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It's happening here on DKos.  The Kossacks are battling out the blame-game in the comments of a numerous amount of diaries based on the CNN exit poll data which reflects that a large portion of black voters in CA supported Prop. 8.

Shanikka's diary does a pretty good job of going over the numbers hereFacts Belie the Scapegoating of Black People on Prop 8

She makes a good argument that blacks are not the reason that Prop 8 didn't pass, but I don't think that's the point of the anger that some gay Kossacks have expressed about this.  We're all intelligent enough to understand that blacks are not the reason that Prop 8 passed.  Gays are upset because so many blacks supported the ban when they have fought beside us for our civil rights for so many years.

I, for one, am glad that gays are getting angry.  I am, however, deeply troubled that an accepted response seems to be a new them vs. us attitude.

Still, someone does deserve blame here.  Let me tell you my story.

I was 4 years old and holding hands with my 7-year-old brother, Jamal.  He didn't want to play basketball with my other brother and his rough and tumble friends.  He wanted to play jump rope with me and every male in a five foot radius was pissed about it.  I squeezed out a few tears and held tight to Jamal's hand and announced, "I asked him to play with me."  So, it began.

My brother didn't want to play with the GI Joes and the Hot Wheels.  He liked my Ken dolls.  My father would hit the roof if he caught him with those dolls.  So, I mixed his toys in with mine and no one ever knew who played with what.

Jamal was two years ahead of me in high school.  He was done with the Ken dolls and jump rope by then.  He was into bodybuilding and played football.  He was tough and strong and induced a healthy dose of fear in anyone who crossed his path.  This was his defense mechanism.

We both had a crush on a rapper whose poster covered our bedroom wall.  We would stare at him for hours. Walking down the hall one day, I watched Jamal flirting with a girl.  My insides clenched.  On the ride home, I told him off.  He couldn't flirt with a girl, he was gay.  He insisted that he wasn't.  No way.  I told him that if he was going to date women, then I couldn't look up to him anymore.  I remember my exact words.  "If you're gay, you're gay.  There ain't nothing you can do about it."  He never dated another woman.  I vowed then and there that I would support my brother 100%.

There was a city-wide gay student association in the 1990's.  I went with my brother.  We were the only black people there.  

In 1996, my senior year, Jamal came out to my father.  My dad's response?  He went and got his gun.  I threw my car keys at Jamal and told him to go for a ride.  He came home three days later.

I talked to my dad.  He insisted that his son was not gay (I won't use the words that he used).  I told him that Jamal was gay when I was 4 years old.  He insisted that Jamal had to move out.

Jamal was the only black man in our entire community who was out and proud from 1996-2002.  He actively worked in community organizations and openly dated white, Hispanic, and Asian men.  All of the black men he tried to date were "down-low brothers".  Jamal never stopped being himself, never stopped living his biology out in the open for everyone to see.

We agreed that if gay black people would just come out and live openly, we could change the rigid stance on homosexuality in our community.  If blacks had hidden from white view, ensconced themselves outside of white society, Barack Obama wouldn't be president today.  Yet so many black gays do just that.  They hide who they are when their numbers are so strong.

Our sweetest victory came on a visit to my dad's place.  Over the years, there had been lots of discussion, lots of tears, and a grudging truce between us on the subject of Jamal's sexuality.  On this day, we were taking my dad out to lunch.  He slid his old, worn out denim jacket over his shoulder and on the lapel was a rainbow pin. Jamal kept quiet about it, but when we dropped my dad off, he bawled like a baby.  I did, too.

I just know that moment is coming for the rest of black America.  But it won't come when Prop 8 is defeated.  It won't come because gays boycotted the black community. It won't come when the rest of America wakes up to the realization that being gay is as natural as breathing.

It will only come when gay African-Americans come out and live their lives openly in the black community despite their fears.

Prop 8 was passed because of ignorance, nothing more.

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - MLK

Originally posted to okaygal78 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 06:26 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You have reduced me to tears for the second time (14+ / 0-)

    this week.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

    by resa on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 06:32:39 AM PST

  •  I think it is disgusting (31+ / 0-)

    that we are trying to assign blame to anyone but ourselves as a collective whole in this situation.  

