Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Ever So Soft Racism of Gay Rights False Equivalency

First, I’ll tell you I’m not gay, but I’ve had ample opportunity to be gay if I wanted to, and I didn’t feel insulted when I was given them. I was the coolest, best smelling, best accessorized 13 year old boy you ever want to meet, and to that I have to thank the gay men in my life. I count myself as lucky in that during my teen years my moms worked for a company that produced floats for the Rose Parade, and I was well exposed to the fabulous life as any little black boy could have been surrounded by male florists and designers.

I also saw and heard tales of real sorrow and human tragedy. Men and women who were accomplished and happy except for one parent, or sibling, or portion of society who just wouldn’t accept who they were and who they were sexually attracted to, and for that made them suffer. This brings me to the real purpose for my diary I want to throw out an idea, and judging from the response I received in some of the comments I made in this same track I want to lay out where my sympathies lie.

I am for the unconditional and unquestioned equal rights for all people with those of gay people being included. I want to see a world where no groups’ rights may be submitted to the ratification of any electorate. The tyranny of the small minded majority was one of the biggest evils our founders wanted to protect against. I’m battling for a world where the choice that any two adults make to join and make a family called in marriage or anything else society cares to label it is a matter of course. My yard sports the No on 8 sign on December 20th '08 and it will sport the sign until that onerous piece of crap legislation is no more.

So here it goes. The battle for gay rights and marriage equity must stop trying to equate its struggle with that of racial civil rights in such a parallel way. I feel it harms its relations with the minority community whose votes it covets by creating what is a false equivalency that insults the struggle black people had to undergo just to live, and does not do justice to the overall universality of the struggle for gay rights.

I’ve seen the opinion expressed that having the Rev. Rick Warren give the invocation is the same as having a Klansman speak and that the struggle for marriage equity is of the same degree as that of racial equality. I feel this sentiment belittles the all inclusive nature of racial animosity not being limited to just sexual choices and also ignores certain facts. Statements like these also speak to that ever so soft racism I referred to in my title that I don’t think is fully appreciated by gay white men and women. What of your black brothers and sisters who had to suffer through their lives with both the issues of being of color and of a sexual orientation that caused them even more hatred in both black and white societies. How could some of you be so coldly unsympathetic when you blame the passage of acts like Prop 8 on black people when the real issue is certain types of religious people? Do you imagine gay people are free of racial animus and hatred that affects all human society? I understand from our friends in the log cabin John McCain received 27% of the gay vote, so I guess gay people hate themselves as well.

J. William Fulbright is a man that both Bill and Hillary Clinton called a life mentor. Fulbright was an unrepentant card carrying cross in my grandfather’s front yard burning Klansman. When Hillary outlined her coalition of victory it certainly didn’t include black people in fact she said this
"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."
So should black people be abhorred that Obama appointed her to his cabinet? No because that is silly. Those who would take the time to get to know the Clintons views would know that they are in fact staunch advocates for civil rights. In essence I know they are on our side.

Obama has spoken out publically and bravely in venues that would not have accommodated the advocacy of gay rights like the Ebenezer Baptist Church and said this.

We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.

Every day, our politics fuels and exploits this kind of division across all races and regions; across gender and party. It is played out on television. It is sensationalized by the media. And last week, it even crept into the campaign for President, with charges and counter-charges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation.

So let us say that on this day of all days, each of us carries with us the task of changing our hearts and minds. The division, the stereotypes, the scape-goating, the ease with which we blame our plight on others – all of this distracts us from the common challenges we face – war and poverty; injustice and inequality. We can no longer afford to build ourselves up by tearing someone else down. We can no longer afford to traffic in lies or fear or hate. It is the poison that we must purge from our politics; the wall that we must tear down before the hour grows too late.

Put quite frankly he is on your side, yet a portion of the gay community want to play the symbolism game. Well if you want to talk pure symbol today there are eight American states where people have the confederate battle flag stamped on their auto license plates a symbol as disgusting to me as the swastika. Two American states Florida and Alabama still celebrate the birth of Jefferson Davis. This is an insult to both straight and gay black Americans. I could go on all day with that sort of thing, and makes me question what's going to happen when the Pope comes to town as the position of the Catholic Church also states that homosexuality is a sin, and that unrepentant homosexuals have no rights to marriage.

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