There is so much I want to say after reading this letter but I will refrain from doing so. I'm sure you'll be able to read between the lines and figure out exactly where Obama and his advisors stand on the controversial "Embrace The Change Tour" , Donnie McClurkin's views, and the black communities approval of homophobia. This controversy has been dissapointing and eye-opening at the same time. I would like to end my coverage with a comment I read from an anonymous post over at salon.com that I found to be thought provoking and extremely profound.
"You can be uncomfortable with the gay lifestyle but it should never blind you to the humanity of each person you encounter, nor should it cause you to reject people or view them as inferior because they are different from you. Certainly the black community knows that truth first hand."-Anonymous
Update: I promised I was done talking about camp Obama so I'll let bloggers Rod McCollum , Pam Spaulding, and Clay Cane do the talking...and they've got a lot to say!
Joint Letter from the African American Religious and LGBT Leadership Teams
CHICAGO, IL- Obama supporters and leaders in the LGBT and African American faith communities released the following letter today calling on members of their communities to come together to find common ground.
To Whom It May Concern:
As representatives of Barack Obama supporters from the African American religious community and the gay community, we are issuing a statement together for the first time. Our letter addresses the recent issue of Pastor Donnie McClurkin singing at Senator Obama’s “Embrace the Change” concert series. In the midst of division, we hope and believe that this is a moment to bring together communities that have been divided for far too long.
A few things are clear.
First, Pastor McClurkin believes and has stated things about sexual orientation that are deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans, most especially to gay Americans. This cannot and should not be denied.
At the same time, a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin’s beliefs. This also cannot be ignored.
Finally, we believe that the only way for these two sides to find common ground is to do so together.
Not at arms length. Not in a war of words with press and pundits. Only together.
It is clear that Barack Obama is the only candidate who has made bringing these two often disparate groups together a goal. In gatherings of LGBT Americans and African Americans of faith, Obama has stated that all individuals should be afforded full civil rights regardless of their sexual orientation, and that homophobia must be eradicated in every corner of our nation. If we are to end homophobia and secure full civil rights for gay Americans, then we need an advocate within the Black community like Barack Obama.
At the same time, while Obama has said that he "strongly disagrees" with Pastor McClurkin's comments, he will not exclude from his campaign the many Americans including many in the African American community who believe the same as Pastor McClurkin.
We believe that Barack Obama is constructing a tent big enough for LGBT Americans who know that their sexual orientation is an innate and treasured part of their being, and for African American ministers and citizens who believe that their religion prevents them from fully embracing their gay brothers and sisters. And if we are to confront our shared challenges we have to join together, build on common ground, and engage in a civil dialogue even when we disagree.
We also ask Senator Obama’s critics to consider the alternatives. Would we prefer a candidate who ignores the realities in the African American community and cuts off millions of Blacks who believe things offensive to many Americans? Or a panderer who tells African Americans what they want to hear, at the expense of our gay brothers and sisters? Or would we rather stand with Barack Obama, who speaks truth in love to both sides, pulling no punches but foreclosing no opportunities to engage?
We stand with Senator Obama. We stand with him because of the solutions he is proposing for our nation. We stand with him because of his character and his judgment. But the most important reason we stand with him is because today, as he has done all along, Barack Obama is causing us to stand together.
That's the kind of President we need, and we are proud to support him.
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.
Olivet Institutional Baptist Church
Chair, Obama National African American Religious Leaders Working Group
Chair, Obama National LGBT Leadership Council
Former Member of Human Rights Campaign Board of Directors
Tobias Barrington Wolff
Chair, Obama LGBT Policy Committee
Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
The Reverend Stephen John Thurston
National Baptist Convention of America
The Reverend Alvin Love
Baptist General State Convention of Illinois, Inc.
Bishop E. Earl McCloud, Jr.
Office of Ecumenical & Urban Affairs
African Methodist Episcopal Church
President, The Phelon Group, Inc.
Former Human Rights Campaign Board of Governors
New York, NY
Former COO, Human Rights Campaign
Former Human Rights Campaign Board of Directors
Rev. Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner
Skinner Leadership Institute
Tracy’s Landing, MD
Rev. Michael Pfleger
St. Sabina, Chicago
Rev. Edward Taylor
San Jose, CA
The Reverend Robert H. Thompson
Des Moines, IA
Hon. Jon Cooper
Majority Leader, Suffolk County (NY) Legislature
Rev. Paul Hobson Sadler, Sr., Pastor
Mt. Zion Congregational UCC