Tag Archives: African Americans

I briefly break my hibernation in this presidential election season snoozefest

Breaking through: Palle-Jooseppi has been in his den for months. this is the moment he emerged

I knew that after Bernie Sanders was out of the presidential race, this thing would be a fucking snoozefest.

We witness Billary Clinton and Donald Trump, the most disliked presidential candidates in U.S. history, duke it out when it’s most likely that Billary will emerge as president in November. Fivethirtyeight.com right now puts Der Fuhrer Trump’s chances of winning the White House at 19.1 percent and Queen Billary’s at 80.9 percent.

Billary leads that much not because anyone actually fucking likes her, but because The Donald is that fucking bad. 

This is what the wonderful baby boomers, whose cohort includes Billary and Trump, have brought us to: the two most hated presidential candidates in our nation’s history in what probably is our most utterly uninspiring presidential race in our nation’s history.

Leave it to the fucking baby boomers to fuck up pretty much everything that came before them.

Anyway, Trump’s record level of despicability aside, as I’ve noted before, in my lifetime of almost five decades, no U.S. president had not first been vice president, a U.S. senator or a governor of a state (or some combination of these) before being elected president. The likes of Donald Trump always highly unlikely was to going to break that streak of presidential prequisites.

One recent tangle between boomer Billary and boomer Donald is representative of the evil and the lesser evil that they represent.

Der Fuhrer Donald uber-ludicrously recently told black Americans and Latinos (even though there were precious few of them in his mostly white audience) that they should vote for him. His fuller-than-usually-reported remarks were:

“Our government has totally failed our African-American friends, our Hispanic friends and the people of our country. Period.

“The Democrats have failed completely in the inner cities. For those hurting the most who have been failed and failed by their politician — year after year, failure after failure, worse numbers after worse numbers.

“Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing, no homes, no ownership. Crime at levels that nobody has seen. You can go to war zones in countries that we are fighting and it’s safer than living in some of our inner cities that are run by the Democrats.

“And I ask you this, I ask you this — crime, all of the problems — to the African Americans, who I employ so many, so many people, to the Hispanics, tremendous people: What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance. I’ll straighten it out. I’ll straighten it out. What do you have to lose?

“And you know, I say it, and I’m going to keep saying it. And some people say: ‘Wow, that makes sense.’ And then some people say: ‘Well, that wasn’t very nice.’ Look, it is a disaster the way African Americans are living, in many cases, and, in many cases the way Hispanics are living, and I say it with such a deep-felt feeling: What do you have to lose?

“I will straighten it out. I’ll bring jobs back. We’ll bring spirit back. We’ll get rid of the crime. You’ll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot. Look at the statistics.

“We’ll straighten it out. If you keep voting for the same failed politicians, you will keep getting the same results. They don’t care about you. They just like you once every four years — get your vote and then they say: ‘Bye, bye!'”

Now, a white billionaire running on the Repugnican Tea Party ticket claiming to care so much about the impoverished (of any race) when impoverishment is what keeps the billionaires billionaires is, of course, incredibly fucking ludicrous, but what can make a ball of lies dangerous is when that ball contains some degree of truth.

I agree with Donald Trump that most Democratic politicians, especially the high-level ones like President Hopey-Changey and Queen Billary, don’t truly give a shit about African Americans, Latinos (we call them Latinos, Senor Donaldo, not “Hispanics”), the poor, and other historically beleaguered minority groups, including my own (gay men).

The Democrats cynically, slimily pander to historically oppressed minority groups in order to get our money and our votes. But once in office, they don’t do anything for us until and unless public opinion fucking forces them to, such as on same-sex marriage (which Billary didn’t publicly support until March 2013, for fuck’s sake).

I probably wouldn’t go so far as to call Billary a “bigot,” as uber-bigot Trump uber-hypocritically has done, but I would call her a big-time panderer, and I have to at-least-mostly agree with Trump’s recent assertion that Billary “sees people of color only as votes.” As a gay man, I fully sense that she values me and my group only or at least primarily for our money and for our votes.

