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26 October 2007



Rod, once again you are the man with the breaking news. I'm really at a loss with the Obama camp. Rev. Michael Eric Dyson has been a tremendous supporter of lgbt equality so the fact that he and other powerful Black religious leaders were turned down in favor of Rev. Sidden blows my mind.

It is culturally insensitive to have a white gay man address a Black gospel music event with the intent of addressing homophobia. Once again the Black lgbt presence is rendered invisible within our own community.


HOLD UP....WAIT A MINUTE....I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO TELL ME WHERE AND WHEN DID BISHOP CARLTON PEARSON EVER PROFESS TO BE GAY. that is an inaccurate statement that needs to be rectified unless it can be substantiated.

Rod McCullom

Thanks! That was being corrected as you wrote your comment!

Andy in Seattle

Thanks again, Rod, for being on top of this story. This is an important (and very unfortunate) development. Few speakers are more passionate, articulate and powerful than Dyson, and it bothers me that the Obama campaign would forgo his participation.

Heavy sigh from this Obamaton.

Keep us posted...


Rod you are amazing! To Allegro calm down and read the post again Rod never said that Bishop Pearson is gay he named him as an ally and referred to his inclusive ministry.


Rod I love your site, thank you for all the hard work but can you confirm without question that Rev. Sidden is actually white a commentor on Keith's site said he's black & i've taken another look at the picture provided & he does in fact look like a light skinned brother, is all this fuss for nothing???

Bradley Jax

Sidden confirmed that he is white. Read Pams House Blend.

This is not Fuss, Don. This is a very important issue and shows the lack of foresight in the Obama campaign. And anyone who reads Rod 2.0 knows he usually does not "fuss" over petty issues.

Doug Cooper-Spencer

And again, it shows just how out of touch Barak Obama is with both the gay and the black community. He really needs to come down from the ivory tower and walk amongst the masses, in this case, the black community. Anyone worth their grain of salt in the black community knows the high profile of Eric Michael Dyson. Maybe he's letting his non-black, non-black/gay minions make too many of his decisions- - or does he really care in the first place?


I don't understand how a people who know what discrimination is like and claim to be so liberal and accepting can be so intolerant.

Nobody was upset when Senator Obama spoke at Rick Warren's church. Or that he was the first to accept the invitation to the Logo forum.

The man has built his campaign and his life on bringing together groups of people who may seemingly have different views and opinions but are united on fixing this country.

Has anyone taken that into consideration or are we too caught up in reactionary tactics to look at the big picture.

That clearly isn't something that resonates with this crowd because otherwise the responses I have read would be different.

As soon as a politician isn't completely in our pocket we throw them by the wayside, well if that is the case I'd rather not have you support the Senator at all.

Rod I love your blog and respect your opinion but I think you are off base on this one, and being very short sighted.

How are we supposed to overcome as a people if we cant get past our differences to at least have a conversation let alone build a better country.

For the record HRC has black preachers supporting her that openly condemn gays as well.

Rod McCullom

Alex, this is not about Hillary Clinton. This is about Barack Obama. When Hillary makes a mistake, I'll be the first to say something.

Now, who do you suggest is "intolerant"? The many black gay activists, bloggers and myself? Or, the Rev. Hezekiah Walkers or Donnie McClurkins in our community who preach against gay rights and claim you can pray the gay away?

Finally, there was a huge uproar when Obama spoke at Rick Warren's church among progressives and especially among conservatives. This was covered extensively on my blog and linked in the above piece. Maybe you're a new reader? ;)



Obama, boo, you are in one hot mess, you are out of touch with the black community as a whole, and, clueless about black gays and the church which is quite a sensitive issue, and, not a open handed slap in the face with this? And, this new friction on some blogs with white gays is nothing new, this is just what some needed to go off on him and blacks as a whole, you know the largest group of homophobes on earth? And, a white Southern gay man is supposed to be able to teach them what about "tolerance?" The Fixed News pundits must be right, Obama does not have what it takes to lead, too busy trying not to be black and no ideaof what life is like in the real black communites.

