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9 comments | Friday, July 25, 2008

Loldarian.com affiliate and journalist Clay Cane knocked the ball out of the park with his review of CNN's Black In America special. Clay asks one important question that I think many of us in the black gay community were asking ourselves during the two-night special, "Where were the gays"? I had to cross post his review here because he said everything I wanted to say but with his amazing "Clay-isms".

Black in America Forgot the Gays
by Clay Cane

I was not expecting a whole segment on the gays, but I figured there would be some mention of homophobia at least for a millisecond in CNN’s four-hour Black in America special.

Black in America, which aired this past Wednesday and Thursday, focused solely on the straights and it seemed its solution for all problems was to go back to the nuclear family: "We need more marriage!" "We need a man and woman in the house!" "Go back to church!"

Marriage is not going to save the black family, marriage isn't for everyone. What will save the black community is education, policy (Amazing how CNN barely mentioned policies that are destroying black schools and neighborhoods. Some of these predicaments are completely out of our control.), and condoms. Yes, as Dorothy from The Golden Girls said, “Condoms! Condoms! Condoms!”

Jumpin’ jehosafats! The straights are f*ckin' and saying f*ck it to condoms! One young girl had a baby by a young man who already had another baby by a different woman, and the young girl had TWINS on the way by a different man. In another segment, a 31 year-old man had two kids, lived in the projects and quit college because he had to care for his children. One man had ten children and didn’t raise any of them—damn! All that f*ckin' and obviously no one is using a condom. You know what happens when gay men don't use condoms and contract HIV? They are criminalized for being dirty, sinful, and getting what they deserve. The straights don’t use condoms, they pop out a few kids, and they are victims of poverty.

No wonder the HIV/AIDS rate is so high among black women, they aren't using condoms... Black in America didn't have one segment on contraception just, "Get married! Go to church! Stay out of jail!"

I know this might be hard for some of the straights and the self-hating gays to understand, but it’s peculiar to me when the topic of HIV/AIDS is addressed in the black community, but sexuality is not mentioned. In one segment, Soledad O'Brien was grilling a black preacher on why his church is not directly dealing with HIV/AIDS, even when people in his congregation are infected. The preacher looked dumbfounded saying that was something they needed to work on. I was waiting for O'Brien to say something to the effect of "Is it because if you talked about HIV/AIDS you might have to talk about sexuality?" Considering some of the shadefest questions O'Brien was throwing at people, I’m surprised she didn’t.

The reason why the black church isn't discussing HIV/AIDS isn't because it accidentally fell off the list after donating money for the annual gospel choir church trip to Atlanta, D.C., and New York (where absolutely NO homosexuals would be… uh-huh)—it’s because of sexuality! If the Jim Crow Jesus preachers didn’t view HIV/AIDS as a gay issue, it would be topic number one. The black church is as criminal as President Ronald Reagan for ignoring the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Whether or not the straights get it, there are many results of homophobia. Families being torn a part, delusional black women who think the reason why they don't have a man is because of gays, and ignorant assumptions about HIV/AIDS. Of course HIV/AIDS isn't a gay thing, but I think if the black community were accepting of the gay community, who are queening up in church every week, we could get a stronger grip on the disease. History has proved, it’s been gay people who have made strides with HIV/AIDS. The black community needs the gay community to combat this disease.

Well, there was one gay person in Black in America. Just for a few seconds, there was a quick image of a young man dancing in a hot pink dancer's suit! However, looks like the family pulled a Dick Cheney and didn't allow him to be shown to the public. All of the other kids were interviewed except for him.

Overall, I thought Black in America was a good special. I loved the segments on Michael Eric Dyson, how challenging it is for a black man to find a job, and the lengths single mothers go to take care of their kids. I would argue black folks need to stop thinking the solutions to our problems are marriage and church. Maybe if we let go of some of the archaic values of the church, focused more on contraception, owning our businesses, challenging policy, and accepting every faction of the black community, we would effectively progress.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

You've gotta absolutely love Clay Cane, right?

July 25, 2008 3:19 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I loved Clay's article. It seems like mostly everyone was dissappointed in this "special".

July 25, 2008 5:19 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Okay, I'm a little bit confused by this blog. Why do you call Clay Cane and Rod 2.0 'affiliates'? They are both accomplished journalists, right? Why not call Pam's House Blend an 'affiliate'? I'm really confused cuz truth be told Clay never links to other bloggers.

July 25, 2008 5:38 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...


I will respond to your question although I feel like there was a hint of shade in it.

I consider Clay Cane and Rod 2.0 affiliates for many reasons.

1. We support each other.

2. My blog as well as theirs can be found on each others blogroll.

3. Pam Spaulding from Pam's House Blend has been referred to as an affiliate on my site on many occasions and is not only a blogger but a well respected journalist in her own right as am I. In addition Pam has been kind enough to link to my site on several occasions.

4. Another blogger linking my work or the work of others has never been a prerequisite for me to do so on my site. I link work when it's good and Clay's piece happened to be exceptional.