That said, of course Trump is no less such a panderer than is Billary, and it’s not at all believable that billionaire Donald Trump cares about any of us commoners any more than millionaire Billary Clinton does.

Yes, the Repugnican Tea Party is worse than is the Democratic Party, but the Democrats (at least the ones in D.C.) don’t lead. They follow. They love the status quo, because it’s great for their bank accounts, and, again, any progress that actually comes under them comes only after it’s unavoidable because of public opinion and activism (public pressure).

Queen Billary even brazenly, shamelessly openly promotes her center-right brand of incrementalism — progress moving along at a pre-global-warming glacial pace — which, again, is great for her and her cronies but which is not so wonderful for the rest of us.

And how have black Americans done under our first black president?

The record is mixed, but one indisputable statistic is that under President Hopey-Changey, income inequality between white Americans and black Americans is at its worst point in the past 25 years. And that’s because the Obama administration has done little to nothing to substantively tackle the problem of income inequality. Indeed, Obama has been, at best, a caretaker president, no progressive champion.

The Democrats, of course, don’t want to talk about any of this. We members of the rabble are supposed to buy the myth that poor people, non-whites, women, gay men, lesbians, et. al. are better off under Democrats by definition.

Of course Donald Trump isn’t the solution. That goes without saying, but in this debased day and age it must be said. Trump is the solution to our problems like like Colonel Sanders is the solution to the chickens’ problems.

But our commoners’ “choice” on November 8 remains slower death and destruction under Repugnican Lite Queen Billary or faster death and destruction under Der Fuhrer Trump.

There is a part of me, methinks, that almost would rather get it all over with more quickly under Trump.

Not that I would vote for him — of course I wouldn’t.

But nor would I vote for Billary.

The lesser of two evils is still an evil.

I’m going back into hibernation from the presidential race now.

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Thanks to Obama, Jesse Jackson, et. al., seem to have evolved

Um, let’s not call Barack Obama “the first gay president,” but let’s credit him with being influential within the black community where equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals are concerned.

Newsweek’s May 21 cover pronouncement of Barack Obama being the nation’s “first gay president” is typically-for-Newsweek hyperbolic — Obama is no more the “first gay president” than Bill Clinton was the “first black president” — but Obama’s belated pronouncement of last week that he supports same-sex marriage (although he hasn’t changed his “states’ rights” “argument” and thus he has not argued that same-sex marriage should not be prohibited by any of the states) might have the benefit of easing some of the homophobia within the black community.

Seventy percent of the black voters who voted on California’s Proposition 8 in November 2008 voted “yes” and thus voted against same-sex marriage here in California — on the very same election day that brought us the nation’s first black president, mind you.

Seventy fucking percent. (Overall, 52 percent of the state’s voters passed Prop H8.)

The Washington Post at the time of Prop H8’s passage reported that “Similar [anti-same-sex-marriage] measures passed easily in Florida and Arizona. It was closer in California, but no ethnic group anywhere rejected the sanctioning of same-sex unions as emphatically as the state’s black voters, according to exit polls.”

This, I think, was for two primary reasons:

One, most black Americans have adopted the toxic, backasswards, ignorance-, hatred- and fear-based religion of those who once were their enslavers. They and their equally fucktarded and bigoted white counterparts call this patriarchal, misogynist and homophobic bullshit “Christianity,” but I’ve read the New Testament, and Christianity this ain’t.

It’s unfortunate that so many black churches are just like white churches. The only significant difference between the black Protestant churches and the white Protestant churches, it seems to me, is the race and the racial identity of the churchgoers. The ignorance, hatred, bigotry and the us-vs.-them, fear-based bullshit pretty much are the same.

Two, many if not most blacks refuse to share the victimization pie. These blacks don’t want to acknowledge that any other historically oppressed minority group also has been oppressed in the United States of America. Their victimization (real and/or fabricated) is their identity, after all.

