I will let Mixner’s words speak for themselves, the key points here are the themes he explores and question he asks. The article speaks to what seems to be human nature that ‘we don’t learn from the past’ and for whatever reason generation after generation seeks to reinvent the square wheel. His target the self-appointed and self-styled ‘New Gay Civil Right Movement’ (US) it seems a network of vanilla mainstream Gay/Lesbian civil rights organisations. When reflecting on historical successes of liberation movements he makes the following point
“People with clearly defined values and principles are the best agents of change. Those who are willing to negotiate or compromise beyond those values and principles often find that they merely face more demands for them to compromise again…. Individuals who know ‘the line in the sand’ and refuse to compromise are often instigators of great change.”
It seems Mixner calls for us to draw a ‘line in the sand’, a position based on our principles that we will not make a compromise on. He reflects on the 200-year campaign by African Americans to gain freedom and some sense of qualified equality. He indentifies the work of Dr King, and attempts to draw some connections between African Americans journey and our own. However, we were there too, campaigning for equality and observance of our civil rights it seems that all those oppressed by the cultural elite demanded equality at that time.
If we are serious about a civil rights movement, we need to start answering a range of questions.
Who are we? The Rainbow Nation or Vanilla wafer
What is the underpinning ideology? Socialism or Liberal Democratic individualism
What are our shared or community vision, values and beliefs?
Where do we come from? rural, regional, suburban or cosmopolitan
When do we start addressing these issues? Strategic or ad hoc
How do we unify such a diverse community? Collaborative or elitist
Why do we need to undertake this task? Aims & objectives? Goal?