I find phrases like Black crime and Black homophobia troubling. John McWhorter wrote an article for The New Republic with the title: President Obama’s New Role in the Fight Against Black Homophobia. I’m a fan of McWhorter’s work and I feel he gets a bad rap. In many cases someone else comes up with these headlines so I’m not sure this is on him. But when you start coloring these issues, it’s an overstatement for one, but it gives these issues a Black face. It’s a clever slight of hand, more of the norm deviation shit and lets a lot of people off the hook. I’ve never heard Southern White Christian, Latino, Mormon or Catholic homophobia.
There was a huge brouhaha here in California after Prop 8 passed. It was intense, lots of N-words and venom spewed.
*So here are the numbers:
% of voters-race-yes on 8 %
(68%) White 49
(7%) African-American 58
(14%) Latino/Hispanic 59
(7%) Asian 48
*Commissioned by the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco. Released under the auspices of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute.
None of this means that homophobia within the Black community (there goes that phrase that I hate) isn’t alive and well. I’m simply talking about the term “Black homophobia” as though there’s something uniquely different about it.
I don’t get it and no one has ever explained to me what Gay or Lesbian relationship have to do with their day-to-day lives. As someone who’s lived in San Francisco there’s nothing anyone from say Dixie can tell me that trumps my experience.
For the Black community its extremely disingenuous. In the days of segregation, the community accepted Gays. Now they were picked on to be sure, but so was everyone else for some reason or another; the dozens were as common as hide-n-go-seek. But through all of it, there they were running or on their bikes, tagging along with the other kids. If they were adults, at the community events, family BBQs, etc. being who they were. And if they got in trouble or some outsider stepped to them, they were defended because they were part of the community. (For the record, I know that’s a gross oversimplification for the pain many had to go through-and there are other stories).
Fast forward to today and you can’t tell me that everyone in the church doesn’t know that the choir director or organ player is Gay. But everyone pretends. And then there’s this weird, maybe denial, that seems to equate Gay with White.
So even though the effect on Prop 8 by Black voters wasn’t consistent with the post-election fall it STILL; symbolically we came down on the wrong side of history. That 58% should have been maybe around 20%.
Homophobia…uniquely Black-uh huh right
It’s what I’m puttin’ down for now, what say you?