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Commentary: Gay is not the new black

By LZ Granderson
Special to CNN




Editor's note: LZ Granderson is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, and has contributed to ESPN's Sports Center, Outside the Lines and First Take. He is the 2009 Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) award winner for online journalism and the 2008 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) winner for column writing.

(CNN) -- Far from flowing rainbow flags, the sound of Lady Gaga and, quite honestly, white people, stands a nightclub just outside of Wicker Park in Chicago, Illinois, by the name of The Prop House.

The line to get in usually stretches down the block, and unlike many of the clubs in Boystown and Andersonville, this one plays hip-hop and caters to men who may or may not openly identify as gay, but without question are black and proud.

And a good number of them are tired of hearing how the gay community is disappointed in President Obama, because they are not.

In recent weeks, one would have thought the nation's first black president was also the nation's biggest homophobe. Everyone from Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black and radio personality Rachel Maddow to Joe Solmonese, the president of Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest gay advocacy group, seem to be blasting Obama for everything from "don't ask don't tell" to Adam Lambert not winning American Idol.

In their minds, Obama is not moving fast enough on behalf of the GLBT community. The outcry is not completely without merit -- the Justice Department's unnerving brief on the Defense of Marriage Act immediately comes to mind. I was upset by some of the statements, but not surprised. (After the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, President Ronald Reagan's initial handling of AIDS and, more recently, Katrina, there is little that surprises me when it comes to the government and the treatment of its people.)

Still, rarely has criticism regarding Obama and the GLBT community come from the kind of person you would find standing in line at a spot like The Prop House, and there's a reason for that.

Despite the catchiness of the slogan, gay is not the new black.

Black is still black.

And if any group should know this, it's the gay community.

Bars such as The Prop House, or Bulldogs in Atlanta, Georgia, exist because a large number of gay blacks -- particularly those who date other blacks, and live in the black community -- do not feel a part of the larger gay movement. There are Gay Pride celebrations, and then there are Black Gay Prides.

There's a popular bar in the heart of the nation's capital that might as well rename itself Antebellum, because all of the white patrons tend to stay upstairs and the black patrons are on the first floor. Last year at the annual Human Rights Campaign national fundraiser in Washington, D.C. -- an event that lasted more than three hours -- the only black person to make it on stage was the entertainment.

When Proposition 8 passed in California, white gays were quick to blame the black community despite blacks making up less than 10 percent of total voters and whites being close to 60 percent. At protest rallies that followed, some gay blacks reported they were even hit with racial epithets by angry white participants. Not to split hairs, but for most blacks, the n-word trumps the f-word.

So while the white mouthpiece of the gay community shakes an angry finger at intolerance and bigotry in their blogs and on television, blacks and other minorities see the dirty laundry. They see the hypocrisy of publicly rallying in the name of unity but then privately living in segregated pockets. And then there is the history.

The 40th anniversary of Stonewall dominated Gay Pride celebrations around the country, and while that is certainly a significant moment that should be recognized, 40 years is nothing compared with the 400 blood-soaked years black people have been through in this country. There are stories some blacks lived through, stories others were told by their parents and stories that never had a chance to be told.

While those who were at Stonewall talk about the fear of being arrested by police, 40 years ago, blacks talked about the fear of dying at the hands of police and not having their bodies found or murder investigated. The 13th Amendment was signed in 1865, and it wasn't until 1948 that President Harry S Truman desegregated the military. That's more than an 80-year gap.

Not to be flip, but Miley Cyrus is older than Bill Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell." That doesn't mean that the safety of gay people should be trivialized or that Obama should not be held accountable for the promises he made on the campaign trail. But to call this month's first-ever White House reception for GLBT leaders "too little too late" is akin to a petulant child throwing a tantrum because he wants to eat his dessert before dinner. This is one of the main reasons why so many blacks bristle at the comparison of the two movements -- everybody wants to sing the blues, nobody wants to live them.

This lack of perspective is only going to alienate a black community that is still very proud of Obama and is hypersensitive about any criticism of him, especially given he's been in office barely six months.

If blacks are less accepting of gays than other racial groups -- and that is certainly debatable -- then the parade of gay people calling Obama a "disappointment" on television is counterproductive in gaining acceptance, to say the least. And the fact that the loudest critics are mostly white doesn't help matters either.

Hearing that race matters in the gay community may not be comforting to hear, but that doesn't make it any less true.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.




Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITI...bama.gays/index.html
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

quote:
Originally posted by Huey:
On Point. I've yet to hear about police officers shoot a gay man 50 times to death, because the suspect's "gayness" made him look suspicious.


bow bow

ER, this is what I was getting at in the SCLC discussion. I have a problem with a LGBT advocate telling a AA civil rights organization that it *must* engage in active LGBT advocacy.
IMO, a lot of the problem here goes back to WHITE PRIVILEGE.

White gays still have certain expectations of PRIVILEGE and that's why...

quote:
When Proposition 8 passed in California, white gays were quick to blame the black community despite blacks making up less than 10 percent of total voters and whites being close to 60 percent. At protest rallies that followed, some gay blacks reported they were even hit with racial epithets by angry white participants. Not to split hairs, but for most blacks, the n-word trumps the f-word.


They make me sick with this mess.

Reminds me of a certain poster who compared illegal aliens to BLACK american citizens...(initially) stating that slaves were immigrants Roll Eyes

'Everybody' wants a piece of black meat.
quote:
Originally posted by shulamite:
quote:
Originally posted by Huey:
On Point. I've yet to hear about police officers shoot a gay man 50 times to death, because the suspect's "gayness" made him look suspicious.


bow bow

ER, this is what I was getting at in the SCLC discussion. I have a problem with a LGBT advocate telling a AA civil rights organization that it *must* engage in active LGBT advocacy.

But that is not what is going on in the SCLC situation as I explained before. The SCLC LA chapter took a stance (unanimous), and the president of the chapter was called on the carpet by the national. This is not a white LGBT outsider, this is a straight, black Baptist preacher.

Moreover, there are numerous AA LGBT advocates out there who have taken Obama to task. It is not just white folks. Friends of mine like Rev. Irene Monroe has had several articles in the Black Commentator as well as other articles. The Rev. Dr. Canon Rene Hill and her spouse of some 15 years Rev. Mary Foulk, have also been outspoken as they are involved in justice issues.

Gay may not be the new black, but gay folks black and white catch hell, are beaten and murdered everyday because someone has a problem with them.

As a people, we are really going to have to confront our heterosexism. I would contend that if there is silence from the AA LGBT community about this issue, it is because they fear social ostracization. Wanda Sykes has spoken out on the issue, but there should be others. I hope that some others, e.g., would come out of the closet.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
quote:
Originally posted by shulamite:
ER, this is what I was getting at in the SCLC discussion. I have a problem with a LGBT advocate telling a AA civil rights organization that it *must* engage in active LGBT advocacy.


But that is not what is going on in the SCLC situation as I explained before. The SCLC LA chapter took a stance (unanimous), and the president of the chapter was called on the carpet by the national. This is not a white LGBT outsider, this is a straight, black Baptist preacher.



kresge, I understand your argument and agree with it - provided that Mr. Lee wasn't under a contractual agreement that whatever he said or his chapter did publically spoke for the national SCLC.

What I take issue with is the author of this editorial saying "the failure of the SCLC as a national organization to defend the dignity and equality of LGBT families disqualifies it as a civil rights organization". I argue that it doesn't, as the SCLC - gay founding member notwithstanding - was NOT created to address LGBT grievances and that it's failure nationally to do so now in no way negates it's credibility as a civil rights organization.

quote:
Moreover, there are numerous AA LGBT advocates out there who have taken Obama to task. It is not just white folks. Friends of mine like Rev. Irene Monroe has had several articles in the Black Commentator as well as other articles. The Rev. Dr. Canon Rene Hill and her spouse of some 15 years Rev. Mary Foulk, have also been outspoken as they are involved in justice issues.


This is admirable wrt justice issues.

quote:
Gay may not be the new black, but gay folks black and white catch hell, are beaten and murdered everyday because someone has a problem with them. As a people, we are really going to have to confront our heterosexism.


Lightning rod issues make for strange bedfellows and I have no problem with AA and LGBT groups setting similar agendas apart or together. But as Huey pointed out, there is a basic unavoidable world of difference between being randomly spotted and beat down b/c you're black and being randomly spotted and beat down b/c you're gay. I'm sorry, kresge, but that is a fact. And that fact alone means that there is (and should be, imo) a difference in primacy given to these issues by black serving civil rights organizations.

quote:
I would contend that if there is silence from the AA LGBT community about this issue, it is because they fear social ostracization.


Then I would tell them welcome to the club.
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
I'm also very glad that this is coming from a gay, black man.