July 25, 2008 5:44 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

"I was not expecting a whole segment on the gays, but I figured there would be some mention of homophobia at least for a millisecond in CNN’s four-hour Black in America special"

i'll start off with the obvious...the special left much to be desired for MANY. with that said, i understand that homophobia is an important topic, but for me as a heterosexual individual, i would have preferred there be substantive mention and exposure of positive things in the gay community, not just homophobia alone. the special gave a lot of emphasis to many negative sides of the black community. although existent, it would have been nice to see more of the positive side. for example, not all black women are bitter, not all black men have a chip on their shoulder because the "man held them down," and there are many black gay activists (and others) that not only enhance the SGL community, but communities as a whole...why wasn't that mentioned? IDK...focusing on homophobia is too narrow a focus, i guess...

July 25, 2008 9:40 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Pure nonsense.

Anybody who does not say that heterosexual marriage (and the integrity of the nuclear family) is the single most important priority in the black community today is not only repeating a lie, but is actively and maliciously deceiving you (or trying to).

The problems that blacks in America face; from education to socioeconomic torpor can substantively be traced to the breakdown of the black American nuclear family. By. Far.

There is no equivalent alternative.

Not racism.

Not homophobia.

Not lack of government programs.

Not anything else.

The breakdown of the family. (A close, but related second is the "War on Drugs").

The family unit determines:

--Access to opportunity
--Subsequent family units
--Socialization (degree of delinquency)
--Protection from abuse and exploitation

We know this from repeated sociological and economic research. It is simply not in dispute. Foucault is dead. This is the truth.

Dear me!
How can one individual (Not you Darian! I'm referring to Clay here.)) just lie like this out in the open? Is there no shame surrounding these things? None at all?

Additionally, is there anything at all that is published on loldarian (or has been in the past) that differs even a little from the leftist orthodoxy ?
Is this blog independent? Or an Official RePackager (TM) of leftist ideas?

I like this blog, but it doesn't have much to say for it in the way of "independence of thought" as far as I can honestly remember.

What ideas do you have that others wouldn't "normally" expect you to share?

This might be a good place to start.

July 27, 2008 11:20 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...


Instead of going on the defensive I will simply invite you to go into my archives and read some of the work I've published on this site in the past.

I have always been an independent thinker and will continue to be. I am the sole writer of this blog. I do not have a staff, nor do I poll for public opinion on anything that I write. You have every right to agree or disagree.

As an openly black gay man I happened to agree with a lot of what Clay wrote and that's why I decided to post his piece here.

Clay's piece asked one big question, "Where were the gays?" and it was from that angle that I became intrigued with his piece because it was a question that I asked myself throughout the entire broadcast.

It's your right to believe that the traditional black family is the solution to all that ills black America and it's my right to totally disagree with you. I've witnessed first hand in my own family the damage that can be done in dysfunctional two parent households that consist of a mother and a father.

We can hold up the ideal family all day long, but the truth is very few families in this country represent the ideal. So let's deal in reality and start respecting families that don't look like The Beavers or The Huxtables.

You are absolutely correct in assuming that I'm a "leftist" or that I look at the world though a liberal lens because I do.

Maybe that's why I'm not so quick to believe that life will be an uphill struggle if I'm not a product of a two parent household(although I was) when I know we all have the ability as individuals to make choices that will affect our lives for the better if we choose to.


July 27, 2008 12:36 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

If approximately 46% of black gay men in America are HIV positive, why are we creating movies like "The Ski Trip" and "Dirty Laundry"?

Why can't black gay men create a documentary type film about black gay men and our lives/struggles and shop it around to the various networks and/or cable TV?

If we don't take ourselves seriously, why should anyone else?

Why do we always have to be in the degrading position of trying to be "accepted" by straight black people and/or white gay people?

July 28, 2008 4:09 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

"If approximately 46% of black gay men in America are HIV positive, why are we creating movies like "The Ski Trip" and "Dirty Laundry"?

Why can't black gay men create a documentary type film about black gay men and our lives/struggles and shop it around to the various networks and/or cable TV?

If we don't take ourselves seriously, why should anyone else?

Why do we always have to be in the degrading position of trying to be "accepted" by straight black people and/or white gay people?"

You are SO spot on. This is exactly what I have been saying. As a gay man I feel that sometimes gay men aren't represented and their movies don't hit mainstream success because some of them aren't that great and they are only catering to single subject needs. And while I do agree that the LGBT community needs films that cater to their needs, we need to make a film that has mass appeal, and show us in a different light. Noah's Arc does this. Their main focus isn't always just being gay. The characters in the show delve into issues that are important to everyone as a whole. Brokeback Mountain while not a black film, garnered the interest of the masses because it isn't just a story about not being able to be openly homosexual. But its the setting of the story. The minority LGBT groups need to extricate themselves from their normal settings and broaden their horizons. While I am not a proponent of conformity I am an advocate of the representation under different light.

July 30, 2008 4:30 PM


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