Of course we cannot exactly compare gay rights and the historical oppression that non-heterosexuals and the non-gender-conforming have experienced to race-based rights and the historical oppression that blacks and other non-whites have experienced in the United States of America.

Slavery, and being discriminated against for your race, are a whole other ball of wax from being discriminated against for your sexual orientation and/or your gender expression. Obviously and of course.

However, it’s also true that gay males and lesbians and other non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals are the only minorities who routinely are rejected even by their own families. Racial minorities, on the other hand, almost universally are accepted by the members of their own families. (There are exceptions, of course, such as in the cases of biracial children; a white supremacist white family probably would to some degree reject a biracial child born into the family, for example.)

But getting into arguments over which historically oppressed minority group has had it worse probably isn’t very constructive, and fuck it, I will say it: Those blacks who make stewing over the injustices that were done even primarily to their forebears their second or even their first job probably are quite stuck in their development, and since they have a difficult time living in the present, but remain stuck in the past — even others’ past — their chance of making significant progress in the present is slim. They are sad cases who not only are miserable themselves, but who do their best to make those around them miserable.

I mean, shit. I can’t marry my same-sex partner of five years here in the supposedly liberal and progressive state of California, and I can think of no other minority group that isn’t allowed to get married. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1967, in Loving vs. Virginia, that no state can outlaw mixed-race heterosexual marriage, but here I am, decades later, and I don’t have marriage rights. Gay indeed apparently is the new black. (Maybe that is reason No. 3 for rampant black homophobia: Many if not most blacks want to ensure that there is at least one minority group that they still can shit and piss upon. In this dogpile that we call the U.S. of A. it’s still better to be next to the bottom than to be at the very bottom of the dogpile, isn’t it?) I could stew over this gross injustice a lot more than I do, but I would like my life to be about more than stewing over this injustice.

All of that said, same-sex marriage rights and other equal rights and human rights for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals are civil rights.

Civil rights is a large umbrella — an umbrella that doesn’t cover only blacks. Wikipedia notes in its entry “civil rights”:

Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.

Civil rights include the ensuring of peoples’ physical integrity and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as physical or mental disability, gender, religion, race, national origin, age, status as a member of the uniformed services, sexual orientation or gender identity; and individual rights such as privacy, the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, and movement.

Fuck it, I’ll say it: If you maintain that civil rights cover only your group, you’re a selfish fucking hypocrite who demands that your group be treated with fairness and with justice, but you don’t give a flying fuck about other groups. Therefore, you don’t fucking deserve the same respect that you demand that others show you.

Therefore, I was incensed when Jesse Jackson announced some time ago that gay rights (or at least same-sex marriage rights) aren’t civil rights. As recently as two years ago, Jackson reportedly declared, “Many African-Americans believe gays are discriminated against, but they don’t believe marriage is a civil-rights issue. [Really? Loving vs. Virginia, which allowed mixed-race heterosexual marriage, was not over a civil-rights issue?] There are issues of acceptance [of gays], but there is no back of the bus; there are no lynchings.” Um, Matthew Shepard and countless other non-heterosexuals who have been killed for their sexual orientation and/or non-gender-conformation have not, in effect, been lynched? Jackson at that time added that being non-heterosexual “is not immutable” and “is not an externally observable characteristic unless you want to flaunt it.”

Actually, for most non-heterosexuals it is not a choice, any more than heterosexuals have a choice as to who they are and are not sexually attracted to, and of course, that word choice — “flaunt it” — reeks of homophobic bigotry (the only way for effeminate males and masculine females not to “flaunt it” is to [try to] pretend to be who and what they are not, which is soul-crushing), and of course the “immutability” “argument” is bullshit where civil rights are concerned. Civil rights protect one’s religious beliefs, for example, and certainly one’s religious beliefs are not immutable. (And why, oh, why, must so many “Christians” flaunt their mutable, bullshit, backasswards beliefs that they wish to inflict on all of us? And why do the “Christians” want to convert our defenseless children to their perversion?)