    As a gay man, I could have personally done more to fight prop 8, but I got complacent, thinking it wouldn't pass.  I had too much faith that people would do the right thing instead of making certain of it.  

    The No on 8 campaign was poorly run and underfunded.  We need to admit and be honest about that.

    One minority blaming another is shameful.

    Thats for this diary.  Rec'd.

    It isn't redistribution of wealth. It's reinstitution of fairness.

    by Brubs on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 06:33:56 AM PST

  •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

    Prop 8 was passed because of ignorance, nothing more.

    I agree. I do not blame 'blacks' in general for what happened Tuesday night in California.

    But there is most definitely a cultural divide between blacks and whites on this issue (just as there was a cultural divide between the races over OTHER issues in the past) - and it is THIS cultural 'ignorance' which seems to get passed along more strongly among blacks (and, to a lesser extent, Hispanics). Either that, or cultural leveling and progress seems to be slower to reach the disenfranchised portions of our nation than others - a fact that I tie directly to MORE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES being available to those who inhabit the middle and upper economic rungs of society. *And to a lesser extent the far-too-heavy reliance of blacks on relying on fundamentalist Christian churches as the basis for social cohesion.)

    So while I am angry THAT blacks voted 3-1 for this morally and ethically repugnant Proposition, I do not BLAME blacks as a group.

    I blame the same lack of access to economic resources AND educational advantages that are only slowly being eliminated - and which I hope the new administration does its level best to eliminate.

    I don't have "issues". I have a full subscription!

    by GayIthacan on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 06:39:34 AM PST

    •  Largely . . . but: (6+ / 0-)

      When your employment and social options are already minimized and your risk of active harassment is maximized by unchangeable and obvious physical traits it is pretty normal to minimize your exposure of any other traits that might compound the problem with a hostile majority. Stigmatized minorities often have a defense mechanism that is quite natural, akin to the "when you are in a hole stop digging" idea.

      I have no doubt that the flavor of religion in the African American community plays a major part. It is an offshoot of Southern country religious practice in many ways. I also have reason to believe that there is some protective adaptation going on. Something often seen as negative in the larger community is echoed by people already subject to a burden of prejudice so as not to add to the discrimination burden.

      That certainly happens in all races and in many ways other than sexual preference.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:05:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very true. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mariva, adrianrf

      "I blame the same lack of access to economic resources AND educational advantages" --- Melissa Harris-Lacewell was on The Rachel Maddow show last night, and said almost the same thing --- that the No on Prop 8 people did not go into communities of color and educate them, comparing the language from the 60s that allowed interracial marriage for the first time, and so on.

      This knowledge, this similarity must be taught, in the same way that racial equality had to be taught (and continues to be.) If you grow up in a community that always says this or does this, without education, how can you ever see things any differently? Education and compassion are the ways to bring about an end to discrimination, not the blame game.

      •  I tried (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlanF, mariva, adrianrf, hollywdliz

        I really did.  I printed my own flyers, and I went and talked to people...unlike a lot of white guys around here I know Los Angeles doesn't cease to exist south of the 10 :)

        The truth is, people were conflicted, but they LISTENED.  No one was rude (unlike riverside - people there threw stuff).  No one insulted me.  Elderly people especially wanted to hear what I had to say.  They wanted to tell me their concerns, too.

        A lot of them believed the garbage about Churches being "forced to perform Gay weddings".  This was one of their PRIME reasons for voting yes on 8.  Every single person that I convinced that this wasn't true told me they thought they probably wouldn't vote for it.

        Here's the thing - you put on your No on H8 shirt, you print a bunch of flyers at Kinkos, and you go to predominantly african-american Neighborhoods in Los Angles...and person after person comes up to you asking "Is this true? Is that true?  What do they mean "teach gay marriage in schools"?  Will they really make my Church marry gays?".

        I didn't even have to approach people, they approached me.

        This is why it pisses me off SO much to read what I have here on Kos the last few days.  People feel guilty because THEY didn't do anything, and now they're trying to project all that self-blame onto a community they did nothing to open a dialouge with.

