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20 November 2008

Comments

Andy Niable

Superb article--thanks for bringing it to our attention, Rod, and for all your reporting on this issue.

TONY DR

Well Rod ... Karen Bass is only the speaker of the California Assembly. I think Andrew Sullivan and Dan Savage are far better experts on No on 8's outreach into the black community than Karen Bass. /snark

lol

Grambling State

Of course the NO campaign did a poor job, That's why they blamed it on us. If you want someone's vote you have to ask for it. If you don't ask for it, you probably won't get it.

FQ

No surprise they ignored black gay leaders. It's what you've been saying. The gay groups will probably ignore her too. Sad.

SI

I LOVE KAREN BASS, YOU GO GIRL!

Derrick from Philly

I'm glad to hear other voices speak up on this issue-- California folks who were actually involved or/and ignored.

Bill K

What LGBT leaders are she talking about? Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan are not leaders they are columnists. Every LGBT leader I heard has said no one should question why 70% of black voters took away gay people's right to marry.

If the black LGBT leadership was sidelined it was for good reason. They are ineffective. Just looking at what has been accomplished in regards toward AIDS would tell you that.

Derrick from Philly

"They are ineffective."

Yeah, so was the "No on 8" campaign. May as well bring in some color next time.

Kim

Maybe I'm missing something here, but why didn't the "so-called leaders" of the black lgbt community get together and make a solid initiative before the prop 8 vote instead of whining about being left out by the white lgbt community? I mean gay marriage benefits all gays not just the white ones. I think a lot a of blacks have an issue with putting themselves out there and outing themselves. Our community has so far to go. Sometimes we hold your own selves back.

Kim, I can tell you what this blog has done on Prop 8 alone. We posted numerous fundraising pitches leading up to the election and raised almost $1,000. We also donated free ads to No on 8 and EQCA for three weeks, and networked with other gay bloggers, black and white, to donate our mailing lists to No on 8. NO ONE AT NO ON 8 CONTACTED US. We did all this on our own, and, mind you, live on the east coast and thousands of miles away, so, the vote doesn't personally affect me.

That is in addition to writing numerous posts and magazines articles on marriage and Prop 8, and a column for The Advocate on blacks and homophobia and Prop 8. Now what the hell have you done to get black gays and lesbians involved ? Besides parachute into this blog twice and blame black gays for Prop 8? RM

Luther

I'm glad she spoke out, it was old and tiresome hearing the racial slurs and blame so shrill from Savage and Sullivan from so many in the white gay community, along with more than a few Hispanics and Asians as well.

The thing that is amazing is that the so called gay leadership is kind of like the GOP, they only have people who look like them, and, can't relate and won't even acknowledge there are gay's who aren't white, don't deal with the Castro or West Hollywood but are involved in gay rights and could have helped if asked, since one thing every black child learns early is don't go where you are not wanted nor welcomed.

And, Bill, it has been debunked that "70%" of blacks voted for Prop 8, that's Sullivan, Savage, CNN and those looking for a scapegoat for their own failures. Pollsters like David Binder found only 56 percent of black voters had favored the measure, which is similar to the white vote for it while being outnumber by millions. So, lets get real facts and TRUTH out its not that hard in 2008 to get the real voting trends, not CNN as fact.

ATL Kid

Bill, can you type comments like that while wearing your pointy hood and robes or do you need to take them off?

The No on 8 campaign lost so that's also not very "effective."

tool

ATL Kid

And Miss Kim, aren't you the same high-class gay Negro who claims none of you friends are struggling? So the better question is, what have you done? How many doors did you knock on, how much money did you donate, what did you do to fight Proposition 8?

Ralphie

Bill, you're a bigoted racist and the perfect illustration of the gay white privileged mentality. Poooooor white wealthy gays, they hate being criticized.

Cannick is right. After ignoring blacks and black gays, then they want to blame us, then they want to try to creep to our elected officials? Oh hell to the naw.