However, Jesse Jackson seems to have evolved on the issue of same-sex marriage since his earlier effective public proclamations that blacks have the monopoly on civil rights.

The Los Angeles Times on Thursday surreally reported (emphases are mine):

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Thursday praised President Obama’s decision to support same-sex marriage, comparing the battle for such unions to the fight against slavery and anti-miscegenation laws intended to keep blacks and other ethnicities from mingling and marrying with whites.

“This is a bold step in the right direction for equal protection under the law for all citizens,” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday morning. But, he said, he wished the president had gone further, pushing for federal protection for all citizens instead of leaving the controversial issue of gay marriage up to the states to decide. [!!!]

If other hard-won civil rights battles had been left up to the states, Jackson said, African Americans would have been on the losing end of those battles.

“If the states had to vote on slavery, we would have lost the vote,” Jackson said. “If we had to vote on the right [for blacks] to vote, we would have lost that vote.” …

Wow. Here is Jesse Jackson now more or less comparing the fight for same-sex marriage in all 50 states to the fight to eliminate slavery in all 50 states, a comparison that I recently made myself and was expecting to get shit for (but miraculously did not).

Of course, not being allowed to marry the one you wish to marry absolutely is not just like being involuntarily owned and involuntarily worked like livestock instead of being treated as a free human being, but the idea of allowing any of the states to put the treatment of and the equal human and civil rights of any minority group up for a fucking vote is anti-American. And I do believe that while of course we cannot directly compare the prohibition of same-sex marriage to slavery, we can more or less directly compare laws that banned mixed-race marriage to laws that ban same-sex marriage. Yes, marriage rights are civil rights.

I have been critical of Barack Obama for still not having gone far enough on same-sex marriage — and, by and large, most Americans, even non-heterosexual Americans, seem to be letting him off of the hook for his willingness to go only so far thus far — so it is gratifying to see Jesse Jackson’s proclamation that Obama hasn’t gone far enough on same-sex marriage.

The L.A. Times reports further of Jackson’s recent pronouncement (emphases mine):

His statement comes as a growing number of African-American leaders and civil-rights activists are stepping forward to voice their support for same-sex marriage. Their positions are significant because there is a stronghold of opposition to same-sex marriage within African American communities. This week alone, African-Americans voters were instrumental to passing North Carolina’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. [Deja vu all over again…]

Acknowledging that gap, Jackson called on religious leaders nationwide to address the issue with their congregations.

Jackson said gays and lesbians are among the ranks of soldiers dying for their country, the teachers educating the nation’s children and even the pastors guiding parishioners through the Bible. It’s time to reward gays and lesbians with equal protection, he said.

He urged opponents to remember that same-sex marriage isn’t about taking rights away from anyone else, but rather extending those rights to all. He also recalled a painful time in America’s not-too-distant past when African American men in the South faced swift punishment or even death if they tried to date a white woman, even as white men boldly dated across racial lines.

With such history in the rear-view mirror, Jackson said, it’s time to stop dictating the actions of others.

“You may choose your mate, but you cannot deny someone else the right to choose their mate,” he said. “The law protects you from being abused. It doesn’t threaten your lifestyle for someone else to have the right to exhibit their lifestyle,” he later added. [“Exhibit” — I hope that that’s not just a euphemism for “flaunt”… And your sexual orientation, in the vast majority of cases, is not your “lifestyle.” Your lifestyle, by definition, is your choice. Your sexual orientation, in the vast majority of cases, is not your choice.]

Other African-American leaders were also vocal this week in their support for gay marriage, joining Jackson in reframing the issue as one of civil rights.

