Can't help but think...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 05, 2009 9:38 AM GMT
    I read a lot of post prob 8 articles lately about the black American role in voting for prop 8 and lot of black Americans seem really outraged about a parallel drawn between the civil rights movement and gay rights. I guess they really never think about gay people at all because I know personally the first thing that comes to mind when I think 'gay Americans' is segregation, discrimination, hate, torture, curtailing of freedom, and murder.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 05, 2009 10:38 AM GMT
    Sad very sad

    and yet we still have people like the So called "Reverend" Rick Warren spewing the stuff that causes this and giving the invocation at the inauguration to the next President of the United States icon_confused.gif
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    Jan 05, 2009 11:45 AM GMT
    This is by no means specific to the black community. Whenever any group that is considered a 'second class citizen' (weather for race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.) is granted their civil rights, it is common for them to dump on the new 'top of the heap' 2nd class' in kind.
    There's usually an historical record that supports this. As an example, the slave trade which brought many African Americans to the US was well documented, but it took years for 'white America' to see the true plight of the contemporary African American. Even today, there are many who ignore significant portions of these facts. Once they had been granted the civil rights, things didn't get instantly or automatically better. They grew up in an implied caste system in America. Once they were raised up in status within that caste, the ingrained system let them next look down on other's.
    Many African Americans (I didn't say All) like caucasians, consider being gay a choice because they are taught that in their churches. They have to believe that since it justifies punitive action. They are taught it in their churches. It is the reason there are so many on the DL, not to mention the fact that racism that exists in the gay community places an outsider status on them. (Which is one of the reasons that the DL society exists: being gay is 'white'.)

    Regarding fault of Prop 8 passing, statistically, you could also blame women, or the 'senior' community as easily as the black community for its passing. It depends on how you choose to look at the voting blocks. Casting blame at this point is pointless if no solution to the problem is presented along with the statement of the problem. Personally, I think it all comes down to educating people,

    Ignorant people vote. The religious right knows this and takes advantage of it. If we educate the ignorant, that advantage is lost.
  • MarvelClimber

    Posts: 515

    Jan 05, 2009 12:06 PM GMT
    Before this turns into a firestorm, I will just say that I don't think you meant to make that sweeping generality based on however many articles you've read about Prop 8. You're use of "they" refers to the small number of black Americans that those articles could possibly address. I will also assume, perhaps to my folly, that you know articles about minority groups are rarely written by those of the group.

    That being said, here's my take on the parallel between gay rights and the Civil Rights Movement. A social culture based on shared traits and preferences is not the same as a culture based on ethnicity. You are raised with centuries of tradition in an ethnic culture. A social culture is what the predominate class makes of it, a zeitgeist. Very few gays are 'raised gay'... what does that even mean? No matter how I dress, talk, style my hair people will know I am of African descent. I will always face some kind of prejudice because of this. No has to know about my sexuality. Even if it was apparent, I would still face less discrimination based on my sexuality than on my race. (There's a RJ topic on that.) People focus on the things that affect them most. Simply said, being black is harder than being gay. Therefore, the plight of gay discrimination is less than the plight of racial discrimination. Additionally, hetero-America doesn't understand that sexuality isn't a choice. Black America is no different. Gay culture is also seen as a white culture. Generalizing hetero-Black-America... whites, who as a whole have more privileges, making a choice to open themselves up to discrimination, lack the perspective to compare their struggle with the Civil Rights Movement.

    What you say about gay America being discriminated against, tortured, killed... all very true. However, what is presented in the media is educated, whites with money complaining that they can't take their boyfriends or partners to the company Christmas party. Those pale in comparison to the daily struggle of many blacks. Take a look in a history book and you will find many more stories of mutilation, torture, gruesome and senseless murders of blacks... done publicly, with no threat of prosecution, no closure for the families of the victims. The upstart of the US economy was built on the backs of slave labor, and to this day blacks are still steadily denied economic opportunities. There simply cannot be any comparison to a centuries-old struggle with widespread persecution. Denial of marriage and workplace discrimination clauses based on sexuality (when in actuality, they do very little) can be seen as 'luxury complains'.

    So, yes, there are common struggles in both groups. You could write a paper on the commonalities. Howerver, the magnitude and scope of one is such that it even encompasses the other (blacks facing prejudice in mainstream gay culture). Socially, it is not appropriate that the two be compared.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 05, 2009 1:08 PM GMT

    You know, the best vide I'v seen about homesexual marriage is this one:

    nothing is more convincing than this .. the guy is genious !
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 05, 2009 10:34 PM GMT
    "No matter how I dress, talk, style my hair people will know I am of African descent. I will always face some kind of prejudice because of this. No has to know about my sexuality. Even if it was apparent, I would still face less discrimination based on my sexuality than on my race".

    Slickguy, I am in agreement with most of the points you made but I would state that for many gay people it's not that easy to become 'invisible' at will. Boys or men (to just take the one gender) who display non-hetero-normative behaviours or characteristics - whether it is their gait, body characteristics, voice, body language etc - face ridicule and persecution as well. This includes str8 males who don't fit in. This discrimination clearly has homophobic roots. Furthermore, the effort and self-denial involved in living a DL life is devastating psychologically for many.

    It is of no use to try and argue who is more or less oppressed (even a black, disabled, blind lesbian with Alzheimers has it better off than somebody) as all members of oppressed groups will experience different levels of discrimination based on their economic status, location, support systems, local politics etc. But I just want to emphasize that like other groups, gays have been tortured, rejected, lynched and despised in inordinate numbers.

    One special diffiuclty we face as gay men that makes us different from every other group is that we are born into families that are different to us in a fundamental way - our parents are almost always str8 amd we are not. Most kids (there are always exceptions) are reared in a family that share their ethnicity, religion, political viewpoints and heritage and can form a strong familial support system. Gay kids often have to confront being discriminated against by their own family members. I think it was Quentin Crisp who said, "Every gay child is an orphan".
  • gsh1964

    Posts: 388

    Jan 05, 2009 11:08 PM GMT
    Okay, now I'm totally depressed.
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    Jan 06, 2009 3:07 AM GMT
    Don't get depressed! Here we are in a Realjock Forum talking to our brothers, swapping ideas (and a few telephone numbers) and being able to argue how liberation should look. As GLBT's we've made tremendous strides in many countries.

    And if that doesn't make you happy just look in the mirror to remind yourself how hot you are.
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    Feb 07, 2009 1:31 AM GMT
    Tonyvoyager basically made the points I was going to. But I will say that my first post was not meant as an attack on black americans but just an observation of some reactions from black Americans I've seen. For the record I am a PhD student studying legal history of colonial black slaves. Also, I'm not really sure if you can say that because more blacks were lynched and tortured and killed in history than gays they then should somehow be taken more seriously as a people with a plight against discrimination. Maybe that's not the comparison you meant to make but I interpreted it that way. I think it's just important that both blacks and gays have been persecuted and suffered in similar ways. Now, I wouldn't say that being on the DL is the same as being a slave at all, but it certainly shares some familiar symptoms of slavery (self-degradation, social limitations, fear of being caught and killed for wanting to be free, etc). You can't just say that because more blacks were killed then they deserve more credit. Tell me if I took your point wrong.

    btw I am an Hispanic Canadian