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.