I wasn't going to vote for you, and, now, certainly won't, I don't care for politicians who have no spine, and can't keep a lie straight. Just like I won't vote for HRC, since she is pandering to the same element, only smart enough not to get in this sort of mess.

And, btw, thanks Rod, yours has been the best coverage of this, some of the other blogs have turned this into a issue that they have no clue about, its just the whole black folks hate gays, and, its much more than that to black gays and lesbians.

Oto B. Gaye

Questioning Obama's decision on this gospel tour has its merits, but, for crying out loud, as a liberal BGM, my interests are much broader than who's invited to talk and to sing to black people and how that relates to homophobia in the black church. I actually care about the campaign's policies on ending the war in Iraq, planing for universal health care, reconstructing New Orleans, promoting civil rights and intervening in cases like the Jena 6, approving Kyoto and otherwise being proactive in climate change, managing immigrations and the economy, and rebuilding our international image within a multi-polor world. McClurken and co. are misguided, but I refuse to participate in this "pink mafia" condemnation of Obama when he has so much to offer America. This attack on Obama is embarrasing and makes black gays appear narcitistic, self-righteous and politially naive when it comes to national and international issues of importance.

Aaron C.

I am just so disappointed that his campaign is just unraveling at the seams...this, after being anointed by Saint Oprah. She has to be feeling like she felt when she was betrayed by her book club author's "lies". He is going down, "in flames".
How could he turn away Bishop Yvette Flunder and Michael Eric Dyson, or Carlton Pearson, in one fell swoop? They are all "gets", in their own right, and his campaign would have been empowered by their presence. Instead, he is alienating the very constituents he needs in his quest to overcome the Hillary Express.
John McCain revamped his staff, and has new momentum...perhaps Obama...no, for certain, he should revamp his, if it's not too late already.
Great journalism, Rod.

Aaron C.

I have to take issue with your position. For Obama to appear so insensitive to the black gay community, so far as to add "controversial" and "questionable" personalities to a campaign rally, indicates that, perhaps, indeed, he is not ready to be Commander-in-Chief...at least, "ours". Everyone of us here, I'm almost sure, is concerned with the issues of the day that you listed, however, when is "our" time? We had 7 long years of repression and oppression, under George Bush...and we don't need a guaranteed 4 more.


My friend Keith Rommell said it best in a MySpace message he sent me "We're gonna pull Barack Obama in so many different directions that we're gonna drive the man crazy". As a black man I am dissapointed and disheartened to see the way you all are dragging this brother's name through the dirt and it really is a shame. The way some of you all act you would think that Brother Barack turned into the AntiChrist overnight. Through his books, his lectures, his statements, and his interviews with gay publications like PULSE! Magazine, a small black gay mag run by Gay Men of African Descent Obama has shown himself to be a friend. Once again let's not hang Barack Obama like we did Patti LaBelle a couple of years ago and end up looking really foolish in the end

Bradley Jax

>>>This attack on Obama is embarrasing and makes black gays appear narcitistic, self-righteous and politially naive when it comes to national and international issues of importance.

What attack on Barack Obama? This is politics. Obama wants our votes and in seeking to get more votes, he enlisted Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker to campaign for him. This is what happens when your don't carefully choose your friends. If anyone is embarassed, it is the Obama campaign. This has abaolutely nothing to do with national security.

Joseph and Oto, both of you can feel content to take crumbs from the table and talk about "beating up a brother." Not me. What is the point in supporting a black political candidate, especially for president, who is not sensitive to our needs? Could you could sure if Hillary or Edwards did this, we would be rioting.work.

Bradley Jax

>>>Once again let's not hang Barack Obama like we did Patti LaBelle a couple of years ago and end up looking really foolish in the end

Who is looking foolish? This is Barack's problem. Patti LaBelle is a performer. Barack Obama is a presidential candidate. One is selling music, the other seeks to sign laws and make Supreme Court appointments. BIG DIFFERENCE.

Aaron C.

