I'm coming to you live from beautiful Boulder. CO. I'm here to give the keynote address later tonight for the opening of the TRANScending Gender Conference being held on the CU-Boulder campus November 7-8.
I was flying from Da Ville most of the day and have only just begun reading many of the nuclear-level verbal missiles and the fallout coming from our gay and lesbian allies over Prop 8. Y'all have every right to be angry about the situation, but y'all need to chill with the animus you're directing at the African-American community.
By distracting yourselves hatin' on African-Americans in general instead of focusing your righteous anger on the real culprits, the Mormon Church, the sellout Black megachurch ministers, The Catholic Church, the TVC and the peeps who share your ethnic heritage that signed the petitions making it possible for Prop 8 to be on the ballot in the first place, you're playing right into the conservative movement's hands and making possible a decade long goal of their movement
Splitting African-Americans from the GLBT civil rights coalition.
Bear in mind that many GLBT peeps and some of our leaders are African-Americans. Some of us are also Christians. Pam, Jasmyne, Terrance, I and many other people of color have warned our white GLBT brothers and sisters about this foul development for years, but those warnings have fallen on deaf ears.
Can you hear us now?
If you're shocked that 70 percent of African-Americans voted against marriage equality in Cali and Florida, then you've been in severe denial, my GLBT friends.
When that odious constitutional amendment banning same-gender marriage passed and was added to the Texas Constitution the state and local Republican Party leadership openly bragged about how they didn't have to go whip up their base this time.
In my hometown it passed with higher numbers in South Park, Sunnyside and other traditionally African-American neighborhoods than it did in the Republican leaning 'burbs of Sugar Land (Tom Delay's old turf) and Montgomery County
I must point out as well that the legislator who stood up on the Texas House floor and eloquently spoke against it was an African-American, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson
The right wing bamboozled many of you into hatin' on Rev. Jeremiah Wright (who by the way is a major friend to the Chicago GLBT community) for out of context comments he's made that Faux News played ad nauseum. I noted that they've been awfully silent about another Chicago African-American minister named Gregory Daniels who stated that 'he'd ride with the KKK' to prevent same sex marriage.
Bishop Eddie Long along with his associate pastor at New Birth Baptist Church Rev. Bernice King (MLK's baby girl) led a 2004 anti-marriage equality march in the ATL a few years ago that started at the foot of Dr. King's grave.
Bernice is also on my personal caca list for uttering this statement.
I know deep down in my sanctified soul that my father didn't take a bullet for same-sex unions.
The opposition here in Louisville has been spearhead by my resident homobigot Rev. Jerry Stephenson. I called him out during our 2004 marriage amendment fight in Kentucky for saying he was tired of gay people "hijacking our civil rights movement."
Then there's Grace Jones' brother, Bishop Noel Jones, who flew to Jamaica to address the Jamaican Parliament and urge them to "resist the pressure from US activists" when they briefly considered repealing their British colonial era sodomy laws that are a root cause of much of the anti-GLBT violence going on there.
It's no surprise to me that when the Hi-Impact Leadership Coalition was founded by Bishop Harry Jackson and his fellow Black megachurch haters at a Los Angeles meeting in 2003, Lou Sheldon's grinning mug was the only white face in the photo.
The point is, the gay community has been sleeping for far too long on this, and now the lack of attention paid to cultivating GLBT leaders of color who can effectively counter the conservative "this a white gay movement" spin is coming home to roost.
Anyone who paid attention to politics should have noted the fact that no civil rights legislation gets through congress without the support of the "Conscience of the Congress," the Congressional Black Caucus. It should have been noted that the CBC members control major committees and subcommittees, many of the CBC's 43 members sit in secure seats that Republicans have a snowball's chance in Hades to win.
Once the Dems took over in 2006, the CBC members would be wielding unprecedented levels of power in a new Congress . For example, South Carolina's Rep. James Clyburn is the majority whip. Us political junkies know about Rep John Conyers chairing Judiciary. Oh yeah, there's a CBC member who will be moving into the White House in January.
The Religious Right sure did. That's why they hurriedly invested money into the Hi Impact Leadership Coalition. The smart play for the GLBT community would have been (and still is) to have people who can speak the cultural language lobby these politicians on GLBT issues and simultaneously "edjumacate" our community at the same time.
Today the Religious Right, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and the rest of the right wing Cylons are pleased because their plan to split the African-American community from the GLBT one is working to perfection.
And the counter to it doesn't start on Rhode Island Ave. The National Black Justice Coalition has been around for several years and with more funding could be an effective counterweight to them,
We also can't be ignored junior partners you call only when you need some melanin in the picture to prove how inclusive you are. When you're formulating the strategy, we need to be at the table helping plan and executing it. When we African-American GLBT peeps tell y'all something, quit dismissing it and listen.
The civil rights you save may be your own.