Recognition Overdue for Bayard Rustin - President Obama Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom. Campaign seeks to honor Rustin with postage stamp.

  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Mar 16, 2012 4:53 PM GMT
    Recognition Overdue for Bayard Rustin

    Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Gay Strategist, Deserves Better

    The MAN BEHIND THE MAN: Bayard Rustin's 100th LGBT Birthday Toast

    Saturday, March 17, 2012 · 12:00pm - 12:30pm
    Wherever You Are at Noon. Or in D.C. at the MLK monument.


    NEXT YEAR, MARCH 17, 2012, is the 100th Birthday of the gay-hero of the modern Civil Rights Movement - Mr. Bayard Rustin.

    Much will be done around this, and we'll go with the flow.

    But - AT NOON - Let's Raise A Glass -- to THE MAN BEHIND THE MAN.

    Location: Wherever you are. And in D.C. at the MLK Monument.

    Wikipedia On Mr. Rustin:

    Civil Rights Movement Article: "Bayard Rustin, MLK's Gay Strategist Deserves Better":


    Join the AEB Project for SO&GI Civil Rights Equality Now.
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    Mar 16, 2012 9:08 PM GMT
    Definitely overdue.
  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Aug 28, 2013 3:49 PM GMT
    Bayard Rustin: An American Hero No Longer Forgotten

    President Obama's decision to posthumously award Bayard Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It is richly deserved and long overdue.

  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Aug 28, 2013 3:52 PM GMT

    On April 9, 1986, Bayard Rustin gave a speech to a gay student group at the University of Pennsylvania. Here is a transcript of that speech:
    TODAY, BLACKS ARE NO LONGER THE LITMUS PAPER or the barometer of social change. Blacks are in every segment of society and there are laws that help to protect them from racial discrimination. The new [n**] are gays. No person who hopes to get politically elected, even in the deep South, not even Governor Wallace, would dare to stand in the schoolhouse door to keep blacks out. Nobody would dare openly and publicly to argue that blacks should not have the right to use public accommodations. Nobody would dare to say any number of things about blacks that they are perfectly prepared to say about gay people. It is in this sense that gay people are the new barometer for social change.

    Indeed, if you want to know whether today people believe in democracy, if you want to know whether they are true democrats, if you want to know whether they are human rights activists, the question to ask is, "What about gay people?" Because that is now the litmus paper by which this democracy is to be judged. The barometer for social change is measured by selecting the group which is most mistreated. To determine where society is with respect to change, one does not ask, "What do you think about the education of children?" Nor does one ask, "Do you believe the aged should have Social Security?" The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people.

    Therefore, I would like to be very hard with the gay community, not for the sake of being hard, but to make clear that, because we stand in the center of progress toward democracy, we have a terrifying responsibility to the whole society.

    There are four aspects to this responsibility. First, the gay community cannot work for justice for itself alone. Unless the community fights for all, it is fighting for nobody, least of all for itself. Second, gay people should not practice prejudice. It is inconsistent for gay people to be anti-semitic or racist. These gay people do not understand human rights.

    Third, gay people should look not only at what people are doing to us but also what we are doing to each other. Fourth, gay people should recognize that we cannot fight for the rights of gays unless we are ready to fight for a new mood in the United States, unless we are ready to fight for a radicalization of this society. You will not feed people a la the philosophy of the Reagan administration. Imagine a society that takes lunches from school children. Do you really think it's possible for gays to get civil rights in that kind of society? Do you really think that a society that deprives students of food will confer rights to gay people? And what about people my age who don't have my vigor at seventy-five, who are not provided with adequate Social Security? These economic concerns must go hand-in-hand and, to a degree, precede the possibility of dealing with the most grievous problem-which is sexual prejudice.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Aug 28, 2013 7:02 PM GMT
    Thank you, metta8 for this thread, and thanks to President Obama for the recognition of Mr. Rustin. A well-deserved honor.
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    Aug 28, 2013 7:07 PM GMT
    Thank you metta. A timely honor for a fascinating, multi-faceted and talented individual in Rustin, who was the right man in the right place at the right time.
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    Aug 28, 2013 10:54 PM GMT
    Great reads all of them! He truly had an amazing life.
  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Aug 28, 2013 11:05 PM GMT
    Bayard Rustin: The Gay Dreamer Behind Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” Speech
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    Aug 28, 2013 11:27 PM GMT
    What I found interesting about Rustin was MLK's very public support of Rustin. Rustin was openly gay (which was illegal in the 1950's 1960's. He was also openly communist. Others notably Ralph Abernathy encouraged King to distance himself from Rustin. Not only did King refuse to distance himself from Rustin, King remained supportive publically of Rustin.
  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Aug 31, 2013 7:46 AM GMT
    Bayard Rustin: The Man Homophobia Almost Erased From History

    Rustin played a key role in advancing civil rights and economic justice. His partner, Walter Naegle, talks with BuzzFeed about that legacy on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the march Rustin made a reality.
  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Nov 13, 2013 6:13 PM GMT
    President Obama To Award Presidential Medal of Freedom; Bayard Rustin, Sally Ride Among Honorees

    So happy about this one!!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 13, 2013 6:27 PM GMT
    metta8 saidPresident Obama To Award Presidential Medal of Freedom; Bayard Rustin, Sally Ride Among Honorees

    So happy about this one!!! icon_biggrin.gif

    That's great news. Belated congrats to their loved ones!
  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Feb 19, 2014 6:13 PM GMT
    Campaign seeks to honor Rustin with postage stamp


    Anyone wishing to jump in early on the letter-writing campaign to make the Rustin stamp a reality can write to

    Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee
    c/o Stamp Development,
    United States Postal Service,
    475 L’Enfant Plaza S.W., Room 3300,
    Washington, D.C. 20260-3501.
  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Aug 24, 2014 5:00 PM GMT
    In Remembrance: The Life of Gay Civil Rights Icon Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987)
  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Jan 19, 2015 5:20 PM GMT
    Op-ed: Bayard Rustin Was My Love, My Leader

    Walter Naegle remembers the legacy of his late partner, the civil rights leader Bayard Rustin.
  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Feb 27, 2015 7:29 AM GMT


    Let the United States Postal Service know that you want them to honor an unsung LGBTQ hero. Sign on to our letter urging the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee to recommend a postage stamp in honor of Bayard Rustin.


    (Insert your address)

    Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
    C/O Stamp Development
    US Postal Service
    475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 3300
    Washington, DC 20260-3501

    To whom it may concern,

    I write to commend one of the most significant and yet unsung heroes of the civil rights movement for the honor of a commemorative US postage stamp.

    This person is Bayard Rustin, the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, who was an openly gay man and an LGBTQ activist.

    In 2013, Rustin was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In awarding the medal, the President said, "For decades, this great leader, often at Dr. King's side, was denied his rightful place in history because he was openly gay."

    Now we have the chance to help right this wrong. With this commemorative stamp, we can give Rustin and his legacy the public
    awareness and recognition he deserves.

    It’s time to honor a true hero of the on-going fight for civil rights.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Yours faithfully,