If there is one thing you read today, make sure it's this interview with California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass in the Sacramento Bee. The states highest ranking black politician is "appalled" at the racial hostility directed at the black community by gay media and activists after the passage of Proposition 8. Bass slams the No on 8 campaign for failing to engage black voters, neglecting to cast black gays and lesbians in advertising and "bypassing black LGBT leadership" .. you know, the same things we've been saying for two weeks.
Bass, who opposed Proposition 8, said she was "appalled at how quickly some members of the LBGT leadership went there, as opposed to saying, 'what did we or didn't we do in the campaign?'"
The No on 8 campaign, she said, failed to do enough campaigning in the black community "and the LBGT leadership is looking back at that."
"I do think that people have pulled back a way from some of the hostility - I mean it got out of hand," she said.
Bass said she was contacted by some LBGT "leaders who asked me if I would be helpful in terms of negotiating and mediating."
"I declined because I felt that they were bypassing black LBGT leadership," she said. Bass said leaders in the gay community need to do a better job of outreach in the black community.
"Under no circumstances should you think that you can just sideline the Black gay community," Jasmyne Cannick writes. "And go directly to our elected officials or the Black leaders you’ve deemed 'safe' without addressing us, and that means all of us, even the one’s that you don’t like. We’ve already spoken to our electeds on this issue and made it clear that it’s not going down. We may not give them the money that you do, but we live in their districts and actually vote for them ... whereas most of you do not."
Cannick and a number of black activists in California, straight and gay, plan a series of town hall meetings in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego to discuss homophobia, gay rights, and to slowly bring the community over the marriage. Cannick has some not-so-subtle advice for the No on 8 activists: Stay sat home and let "the Black community have a discussion about this among themselves without the interference of outsiders, who in my opinion have only made the issue worse and only aided in the invisibility of Black gays."
Look, we have disagreed with Jasmyne on a number of issues, including marriage, but when she's right she is right. The No on 8 campaign sidelined the black community and black gay community. Much of the media and the gay e-telligentsia has blamed us for what was a top-down, focus-grouped, poorly executed campaign. It's time to allow the community to heal.
Did You Read ...
Dan Savage Pulls Racist Column Before Appearance on "Colbert" [R20]
Not One Black Gay/Lesbian Couple in "No on Prop 8" Ads. Why? [R20]
N-Word Hurled at Blacks During Prop 8 Protest[R20]
OMG The Gays Are Trying To Get Gangsta With It [Cannick]
N-Bomb Is Dropped on Black Passerby [PHB]
Stop Scapegoating Black Folk on Prop 8 [JJP]
F--k Dan Savage [Ernest Hardy]
WeHo Marriage Rally Attracts "Noah's Arc" Stars [R20]
"Yes We Can" to "YES on 8": Blacks Overwhelmingly Approve Prop 8 [R20]
Anti-Gay, Black Pastors Use Children for Prop 8 [R20]
Blige, Etheridge Raise $3.9M for No on Prop 8 [R20]
"Noah's Arc" Cast Urges "No" on Proposition 8 [R20]
"Noah's Arc" Actor Doug Spearman, Black Ministers Urge "NO" on Prop 8 [R20]
SCLC Leader Criticizes Anti-Gay, Black Pastors [R20]
NAACP Rejoins CA Marriage Fight, Suit Against 8 [R20]