Sunday, April 12, 2009

If this is a day about peace, how about this?

I don't post very often. Heck, hardly ever. But I have a question out there for all of you. It is a very relevant question for the black population.

A large portion of the African-American population, especially male, refuse to accept that gay rights are civil rights. What is repugnant to me is that they use the same arguments virulent racists used to promote racism and seperation. They are one and the same, all people have rights, and to deny them to one, is to deny them to all.

Do you like when this is pointed out?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is one of the most ignorant blogs, i've seen on a so-called liberal site. why not isolate the conservative christian right the real barrier for gay rights. the barrier to all civil and human rights, in this country, links back to religious institutions. the church has always been and will continue to remain the largest divider in these states of america. i have yet to see a black male conspiracy among gay rights. what black male organization is collecting money, disseminating false information or campaigning against gay rights? it has been well documented that black males are the least likely to turnout to vote, yet if we were to believe your post they are single handedly denying gay rights.

Wintermute said...

You beg the question.

Jon Carroll said...

I applaud you annonymous for having the courage to stand up and let your voice be heard, oh wait, you don't because you aren't brave enough to attach a name to your comments.

Also, you prove my point in attacking it as who are the leaders in the Black Church? Men. What group fought Representative Cohen when he tried to make the same point as I did? Black MALE church leaders. So I thank you for your support and have a blessed week.

Blinders Off said...

Do you like it when this is pointed out?

To point out something anonymous said, conservative Christian right the real barrier for gay rights.

That is true, but they have discovered the Achilles heel in the African American church and they are seizing the opportunity.

Yes, the LGBT community faces discrimination!

I have witnessed gay African Americans ostracized from their family once it is known they are gay. The problem for not accepting the sexual orientation of others is coming from men and women in the pulpit. I find it very hypocritical when religious leaders speak out against homosexuality from the pulpit, but embrace and not refuse gay members time, tithes, and offerings.

It is also true that many African Americans respect and love the gay community because we all have gay relatives. Most are ashamed to admit it. I for one am proud to say I have a gay sister and relatives. My sister is accepted and she did not have to go through the horror I witness others go through with their families.

Personally, I believe a marriage should be between a man and a woman. Who am I/WE are to deny others the right to marry and protection against discrimination. Truth be known “In the eyes of the Lord” is the statement men and women in the pulpit use to rally people in their belief about gays. IMO, “In the eyes of the Lord” many of the men and women of the pulpit and many members in the congregation will be the main ones who will not be boarding “The Ship of Zion”.

Reginald Milton said...

John, you may have caught a posting on this issue awhile back on my blog, "Is Gay Rights & Civil Rights The Same?" With all due respect you really did not provide your readers with an explanation for your view. In fact what you did was present a fallacy argument when you began with, "A large portion of the African-American population, especially male, refuse to accept that gay rights are civil rights."

Your assumption, and demand acceptance, of this as a fact without argument is in part my disagreement with the gay/lesbian community.

In truth, your assertion is mainly a tool used by gay whites to pressure non-gay whites into submission through guilt. In no way do I feel this is a concern by the gay community about or for the struggle for equality by African Americans. Truthfully I've witnessed blatant racism from gay whites against interracial gay couples.

The fact, based on your own admission that the group you so connect yourself with, blacks, do not share your opinion should in fact give you pause.

Let me state clearly that this IS NOT an argument for or against gay marriage. This is a disagreement with how the gay community has chosen to present their argument.

As an African American I have the right to question any group that takes MY history and claims it as theirs.

Below is a reprint of my post. If anyone wishes to view the entire posting you may go to my blog, www.reginaldmilton.com.

In the political cartoon above you are give juxtaposition between Jim Crow inter-racial marriage laws designed specifically to keep African Americans in an inferior role and the established mores of marriage today which recognize this institution to be between one man and one woman. Clearly the cartoonist is attempting to connect those who oppose gay marriage due to their support of conventional marriage today with those who supported the segregation of the races in the 1960's and before. I disagree with the fundamentals of this comparison on the basis of why these two laws were created. The former was based on oppression and the latter is based on culture.

