The National Organization for Marriage has been steadily attempting to blunt the charges that it engaged in attempts to drive a wedge between the black and gay communities on the subject of marriage equality.
Ever since confidential documents came out detailing NOM’s strategy to play the gay and black communities against one another, the organization has engaged in several tactics push aside the knowledge that these documents exist.
The most egregious has been when NOM shines a spotlight on black ministers defending the organization’s attempts to manipulate the black community.
The last time NOM tried this was with Bishop George McKinney and in his attempt to defend NOM, he went out of his way to avoid talking about the specific passage in the documents which outlined NOM’s wedge strategy.
This week, NOM spotlighted Minister Harry Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalition.
Jackson says the following on a post naturally published on NOM’s blog:
For three years, I have stood shoulder to shoulder with Brian Brown and the National Organization for Marriage, fighting to protect marriage in Maryland and in our nation’s capital.
Together—for the first time in Maryland—we have built a true rainbow coalition of Blacks, Latinos and whites, Republicans and Democrats, Catholics, evangelicals, Mormons and Jews, all working together to protect and preserve marriage. It’s a new phase in the battle for marriage—and critical as we head toward a referendum this fall.
The National Organization for Marriage has done so much to protect marriage, not only in Maryland, but in similar battles all across the country.
It’s no wonder groups like the Human Rights Campaign and The New York Times are trying to tear our coalition apart.
My answer? Not a chance!
The ugly insinuations and outright lies I have seen over the past two weeks are nothing short of reprehensible. They’re trying to create the impression that NOM is exploiting racial division—using Blacks and Hispanics to further its political agenda.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Naturally Jackson doesn’t address NOM’s documents anywhere in his piece. The documents which said the following on page 11:
The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks – two key democratic constituencies. We aim to find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; to develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; and to provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.
This is nothing that Jackson hasn’t done before You see, Jackson has provided cover for the religious right several times.
In fact, according to a People for the American Way report, Harry Jackson: Point Man for the Wedge Strategy, he is considered a star in the religious right’s supposed outreach into the black community:
In recent years, Religious Right leaders have made a major push to elevate the visibility and voices of politically conservative African American pastors. The star of that effort has been Bishop Harry Jackson. Jackson, the pastor of a congregation in Maryland, has been ushered into the Religious Right’s inner circle since he announced in 2004 that God had told him to work for the reelection of George W. Bush. Since then, Jackson has become somewhat of an all-purpose activist and pundit for right-wing causes – everything from judicial nominations to immigration and oil drilling — but his top priorities mirror those of the Religious Right: he’s fervently anti-abortion and dead-set against gay equality. And he has enthusiastically adopted the Right’s favorite propaganda tactic: he routinely portrays liberals, especially gay-rights activists, as enemies of faith, family, and religious liberty.
Jackson has big ambitions. He sees himself as a game changer in the culture war, someone who can help conservative Christians “take the land” by bringing about a political alliance between white and black evangelicals. Religious Right leaders see him that way, too, which is why they’ve helped Jackson build his public profile.
The irony is that this report was written over a year before the documents regarding NOM came out. And if you have never heard of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, then don’t hate yourself. It’s nothing more than a silly shell group which has no pull nor any power in the black community as the vast majority of us have never heard of it. The organization is nothing more than an ego booster created by Jackson to make it seem that the Black church is going hand-in-hand with the predominantly white religious right on several issues.
Like so many other African-Americans put on a pedestal by conservative groups, Jackson’s purpose is not outreach in the black community, but to give the inaccurate impression that predominantly white conservative groups actually care about the black community.
In other words, Harry Jackson is a token. Other African-Americans would use stronger words to describe Jackson’s bowing and scraping and “yess suh bossin” to the predominantly white conservative movement.
But I won’t. At least not here.
I will say however that I find Jackson’s willingness to defend NOM to be extremely distasteful. He is a liar who sold his integrity and soul to defend an organization who is exploiting his people like they aren’t human, but rather chess pieces who exist on NOM’s will and pleasure.
His personal feelings about gays are irrelevant. Jackson is a minster, which is a prime leadership position in the black community. Ministers in the black community are seen as protectors. They are not only our voices but our consciences. They are not supposed to lead the community into any type of danger, whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual.
If Jackson was a true black leader, then he should have been demanding answers from NOM for its race-baiting and its attempt to use black people as soulless pawns. But instead, he not only provides cover for it, but participates in this exploitation. I wonder if he realizes how many lgbtq youth will be harmed from hearing their pastors attack them in the pulpit thanks to NOM’s strategy.
I wonder if Jackson thinks about the many resources wasted in the black community because of NOM’s divide and conquer strategy.
And I wonder if Jackson thinks about how much focus and attention will be taken away from the true problems which plague the black community because of NOM’s strategy.
I’m sure that Jackson has thought about these things. And frankly, I’ll bet that he just doesn’t care.