  •  Please post a tip jar (7+ / 0-)

    (-6.50,-6.00)"The GOP claims to be the party of "family values." It turns out they meant Soprano family values." - Gary Kamiya

    by clew74 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 06:41:10 AM PST

  •  Yeah, I hope the flamewar stops soon. (9+ / 0-)

    I don't think shannika's wrong to write her opinions, but I don't think that the flamewar does a damn thing to help the situation.

    "...there is no evidence of a dramatic tightening of the sort he would need to make Tuesday night interesting." -Nate Silver, 11/3

    by iconoclastic cat on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 06:44:43 AM PST

    •  Much love, blessings and thanks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mariva, adrianrf

      to you and your beautiful brother. :)

      White people (even us gay white people) can be so densely clueless sometimes. I dated a black woman for a while and came to understand -- in short order -- how utterly ignorant and clueless my supposedly enlightened progressive lily-white ass was. I guess ignorance is an affliction that all of us have to overcome. Thanks for taking the time to help enlighten all of us.

      If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

      by Leslie H on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 07:55:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this diary. (9+ / 0-)

    I wish my family was as tolerant as your father became.

    "It's better to vote for what you want, and not get it, than to vote for what you don't want, and get it." Eugene Debs, 1912.

    by cybrestrike on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 06:49:11 AM PST

  •  I am a the niece of a AA man who was gay. (21+ / 0-)

    My Uncle died of AIDS 1986. It was the same day my little sister was born. My Uncle was very open about who he was and was loved because of who he was. I was so hurt to see some here blame AA's for this horrendous proposition passing. I admit I let my emotions get in the way. Anyone and I mean anyone who voted for this should be ashamed. No one group should be singled out and everyone is to blame. We have to work together to ensure that our gay sisters and brothers have the right to marry the person they love.

    John McCain Chairman of the Commerce Committee,"The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should."12/07 Question,how?

    by TennesseeGurl on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 06:54:57 AM PST

    •  Amen! (8+ / 0-)

      Many people voted for Prop 8 not just one group and it's sad to see how one group is being singled out.  The fact remains that to win, you need to educate people and then get them out there to vote.  

      I am no longer lost in america!!

      by lostinamerica2711 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:01:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been listening (0+ / 0-)

        to this "meme" all day.  About how the "one group" voted for prop 8 because there was a lack of education and outreach.  As if anyone would imagine that they should confront or educate African American voters about prejudice!  There is something not right about this argument.

        Although I completely disagree with any attempts to hang the outcome on black voters.  That doesn't hold up, either.  

        •  It's called running a good campaign (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AlanF, bellatrys, mariva

          it's impolitic to assume that people will vote some way based on assumptions of how they view THEIR experiences. Frankly, it's also lazy! You have to sell YOUR vision. This is how politics works.

          If you want people's vote, you have to seek it. If you choose not to appeal to a group you assume things about, you're cutting off your nose to spite your face.  

          Simply put, the "outreach" convo is talking about the assumptions mentioned in your post. You don't ask, you don't get and it seems that this campaign seems to have focused on their traditional "base", if you will. McCain did the same thing w/ a similar outcome.

  •  Most productive diary on this... (11+ / 0-)

    ... since the election.

    With appologies to shanikka, It's not about how the numbers of voters add up, or crappy CNN exit polls. It never was.

    It's about indvidual people... and it takes a personal story to get that across.

    Tipped & Rec'd.

    REAFFIRMED as a second-class citizen since Nov 4, 2008!

    by Timoteo on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:01:51 AM PST

  •  Thank you. I've been crying (6+ / 0-)

    for Joy that Obama won, but tinged with some sadness since Prop 8 passed.

    "Terror is nothing other than justice...; it is ... the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs." M. Robespierre

    by Bartimaeus Blue on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:24:28 AM PST

  •  Great Story (3+ / 0-)

    You are right, this is essentially ignorance, we need to come together and stop trying to blame each other.

