McCullom wrote about how "the recent passage of California's Proposition 8 has exposed some of the latent racism of many within the LGBT community". He refers to "the 'blame the blacks' meme", which has emerged both online and on the streets of California. He described how blacks unexpectedly found themselves targeted by whites at Friday's marriage equality rally in Los Angeles:
Geoffrey, a student at UCLA and regular Rod 2.0 reader, joined the massive protest outside the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Westwood. Geoffrey was called the n-word at least
twice.Los Angeles resident and Rod 2.0 reader A. Ronald says he and his boyfriend, who are both black, were carrying NO ON PROP 8 signs and still subjected to racial abuse.
It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks. YOU [N-],one man shouted at men. If your people want to call me a [F-], I will call you a [n-]. Someone else said same thing to me on the next block near the temple...me and my friend were walking, he is also gay but Korean, and a young WeHo clone said after last night the [n--s] betternot come to West Hollywood if they knew what was BEST for them.
Three older men accosted my friend and shouted, "Black people did this, I hope you people are happy!" A young lesbian couple with mohawks and Obama buttons joined the shouting and said there were
"very disappointed with black people" and "how could we" after the Obama victory. This was stupid for them to single us out because we were carrying those blue NO ON PROP 8 signs! I pointed that out and the one of the older men said it didn't matter because "most black people hated gays" and he was "wrong" to think we had compassion. That was the most insulting thing I had ever heard. I guess he never thought we were gay.
Some bloggers tried to redirect the rage at "more appropriate" targets:
Cannick: "If gays want to blame someone for Proposition 8, they can start with their leaders—also known as the gay mafia, whose egos, white superiority complex, and misunderstanding of Black people’s priorities for this election season guaranteed certain outcomes."
There is more than enough blame to go around—the homophobia of the black church, lack of outreach by mainstream LGBT organizations, reluctance by the Obama campaign, many blacks gays and lesbians in the closet, deep pockets of the social conservatives, take your pick—but it is a statistical fact that millions more whites voted for this initiative than blacks. You want to blame somebody, go to overwhelming white Orange County, Bakersfield or San Fernando Valley and blame them. Or better yet, head up to San Francisco and blame the 50 percent of voters who didn't even bother to vote.
Alex Blaze at The Bilerico Project:
There have been no reports of riots by McCain and third-party candidate voters (a group that includes "fundies", Protestants, Catholics, conservatives, Republicans, pro-lifers [not "anti-choicers"], "hicks" who don't live on the coast, the elderly, married heterosexuals with/without children, etc.) because Senator Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. Yet, the favorite liberal smear has been that anyone in this "monolithic group" who did not vote for Obama is a "racist". Kinda makes you wonder.
But I'm wondering why these folks are so caught up in the black voters, who obviously can't ever be persuaded on this issue because... well, because. There are so many other groups in the exit polling that voted for Prop 8 overwhelmingly (as in, more than 60%):
* The elderly (65+)
* People who decided for whom to vote in October (but not within the week before the election)
* People who were contacted by the McCain campaign
* White Protestants
* Those who attend church weekly
* Married people
* People with children under 18
* Gun owners
* Bush voters
* Offshore drilling supporters
* People who are afraid of a terrorist attack
* People who thought their family finances were better now than 4 years ago
* Supporters of the war against Iraq
* People who didn't care about the age of the candidates
* People who are from the "Inland/Valley" region of California
* McCain voters
Some of these groups supported Prop 8 far more than African Americans did, which makes me wonder why we're focused so much on race instead of any of these factors. In terms of predictive value, religion, political ideology, and being married with children tell us much more about how someone voted on Prop 8 than race does.
From which we can infer three things. First, breaking the statistics just along racial lines is an overly simplistic way to look at the results. Black people, like white people, are not a monolithic group, and LGBT people can make inroads by reaching out to African Americans if we try. Flapping our mouths about how we're not PC, how all blacks are homophobic, and how there's no use in reaching out to African Americans doesn't endear people to us, and there is work to be done here that hasn't been done.
Second, religion is the overwhelming factor in Prop 8's win, in terms of organizing, funding, and voting. Since it's not going anywhere, we have to take a more serious approach to religious voters. And, yes, their leaders make bank off homophobia, but we're going to have to be more creative. No writing off fundies as idiots allowed - they get votes too.
In Response To: When the barrier of color was broken down