By Charles Blow, New York Times

Proponents of equality have reason to both cheer and cry this week….

Charles M. Blow is The New York Times's visual Op-Ed columnist. Photo by Damon Winter, NYT.

Charles M. Blow is The New York Times’s visual Op-Ed columnist. Photo by Damon Winter, NYT.

One movement for equality [Gay Rights] had its spirits lifted and another [Civil Rights] had them crushed.

But the truth is that these movements are not wholly dissimilar. All combatants for justice are cousins. Jim Crow and Jim Queer are of a kind. So, given what happened on the racial civil rights front this week, the LGBT civil rights movement would be wise to take heed.

Overcoming blatantly unconstitutional laws is only a first step in the never-ending march toward justice. It is in the decades that follow that discriminatory policies can become more illusory….

[T]he changing of laws does not work in tandem with the changing of hearts, which means that minority groups are always vulnerable. When the laws change, some things simply become subterfuge.

All Rights for AllJust ask black civil rights leaders still fighting a huge prison industrial complex, police policies like stop-and-frisk and predatory lending practices. Ask women’s rights leaders still fighting for equal pay, defending a woman’s right to sovereign authority of her own body — including full access to a wide range of reproductive options. Ask pro-immigration groups fighting a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment.

…[I]t is no coincidence that there is quite a bit of overlap among the states that were covered by the Voting Rights Act, those that have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, those with some of the most restrictive abortion laws and those that have considered or passed some of the strictest anti-immigrant bills.

Civil rights activist Andrew Young famously said: "We may have come here on different ships, but we're in the same boat now." The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from the Birmingham jail: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Civil rights activist Andrew Young famously said: “We may have come here on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from the Birmingham jail: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Racial hostility, homophobia and misogyny are braided together like strands of the same rope. When we fight one, we fight them all.

Engaging in combat as a coalition reinforces and expands everyone’s power, reach and influence. We must realize that if everyone can see the sameness in these struggles, rather than the differences, we will be able to see that America is already a majority minority country.

Read Blow’s full opinion here.

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