to, to follow and learn from. It is important for the collective memory of communities, for the history to be read by future generations and because every movement needs faces to be recognized.

With the death of Frank Kameny, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities of the United States and the world, have lost a great leader. It is important that his legacy is never forgotten.

Reactions to Kameny’s death:

To be remembered

Frank Kameny on the birth of the U.S. LGBT civil rights movement

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