My response to a private email sent by brother Oto (I'm thinking):
My Brother,
I am sad that you are sad and disheartened. In my mind, we are what we eat....meaning your staff is a reflection of you...if your staff ain't reflecting you right, then you need to get a 'new staff". How stupid of Barack Obama to be comprehensive about almost everything else, from which debate to participate in, to answering every barb from his detractors, and having almost as much money in the coffers as Hillary...he must be doing something right...but, obviously, he is not the "second coming", or a reasonable facsimile. A lot of folks thought that he was...Oprah thought that he was, and still may believe that. I don't. Sorry. I was rooting for him, and had not made up my mind. But this major faux pas convinced me that Hillary is the only viable option. Even without this embarrassment, he is 30 points behind her, a distance that can hardly be made up , without a major stumble from her...not about to happen, as she has an insurance policy, her husband.
I did not mean to imply that Obama was a liar, if I did so, I apologize...I am convinced this was about an error in judgment.
And I disagree with your assessment that Carlton Pearson would not have been a "wise choice"...he, precisely would have been an excellent choice. The problem lies with "The Black Church", itself.
I attended a black church, as a member of a choir, for 4 years.
The pastor, while being a dynamic speaker and having a beautiful baritone singing voice , was ofttimes "hot and cold", and a staunch homophobe, despited having two sons, who were both ministers of music, who were both "gay". I endured his "fire and brimstone" sermons for 4 years, until one day, after he finished one, I walked out of the choir stall, disrobed, and left the church....for good. The rest of the choir, over the course of 2 years, also left the church because of his rigid stance and his unwillingness to soften his stance.
I say for us not to attend churches where we are not treated like children of a loving father. So Carlton Pearson being branded a "heretic", is right up that alley...The Black Church can go to the devil ( as probably a sizable portion will be), along with the White Church and Catholic hypocrisy.
And to sum up your last statement...if Barack Obama is running for president, at this late stage of the game, he can ill-afford to have morons in his staffing. Sincerely, Aaron


For me the problem is greater than Obama asking McClurkin and the others to accompany him on this tour of SC. Given Obama's recent poll numbers among Black voters, this looks like an attempt to pander to those in the Black community using homophobia and bigotry. It is no different than Republican candidates who tried to get southern White voters on their side by spouting off racist rhetoric, or by not supporting Civil Rights Ammendments.

It would be different if this actual was a tent building exercise, and Obama had invited Black gay people to the event as well, but his inclusion of the White minister, and his failing to mention this controversy on the main news section of his site makes it clear that he didn't want to stir things up with those Black voters who may shy away from him if he continued to acknowledge the existence of gay people.

alicia banks

donnie + this = republikkkan plant???

obama needs to clean his house before he bombs at the polls

he has already lost my vote

all of this bs is INDEFENSIBLE!!!!!



It is politics, and politics is a game of numbers. There are simply more social conservatives and they are better organized and wield more political power (e.g. fraternities and sororities) than the black gay community. Obama had reached out to the gay community in several interviews. But gays are not a base for a national campaign for President. He needs to appeal to conservative Christians even more, because they have more numbers and more power. Can anyone seriously expect him to be elected first black president without even the support of the majority of the black church, not to mention the social conservatives (both the church-going and the non-church-going)? Or is he expected to not only run a campaign, but chide his voters for their homophobia from the campaign trail as well? Let him get in the White House first before demanding that he use the bully pulpit. That is, unless one thinks his entire progressive legislative record and all his public statements are just an elaborate ploy to become president, at which point he's going to turn into some hellish theocrat.




I wouldn't have had the aforementioned persons speak/sing under my name either. I am sick and tired of people pushing race when it's convenient despite the things people have actually done and said. I am a lesbian and if I were to begin to date or marry a man I would be lesbian with a man. I don't believe that Donnie McClurkin is any less gay than I am and it's dangerous to continue to sell that crap to our children who believe they can be other than how God made them and when it doesn't work commit suicide. If Donnie thinks he's straight good for him he should shut up about it already.

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