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.


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