Friday, November 6, 2009

Taking a Week Off?


I wanted to let you know that the only reason I have not posted the weekly video showing this week's additional signatures is because I have taken on a protest project this week, here in my new home of New York City. Trust me - the momentum has most definitely moved forward this week and it's killing me not to be able to share it all with you until next week.

However know this:
  • Some very - VERY powerful comments have come through the petition this week (hint: you could just go to the petition link above if you want to read them right now).
  • There is a coalition forming between this movement and other health care institutions who are going through similar inequality struggles.
  • An exciting organizational endorsement to the petition is on its way.
Though it is very exciting to see the momentum continue to build - it is also disheartening that Orlando Health leaders are still inactive. Let me rephrase that because I'm not under their thumb anymore and I can say it like it is - it's disgusting!

But - this is what bigots do. In every social movement where an oppressed group is seeking equality, those who hold the power can wield it at their discretion - that is until enough pressure is put on the oppressing group to force a change. Each movement's tipping point is different, but what is clear is that it takes all kinds of activities to gain equality.

It takes petitions, meetings of those who support equality, acts of civil disobedience, one-on-one talks with anyone and everyone involved on both sides of the issue, money (in this case my personal money) and most importantly - a desire to achieve the end result.

In all these areas, with this movement we are witnessing change before our eyes. In my silly costume I ask every week in the video project, How Many Voices Does it Take for Change to Take Place? Today I also ask - how much do those who want to see this change take place care to see the end result come to fruition and what else are you going to do to make it a reality?

Never forget: Florida is one of if not the most oppressive states in the United States. I can tell you from personal knowledge as a patient of health care institutions here in New York and in Florida that there is a marked difference in how health care is delivered in regard to cultural competence. In New York there are more inclusive questions on in-take forms, I am questioned less about my health care concerns that may indicate something about my culture (like I was at Orlando Health - not as an employee, but as a patient), there are more protections for non-white or non-Christian people like domestic partner benefits and diversity offices do an excellent job here of using the diversity of employees and patients as a tool to make the delivery of health care better.

It is always the case that oppressed people truly don't feel the oppression they are under until they are out from its stronghold. Then, and only then can they reflect back at how bad it really was and appreciate everything they did to get to the other side.

Keep getting people to stand up and fight Orlando Health's bigotry!

Thank you.

Alan L. Bounville

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