Me, too. And this really sums it up (which my Dad, from CA, affirms went down):

"When Proposition 8 passed in California, white gays were quick to blame the black community despite blacks making up less than 10 percent of total voters and whites being close to 60 percent. At protest rallies that followed, some gay blacks reported they were even hit with racial epithets by angry white participants. Not to split hairs, but for most blacks, the n-word trumps the f-word."
I do not think anyone is going to argue that the level of discrimination gays face is anywhere the level of discrimination that black people face. But that does not mean it is not discrimination because it is still discrimination. ANd what they are asking for are civil rights. Contrary to popular belief civil rights are not just for black people. Give them the right to marry and the civil protections of other maligned groups as needed. Then what is the discussion about? No one is saying gay marriage is mandatory, in the same way that the right to have an abortion does not mean that every one has to have one, or that the people who support that right would ever have one given the opportunity.

The rights, civil rights are the important thing. Not my civil rights, not their civil rights, but our civil rights. Civil rights are the important thing.
I'm sick of whiny gay folk who do nothing but whine (while some of them will call you a "N" or a bytch if you disagree with their stance)

Marriage isn't a 'right' as far as I'm concerned ... gay folk act as if they're the only ppl restricted from getting married. Roll Eyes

AND they are no more harassed or attacked than black ppl....

white gays have the added benefit of white privilege ... that's something blk folk have never had access to.
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:

Marriage isn't a 'right' as far as I'm concerned


"Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man."

US Supreme Court (1967)


Then, a mother has the right to marry her adult son, and a brother can marry his sister and a father, his adult daughter....

why don't these people have that same 'so-called' CIVIL RIGHT?

If "the rights of man" means EVERYONE...then, what about the above mentioned?
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:

Marriage isn't a 'right' as far as I'm concerned


"Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man."

US Supreme Court (1967)


Then, a mother has the right to marry her adult son, and a brother can marry his sister and a father, his adult daughter....

why don't these people have that same 'so-called' CIVIL RIGHT?

If "the rights of man" means EVERYONE...then, what about the above mentioned?


Incest is not the new gay.

But your arguement is not a new one. In fact, it was presented during oral arguements in the very case that the quote comes from.

Aparently, the Supremes didn't find that arguement particularly compelling at the time, so I'm not sure why it should be any more compelling today, a full 42 years after it was first presented to the court.

quote:

"The state's prohibition of interracial marriage ... stands on the same footing as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent."

Virginia Assistant Attorney General R.D. McIlwaine (oral arguments, Loving v. Virginia, 1967)
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:

Marriage isn't a 'right' as far as I'm concerned


"Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man."

US Supreme Court (1967)


Then, a mother has the right to marry her adult son, and a brother can marry his sister and a father, his adult daughter....

why don't these people have that same 'so-called' CIVIL RIGHT?

If "the rights of man" means EVERYONE...then, what about the above mentioned?


Incest is not the new gay.

And gay is not the new black

But your arguement is not a new one. In fact, it was presented during oral arguements in the very case that the quote comes from.

Aparently, the Supremes didn't find that arguement particularly compelling at the time, so I'm not sure why it should be any more compelling today, a full 42 years after it was first presented to the court.

quote:

"The state's prohibition of interracial marriage ... stands on the same footing as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent."

Virginia Assistant Attorney General R.D. McIlwaine (oral arguments, Loving v. Virginia, 1967)


Blah, blah, blah sleep ....you didn't answer the question ... what about the rights of family members who want to marry each other?

Not that THAT has stopped rednecks from marrying their cousins but...

It all comes down to PERSONAL OPINION ... which I have just as much RIGHT to as you, WB.

next!
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:

Marriage isn't a 'right' as far as I'm concerned


"Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man."

US Supreme Court (1967)


Then, a mother has the right to marry her adult son, and a brother can marry his sister and a father, his adult daughter....

why don't these people have that same 'so-called' CIVIL RIGHT?

If "the rights of man" means EVERYONE...then, what about the above mentioned?


Incest is not the new gay.

But your arguement is not a new one. In fact, it was presented during oral arguements in the very case that the quote comes from.

Aparently, the Supremes didn't find that arguement particularly compelling at the time, so I'm not sure why it should be any more compelling today, a full 42 years after it was first presented to the court.

quote:

"The state's prohibition of interracial marriage ... stands on the same footing as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent."