“I salute President Obama’s statement today supporting same-sex marriage,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement that went on to add: “This is not about mine or anyone’s personal or religious views. It is about equal rights for all. We cannot be selective with civil rights. We must support civil rights for everybody or we don’t support them for anyone.”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, seen as a rising [black] star in the Democratic Party, appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC Wednesday to lend an impassioned voice in support of gay marriage rights. [I saw that interview, and I like fellow Gen X’er Cory Booker, and he is, I think, an example of the fact that one’s age largely determines his or her stance on same-sex marriage. Younger Americans, as a whole, are more accepting of same-sex marriage than are older Americans, such as Jesse Jackson, regardless of their race.]

And, earlier in the day, the social media savvy leader tweeted: “Historic day for justice and equality. Our United States President Obama endorses marriage equality. I rejoice in this announcement.”

I suspect that Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et. al., wouldn’t be as on board with same-sex marriage as they are now if our “first gay president” weren’t black and if our “first gay president” hadn’t first made his (limited) support of same-sex marriage public, but I’ll take their (belated) support anyway.

Truth be told, their support of my equal human and civil rights makes it much easier for me to give them my support of theirs wholeheartedly.

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‘Black’ is the ‘new’ black?

The Associated Press has an odd “news” item — timed for Black History Month, apparently — that many if not most black Americans don’t like to be called “African-American.” The AP story begins:

The labels used to describe Americans of African descent mark the movement of a people from the slave house to the White House. Today, many are resisting this progression by holding on to a name from the past: “black.”

For this group — some descended from U.S. slaves, some immigrants with a separate history — “African-American” is not the sign of progress hailed when the term was popularized in the late 1980s. Instead, it’s a misleading connection to a distant culture.

The debate has waxed and waned since “African-American” went mainstream, and gained new significance after the son of a black Kenyan and a white American moved into the White House. President Barack Obama’s identity has been contested from all sides, renewing questions that have followed millions of darker Americans:

What are you? Where are you from? And how do you fit into this country?

“I prefer to be called black,” said Shawn Smith, an accountant from Houston. “How I really feel is, I’m American.”

“I don’t like ‘African-American.’ It denotes something else to me than who I am,” said Smith, whose parents are from Mississippi and North Carolina. “I can’t recall any of them telling me anything about Africa. They told me a whole lot about where they grew up in Macomb County and Shelby, N.C.”

Gibré George, an entrepreneur from Miami, started a Facebook page called “Don’t Call Me African-American” on a whim. It now has about 300 “likes.”

“We respect our African heritage, but that term is not really us,” George said. “We’re several generations down the line. If anyone were to ship us back to Africa, we’d be like fish out of water.” …

This is news? Since when did the majority of today’s black Americans prefer to be called “African-Americans”?

If “white” isn’t offensive (and it isn’t), then why would “black” be offensive? And “black” is economical — one syllable, as opposed to the seven-syllable “African-American.”

“African-American” seems too politically correct and stilted to me — its use seems overly conscious of race. “African-American,” it seems to me, is used primarily by whites who are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with blacks, just as those who are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with us gay men and lesbians call us “homosexual(s)” — a term that the vast majority of us gay men and lesbians don’t use to refer to ourselves.

But even aside from that, “African-American” a poor term to denote one’s race.

If you want to be technical, all human beings had their origin in Africa, so every American, strictly technically speaking, could be called an “African-American.”

And not all black Americans, it seems to me, consider Africa to be the place of their heritage — they could consider Brazil, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica or one of several other nations to be the place of their heritage, not entirely unlike how it’s woefully inaccurate to term all Latinos as “Mexicans,” as though Mexico were the only nation that produced Latinos.

And, as the two black individuals are quoted as having said in the AP story above, “African-American” connotes a connection to Africa that many if not most black Americans don’t really feel — any more than I feel a connection to whichever foreign land my ancestors came from (the United Kingdom, I believe, but I’m not certain of that). I don’t call myself an “Anglo-American” because I’ve never set foot in the UK and I am generations removed from it — and because “white” is one syllable versus six, and I believe in keeping it simple. (Ditto for the clinical-sounding term “Caucasian” — why use three syllables when “white” is perfectly acceptable?)