S. Flemming

Gotta agree with Kim on this one ... I think she's right. At the end of the day what did our "leaders" do to help the cause? I don't recall seeing any declarative statements being made by the few leaders we do have. (And if there were I stand corrected.) I don't think saying the leadership was shut out is gonna fly. I think the campaign was poorly organized all the way around, but I don't know that black gays should expect white folks to campaign in our communities. One thing I can say about white dudes is that they can mobilize around a cause, even if they may not get results right away ... and that's something we need to learn. They organized a movement around the AIDS crisis and saw the benefit of it down the line ... meanwhile silence is killing us in droves.

There's too much race baiting going on on both sides of this issue. As Kim said marriage will benefit all gay folks, not just white ones. But I'm not gonna get off into my tirade on that ...

The sad part is I don't think it would matter. We all know how most black folks think on the issue, and thanks to these black churches it's not gonna change - at least not anytime soon.

Anderson

...I think a lot a of blacks have an issue with putting themselves out there and outing themselves...

I think you're white. Cuz you can't be talking about ROD AND JASMYNE who have outed themselves long ago.

You're talking about 'whining' but all you do is blame black gays for Prop 8. If you are the same Kim who claimed to be black, you're a poor excuse for a black lesbian. Massive self hating.

Young

No, I disagree with Kim. The No on 8 people ran their campaign and they have to deal with the loss. Karen Bass was against this, Barbara Lee and Merv Dymally were against this, many black elected officials were. Stop blaming them for this vote. Schwarzenegger was against it, do we blame whites NO.

Someone above said if you don't asks for someone's vote, you don't get it. If the No campaign didn't ask enough people, they didn't get enough votes.

And S Fleming, WTF is a 'declarative statement' supposed to do? just because a politician or activist issues a press release it doesn't mean anything.

Eddy

Bill and Kim are patronizing. They talk of "black leaders" like they have the power or authority to control votes. Very patronizing.

S. Flemming

Young,

By declarative statement I mean one BUILT AROUND a solid effort. Not just words ... and I didn't see that. I just didn't see the same kind of momentum.

Brandley R

Of course Bill and Kim are angry. Gay white men have become outraged ever since Rod called them on their racism and their ineffectiveness on this campaign. They came to this blog craving black cock and stories about Noah's Arc. They are upset Rod has begun criticizing their leaders Sullivan and Savage, fellow middle aged white gay men who crave blac cock and feel superior.

West Side

I been following this blogs for two years and this conversation around Prop 8 is fascinating...It's funny how so many new people are coming on this blogs to say what WE NEED TO DO with our community. WE KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEMS ARE. But if we weren't involved in the prop campaign why are we being blamed.

I live in Long Beach and voted no on prop 8. No one asked me, no one asked me not to. I am gay black man and this is not what I want....But it is sad so many gay white men, media and our own brothers and sisters want to blame us. And then get very upset when people criticize the campaign. IT LOST. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS. But 'we' didn't HAVE to do anything. besides show up and vote.

yeahisaidit

...look, no one is more upset that there wasn't more outreach to the black community by the no on 8 crowd...but it's a valid question that calls on me to be less defensive...if black gay "leadership" knows from past experience how offputting the white gays are why wait for outreach from them? How come it wasn't taken upon by our own "leadership" to deal with what we know is a mountain to climb on this topic and organize on or own? Hell, let's start now from this moment and as black gays deal more openly with homophobia in our community and families as a start...I, for one, plan to begin at the thankgiving day table, and not confrontationly, but these are people who claim that they love me...

freeleo

atl kid, bill has some valid points. i've lived in l.a. for 15 years. i can't name one black gay leader in our community. i think jasmyne tries but she's abrasive and rubs a lot of people (black gay people) the wrong way.

he's also right about the aids epidemic in our community. i've yet to see one gifted person take the lead in trying to combat aids/hiv among black gay men.

kevjack

Let me tell you what I have been doing:

1) I served on the board of my local black HIV/AIDS organization. Do you know how much support we got from the white organization? None. Do you know how much outreach we did in our community? Tons-- we were featured in the local media for our programs dealing with gay youth, educating the community, and helping to raise funds.