"Culture" is a society's process by which it adapts. It encompasses shared history, values, beliefs, and norms. What the cartoonist is attempting to do, and what the Gay/Lesbian community is trying to do, is shame people into agreement by superimposing their struggles with the struggles of African Americans. I have no problem at all with gays attempting to advance their agenda. What I find troubling is when any group attempts to use OUR history as a tool to achieve their personal objectives. The history of African Americans is “copyright protected” and not for public use, thank you very much! There is no question that gays have suffered injustices but to attempt to compare the life of a gay person today to the life my ancestors faced in the 1960's is just wrong. So much has been stolen from my people, now even our history. In short, I wish you the best in your effort but get your own cross to bear.

Jon Carroll said...

Reginald, you forget that being gay was illegal in many states until fairly recently. I've also witnessed the same discrimination against interracial couples, both gay and straight.

You also once again make the falling fallacy, civil rights are about making ALL people equal under the law. It is not strictly a black, Asian, Muslim, Jew, Christian, male, female, gay, or straight thing. Civil rights is about everyone.

What you are saying is that a city passing a law forbidding a Muslim or a Catholic from living in a city is not Civil Rights. Women not having property rights of inheritance is also apparently not a Civil Rights issue. Think back to the 19th century, these laws existed in most Countries and in most major cities.

Limiting Civil Rights discussion to strictly the black community denigrates those who have gone before laying the foundation on which we continue to build to build a more perfect society under which all peoples are equal. This question is for everyone, is it not a little scary that we had to have Constitutional Amendments allow blacks and woman the right to vote, but failed to pass an Amendment providing for Equal Rights for women (still not there 30 years later) and also many are trying to pass laws at the state level and a Constititional Amendment removing one group from having the same rights as another.

Reginald Milton said...

First, sorry it's Jon, not John.

I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this issue with you, and though we clearly disagree it is a pleasure being able to have a “civil” conversation.

Jon you are right civil rights is not just about blacks, but the point I'm making is that it is you and others that are defining the gay moment in relationship to the 1950’s and 60’s Civil Rights Movement. It was also you that made the accusation that African American men refused to accept that gay rights are civil rights. My response was to that point.

Your argument has still failed to convince me that defining the gay movement of today with that of the Civil Rights movement is synonymous. I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I still love your blog though!

Steve Steffens said...

Here is why it IS, in fact, a civil rights issue: It is the denial of basic human rights based on a factor beyond the control of any human being, their sexual orientation.

Orientation is no more a choice than is eye color or skin color. To deny two consenting non-blood-related adults the right to enter into a contract simply based on the fact that they are of the same gender is absolutely a civil-rights issue.

To refute your "culture" argument, one could say, as many racists did for many years, that it was Southern white "culture" that allowed states to deny civil rights to African Americans.

That argument, of course, would be nonsense.

Reginald Milton said...

Steve,

You and Jon are missing my point completely. You are making the argument for the right of gay couples to marry. This is not my point or the issue I am addressing.

My discussion is to the validity and legitimacy of one group to take the historical period of another group and superimpose there circumstance upon it. In this case, the gay community of 2009 to the African American community of 1960's. My response, as an African American who experienced the impact of this period, is NO.

Your inability to appreciate or consider the impact to my people of such a decision is not surprising. It is one of the factor I fear that continues to act as a wedge between these two groups.

Now, if you wish to discuss the issue of gay marriage, that must wait for another time.

As always I enjoy the banter as long as it can be confined to a rational debate and emotions can be kept in check.

autoegocrat said...

I want to jump in here for a moment, just to pose a single question.

As an African American I have the right to question any group that takes MY history and claims it as theirs.

Would a Jew not be entitled to say exactly the same thing about the American Civil Rights movement? At least as far as Dr. King was concerned, the entire debate about black civil rights in America was couched in the Biblical language of the Judean captivity.

Oh, what's that you say? Has Christianity made the Biblical narrative the property of all the people of the Earth? There were some Jews who might object to that formulation as well.

My point is this: when American blacks won civil rights for themselves, they won it for all the races. Asians, Latinos, Arabs, and for that matter whites all enjoy protection under the same laws enacted to protect blacks from racial discrimination.

I never heard anyone objecting to the pro-immigrant protests a few years ago on the grounds that they were using black history to advance their own cause, yet that is precisely what they did.

Why the double standard? Why are Latinos permitted to invoke the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement, but not gays?

The Civil Rights Movement is part of American history, not just black history. We all got something positive out of that moment in time. When you do something just and right, and you do it well, other people are going to emulate and imitate you, and there shouldn't be anything wrong with that at all.