  •  Thanks for writing this. (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks for understanding. Most LGBT people who are venting around here are not racist and are not actually going to change their support for racial justice and equality. The smart thing is to let us vent and move on.

    Were there things said in anger that shouldn't have been said? I'm sure there were. But the tendancy to jump down our throats if we say anything that is not 100% PC is bullshit.

    It amazes me that in a week when we elected our first black president and removed LGBT civil rights at the constitutional level some people are advancing the position that it's all about black victimization.

    Everone is responsible for their own behavior on Prop 8--the No on 8 organizers, the mormons, fundies, and right-wing catholics, and the seemingly disproportionate number of African-Americans who supported it. No more, no less.

    The problem with jumping down peoples' throats when they are angry and grieving is that while it may be "right", it isn't necessarily wise. In this case, it was extremely unwise.

    "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

    by homogenius on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:10:20 AM PST

    •  P.S. I disagree about Shanikka's diary. (6+ / 0-)

      I think it was counterproductive. IMO she set up a straw man. People weren't saying that black voters were responsible for passing Prop 8; they were angry that such a high number voted for it.

      And her so-called "analysis" did nothing to correct anything. All she did was attack CNN's exit polling.

      In short, it was a lot of heat and very little light.

      "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

      by homogenius on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:13:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Imagine... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mariva, skip945

      if the Proposition had taken away blacks right to marriage? I guess it still all comes down to whether or not you REALLY, "get it", that gay relationships are really equal.

      We gay people are wounded by this. Damn right I'm angry since I've spoken out a lot again white racism against blacks, only to see blacks vote so heavily against my rights.

      I'll still speak out against racism, which is still very present. But I think blacks are going to have to, in part,  work out their homophobia themselves.

      Thanks for the very constructive diary.

      •  Please (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Do yourself a favor.

        Listen to Obamas 2004 keynote.

        We're Americans.  We're "a" community.  Black people are not an "other" who need to "work out their own problems".

        •  OK, I will... (0+ / 0-)

          but when religion gets involved, and people see me as immoral, or against God, or sinful, ... well, I feel that is kind of a closed community to try to reach. People working from within are more likely listened to.

          Is that not kinda true? Though, this doesn't argue against your point, which I appreciate your making.

          •  I understand the hesitation (0+ / 0-)

            I can only speak from personal experience, being a white guy who went into african-american neighborhoods to try to get people to vote against 8.  Unlike Riverside, where white people threw full soda cans at me and screamed "faggot" out of windows (I'm str8, but not the point), I found a whole lot of black folks - especially OLDER black folks - who wanted to talk to me and ask questions.  Nobody screamed insults at me.  Nobody threatened me.

            I think there is perception of "hatred" from large segments of the African American community that isn't really there - I think a lot of folks heard lies from the pulpit and fell for them.

            The single most frequent question? "Will my church really have to marry gays if 8 doesn't pass?".  THAT, IMHO, is the unchallanged lie (No on 8 never really ran ads debunking it) that is responsible for most african american support for 8.

            "we're not trying to tell your church what to do" should have been a centerpiece fo the No on 8 campaign.

    •  Sorry, but if your first thought is BLAME THEM (0+ / 0-)

      then you are racist.

      If your first instinct is to accept the offered scapegoat shoved at you by the SCLM, then you are racist.

      Doesn't matter if you're angry - just like "in vino veritas" out of anger comes the truth of your heart.

      The fact that you didn't even stop to challenge it, to say Wait a second, why are we accepting the SCLM's "blame the black people" meme? - says you're racist, just like Mel Gibson's first response to being arrested is to demand of the cop, "Are you a Jew? Jews control everything!" It doesn't matter that he was drunk - only a bigot would react that way under the influence.

      That's something the white gay community needs to face up with and deal with - beams and splinters, folks, beams and splinters.

