"Look—I even applied for a job with the No on 8 campaign office in San Francisco’s Castro District. I specifically wanted to help outreach to Blacks on the issue but it was clear that wasn’t the agenda of the campaign."
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Gay Is NOT the New Black!
First of all it equates gayness with being something other than Black in order to replace it, thereby ignoring Black people who are gay. Second it places Blackness as the 'other' as something inherently wrong and marginalized. Third, it then trumps that marginalization as if Blackness is something that needs to be or can be 'overcome' and replaced with something more oppressive. None of which is true.
This strategy being used by the Gay Rights Industrial Complex (GRIC) needs to end pronto!!! Especially in light of the immediate reaction by some who were disappointed by the failure of the No on 8 campaign and used racial epithets against Black people. I've been watching the news coverage of the 'outrage' against Yes on 8. I'd be hard pressed to find any media discussion exclusive of white people and the only time any PoC are mentioned it's to scapegoat straight Blacks while ignoring Black LGBT completely.
People are going as far as to call for boycotting businesses whose employees may have supported it. Funny, that's the same thing the opposition was doing before the election. Do you think it's wise to fight fire with fire? Outrage with a further escalation of outrage? I call your pissed and I'll raise you a bitter? There are many aspects to this argument that need a more thorough and nuanced examination.
Homophobia needs to be addressed. It should be something confronted and worked on by individual people, straight and gay (and everything in between) within their own communities. Of all ethnic/cultural groups. Perhaps if more Black LGBT for example were more open or willing to make themselves more available....I know I'm gonna get grief over this, but if you take off for the closest white neighborhood and/or are in an interracial relationship and don't even want to 'deal' with Black people how are we going to find common ground? Am I really supposed to believe that Black people are somehow inherently more homophobic than everybody else? I just don't buy it.
Racism within the GRIC needs to be confronted. Again, when all the gay people are white (that you see in the media) it's a problem. When all the gay people you see running national organizations are again - white - claiming a 'minority' status it's a real slap in the face. Like the Republican party, somebody needs to do real 'soul searching' and decide if it's going to be a movement for those that think like them and who they deem appropriate and feel comfortable with or a movement for all.
I want equal rights for everyone. I want people to be able to earn a good living that covers all necessities and some wants doing what they love. Women should be paid the same salary as men when doing the same work with equal qualifications. I want people to live up to their full potential. People should be able marry other people of legal age who consent whatever their gender. We need an efficient gov't and to be active participants in the role it plays in our lives and how we impact people around the world. There needs to be a separation of church and state.
Today there are rallies being held across the country in support of same-sex marriage. As many as 25K people have already attended other protest marches since the election. It's great when people feel motivated to take action. I hope this effort will be extended beyond that into a sustained campaign at working on issues that negatively impact people on a daily basis. That campaign should not be exclusive of and limited to the GRIC.
Of all people it's Bill O'Reilly (well his producers anyway) who took the time to bring in some color commentary with writer/activist Jasmynne Cannick. Before you view the video read her interview with Oakland, CA filmmaker Debra Wilson (not the MAD TV performer) who said:
So let's recap again: the failure of their campaign is still being pinned on Black people as the sole cause and not the Latino, Asian and whites who voted against it in higher numbers. "Black" is all-encompassing term and ignores Black LGBT and yet the movement is on par with the church based-social movement of equal rights for Blacks. But church-based Blacks voted Yes on 8 overwhelmingly. NO on 8 TURNED DOWN HELP FROM BLACKS. Except Mary J. Blige doing a Beverly Hills fundraiser which is....preaching to the choir.
I haven't seen any plans to address this or correct it except hearing about protest rallies - and having more white people, usually men speak for the GRIC and still insist on appropriating the struggle of my elders. Does that cover it?