Blinders Off said...

I respectfully disagree with the following:

In this case, the gay community of 2009 to the African American community of 1960's. My response, as an African American who experienced the impact of this period, is NO.

Civil rights is the same as human rights.

The LGBT communities are humans and their civil rights are being violated because of their sexual orientation. I do not understand what is wrong with them referencing the African American Civil Rights movement to make a point about their civil rights being violated. They are discriminated against in the same areas as African Americans were during the movement and still face in 2009. They are subjected to hate crimes, profiling, denied housing and discrimination at work.

I do not see the LGBT referencing the African Americans civil rights movement as taking away from my history. As an African American who experienced discrimination and realize discrimination still exist for AA, other minority groups, and the LGBT community… I say use whatever means necessary to fight for your rights.

For any movement to be successful, it takes a variety of people to see it succeed. The African American Civil Rights Movement did not have African Americans only to help it succeed.

Anonymous said...

i'm anon 06:21
i believe, this post is misguided and the attitude displayed is the reason that the LGBT community has a tough time gaining inroads with any ethnic community.
your post is angry and misguided. let's say your post was 100% true. black men do not see gay rights as civil rights. what ethnic group has identified the gay right agenda as similiar to their own? i'd like to see an example of a native american, mexican american or asian american civil rights group that has pledged to help with gay rights.
your post in its naivete fails to view blacks as people. blacks are progressive, liberal, conservative, religious, atheist, gay, lesbian, straight; get it blacks are people. not all blacks will be for gay rights as not all blacks were for civil rights. read your history there were black preachers that stood up against MLK and against rights for southern blacks.

civil rights are a combination of a few things.
safety - ensuring people's physical integrity, i.e. lynching. this country has hate laws that includes sexual orientation.
natural justice - right to a fair trial, due process etc. sexual orientation is protected under these laws.
protection from discrimination - sexual orientation is also protected here.
indy political freedom - right to vote, freedom of speech, right to assemble, etc.
all of these rights are afforded to gays. while, i'll admit that there are acts of discrimination and hate towards gay's, these same atricoties happen to every minority group. all of these rights were denied to people of color.

Anonymous said...

john,
Your first post reads:
"A large portion of the African-American population, especially male, refuse to accept that gay rights are civil rights."
Second post:
"Also, you prove my point in attacking it as who are the leaders in the Black Church? Men. What group fought Representative Cohen when he tried to make the same point as I did? Black MALE church leaders. So I thank you for your support and have a blessed week."


so your post should read:
"a large portion of black male preachers refuse to accept that gay rights are civil rights?" this at least would be a more accurate statement.
even more accurate: a large portion of male preachers refuse to accept that gay rights are civil rights.
most christian denominations are led by males. if i'm wrong please give examples of christian denominations that have predominantly female leaders.
have a blessed week.

captainkona said...

May I?

Just a few points, with respect to all, from a straight, white, Christian, male, Democratic Socialist....
(lemme catch my breath)

1) Gays must and do understand that those of us who support them in their plight are a minority.
Black, White, Latino, Asian etc.
There are those who hate you in every sector of civilization.

That's something you have already learned to live with. Just keep fighting for your rights and we'll be behind you....wait, *sigh*....never mind.

2) There is no excuse whatsoever for one American citizen to enjoy rights another American citizen doesn't have.
Equal rights for each and every citizen of this nation, regardless of their personal proclivities, is the only acceptable American view.
Classism and Social Oppression are treason. Simple as that.

3) Jesus taught "Love, or endure spiritual perdition". Those are the only two real choices in life.
He didn't set conditions for that love. He didn't say "'cept for queers". He just said do it.

Ask yourselves, "Christians". Is your "neighbor" gay and do you treat him as you would have him treat you?
Fail to Love at your own peril.


Peace

captainkona said...

Oh, just for the record.

I also delight is the emancipation of African Americans, and the accompanying rights victories, as all oppressed of history should. Aside from the fact that slavery and oppression are immoral, some of my North American Irish ancestors died in slavery at the hands of the Barbary Coast Pirates and never got to know what it was like to be free from bonds.

Whites enslaved by blacks liberated vicariously through blacks enslaved by whites.

Strange world we live in, no?

leftwingcarolinablue said...