I routinely use the term “black” to refer to blacks and never have been corrected by a black person, and I generally believe in using the term that the majority of the members of a group use to refer to themselves. Thus, I say “black” and not “African-American” (and certainly not “Negro” or “colored” or another woefully outdated term), “Latino” and not the outdated “Hispanic,” “Asian” and certainly not the horribly outdated “Oriental,” and “Native American” and not “Indian” (since Native Americans are not from India and since here in the United States we have plenty of people who are from India or who are only a generation or two removed from India, and so to call Native Americans “Indians” is to confuse them with actual Indians).

Like the use of “homosexual,” though, the use of such terms as “African-American” and “Oriental” is useful in identifying bigots — or if not outright bigots, individuals who obviously aren’t very familiar with the group of people they’re referring to, or they’d be using the term that the group uses to refer to itself.

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Why the ‘Christians’ hate us

Salon.com has an interview with gay Catholic and Mexican-American writer Richard Rodriguez (shown at left) on Proposition 8 and religion that’s worth reading. In the interview Rodriguez attempts to explain the passage of Proposition 8 and he suggests how gay men and lesbians can fare better among the religious.

Rodriguez correctly identifies that discrimination against gay men is more along the lines of misogyny than racism, since what it is that really seems to make gay men feared and hated is that many if not most of them represent the feminine, which is feared and hated. (And gay men have always seemed to me to be more reviled than are lesbians.)

But what it all really boils down to, I think, is that gay men and lesbians are dangerous to the blind obedience that the Mormon cult, the Catholic church and other organized “Christian” religions expect of their members.

Gay men and lesbians throw a monkey wrench into the patriarchal order that the “Christo”fascists want to impose upon everyone.

Yes, everyone. A huge goal of both the Mormon cult and the Catholic church is to overrun not just the United States, but the entire world, with their members. Thus their emphasis on irresponsible over-reproduction, including opposition to birth control and to abortion rights.

We gay men and lesbians — well, most of us — don’t reproduce like good little breeders “should,” so the Mormon cult and the Catholic church attack us.

And gay men especially tend to display liveliness and love and creativity and spark that the “Christian” organizations feel the need to snuff out. We gay men are, or at least often are, anathema to the doom and gloom and guilt and self-hatred and walking deadness that the “Christian” institutions espouse. Therefore, we should be eliminated; if we can’t be physically eliminated (as AIDS was just allowed to decimate gay men), then our rights should be restricted as much as is possible. Minimally, we should be minimized at all costs.

And, of course, as Rodriguez points out, as organized “Christianity” continues to crumble in the United States — because organized “Christianity” refuses to change and grow with the times — the “Christians” have to blame someone. Racism is out of fashion, but good ol’-fashioned homo-hatred is still acceptable among at least half of Americans, I estimate. As they say: gay is the new black.

I do have some disagreement with Rodriguez. In his interview with Salon.com he states: “I think gay activists … should not present ourselves as enemies of religion. I am not prepared to leave the Roman Catholic Church over this issue. The Catholic Church is my church.”

Hmmm…

I am not fully decided as to whether gay men and lesbians should remain in their churches and try to reform them — or leave their churches and let their churches die the natural death that they need to die. (I lean toward the latter, however.)

After Prop 8 passed, a Latina friend of mine who opposed Prop 8 (and who went to two anti-Prop 8 protest rallies with me here in Sacramento) announced, to my shock and awe, that she was considering joining the Catholic church.

She and I then had a strained conversation about this.

Her position was that people like she should try to reform the Catholic church. I don’t know, I told her; when I think of one institution on the planet that is the most resistant to change, it’s the Catholic church. (The Mormon cult would be No. 2 on my list, mainly because it’s much younger than is the Catholic church.)

