Saturday, November 8, 2008

Let the Backlash From Prop 8 Be A Warning

Here in California the moment of our coming together unraveled rather quickly don't you think? Some people may not have noticed yet but certain people have already drawn their line on the white side and are gunning for our jugular. 

Some of these white people who identify as gay were sorta okay with following the Obama train because they felt he would do a little jig and tap dance on cue. They were anticipating tit for tat. If they voted for Obama, we'd vote No on 8. The fact that they made NO EFFORT WHATSOEVER to speak to Black (straight) people and have a history of excluding most Black people gay or straight from the official Gay Rights Industrial Complex then what were they expecting? Magical thinking doesn't work for anyone. 

It is not a coincidence CNN released inaccurate exit poll information and tried to present it a representation of actual votes. It is not a coincidence that certain white males who identify as gay with media access continued this lie and further spread the racial arson. It is not a coincidence that white people will appropriate elements of Black social movements and claim an endangered status when it suits them. It is a suit they can wear when navigating less amenable waters which can then be quickly removed once they are back on solid ground. 

I know many people are genuinely disappointed and angry that Yes on 8 passed. For them it may a singular issue of utmost importance. This affects many LGBT of color as well, but they're not the ones rioting! Since so many like to talk about discrimination I'd like to know how much people are willing to sacrifice to get rid of it?  Are people willing to denounce their white privilege to make it a level playing field for everyone? 

I highly doubt it!

I see this theme about 'homophobic Black bogeymen' as a straw hat argument that has no discernible meaning any more than the 'menacing Black mugger' Ashley Todd tried to use to start a race war on behalf of John McCain.  If a real discussion and analysis had been had the immediate eruption of anger and use of racial epithets even against fellow LGBT who are Black would not have occurred.  

Writer-activist Jasmynne Cannick wrote a great Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Times that you can read here.

7 comments:

Michelle said...

Cross-posted from your comment and my reply at JJP:

The question is will people LEARN from this or keep trying to push an agenda with fractured support against a well organized and cohesive opposition? They already have legislation being drafted for every state as we speak so people had better decide to strategize and recover as quickly as possible.

Two years ago I was excited to see an online statement from a group called "Beyond Marriage Equality." It was an excellent statement in words, but i grew disenchanted with it when I saw that they held up the a campaign here in Arizona (Arizona Together) as a model for their work.

I had been in an early planning meeting for that group (before it was even called Arizona Together) and I was appalled at how their tone was deeply disrespectful to non-mainstream queer people.

I contacted one of the people who had crafted/signed on to the Beyond Marriage Equality statement (I think it was Kenyon Farrow but really don't remember for sure) to ask how they had come to recommend Arizona Together's approach. My sense from the reply is that the Beyond Marriage Equality people were more about words (theory?) than about what was really going on on the ground. Which was extremely disappointing to me, since their statement was just beautiful.

I think I will cross-post this comment at your place, Faith. I would like to see some real grounded work that isn't just words that deals with this how you're saying it should.

Then again, as I mentioned in a comment earlier this week I ... don't do movement work anymore. *why won't it leave me alone???!!*

N. Mahana said...

My friend called me on on the phone this morning, up in arms about this latest "controversy" I say, let the games begin.

After January 20th I am supporting our President with the initiatives he wants to set forth to put this country back on track.

Some can keep attempting to blame black folks for everything under the sun; the economy, gay rights (or lack thereof) and crime, however I will have to keep on moving and let these people drown in their own ignorance and stagnation.

Faith said...

Michelle: I responded to you at JJP thanks for continuing the conversation

N. Mahana: Welcome to my blog. Feel free to offer any insight and don't be a stranger :)

I really hope we realize that we are all in this together and if one group of people are suffering we're all gonna be lacking.

The white gay movement is going to have to accept that and make necessary changes. Black LGBT and others of color can't sit on the sidelines.

Jennifer said...

I love how the entire black race is being slammed for a poll that polled less than 250 black people.

And why am I just now learning that I could've donated money to NoP8? I would've GLADLY done so.

Lazy, lazy, LAZY.

Faith said...

Hi Jennifer - Welcome to my blog and please don't be a stranger. After reading Jasmynne's Op Ed I see they really really didn't do their homework, but the opposition was thorough in theirs. And then our own potential allies turned on each other which just further fractures progress. It'll be interesting to see what lessons are learned - if any.

D.J. said...

I love this call for white gays to do outreach. You would think that as a group that feels discriminated against white gays and lesbians would be the last to discriminatory but as a black gay man i have found white gays as a whole to be all about themselves. It seems that blacks only matter when they want to sleep with us, in fact that is the only time they seem to see you, when it is a sexual desire.

there is no need for outreach, in so much as there is a need to get over it and let your racism go.

Faith said...

Hello D.J.:

Welcome. Please feel free to drop notes, comments, and strategies.