Virginia Assistant Attorney General R.D. McIlwaine (oral arguments, Loving v. Virginia, 1967)


Blah, blah, blah....you didn't answer the question ... what about the rights of family members who desire to marry each other?

It all comes down to PERSONAL OPINION ... which I have just as much RIGHT to as you, WB.

next!


That "marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man" is not just my personal opinion.

It is the law of the land.

Your beef is not with me. It is with the US Supreme Court, at least as it was constituted in 1967.

Don't shoot the messenger.
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:

Marriage isn't a 'right' as far as I'm concerned


"Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man."

US Supreme Court (1967)


Then, a mother has the right to marry her adult son, and a brother can marry his sister and a father, his adult daughter....

why don't these people have that same 'so-called' CIVIL RIGHT?

If "the rights of man" means EVERYONE...then, what about the above mentioned?


Incest is not the new gay.

But your arguement is not a new one. In fact, it was presented during oral arguements in the very case that the quote comes from.

Aparently, the Supremes didn't find that arguement particularly compelling at the time, so I'm not sure why it should be any more compelling today, a full 42 years after it was first presented to the court.

quote:

"The state's prohibition of interracial marriage ... stands on the same footing as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent."

Virginia Assistant Attorney General R.D. McIlwaine (oral arguments, Loving v. Virginia, 1967)


Blah, blah, blah....you didn't answer the question ... what about the rights of family members who desire to marry each other?

It all comes down to PERSONAL OPINION ... which I have just as much RIGHT to as you, WB.

next!


That "marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man" is not just my personal opinion.

It is the law of the land.


Then, why is there even a problem with gays getting married in the first place?

if things are as cut & dry as you make it out to be. Roll Eyes

WB, please Roll Eyes

The TRUTH is

gay marriage is being ARGUED in the courts (one argument FOR & the other AGAINST)

each side presenting their own opinion/ perspective/argument as they INTERPRET THE CONSTITUTION ...

we'll see which side holds up in court.

'THAT' has not been determined yet.

next.
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:

Marriage isn't a 'right' as far as I'm concerned


"Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man."

US Supreme Court (1967)


Then, a mother has the right to marry her adult son, and a brother can marry his sister and a father, his adult daughter....

why don't these people have that same 'so-called' CIVIL RIGHT?

If "the rights of man" means EVERYONE...then, what about the above mentioned?


Incest is not the new gay.

But your arguement is not a new one. In fact, it was presented during oral arguements in the very case that the quote comes from.

Aparently, the Supremes didn't find that arguement particularly compelling at the time, so I'm not sure why it should be any more compelling today, a full 42 years after it was first presented to the court.

quote:

"The state's prohibition of interracial marriage ... stands on the same footing as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent."

Virginia Assistant Attorney General R.D. McIlwaine (oral arguments, Loving v. Virginia, 1967)



I'm curious about why you bring up references to interracial marriage every time the idea of same-sex marriage is discussed as if they are parallel?

So when you say this:

"Aparently, the Supremes didn't find that arguement particularly compelling at the time.."

and attempt to substitute interracial heterosexual marriage for homosexual marriage you are asserting a falsehood because the supreme court did not hear any arguments related to same-sex marriage 42 years ago.

If you wanna try to make the case that same-sex marriage and interracial marriage are parallel, and should be legally viewed in the same manner, then by all means, gather your info and present a compelling argument.

It has not been agreed upon by a majority of peeps that these 2 things are comparable or interchangeable. Don't act like it's a given.
quote:


That "marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man" is not just my personal opinion.

It is the law of the land.

Your beef is not with me. It is with the US Supreme Court, at least as it was constituted in 1967.

Don't shoot the messenger.


Shut the fock up! 'nothing' has been decided in this matter one way or another (at least not in the state of california).

Whatever the outcome, I'm STILL entitled to my opinion.

And UNTIL there is a decision.... all you have is yours.

Next!
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:

That "marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man" is not just my personal opinion.

It is the law of the land.

Your beef is not with me. It is with the US Supreme Court, at least as it was constituted in 1967.

Don't shoot the messenger.



We all have the right to get married upon the age of consent.

Currently Rachel Maddow, Rosie O'Donald and me all have the same rights to marry any man of legal age including Black ones.

The supreme court has not yet addressed whether Rachel and Rosie have the right to also marry any woman of consenting age including black ones.

Stop lying on the SCOTUS.
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:

Marriage isn't a 'right' as far as I'm concerned


"Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man."