      "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

      by bellatrys on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 06:33:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sanity (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you for bringing a dose of sanity to this discussion. As a Gay white man I am not going to deny that seeing the returns felt like a punch in the gut. But this notion that one particular group holds responsibility for its passage OR that they are not responsible for their actions is just silly. African Americans voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8, but African Americans are NOT the reason that it passed. Why can't the progressive community talk about that, openly and honestly without resulting to racist or homophobic generalizations is beyond me. My African American friends acknowledge my pain, do not try and make excuses, and I do not blame them for its passage.

    you scratch a redneck and you will find a liberal underneath.....

    by Schtu on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:42:14 PM PST

  •  Does one have to stay logged on (10+ / 0-)

    twenty-four hours a day to find the great diaries?

    Thank you for this one.

    Quiet, sane voices in the wilderness. I, too, was a gay little boy (without the brave older sister, alas) but in a white world that was just as unforgiving. Oddly enough, I was sent to a segregated all boys boarding school (to butch me up - fat lot of good that did!) that was in the middle of a Philadelphia black neighborhood. It was only my white classmates who made my life miserable. I felt much safer out on the streets than I did behind the walls of the campus. Go figure.

    Yeah, so ignorance, huh? Still with us. Gonna be with us for a while longer. But it's getting better all the time. If we keep talking like this, it will get better faster. Great diary. Many thanks.

    Uncle Sal

    "I certainly feel much more like I do right now than I did when I first came in..."

    by Sal Bovoso on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 08:48:36 PM PST

  •  beautifully stated (8+ / 0-)

    I find your diary and important corrective to a lot of BS roiling around on this site, sadly much of it coming from gay white guys like myself.  (Though in the tit-for-tats I read some pretty ugly things about gay folks too, basically suggesting that we are whiners who aren't really discriminated against compared to black folks.  Tell that to Matthew Shepard, et al.)

    You hit the source of the anger spot on, but I agree that the anger is misplaced. Let's work on actually persuading people and running a fucking great campaign next time. And there should be a next time.  This vote was close and we could've won with some better ground game and more diverse spokespeople. Having worked in the black community for many years I am convinced many people are persuadable (unlike the white evangelicals, I'm afraid). So let's do the hard work of persuading.  Stories like this persuade people.

    And, not minimize the symbolic damage of Prop 8, we do still have relationships under CA law, unlike most other states.  Let's not let this loss turn us away from other fights we can win on adoption rights, hate crimes, and workplace discrimination nationally.

  •  Thank You, Okaygal78 (7+ / 0-)

    After reading Shanikka's diary, I too had my back up.  I felt a lot of her responses to the comments in the thread painted white gay men as racist Republicans, when many of us worked so hard and gave so much money to get Obama elected.  It is a logical fallacy to blame any segment of the population for voting Yes; every Yes voted was counted the same as any other.
    That said, your brother is a very lucky man indeed.  Family support for gays and lesbians can literally be the difference between life and death.

    Being an Independent is like being bisexual. Sooner or later you have to choose one over the other, and until then no one takes you seriously.

    by Skylarking on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 09:03:34 PM PST

  •  My cousin came out at Thanksgiving dinner (7+ / 0-)

    at the home of one of our Aunts. Her daughter (our mutual cousin) was saying nasty things about gays and he blurted it out in his anger. I missed it as I lived in another city. But I heard from my mom. From then on, several members ignored him or pretended it never happened. No one knew he was HIV+ until it became AIDS. My mother was the only one in the area who acknowledged it and helped him during his treatments, until he died. His mother buried him quietly. This is an AA family full of educated people. But about this, there is still too much ignorance and shame and fear. I don't know who I pity more.

    I sometimes wonder if I would have been the same, if not for the very culturally diverse high school I attended, which rid me of any stereotypes I had very early. Especially the gay AA friend who over-embraced his identity as a defense mechanism yet engaged in self-destructive behavior. He dropped out and I never learned his fate, which I suspect was not good. So unnecessary.

    Or maybe it was my very early memory of the assassination of MLK, and learning about segregation and racism and deciding that was the stupidest thing I ever heard, and in my childish innocence deciding equality was for everyone.

  •  Thank you - very well written (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, AuroraDawn

    You are a champ.

  •  Thankyou (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, AuroraDawn


  •  love this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, AuroraDawn

    So much!!!  A GIANT HUG TO YOU!!!!!!

