Thursday, November 6, 2008

Black folks and Prop 8

Hat tip to Racialicious
Melissa Harris Lacewell writes:
We are both recovering from the stunning joy of watching Obama pain American blue on Tuesday night. But that joy is tempered for me because of the vicious passage of Proposition 8 in California, the ban on same sex adoption in Arkansas, and other anti-gay rights movement victories across the nation on Tuesday.

I am most sickened because black people were so critically important to legislating this bigotry. Exit polls in California found that 70 percent of black voters backed the ban on gay marriage.
The anti-miscegenation laws, which banned blacks from marrying whites, codified our second class citizenship. These laws defined blackness as a kind of cancer or infection that had to be contained by state action. The ban on interracial marriage treated black people like a public health problem rather than as full and equal Americans. After the 1964 Civil Rights Act granted black people access to public accommodations and the 1965 Voting Right Act protected the right to vote, we still needed the 1967 Loving decision to fully declare African American equality before the law. The language that opponents of gay marriage now use to "defend marriage" is nearly identical to the arguments used by racists who opposed the Loving decision.

I am disgusted by the idea that we will mark the anniversary of our own equality with a bigoted vote in California.


BLKSeaGoat said...

Being a black gay man, I can understand how this happened. The gay organizers fighting Prop 8 did what they typically do in these types of political battles; they selectively shut out gays of color.

Only an idiot would not know that black voter turnout in this election posed a double edged sword to gay causes. Instead of trying to build alliances within the black and black gay communities, No on Prop 8 organizers stayed within their comfort zone of white CA and white gay CA. Latinos also voted overwhelmingly for the ban.

When was the last time you saw white gays at the table for issues of extreme importance to the black community? *crickets*

People can be disgusted all they want, but let's be clear. Black folks are no more homophobic, than the white folks who raised tens of millions of dollars to promote and defend Prop 8.

Maybe next time the gays who hi-jacked this movement will be a little more strategic by including gays of color at the table.

Heart said...

Tami, thanks for this post-- I wrote about this yesterday in a little different way. I hadn't heard until today that people of color overwhelmingly voted for Proposition 8 and find it disappointing. At the same time, there's racism in the white GLBTQ community as well, and that pretty much goes unremarked all of the time under the theory, I believe, that if people say they are "progressive", or really are progressive in certain ways, that means they aren't racist, something we know isn't so. I wonder how many in the white GLBTQ community voted for Obama or McKinney and how many may have voted for McCain. I don't think every vote for McCain was a racist vote and every vote for Obama was a non-racist vote. Still, my experience is that there is, again, not much more sensitivity to racial issues or racism in the GLBTQ community than there is sensitivity to lesbophobia/homophobia in het communities of people of color. Maybe this vote against Proposition 8 will get all of us talking more about that, which would be something of a good result, at least.

Brother OMi said...

thanks for the link...

kid said...

We (and I do mean airbody)got to work on this. The anti-Obama blogs are saying blacks hate gays. Their trying to split our coalition up.Besides the ones that did this were the Mormons.We can't sleep on this. BTW, those PUMA sites are still saying he's born in Kenya.Gays , Blacks, Hispanics, and Women better stick together.Their already trying to sabotage his presidency.


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