Monday, November 24, 2008

So Much for the "Black v. Gay Divide"

One of the most disingenuous memes from the post-Prop 8 fallout in California is that "African-Americans don't get along with gays and vice-versa". Nothing could be further from the truth... Especially for people who are African-American AND LGBT! Here, take a looksy at this protest in LA's historically black Leimert Park neighborhood last weekend.

See how everyone's getting along? See all those beautiful black & queer people marching for civil rights? Yes, it's for real!

So may be FINALLY stop hearing about this fictitious "black v. gay divide"?! Thanks.


sistah43 said...

Here's an insight, revelation, whatever, I had after the startling prop 8 passage. I bought into the idea that it was a black/hispanic/ cultural divide that caused the passage until I went to a post Obama election party. There, I spoke with many people, all of whom were people who phone-banked tirelessly for Obama...all of whom were comfortably upper-middle class. I spoke with whites, blacks, hispanics, asians. We all were against prop 8 and I realized that like many issues, the statistics of this election don't reflect the socio-economic reality. I would guess that if you took any impoverished population, their concerns are not going to reflect civil liberties or embracing all cultures as much as how do I get my kids and family clothed and fed and get the rent paid. These are the disenfranchised and marginalized portion of the population that turned out for Obama (because hope springs eternal) but aren't going to be able to break free of the limits of what they've been taught. I spoke with a few working class people (blacks, hispanics and whites) and it became apparent to me that this issue was confusing for most of was about sex and not love. Frame this question as a genetic one for most African American's eg:
if a gay person had say...I don't know... a red dot on their necks, the same way your skin color is different and you saw their sexual preference as pre-ordained by God...something they were born with (like your skin color) would you still see it as a choice? The few I've spoken to about this issue have paused in their conviction that 'gayness' is a choice and a sin against God. Add to the conversation that this is about love, who to love, how much you love them and how you love them, and you can see the cogs turning.

Most minorities understand the distinction between separate but equal (which is what the hate speech in prop 8 puts forth). Frame that in the context of choice and I think you can help them see that this is a civil liberties issue and not a sex issue.

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