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The Times Of Harvey Milk: The Political And Social Issues Surrounding The First Gay Elected Official In The U.S. The Essay Uses The Documentary "The Times Of Harvey Milk" As A Springboard.

858 words - 3 pages

The Times Of Harvey MilkThe documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk" did not concentrate on the fact that Harvey was gay. As the title says, it concentrates on the times and the events surrounding Harvey and his politics. It was a side note, like mentioning that any other political figure was married or had children. The gay rights movement was only one of the many things he was involved with. Mr. Milk was a certainly a gay activist, but it was not his entire focus. What the documentary really focused on was Harvey Milk's actions, and the controversy surrounding him. It was momentous that he was the first openly gay elected official. He represented all of the constituents of the Castro area well. Milk was a kind of "everyman" mixture in an area where there were many minorities.The documentary showed Harvey talking about senior citizen rights and made a point of showing that his concerns were the people's concerns: parks, safety, and personal liberties, to name a few. He knew that Proposition 6 was an attack on personal freedom in general and that it was not just a threat to homosexuals. People are sometimes deluded about how easy it is to have their rights taken away. Most people think that is someone else's job to protect our rights as citizens, when in fact; it's their own responsibility. It brings to mind the poem by Martin Niemoller, "I Said Nothing". He wrote, "In Germany, they first came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because, I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then came for they trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me -- and by that time no one was left to speak up." When they come for the homosexuals, it is just the beginning of the erosion of a people's rights to live their lives in the manner in which they choose.The documentary also spent a good amount of time on fleshing out Dan White. It is very apparent in the film just how disgusted and threatened he is by the homosexual lifestyle. But the success Harvey Milk has with using the political system to further his causes and constituents' causes is also apparent. I wonder just how far Milk could have gone if he had not been killed. Dan. White was obviously out of his league. White's speeches and views reminded me a lot of the now very common...

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