I read with alarm this morning that Obama is planning on doing a tour through South Carolina with Donnie McClurkin. Now the Christianists say that abortion represents their proverbial line in the sand. My comparable issue is political gay bashing, something that McClurkin and his ilk are perfectly at home doing (all in the "name of the Lord").
I hope that Obama reconsiders this joint venture. To resort to working with a known opponent of the GLBT movement that Obama proclaims to support for the most part in order to drum up support in the SC black community is just plain dumb. I have virtually no patience for black folks who bash the GLBT community. And I am tired of these same people being offended by the comparisons between the GLBT and Civil Rights movements.
No, the two movements are not the same, but they share some common issues and common goals. For example, there were (are) religious tenets cited in opposition to the goals of both movements. There were (are) irrational and visceral reactions that the opponents of both movements held when confronted with the gains earned through the work of movement activists. There is also the common goal that people should be treated equally, and that people should be judged by the content of their characters.
I think that too many black folks look at homosexuality through a racial lens. For too many, white = Gay. And I doubt that there are many black folks who see white people as oppressed in any way, shape or form. To hear folks who look like the media constructed version of a gay person (white, male, educated, affluent and fit) talk about being oppressed because of "who he is" must sound quite hollow to the average black person who has struggled simply to get ahead.
And since so many black gay folk remain closeted or too concerned about "people knowing their business," this disconnection in the dialog will remain. If Obama has someone on his campaign staff who is gay (or better yet, black and gay), then I hope that person will come forward and let him know that seeking the black vote by these means removes the curtain from the audaciousness of hope and reveals something that is quite the opposite: the politics of fear and loathing.