I read an absolutely ridiculous article recently on the American Family Association’s One News Now webpage.
I know what you are thinking and I agree. That webpage is always pushing ridiculously stupid, one-sided tripe. But this article is especially annoying. The title alone should tell you why:
Pastors: Obama doesn’t understand ‘civil rights’
And it gets more interesting:
The Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) is demanding a meeting with President Barack Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the president’s endorsement of homosexual “marriage.”
The CAAP is headed by Rev. William Owens, who says the majority of African Americans are on the opposite end of the agenda and “feel betrayed by the president”
“We have written him and asked him to reverse his position, and we’re going to stay on it until we get some kind of answer,” he asserts. “We’re asking the African-American community to withhold their support until further notice.”
Owens had a direct role in the civil rights movement that gained equality for African Americans, so he knows the difference.
“[Obama] wants to call [homosexual marriage] a civil right, so he undoubtedly doesn’t understand the difference in the ‘gay’ and lesbian community and the African Americans who fought for civil rights, who put their lives on the line,” the coalition leader offers. “To equate them is absolutely wrong, and it’s like he has turned his back on the African-American community.”
I think I speak for the vast majority of the black community when I ask what the heck is the The Coalition of African American Pastors.
From what I have read and have heard about this group, it seems to have been in the media recently as a counter group against marriage equality. In May, it came out with a statement saying that it does not agree with the NAACP’s support of marriage equality (the statement was naturally highlighted by the right-wing publication The Daily Caller).
Since that time, the group has been constantly threatening to not support President Obama during the upcoming November election
Of course that would be very weird to me because I don’t remember this group giving him support when he won in 2008.
With all due respect to Owens and the Coalition of African American Pastors, it sounds like this organization isn’t on level.
What it sounds like is someone else in the religious right decided to use the National Organization for Marriage’s race wedge strategy and a certain person (I won’t name names) decide to play the game with his hand out.
Owens has absolutely no idea what he is talking about when he claims that the black community feels betrayed by President Obama’s support of marriage equality. Some articles have said that the black church has felt conflicted by President Obama’s support of marriage equality.
Others have noted an increase in support for marriage equality in the black community since Obama’s announcement.
But nowhere have I ever read that the majority of black folks have voiced a feeling of betrayal.
Also, I take a bit of offense to the passage - Owens had a direct role in the civil rights movement that gained equality for African Americans, so he knows the difference.
I sincerely doubt this is true and if I am wrong, Mr. Owens can correct me by pointing out his direct role. Was it more direct than the role of Bayard Rustin, Dr. King’s aide who coordinated the 1963 March on Washington? Rustin was a black man who put his life on the line for civil rights and he was openly gay.
But I don’t mean to preach. The article did provide me with a few laughs, particularly this statement by Owens:
“We’re asking the African-American community to withhold their support until further notice.”
If Owens thinks that the black community is so monolithic and one-issue oriented that we will withhold our support from President Obama due to his support of marriage equality while ignoring other issues such as education and healthcare (i.e. Obamacare) then he is sadly mistaken.
And his presumptions only prove that Owens and his Coalition of African American Pastors are less concerned about the needs of the black community and more concerned with their own notoriety and press.