    "People can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that." - Homer Simpson

    by Palicro on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:11:11 PM PST

  •  When I read about the support of Prop 8 (5+ / 0-)

    from black voters, I was not surprised, especially given what a lot of Christian churches had to say about Prop 8.  I live in a small city in CA with 78 churches.  There was a true multitude of YES ON 8 signs, everywhere!

    African-American men have so much to overcome, starting with a combination of biases that end up with many of them behind bars.  There seems to be some genetic susceptibility to high blood pressure, and tobacco companies target black men very effectively which further contributes to earlier deaths.  Discrimination has been hitting black men hard in job market ever since Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation; the hurdles were there from Day 1.  

    So I thought it would be good for the gay community to make further and well-crafted outreach efforts to the African-American and Christian communities.  This is a job for education and marketing experts.  

    I didn't expect the blamers to step in.  I should have, because even though I'm a white woman with lupus, I've got people blaming me for Prop 8!  Of course, I've also got Repub friends not speaking to me since naturally I am the sole cause of the Obama landslide ;)  Sore losers?

    It is good to know where educational efforts need to be made.  Your story reminded me of a gay friend--a white male, born to passionately evangelical parents who belonged to an extremely strict Christian community.  He went through hell growing up.  I think he could have used a sister like you!

  •  Thank you so much for sharing your... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, jkusters

    and Jamal's story. It’s a beautiful story and, you are right. The passing of Prop 8 made Obama’s victory bitter-sweet, but what has been even worse is watching as the us vs. them argument has gone viral with some both at Kos and elsewhere.

    I am in earnest. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard! ~ William Lloyd Garrison

    by AuroraDawn on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 10:52:06 PM PST

  •  I live in L.A. County (4+ / 0-)

    and I am gay. I could not go anywhere without seeing 20 Yes on 8 signs for every No on 8 sign. And whenever I saw a No on 8 sign, the next time I went by it, it had been stolen/removed and replaced by two or more Yes on 8 signs.
     I am gay and have had several gay friends who got married this summer. We all worked hard to defeat Prop 8.
     My friends and I also worked hard to elect Barack Obama. These were our two issues.
     To think that it is not important for Barack Obama to be president to gays and lesbians is missing the bigger picture. Justices Ginsburg and Stevens are likely to retire now that Obama has been elected. They can now that Obama will be able to appoint their successors. Had McCain won, he said he would appoint people who are the equivalent of Scalia and Thomas and Alito. If that occurred, any kind of social justice would have been doomed for decades.
     Obama was featured in No on 8 ads.
     The Yes on 8 people sneakily blanketed the African-American community on the Saturday before Election Day with fliers stating the Obama was for Prop 8. That is a lie. He had come out against Prop. 8. Obama did not do a lot of campaigning for other candidates. Honestly, given the last eight years in this country, it was important for me to not have another four years of Republicans in the White House. I am an American first and I love my country enough to know that without Obama in the White House we would be so far behind the eight ball that there'd be no chance in seeing this country get out of the hole we are in.
     I am proud to have given Barack Obama money and supported his candidacy and to have worked on his campaign. I am glad that I donated money to No on 8 and volunteered on the No on 8 campaign, too. A party that would field candidates like a Palin or a Huckabee who believe in a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is not one that I can support. There IS a difference.

  •  TPM Accepted Yes on 8 ads (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bellatrys, sobermom, Deoliver47

    worked to defeat Prop 8. While I find it abhorrent that the Mormon Church spent so many millions of dollars here in California to ban same-sex marriage, it is not surprising. What hurt me was that Talking Points Memo, which I consider a complement to DailyKos, accepted Yes on 8 ads. I first noticed this on October 15 and emailed Josh Marshall and he never replied.
    Then, on Election Day he posted that he learned of the ads running on Monday, Nov. 3, and then defended Talking Points Memo's acceptance of them.
    You can see that 207 people so far have had strong opinions about this.

     Prop 8 ads

  •  Not buying it. Sorry. (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    The story about you and your brother was great, and thank you for sharing it.

    But the premise you state is wrong.