Among the many things the Catholic church and the Mormon cult have in common, besides gay-bashing and involving themselves in right-wing politics, is that both excommunicate dissenters who oppose a serious threat to the established order. What better way to resist change and to preserve the status quo than to expel anyone who represents real change?

I told my Latina friend that should she make any real headway in helping to significantly change the Catholic church, they’d boot her out.

I understand her desire for community and service, but the Catholic church?

Not all Catholics are bad, she said.

True, but, I asked her, how can you support an institution that creates harm without contributing to that harm yourself? I mean, even if someone was just a daycare worker for the Nazis, didn’t that person help the overall Nazi cause, even though she or he never harmed a single hair on the head of a single Jew? How can one so neatly separate himself or herself from the evils that others within his or her institution commit? How can you support the Catholic church, even peripherally, without helping the church to oppress gay men and lesbians, since a big chunk of the church’s agenda is to continue to oppress gay men and lesbians? 

Anyway, while I generally oppose violence, as does Rodriguez, I disagree with Rodriguez’ assertion that we gay men and lesbians must not offend the religious. Oh, fuck the religious. They routinely offend me with their ignorance, fear and hatred that they cloak with the name of Jesus Christ — I mean, what worse blasphemy than to commit evil in the name of Jesus Christ? — so fuck them if I offend them. They don’t worry about offending me, so I won’t worry about offening them. They need to be offended.

There is this belief that no matter what ignorance and hatred the “Christians” spew forth, we are still to “respect” their beliefs. You know what? I “respect” their homo-hating beliefs like I “respect” the Nazis’ anti-Semitic and white supremacist beliefs.

No, trying to change monolithic “Christian” institutions from within is too much like banging your forehead against a wall ad nauseam.

Better to create something new, different and wonderful outside of these institutional dinosaurs and let these institutional dinosaurs go extinct by starving them of our time, energy and money, which is better spent creating something new, different and wonderful.

Boy, did I digress.

But read Rodriguez’ interview.

But if you don’t, these are the excerpts that I found the most poignant:

  • “…Latinos and blacks [took] part in this terribly tragedy [the passage of Prop 8]. We persecute each other. The very communities that get discriminated against discriminate against other Americans.”
  • “I know a lot of black churches take offense when gay activists say that the gay movement is somehow analogous to the black civil rights movement. And while there is some relationship between the persecution of gays and the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, I think the true analogy is to the women’s movement. What we represent as gays in America is an alternative to the traditional male-structured society”
  • “Then there is the Roman Catholic Church, my own church, which has just come off this extraordinary season of sexual scandal and misbehavior in the rectory against children. The church is barely out of the court and it’s trying to assume the role of governor of sexual behavior, having just proved to America its inability to govern its own sexual behavior.”
  • “…[I]t’s one thing for the churches to insist on their right to define the sacrament of marriage for their own members. But it’s quite another for them to insist that they have a right to define the relationships of people outside their communities. That’s really what’s most troubling about Proposition 8. It was a deliberate civic intrusion by the churches.”
  • “To my knowledge, the churches have not accepted responsibility for the Bush catastrophe. Having claimed, in some cases, that Bush was divinely inspired and his election was the will of God, they have failed to explain why the last eight years have been so catastrophic for America.”
  • “The divorce rate suggests that women are not happy with the relationship they have with men. And whatever that unhappiness is, I would like people to know that, as a gay man, I’m not responsible for what’s wrong with heterosexual marriage. On the other hand, whatever is wrong with the heterosexual marriage does have some implication for the world I live in. Women are redefining sexuality in a way that’s going to make it easier for me to be a gay man.”

Rodriguez’ next book, which I’ll probably buy, is on what he calls the “desert religions,” Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which, he asserts, need to be “feminized” — not taken over by women or the feminine, but balanced out by the feminine, I believe he means.

“If the male is allowed to hold onto the power of God, then I think we are in terrible shape,” he says.

Yup. And it’s the male power that wants to continue to hold on to its power that finds us gay men and lesbians, especially us gay men, so threatening.

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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.

Yup.

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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