The main blog entry and some of the follow-ups don't really deal with the matter at hand. Namely, how easy it is to compose a pro-gay rights article for a blog that has consistently promoted it. I applaud "the Cracker" for doing so and I equally applaud Jon for supplementing those efforts. At the same time, I think Mr. Milton deserves a lot of credit for demonstrating courage in writing beyond the echo-chamber that has come to permeate so much of our cultural discourse over the course of at least my lifetime of 47 years. To challenge hegemony, in other words, on its own turf takes guts.
What I might suggest is for "the Cracker," Jon and others who advocate their position to find a right wing blog and express their views in much the same way that Mr. Milton has here. In that way, maybe those inevitable exchanges can result in something other than vitriol and wasting of time. Kudos, in my view, to all who have participated in these exchanges--with the exception of the first "anonymous" who resorted to name-calling and ever so unsubtly linking those of us who are Christian--but not those of us who lean leftward--with the unreasonableness that is biblically-idolatrous fundamentalism.

Brad Watkins said...

Of course I agree that Civil rights means Civil rights for all. I also fail to see how the struggle for freedoms for Black Americans..."I personally hate the term African American" is in anyway an exclusive enterprise.
Coretta Scott King once lamented that many in the movement who fought for the rights of black Americans had to hide their own sexual identities.
She also said..
"Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood."

So if it was good enough for her, then it's certainly good enough for me.

However. I do agree in part with Anon'6:21, and more with 9:59 and others about the naive and slightly inflamatory tone of this post, and it's broad stroke representation of the views of black males and religious leaders without any context. Also naive and a tad bit insulting is the implication that there is some hightened sense of homophobia among Black pastors as opposed to Pastors in general. The post and later responses also does a clear disservice to those Black pastors and Black activists and voters who not only supported Cohen but rebuked the anti-Semitic attacks against him. The "BLACK CHURCH",and "THE BLACK COMMUNITY" are not universal monolithic entities. I invite you to answer the very valid points made by anon 6:21, and Anon 9:59.

Anonymous said...

i agree with brad, you should address the anon posts. since i'm the author, i'm naturally biased.

brad,
i also dislike the term african-american. i think it discounts the other cultures represented by black people. implicit in the term african-american is descendant of slaves. that is not always the case and it discounts blacks from other countries and non-english speaking blacks. but, i digress, that's an entirely different subject.

i believe reginald has a point. the plight of gay rights is different than the plight of civil rights.
the laws that exist because of the civil rights struggle, protect gays and their civil rights. the question of whether or not health insurance, adoption rights and marriage are civil rights is where the water parts for most people. the gay movement is more about being afforded privileges rather than unalienable rights. i do believe if gay's were denied the right to own land, right to due process, or equal protection under the law most people would consider that a civil rights violation.
what most blacks have an issue with is not homophobia but the need for the LGBT community to draw parallel with the civil rights movement. are gays discriminated against? unequivocally, yes. but to take that small piece of info and try to draw a parallel and imply that the plight of gays is anything like the turmoil blacks have had in this country is what most blacks have a problem with.
until we start to chain and own gays as chattel. mark them as less than human in the us constitution and render them unable to vote, have a trial, own land, work their way out of slavery or read or write than the gay rights movement cannot and should not be equated with the civil rights movement.

captainkona said...

"but to take that small piece of info and try to draw a parallel and imply that the plight of gays is anything like the turmoil blacks have had in this country is what most blacks have a problem with.
until we start to chain and own gays as chattel. mark them as less than human in the us constitution and render them unable to vote, have a trial, own land, work their way out of slavery or read or write than the gay rights movement cannot and should not be equated with the civil rights movement."
Disagree completely.

Gays have been brutally abused and murdered simply because of their gayness.
You telling me that's not good enough? What do they have to do before they qualify? Does a certain number of them have to die first?
How many?

And as far as the other "qualifications" are concerned, had Gay been something that could not be hidden, like black skin or womanhood, you know damn well they would have been subjected to the exact same oppression.

Anonymous said...

captainkona,

in my post i stated that gays have been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. i did not try to minimize it. if it reads that way to you, my sincere apologies.
my point is, acceptance is not a civil right. you can't legislate acceptance. we have hate laws and equal protection laws that enforce cases when there are crimes against someone based on their sexual orientation.
i'm in no way attempting to minimize the gay rights movement.

an apple and a pear have similarities: they are both fruit and come from a tree but they are entirely different fruit and grow from entirely different trees.