    YOU are relying on SOMEONE ELSE to help with this, so WHAT exactly is YOUR role in all of this?  Tell me, what exactly did you do on prop 8?  Did YOU talk about it with friends and get them to vote no or was that someone "elses" job?

    Civil rights are everyones biz.

    The fact that 70% of blacks voted to TAKE AWAY rights is inexcusable, and I don't care what your story is.

    Blacks just disenfranchised gays.  That's a fact.

    Deal with it.

    And instead of writing here, do something about it.

    After spending 55 years of my life looking to civil righs, I just saw a GIANT slap.

    The ball is in your court.  


    Whose marriage do we get to vote on next?

    by cany on Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 11:44:18 PM PST

    •  70% figure is bullcrap. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You love repeating a TM meme.

      Interesting.  Wonder why that is.

      Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 12:57:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blacks are ONE group who voted for this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bellatrys, sobermom, sephius1

      but hardly all...FACT. If someone who didn't know read your post, they could easily assume that ONLY Blacks voted for this and nobody else. Obviously this is misleading. Sorry, but your anger doesn't excuse you from distorting the facts whether you did so intentionally or not.

      Anybody who wants to protect their own best interests is crazy to say something like "the ball is in your court". That simply will assure you get just what you now have........NOTHING.

    •  Stop repeating bullshit exit polls.... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that have been proven WRONG. And NO the ball is not in our court. The "No on Prop 8" crowd was not organized. And they didn't start asking for money from outside California until late in the game.

      Do you know how many failed attempts we in the african american community had in trying to correct "separate but equal". The GLBT community needs to spend time educating. Most voters didn't even know about their own state propositions on their ballots, let alone proposition on anothers state ballot.

      It took 100 years, AFTER SLAVERY, to get some resemblance of equality for all.

      Does the GLBT commnuity think they are going to "birth a new vision" without going through the labor pains?

      Stop Assuming. And Educate.


      Some people are like Slinkies . . . Not really good for anything . . . . . But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

      by sephius1 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:25:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What happened to the money anyway? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There was a huge fundraiser months ago on the fandom blogs on Livejournal, called "livelongnmarry", to oppose 8. Apparently the money - didn't get used to oppose it, or not at all effectively.

        "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

        by bellatrys on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 06:36:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was tapped out donating to Obama (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But had I been given enough heads up I would have done a 70%-30% split. And sent some love California's way

          Some people are like Slinkies . . . Not really good for anything . . . . . But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

          by sephius1 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 03:30:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm just not sure it would have done any good-- (0+ / 0-)

            given that nothing seemed to be done with what my flist collected, at least. It doesn't sound - and I ran across someone on another blog who I'm hoping will weigh in, who claims the same sort of inside experience/frustration - like there was any sort of coherent organization on the ground there, at all.

            I'm dirt poor, and $20 is a big chunk of my paycheck, but I will give money too even when I can't afford it - if I'm confident it will be used effectively! And I don't think that's just my ex-conservative side speaking: I think it's really counterproductive to have people donating and have it get wasted, both for the wasted opportunity and the bad taste it leaves in donors' mouths.

            I mean, I doubt most people feel like giving to Darcy Burner was a waste, even though she didn't win - because it was such a hard-fought, close-run campaign, and even though she lost we know she gave it her all and maybe next time she will be able to have the name-recognition edge.

            "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

            by bellatrys on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 03:39:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  And (0+ / 0-)

      So did older Whites and Latinos, Rural Whites and Latinos, Low-income voters, and People with just a High School education regardless of race, and Republicans, and Mormons, and Catholics.

      So, you target one group which you find easy to label "the other" because of the color of their skin, you're engaged in racial scapegoating.

    •  Just because... (0+ / 0-)

      we work in different ways does not mean that we aren't working together.  I admit to my own apathy on Prop 8.  I was just 100% sure that it was pass.  I was more sure that Prop 8 would pass than I was that Barack would win the presidency.

      But please, don't make assumptions about me and my work in my community.  I believe in what I am doing when I talk to every black person I know about my brother's (and best friend's) sexuality.  I believe that I am breaking down walls and barriers when I stand up in church and demand that homophobia not be preached from the pulpit.  

