2008 “Gay Power” ≠ “White Power”
posted by November 11 at 13:39 PMon
An accusation of racism can itself be hate speech. Take this editorial cartoon, which I found at the top of this blog, where the image was titled “White Racist Faggot Image.JPG”:
When dumb fucking racist white bigots in the south claimed that African Americans were trying to “take away [their] rights,” they were lying. What African Americans were pressing for “then” was equal treatment under the law—equal rights, equal freedoms, equal responsibilities. Nothing was “taken” from white people when blacks won the right to vote or to go to integrated schools or to eat at a Woolworth’s lunch counter or to marry a white person. Nothing was “taken” from white bigots except the “right” to oppress and discriminate against African Americans.
Gay and lesbians—including African American gays and lesbians—are “now” pressing for equal treatment under the law, equal rights and responsibilities. Nothing is taken from straight people when gays and lesbians are not discriminated against—nothing except the “right” of straight people to oppress and discriminate against gays and lesbians. And in California last Tuesday majorities of African Americans and Latinos—and others—voted to “take away” the right of gays and lesbians to legally marry. When gays and lesbians—including African American gays and lesbians—say that voters of color helped to “take away” our rights, it’s the truth.
Making a moral equivalency between “white power” and “gay power” is as offensive as it is ridiculous. It should particularly offend African American gays and lesbians. Who’s making you invisible now?
UPDATE: Dan Walters at the SacBee says new voters drawn to the polls by Obama helped put Prop 8 over the top. Not so, says Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, whose numbers crunching has to be afforded more credibility. (Silver, er, fingers older voters.) But I’ve never said that African American voters put Prop 8 over the top, only that African American voters went disproportionately for Prop 8, which is not in dispute. It’s the furious response to the simple statement of fact that is fueling this argument.
No one group of voters singlehandedly passed Prop 8.