I would like to sign on to the following statement from Truth Wins Out:
Truth Wins Out today expressed its grave disappointment in those in the LGBT community who have emulated our bigoted opponents by scapegoating minorities. It has been reported that African Americans have been verbally abused and have had racial epithets hurled at them during Anti-Proposition 8 rallies.
“It is reprehensible to look for scapegoats and target innocent people with vile racial epithets,” said TWO Executive Director, Wayne Besen. “We call on all GLBT people behave intelligently and act responsibly, so we can figure out – together – the best way for our movement to proceed and achieve equality.”
What specifically was Besen referring to?
From the Rod 2.0 post linked to in the TWO statement:
A number of Rod 2.0 and Jasmyne Cannick readers report being subjected to taunts, threats and racist abuse at last night’s marriage equality rally in Los Angeles.
Geoffrey, a student at UCLA and regular Rod 2.0 reader, joined the massive protest outside the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Westwood. Geoffrey was called the n-word at least twice.
It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks. YOU NIGGER, one man shouted at men. If your people want to call me a FAGGOT, I will call you a nigger. Someone else said same thing to me on the next block near the temple…me and my friend were walking, he is also gay but Korean, and a young WeHo clone said after last night the niggers better not come to West Hollywood if they knew what was BEST for them.
Los Angeles resident and Rod 2.0 reader A. Ronald says he and his boyfriend, who are both black, were carrying NO ON PROP 8 signs and still subjected to racial abuse.
Three older men accosted my friend and shouted, “Black people did this, I hope you people are happy!” A young lesbian couple with mohawks and Obama buttons joined the shouting and said there were “very disappointed with black people” and “how could we” after the Obama victory. This was stupid for them to single us out because we were carrying those blue NO ON PROP 8 signs! I pointed that out and the one of the older men said it didn’t matter because “most black people hated gays” and he was “wrong” to think we had compassion. That was the most insulting thing I had ever heard. I guess he never thought we were gay.
Yeah, so much for the (apparently premature) eulogies for racism now that we’ve entered the Age of Obama.
But I’m wondering why these folks are so caught up in the black voters, who obviously can’t ever be persuaded on this issue because… well, because. There are so many other groups in the exit polling that voted for Prop 8 overwhelmingly (as in, more than 60%):
* The elderly (65+)
* People who decided for whom to vote in October (but not within the week before the election)
* People who were contacted by the McCain campaign
* White Protestants
* Those who attend church weekly
* Married people
* People with children under 18
* Gun owners
* Bush voters
* Offshore drilling supporters
* People who are afraid of a terrorist attack
* People who thought their family finances were better now than 4 years ago
* Supporters of the war against Iraq
* People who didn’t care about the age of the candidates
* People who are from the “Inland/Valley” region of California
* McCain voters
Some of these groups supported Prop 8 far more than African Americans did, which makes me wonder why we’re focused so much on race instead of any of these factors. In terms of predictive value, religion, political ideology, and being married with children tell us much more about how someone voted on Prop 8 than race does.
From which we can infer three things. First, breaking the statistics just along racial lines is an overly simplistic way to look at the results. Black people, like white people, are not a monolithic group, and LGBT people can make inroads by reaching out to African Americans if we try. Flapping our mouths about how we’re not PC, how all blacks are homophobic, and how there’s no use in reaching out to African Americans doesn’t endear people to us, and there is work to be done here that hasn’t been done.
Second, religion is the overwhelming factor in Prop 8’s win, in terms of organizing, funding, and voting. Since it’s not going anywhere, we have to take a more serious approach to religious voters. And, yes, their leaders make bank off homophobia, but we’re going to have to be more creative. No writing off fundies as idiots allowed – they get votes too.
Civil rights is not a zero-sum game; there is enough shared blame for the debacle that is Prop 8, and it cannot be undone. We have the choice to educate or alienate going forward.
Your move, Mr. President-elect…
Update: I swear I didn’t see Antonia’s post before putting this up–great minds, etc.
Update 2: hekebolos @ dKos:
I would like to encourage you to take specific action to increase the number of people who are expressing their outspoken opposition to discrimination.
The “REPEAL PROP 8” movement is underway. And I’d love it if you added your voice.
The Courage Campaign has been leading a grassroots and netroots effort against Proposition 8. Sign their petition calling for the repeal of Proposition 8:
If you’re on Facebook (and if you’re not, you should be) there is also a “Repeal Prop 8” Facebook Group that I would encourage everyone to join.
As Barack Obama said: nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change.
But we need those voices to get it done. Add yours to the mix. And be watching for further news about what you can do to support marriage equality not only in California, but across the entire country.
h/t Dr. Prole (who is creatively agitatin’ to get the LDS Church’s tax-exempt status revoked–gogogo!) Also make sure to check out this dKos diary from shanikka, who debunks the exit poll results that have been cited as ‘proving’ African-Americans are to blame for the passage of Prop 8.