Blacks have to be TAUGHT not to hate?

California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, a black woman from Los Angeles, “is appalled at the hostility that has been directed at African Americans since the passage of Proposition 8,” the Sacramento Bee reports today.

In the Bee story, Bass relates an anecdotal incident or incidents (the news story isn’t clear how many anecdotal incidents Bass actually related) of an alleged racist verbal attack or attacks upon blacks, presumably by gays.

About seven in 10 California blacks voted for Proposition 8, which stripped California’s same-sex couples of the right to marry each other, a right that the Repugnican-dominated California Supreme Court had ruled, in May, that they possess.

You know, although that seven-in-10-blacks-voted-for-Prop-8 statistic doesn’t exactly inspire me (a gay white man) to give a huge ol’ fuckin’ donation to the NAACP, I’m just not aware of a widespread problem of gay men and lesbians verbally or physically attacking blacks in public in California, so Bass’ anecdote or anecdotes mean little to me. People do make shit up, and even if an anecdote is true, one or two or three incidents do not indicate a widespread pattern or problem. 

However, of course it’s wrong for anyone to hurl a racial epithet at anyone else. Just as it’s wrong for anyone to use homophobic epithets.

Years ago I had a young black co-worker who routinely used the word “faggot” to refer to gay men. He didn’t say “gay men”; he said “faggots.” Being a “faggot,” I indignantly informed him that the use of the word “faggot” is no different than the word “nigger.” Yes, this “faggot” used the “n-word” to a black guy, even though, being pretty muscular, he probably could have pummeled me had he wished to do so. (A Jewish co-worker who had been present during this exchange later told me that she was glad that I had called him on his shit. And I don’t recall that he ever used the word “faggot” in my presence again.)

But, as usual, I digress.

What Bass is quoted in the Bee article as having said that really sets me off is this: “The No on 8 campaign, she said, failed to do enough campaigning in the black community, ‘and the LBGT leadership is looking back at that'” and “Bass said leaders in the gay community need to do a better job reaching out to blacks.”

Oh, gee, so blacks — a historically oppressed minority group — need to be educated on the wrongs of oppressing other minority groups?

We gay men and lesbians have to go begging to blacks: “Please, oh, please, oh, please don’t hate us”?

Blacks can’t look to a sense of decency and morality and hell, Christianity real Christianity, the Christianity that Jesus Christ actually taught in the New Testament, and not the ignorance, fear and hatred that so often are labeled as “Christianity” in the United States?

We gay men and lesbians have to supplicate blacks in order for them to do the right thing?

Is that it?

Is that what Bass is saying?

Because let me say, as a gay man, that racism is wrong, wrong, wrong. I don’t need a bunch of black people to come to me to teach me that. That’s just something that, as an alive and an alert and an awake and an aware human being, I already know, to the core of my being: Do unto others only as you would have others do unto you. I don’t even need to read the New Testament to know the wisdom of that.

I agree with Bass on one thing: “There’s a lot of healing that needs to take place,” she said.


That healing can start with the blacks asking themselves why they adopted the ignorant, fearful, hateful, bigoted “Christianity” of their white oppressors. It seems to me that you’re still quite a slave if you are bound to the ignorance, fear, bigotry and hatred that pass for “Christianity” in this nation.

And the enslavement of your very soul is far, far worse than is the enslavement of your body. As Jesus said: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Really, I should have been a preacher…)

And of course gay men and lesbians who have any racist impulses need to examine why they would be so concerned about the welfare of their own group but would not extend that care and concern to other historically oppressed groups.

Divided, we historically oppressed minority groups fall.

Which is exactly what The Man wants.


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7 responses to “Blacks have to be TAUGHT not to hate?

  1. lifeisannoying

    Not all black people who follow christianity are homophobes, here is one!! and just to point out, even if all the african american’s in california voted to criminalise same sex marriage, it would not have had enough votes to pass without the votes of other ethnicities. White, asian and hispanic votes surely played their part too! so it is not only the black community who has to look at itself.

  2. robertdcrook

    Yes, I know that not all blacks are homophobic. But 70 percent of the state’s blacks voting for Prop 8 — wow! And ouch!

    I read that 53 percent of the state’s Latinos (the state’s largest racial minority group) voted for Prop 8, so no, I’m not thrilled with those 53 percent, either, but that’s still a lot less than 70 percent and only 1 percent more than the total who voted yes. No other racial group has anything like 70 percent that I’m aware of. (Blacks are the state’s second-largest racial minority group, by the way.)

    We have lots of work to do together.

    And we HAVE to have each other’s backs. Today the bigots dupe the voters into passing an anti-gay constitutional revision and tomorrow they’ll get the voters to pass racist consitutional revisions…

  3. lifeisannoying

    true, true. Remember that 30% of the AA population voted against it! so it’s never a lost cause.

  4. robertdcrook

    Yes, and I misspoke (miswrote?) about blacks comprising the second largest racial minority group in California.

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimates for 2006, in California it’s Latinos at No. 1 (36 percent), Asians at No. 2 (12 percent) and blacks at No. 3 (7 percent).


    So I don’t know how much of an impact blacks did or did not have on the outcome of Prop 8. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it passed because of them…

  5. K

    Hey… I have to agree that there should have been more outreach to the Black and Latino communities. Don’t assume that everyone is informed, enlightened, etc about every issue – We know that isn’t the case!!!! I agree that Blacks, Latinos and any other minority group that has been oppressed should know better, but they don’t. The LBGT community should have reach out to all communities – finding the common link… Oppression. The thing is… there are LBGTs in all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic group… that is the thing that unifies. Instead of promoting NO on Prop 8 in known “Gay Communities” (midtown in sac, and Castro District in SF) across the state, there should have been a massive drive to educate in all areas – churches, schools, etc… whever there are people, there is where the NO on Prop 8 people should have been.

    I’m not happy about the “passage” of Prop 8. I think everyone should have the same rights to education, housing, medical care, and even who you can love and marry. 🙂

  6. robertdcrook

    OK, OK, OK, I can meet you halfway.

    “Outreach” is OK if by “outreach” we mean one group getting to know another group better for better understanding between the two groups. I’m all for that.

    But if “outreach” means practically begging or coercing people to just do the right thing — then I have to say fuck “outreach.”

    Yes, I agree that there was too much preaching to the choir on the anti-Prop 8 side.

    But I agree with New York Times columnist Charles Blow, who asserts in a recent column that trying to convince people that they are wrong on matters of the Bible is futile. (People don’t reach their dogmatic beliefs through reasoning, so reasoning isn’t going to make them abandon their dogmatic beliefs…) To reach black women, for instance, Blow suggests reminding them that an atmosphere of homophobia encourages gay black men to go on the down low, which puts black women at higher risk for HIV. Therefore, voting for Prop 8 actually was not in black women’s best self interests.

    Unfortunately, that’s about the only kind of outreach that I see working: getting people to act in their own best self interests rather than acting out of ignorance, fear and hatred…

  7. K

    Well… You know by outreach I wasn’t referring to begging, coercing, etc… I’m talking about having a two-way dialogue about what the issues are. Like I said… There are gay, bi, lesbian, transexual/transgender people in all groups… that is a commonality that needs to be explored.


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