Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Girlfriend, You Must Be Crazy!

All right. So I promised this post a while ago. But then, I felt the pressure of knowing someone was waiting for this post. Good to know I'm being read; I just felt a little pressure. Also, I found out at least two of Lauren's children had reached their limit. Poor babies. Then, I tried to find this song I love that's in my head. Not only can I not find it, it may not even be an actual song. Cause I do have a habit of merging two songs into one in my head.

But anyway, as promised, my open letter of sorts to the white LGBT community, re "You Got Privilege, Too."

I need to kinda set the stage. First of all, this isn't a letter to gays and lesbians of color. If you wanna complain about what happens in your communities, have at it. Uh, yeah, I'm making the distinction.

Secondly, I empathize with a lot of the issues. Now, understand, I do regard homosexuality as a sin. But I don't think me or anyone who so happens to be straight is better than anyone who's not. I feel gays and lesbians deserve all the "inalienable" rights everyone else enjoys. That includes marriage - but it is this whole argue over marriage that instigates my disregard for white gays and lesbians.

Thirdly, since time began, marriage has been understood as a relationship between a man and a woman. Even the Greek philosophers who were known to carry on amongst each other didn't classify their relationship as marriage. But, be that as it may - you wanna get married, hey, why not? The way I see it, the tax credits and shared insurance is something that falls under "inalienable" rights.

Now, my rant.

So you lost proposition 8? Oh, I hear you pain, but you can quit with the "gay is the new black" whining. From what I understand, part of the reason so many in the black community voted against gay marriage is that you didn't do any outreach. Couldn't find your way into the black community, huh? Thought that just because we vote Democrat and weren't considered part of the Evangelical movement that we don't have religious sentiments? Or, maybe you just made the assumption that black people would side with you automatically because of our own harsh history? But, whatever you were thinking, it seems like you weren't.

Cause, let me make it clear to you, with all the discrimination you face, I don't imagine that when you look for a new house, you get tracked to the "less discriminate" neighborhoods. I mean, from what I've heard, wherever you move becomes the place to be! And I know you face job discrimination. How about earning less just because you're gay? Or being pulled over for driving in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time of night? Or being stopped because you fit the description of a suspect who two feet taller and ten shades gay-er? Or being stopped just because the cops need to pad their records, and they think that just because you're gay, you probably do drugs. How they would know is beyond me.

Now, do you face senseless discrimination? Yeah. But my guess is that it's not coming from the black community. My guess is that your boss, your realtor, the waitress at your neighborhood Applebee's are all white. I bet you've been beaten up once people discovered you're gay. I also bet your attackers where white.

Which is why I'll allow gays and lesbians of color to complain about communities of color. They're the ones who deal with homophobia within those communities; not you. In fact, when it comes to communities of color, exactly what do you have to deal with. And not as an individual. I'm sure there're some white gays who live and/or work in communities of color. I mean as a group. Besides voting mostly for the same party, what dealings do you have with communities of color?

In fact, come on. You can't really expect a lot of support from the black community when you haven't done the work in the black community that you've done in the white community. It's kinda funny, you're ignorance of the black community. Rush Limbaugh complained about your protests in front of white mega-churches and wondered why you weren't protesting in front of black mega-churches. And I imagine that's because you don't know there are black mega-churches, wouldn't know where to find one, and wouldn't know whether or not the members of that church supported gay rights.

So really, I think you're just pissed because you can't believe that there're black people who think they're better than you. Huh? And some of the truth that I've come to learn is that most black people don't see themselves as better than others, unless you're talking about the relationship between the genders. But mostly, we don't. We see people as people. And don't get me wrong. There is genuine homophobia within the black community to the extent that a lot of folks don't want gay kids. But when it comes to matters of the law, the vote against gay marriage is purely religious. And what needs to be done is to separate legal components of marriage from whatever religious components people might see. Or, you could take John Meachem's tack and make it clear that you want to be in a stable, loving, supportive relationship, too.

Most churched black people regard homosexuality as a sin. Sorry, it's plainly there in the Bible. Now, there're lots of things that people attribute to the Bible that aren't actually there, but the description of homosexuality as sin is there. And yes. Slavery is, too. But American slavery would've been against the Mosaic Law as well as the teachings of Paul. And if you don't believe the Bible or all of it, tough. The people you need to convince do, and there's actually a lot there you can use. Cause at the end of the day, most black folks are able to recognize the humanity in everybody. I don't imagine it would've comparatively been that difficult to get black support had you tried - instead of doing things like protesting a concert that included Donnie McCurklin thinking it was somehow anti-gay politically when it wasn't.

But. You just never prepared for the idea that "those" people would vote against you. After all you've done for us . . . which reminds me, what have you done for us? I've heard that argument before, but never really gotten an answer. I know Rustin Baynard was gay, and I'm sure there were countless more in the movement, but I know you ain't placing your claim to black support on the actions of probably mostly all black gays and lesbians, are you? In fact, there was apparently so little support from the white gay community for civil rights that I can't even google it!

So, the way I see it, you're just really confounded that it appears to you that black people think they're better than you. And you're just all to willing to looking down on us from your self-righteous perch instead of doing the hard work of education in the black community that you've done in the white community. Because you're just all to accustomed to the privilege your whiteness affords you whatever hardships your sexuality causes you.

And when it comes to the debate concerning civil unions vs marriage, please stop the whole argument that separate is inherently unequal. That's what the lily white Supreme Court said. Not what the black community intended. It's not like our students just have to be around white students to learn. It's that states and local communities were spending thousands of dollars on white students for every few dollars that spent on black students. What we wanted was actual equality, whether or not that meant sitting next to you. It just so happens that when you actually give every student the same education, integration is cheaper than segregation. So, it's not that separate is inherently unequal; it's that the separation blacks faced was unequal. And most voters, white and black, are more willing to support civil unions than they are gay marriage.

So, when you get to the bottom of it, all your righteous indignation at the audacity (That's not a reference to President Obama. The word "audacity" is part of the black lexicon.) of black folks not to support your cause comes down to an argument over semantics. And you think all you moaning and condemnation is going to change black people's minds when we know very well your indignation comes from your privilege? Ha! You must be crazy. Girlfriend.

Which reminds me of something else. Since it's so obvious you think you're better or at the very least are used to white privilege, quit using our words!

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But Don't Jack My Genuis