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September 03, 2009

From 'outside agitators' to 'wealthy gay activists' -Some of us black folks haven't learned a thing

Posted in: Uncategorized

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Editor's note – I changed the title of this piece to further convey the depressive funk I've been under since the situation I am talking about in this post caught my attention. I know I am wandering into dangerous territory with the headline and the subject in general. I would sincerely hope those responding here and other places that this post may appear not take the easy road to offer polarized opinions. I hope I haven't.

I went to bed depressed Tuesday night and when I rose from my troubled sleep to post on my blog, my depression hadn't abated.

It got to the point where I was considering not posting anymore. I'm still halfway considering that option.

My mental malaise started when I was looking at anti-gay Stand for Marriage site emanating from Washington, D.C.

African-American pastor Harry Jackson and a coalition of other black pastors are trying to put to put marriage equality on the ballot in DC:

Jackson sent out a statement Monday stating that he and other opponents of same-sex marriage would file an initiative request with the elections board Tuesday.

If approved by the board, the initiative would give District residents an opportunity to vote sometime next year on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. Jackson, who says he believes that most city voters oppose same-sex marriage, is hoping his proposal will slow efforts by the D.C. Council to legalize those marriages

. . . In May, Jackson filed a request with the elections board to hold a referendum to block the council bill allowing same-sex marriages performed in others states to be legally recognized.

The elections board, in a strongly worded ruling, blocked Jackson's referendum request. The two-member board cited D.C. elections law, which prohibits a vote on a matter covered by the Human Rights Act. The 1977 act outlaws discrimination against gays and lesbians and other minority groups.

Jackson has affiliated himself with the group Stand For Marriage, which seems to have the tendrils of the National Organization for Marriage all over it.

What has gotten me depressed to almost the point of exhaustion is the language used on the Stand For Marriage webpage:

Marriage Matters! With wealthy gay activists mobilizing all across the country to legalize homosexual marriage, there's never been a more important time to preserve and protect marriage in the District of Columbia once and for all.

I highlighted that phrase “wealthy gay activists” for a reason. It's a code word to the African-American community for “rich gay white men.”

Black people have had to deal with negative code words throughout our entire history. From “outside agitators” to “welfare queens” to “reverse discrimination,” code words were a way for enterprising exploiters to appeal to the lower instincts of people without being overtly racist.

Or in this case, homophobic.

In the same skillful manner white racists used code words to tell people that integration and giving the African-American community the right to vote would lead to destruction of so-called pure communities and the wholesale raping of white women by “big black bucks,” Jackson and his group are implying that “rich gay white men” are trying to ruin marriage and, via osmosis, destroy the black community.

To make matters worse, one of the members of Jackson's group, Rev. Walter Fauntroy, was director of the Washington Bureau of Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Fauntroy also served as D.C. Coordinator of the Historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 and coordinator of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March in 1965 as well as the Meredith Mississippi Freedom March in 1966.

Fauntroy has no doubt had to deal with the ugly power of “code words” in the past. Not only that, but working so closely to King means Fauntroy had to work with Bayard Rustin, an adviser to King, the main coordinator of the 1963 March on Washington, and an openly gay African-American.

Harry Jackson is an opportunist whose desire is for fame and notoriety. Fauntroy should know better.

Whether Fauntroy is aware of what's happening with the language of the site is not know. But what is apparent is that some African-Americans are attacking the lgbt community via the same tactics that were used to deny them their rights not so long ago.

And if this isn't bad enough, ultimately these African-Americans will be hurting their own people, i.e. lgbts of color.

There is a saying that goes “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Jackson and his group, and especially Fauntroy, proves that there are some who intentionally put themselves in this situation.

It will be my blog's three year anniversary this Sunday and this situation with Jackson's group makes me realize that sometimes no matter how hard you try to do the right thing, nothing changes.

No matter how many times you try to right the wrongs in the best way you know how, some wrongs are never righted and on top of that, new wrongs are committed.

Pretty soon, you feel like a dog chasing its tail.

And no one should have to feel like a dog.


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