2) I have personally lobbied my local, state, and federal officials about issues that matter to me and the people I know. It isn't all about HIV, you now. We need better schools, job training, health care, and housing. All of these issues matter.

3) I have prepared grants for my local black HIV organiztion to do even more outreach to the black community.

And let me tell you this little story. The state I live in has a drug assistance program for HIV positive people. If you make less than $45K/year you get all of your meds for free (and not just your HIV meds). The government came to our group and asked us why African Americans were not signing up. You know what we found? The white organization was not processing their applications, nor where they telling black people about the program!! They were literally hastening the death of our people. After we found that out we became the administers of the program-- this was done at substantial cost because we are a very small organization.

The point: I don't want to hear another word about what black gay folks are or are not doing. The question is what are YOU doing? Are YOU out, are YOU involved in your comminuty. If not, you are another person pointing fingers, and I'm tired of you coming to this board and posting mess.

Bill

I wished I lived on the west coast just so I could go to that meeting and be part of what can become a Black Gay/Straight Coalition.

I believe that what is being said is that if the white lgbt community had not pointed a finger at the black community as a monolith entity, there wouldn't be this problem. If they had said that black straight conservatives "seemed" to vote mostly for this proposition, then the black gay community would not be as upset. However, when the white lgbt community is saying ALL blacks regardless of sexuality, politics, beliefs, ect,. voted for this then they should expect a backlash.

The fact that the white lgbt political machine didn't know any black lgbt leaders says a lot. There has to be someone in the black lbgt community that could have had forums at the Catch One and other west coast black gay establishments, like is going to happen now, so that black gay people could come out and participate in an environment that they feel comfortable in (I'm on the east coast, which is why I'm saying "they").

This proposition doesn't seem to be a major issue for black gays there. It's the sort of thing that black gays would vote for (gay marriage) because it's on the ballot, but they wouldn't just jump out and march for the hell of marching. And that's fine, because at least it was voted for by the black gay community. When the older black conservative community voted against it that's when the white lgbt leadership said "Houston, we have a problem". It was as if that's when they realized that more than just the white lgbt community and supporters were going to be needed to pass this.

Prayerfully, what will happen is that this is what the black community, in general, needed to start the conversations on homosexuality in the black community. Maybe these conversations can start taking place around the country and coalitions can begin forming around creating more open accepting communities of color.

With a bi-racial president, whom is identified as black only, we need to protect him and each other more than ever. This presidential race has brought all the racists out of the closets and will create either a huge racial/politcal divide, or create some of the strongest racial/political groups in american history.

Lastly, if a lgbt leader says no one should question the 70% poll finding, that leader should not be leading. Every leader worth their salt knows that polls are unreliable and are used as barometers, not truths. That's why all the newspeople continued to speak about the "Bradley Effect". There was no guaruntee that Obama was going to win, regardless of what the polls said.

However, what happened was the "Bradley Effect" reversed. What the findings are now, is that more people voted for Obama than what the polls said. In PA it was said that the polls said that 3% of the PA community would vote for Obama. The real number was more like 11%. What is being said is that people were saying what they felt they were supposed to say, then went in and voted for Obama. These people were republicans and conservatives and felt that if friends, relatives, employers, ect, found out they wanted to vote for Obama, they would be ostracized somehow. So they went into the booth and voted for Obama, but said they voted for McCain. This is why polls are not to be relied upon only. There is a large area for error, for whatever reason. This same thing happened all around the country.

Braxton

Bill and Kevjack, those are an excellent observations. Your comemnts are always on the mark, thanks.

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