A Proclamation for Proclamations

There’s been so much talk in Spartanburg about Mayor Junie White issuing a proclamation making June 19th, 2010 “Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Day” that I too wanted to weigh in.

I decided that as a certified poet and therefore one of Percey Bysshe Shelley’s “unacknowledged legislators of the world” that I will use my power to proclaim support of proclamations. I therefore issue my own proclamation. After all, historically proclamations are as much a part of governing as laws.

I proclaim that proclaiming is ancient, and therefore should be looked upon as one of the gifts given to us by the past.

I proclaim that the Greeks considered proclaiming so important they even gave it its own supernatural entity, Angelia, the spirit of messages, tidings and, yes, proclamations.

I also therefore proclaim in this modern democracy that presidents without agreement from congresses, governors without agreement from legislatures, and mayors without agreement among fractious city councils should continue to proclaim whatever they have the motivation or courage to proclaim.

I proclaim that right-wingers should give up on reducing the role of government in our lives if that reduction should include lessening the ability of poets, presidents, governors, or mayors to proclaim what they have the courage to proclaim.

I proclaim that left-wingers should abandon the utopian hope that they will always be in agreement with all that is proclaimed.

I proclaim that centrists should look to both sides and call it good when proclamations ring out in the land.

Proclamations can be profound, as in Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and they can also be perceived otherwise, such as the numerous proclamations for momentarily famous people and trivial achievements.

I proclaim that it is always left to the particular audience hearing the proclamation to sort out among themselves over time the profundity and importance thereof.

I proclaim it is also left to history, on which our actions either place us on the wrong or the right side.

I proclaim that Spartanburg, a place often perceived as caught in one of the many eddies of history, may have finally floated into the mainstream of civil rights.

I proclaim that maybe, just maybe, Spartanburg’s Mayor Junie White’s proclamation has placed him (and Spartanburg) on the right side of history.

I proclaim that the mayor’s support of LGBT equality was among the wisest, noblest things an elected official has done in the Upcountry of South Carolina.

I proclaim that there is no evidence the proclamation was politically motivated, or religiously motivated, or economically motivated, which makes it an act rare as summer snow in the Upcountry.

I proclaim Mayor Junie White’s proclamation was motivated by his wanting to do the right thing, and he did.

Thus proclaimed, I also proclaim to remember that we the people will continue to take sides on such proclamations, and will often disagree as to which side is just.

I therefore proclaim that the simple act of proclaiming is one of the cornerstones of democracy and justice and goodness.

I proclaim henceforth and forever that proclamations will flow freely among us. So be it. Today is proclamation day. It is thus proclaimed.

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