US Supreme Court (1967)


Then, a mother has the right to marry her adult son, and a brother can marry his sister and a father, his adult daughter....

why don't these people have that same 'so-called' CIVIL RIGHT?

If "the rights of man" means EVERYONE...then, what about the above mentioned?


Incest is not the new gay.

But your arguement is not a new one. In fact, it was presented during oral arguements in the very case that the quote comes from.

Aparently, the Supremes didn't find that arguement particularly compelling at the time, so I'm not sure why it should be any more compelling today, a full 42 years after it was first presented to the court.

quote:

"The state's prohibition of interracial marriage ... stands on the same footing as the prohibition of polygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent."

Virginia Assistant Attorney General R.D. McIlwaine (oral arguments, Loving v. Virginia, 1967)



I'm curious about why you bring up references to interracial marriage every time the idea of same-sex marriage is discussed as if they are parallel?

So when you say this:

"Aparently, the Supremes didn't find that arguement particularly compelling at the time.."

and attempt to substitute interracial heterosexual marriage for homosexual marriage you are asserting a falsehood because the supreme court did not hear any arguments related to same-sex marriage 42 years ago.

If you wanna try to make the case that same-sex marriage and interracial marriage are parallel, and should be legally viewed in the same manner, then by all means, gather your info and present a compelling argument.

It has not been agreed upon by a majority of peeps that these 2 things are comparable or interchangeable. Don't act like it's a given.


appl NS, thank you for pointing out RM's falsehood and his tendency to distort the truth (re: interracial marriage).

The man has what I refer to as 'white privilege issues'....meaning, he seems to expect his words to be taken as fact...

simply because he's white

imho, of course. Wink
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:

That "marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man" is not just my personal opinion.

It is the law of the land.

Your beef is not with me. It is with the US Supreme Court, at least as it was constituted in 1967.

Don't shoot the messenger.



We all have the right to get married upon the age of consent.

Currently Rachel Maddow, Rosie O'Donald and me all have the same rights to marry any man of legal age including Black ones.

The supreme court has not yet addressed whether Rachel and Rosie have the right to also marry any woman of consenting age including black ones.

Stop lying on the SCOTUS.


appl Well said, NS......well said appl
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
As usual, whites fail to respect the views of African-Americans yet again. While they want our support on various causes/issues just because they say its just. Talk about WHITE PRIVILEGE! No respect for our informed well thought out opinions, you will be dismissed! We are not idiots and we have valid opinions.


Thankyouthankyouthankyou Yemaya appl ....for expressing my feelings 'exactly'. bow
And, for the record...

I don't give two pieces of shit about gay marriage, as long as YOUNG BLACK MEN are being gunned down in the streets by POLICE OFFICERS, BLACK GANG MEMBERS & HISPANIC GANGS...

and prisons ARE FILLED with black men...

black people are not given BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS when they're gunned down by law enforcement.....

What's up with that????

Until the government straightens all that out (& it's been a long time coming) I'm not concerned about SAME SEX MARRIAGE...

black ppl are dying for nothing.

this government needs to 'do right' by my people FIRST ....

(instead of 'adding' to our problems)

Personally, my energy will remain with preserving BLACK life as opposed to SEXUAL PREFERENCE.

What part of 'that' don't people understand?

How can we (general) straighten out somebody else's house

when OUR HOUSE has dead bodies all over the place?

Please! Roll Eyes

I wish (for blk ppl) it was as simple as SAME SEX MARRIAGE.

Gee, that's all you need? Roll Eyes
RM
you write
quote:
marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man


but then:
quote:
Incest is not the new gay.

But your arguement is not a new one. In fact, it was presented during oral arguements in the very case that the quote comes from.

Aparently, the Supremes didn't find that arguement particularly compelling at the time, so I'm not sure why it should be any more compelling today, a full 42 years after it was first presented to the court.



this does not make sense to me when you are such a supporter of same gender marriage. Where is then the logic to hinder eg siblings to marry each other and to also benefit from the state sanctioned ok to live together? Why is here the former SC decision important for you?
quote:
Originally posted by Huey:
On Point. I've yet to hear about police officers shoot a gay man 50 times to death, because the suspect's "gayness" made him look suspicious.


appl bow tfro bow yeah bow

That was most beautifully said, Huey!!


And @ Yemaya, Negrospritual, Fabulous & shulamite .... y'all have said all that needs to be said!


Bravo ladies .... tfro tfro And thanks very much!! appl

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