      I belive that living, working and opening the door to discussion in my community is one of the most effective ways to changing homophobic attitudes in my community and this is where I focus my energies.

  •  Tipped and Rec'd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, Nightprowlkitty, sephius1

    Thanks for the story.  

    "Justice is what love sounds like when it speaks in public."

    by thedivademos on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 12:20:53 AM PST

  •  I tipped you for a moving diary - but disagree (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bellatrys, sobermom, sephius1, robin0727

    with this statement

    "We're all intelligent enough to understand that blacks are not the reason that Prop 8 passed."


    No.  Some people here really believe deeply that black people are at fault (along with Barack) - even after reading Shanikka's diary - and the comments of several "white" statisticians who deconstructed the entire scam being presented by CNN.

    Scapegoating is so deep seated it defies intelligence, and rational discourse. It's real easy to point fingers.  

    My grandma used to say "when you point a finger at somebody, three of 'em are pointing back at you, so check yourself out"

    The blame game is an old one, and easy to fall into.  Sadly, that is happening here on DKos.  

    It wasn't passed because of simply ignorance.  
    It was passed because Republicans using the Mormon money machine outplayed the left.  

    A good learning experience.  Now is the time to go back to the drawing board and continue the fight.
    One set back does not mean the war against bigotry is lost.  

    Please give Jamal this link - and help get the word out:

    The National Black Justice Coalition is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. The Coalition works with our communities and our allies for social justice, equality, and an end to racism and homophobia.NBJC envisions a world where all people are fully empowered to participate safely, openly and honestly in family, faith and community, regardless of race, gender-identity or sexual orientation.

    Thank you for visiting us. We encourage you to explore these pages and share your views with us. We hope you find these pages informative and enlightening.

    The National Black Justice Coalition is the only national civil rights organization of concerned Black, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and our allies. Our organization and its programs address the problem of gay inequality in America with a goal to increase African American support for gay and lesbian equality


    Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 01:13:49 AM PST

  •  Tipped and rec'd... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bellatrys, sephius1

    ...and follows what I learned from a Jamaican friend.  It's apparently really hard to be openly gay in the Black community.
    For folks looking at exit polls and blaming Blacks, I'd suggest looking at this post over at
    DiCamillo doesn't discuss the "Blacks are to blame" meme, but points out - as director of the Field poll - that Catholics and regular church-goers could have been really swayed by their religious leaders.  That's where a serious effort needs to be made.
    On the bright side, younger folk (18-29) seem to have voted NO by a 3:2 margin or better.

    Thanks for the diary.

    On GOTV duty Nov 1-4 in CO. Maxed out at $538 to Obama, Clinton, O2B and ActBlue.

    by randomsubu on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 03:37:13 AM PST

  •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    You nailed it when you said:

    Gays are upset because so many blacks supported the ban when they have fought beside us for our civil rights for so many years.

    I do think religions are a great force of division, and they help perpetuate the ignorance that you also mention.  But it has been shown that people who know gay people through work or community tend to have much more positive feelings about them than those who don't.  And therefore, in every community, it's very important that people come out.
    Thanks for a well written diary with some very astute observations.  And for helping your brother develop into a whole person with integrity.

  •  Agree with much here (0+ / 0-)

    and I loved the description of your family history, but I don't accept without evidence the premise that if all gay African-Americans were to come out, anti-gay sentiment in the African-American community would disappear or even reduce to an insignificant degree. There are plenty of minorities (and women) whose members are quite visible, yet still suffer from discrimination. The problem of the Jews in 1930s Europe, or the Irish in 19th century America, or, of course, the African-American community as a whole in this country, was not a lack of visibility.

    It's possible that large-scale coming out would help. It's possible (albeit much less likely) it would hurt. It's possible it could have no net effect. But I can't imagine our making it happen.

    But if the No on 8 effort was as badly organized as people are saying, I actually find that a source of hope. Maybe if we do it right next time, we'll be more successful.

    John McCain: no health insurance for kids.

    by AlanF on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:36:14 AM PST

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