Bil Browning

Millions More Minus Many

Filed By Bil Browning | October 16, 2005 12:06 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement

Isn't it sad how some leaders get entrenched in protecting their turf that they turn to less than savory ways of staking "their territory?" How their ideas, their beliefs, their convictions are the only ones that matter? Everyone else should simply fall in line and do as they're told...

Whether in the corporate world, politics, or non-profit grassroots organizing, this tendency can be the downfall of the mighty. Take as an example, the right-wing nutjobs frothing at the mouth over Harriet Meirs nomination to the Supreme Court. These sheeple have followed everywhere BushCo has led them - until he told them, "Just trust me." Which as we all know, is code for "Shut the fuck up and do as you're told. I'm in charge, not you." Bush wanted to prove the Supreme Court was his territory - he gets to choose, you don't.

Another good example is the Millions More march. Gay African-American leaders had fought to try to be included, but Rev. Willie F. Wilson, the Washington minister who is the march's national executive director, didn't want them anywhere near the march. (You might remember Rev Wilson from his loony remarks about a lesbian epidemic among black women.) The not-so-good reverend is more interested in marking his tree - "These are MY black people! You're different. Stay away!" - than in ensuring that full equality and diversity are enjoyed by all his brothers and sisters.

And just like Bush, he has to resort to inane remarks, lies, and deception to keep his id satisfied.

Gay and lesbian leaders led a protest of the Millions More Movement yesterday after they accused event leaders of reneging on a pledge to allow a national gay leader to address the crowd.

Black gay and lesbian leaders had planned a separate "unity rally" to celebrate the inclusion of Keith Boykin, president of the National Black Justice Coalition, as a speaker at the march. But after Boykin said he was turned away from the podium yesterday morning, the rally at Freedom Plaza turned into an angry protest that decried what demonstrators called a double-cross by the Rev. Willie F. Wilson, the Washington minister who is the march's national executive director.

Leaders said they were sure Wilson was responsible for the snub after their bizarre and angry meeting with Wilson earlier in the week.

Boykin and the two other leaders who were at the meeting said Farrakhan appeared genuinely interested in working out a solution. But the three said Wilson refused to shake their hands and went on a tirade.

Boykin said Wilson said he was furious about hate mail and angry calls he had gotten since he was criticized for delivering a sermon at his Southeast Washington church that described gay sex in graphic and derogatory terms. He has since written about an "epidemic" of lesbianism among young black girls.

Donna Payne, an organizer with the Human Rights Campaign who also attended the meeting, said Wilson told them he had to change his telephone number and was worried about his family. He then pulled out a book, "The New Joy of Gay Sex," and accused gay leaders of sending it to him.

Payne also said Wilson accused gay leaders of not knowing what is happening in the community.

Boykin and Payne said Wilson then grabbed a white plastic bag and pulled out a bottle of sleeping pills and a G-string made from Pez candies strung together. He said black girls use the items to try to turn other girls into lesbians.

"We were stunned into silence," said H. Alexander Robinson, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, who attended the meeting. "What do you say to that?"

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