If You're Black You Might Be A Homophobe

As most are now aware Prop 8 in California did not pass.  It was deeply heartbreaking to see  California come out to support such clear bigotry in denial image of love.  As many of you already know same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for a few years now, and it has caused no disruption in our society.  It is my belief that by affirming the right of all to marry, it has helped to make us more inclusive and accepting of others.

When I went to various GLBTQI blogs to express my sympathy at the passing of PROP 8, I was horrified to discover that it was being blamed on blacks.  Once again the divide and conquer tactics of the ruling elite have prevailed to divide marginalized bodies from each other.

The blame game has begun, and clearly it is all the fault of the blacks. Over at the Bilerico the comment section screams white privilege.

I am angry. Whom do I blame? Oh there are several groups. Our Dear new President elect for paying lip service to get this defeated, Mormons, James F’n Dobson and his minions of evangelicals, Kinghts of Columbus and lastly African Americans. Oh I know that last one is not p.c, but you know what, I don’t care…it is the truth. Deal with it. Polls show they voted 70% against us while voting for Obama….shame, shame shame on you.

I thought I was seeing a bright shining star of hope, and yet now there seems not to even exist the glimmer from a moonless pond at midnight. I am getting old, been ill, and this fight no longer seems to be winnable in my lifetime (whatever that may be). Yes, it is depressing, mostly because half of me seems to want to believe the idea that the methodology for an Obama win is the reason for our demise on Florida Amendment 2, Arizona Proposition 102, and California Proposition 8. The other half is repulsed by the almost racist interpretation that must engender.

as for making all those black folk, both gay or straight, who voted against prop 8 being invisible? i dont think so. its the 70% of the black folk who voted FOR prop 8 that have marginalized an entire segment of the population. the queer population. THEY made US “invisible”

Those are only the commentary of three people.  Perhaps you are still reluctant to believe the racism that is rearing its ever so ugly head.  Here is another shining example of blame the blacks.  If you can stand to read it, Dan Savage over at SLOG and his commenters have no problems shaking their fist and pronouncing the entire black community guilty of passing PROP 8.

image It certainly would not make sense to focus attention on the Mormon Church who actively campaigned and raised funds to get this bigoted legislation passed. In case you are not aware, blacks are not large members of the Mormon Church

By saying it is all the fault of the blacks, it creates members of the gay community that are black as invisible, as well as ignores the efforts that blacks made to get this proposition defeated.  It further ignores the fact that a significant number of white people voted for the passage of this bill as well.  Blacks by themselves did not single handedly cause this bill to pass.

I also feel it is necessary to discuss part of the reason that some blacks did vote  yes on 8.  The Christian church and the black community have a long history. It is no accident that our leaders have always come from the church, or have had a strong involvement in the Christian church. 

The issue is not that blacks are homophobic it is that they have such a large image participation in the Christian church; which does not have  a huge history of tolerance towards the gay community.  Consider that Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King has no problem expressing her homphobia and yet she is an ordained minister.  One would presume that a woman who no doubt would have been influenced by Dr.Kings bid for freedom, would be able to see the link between gay rights and civil rights. For blacks, the block occurs because of   religion and not because of race.

I am not sure if a white person can understand exactly how powerful the church is in the black community.  Most of the organizing that has been done to improve the welfare of blacks has come from the church.  It is more than a religion; for many it is a place of community.

This backlash against blacks ignores the roll of the church in the decision making process and that is a fatal mistake.  If you want a community to understand your position you need to speak to them on a cultural level that they will understand, and point to common grievances, not choose to make the divide even larger by finger pointing and cruel admonitions.

There are many fundamental Christians that are white that express the same kind of intolerance towards gay marriage that the black community did in their overwhelming support of PROP 8.  Blacks voted yes because of religion and that needs to be clearly understood. 

Finally I feel that it is necessary to say that I feel terrible that PROP 8 passed; however that does not excuse the quick descent into racism.  The “isms” work image together to reinforce each other.  When we reify one to create a group as “other”, we reinforce the same mechanisms that work to limit us and our life chances. I will still wear my rainbow flag with pride, but now with a new found awareness that for some, my colour stands as a symbol of hatred.

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