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3 comments | Friday, July 17, 2009

Award winning ESPN journalist LZ Granderson weighs in on the controversial idea of whether gay is truly the new black in a new online piece penned for CNN.com. Granderson, who is openly gay, offers up his perspective on this sensitive issue where race, privilege, and gay rights collide months after the provocative Advocate cover was released posing the exact same question and after talk show host Tyra Banks dedicated an entire hour on the topic.

An excerpt via CNN.com:

When Proposition 8 passed in California, white gays were quick to blame the black community despite blacks making up less than 10 percent of total voters and whites being close to 60 percent. At protest rallies that followed, some gay blacks reported they were even hit with racial epithets by angry white participants. Not to split hairs, but for most blacks, the n-word trumps the f-word.

So while the white mouthpiece of the gay community shakes an angry finger at intolerance and bigotry in their blogs and on television, blacks and other minorities see the dirty laundry. They see the hypocrisy of publicly rallying in the name of unity but then privately living in segregated pockets. And then there is the history.

The 40th anniversary of Stonewall dominated Gay Pride celebrations around the country, and while that is certainly a significant moment that should be recognized, 40 years is nothing compared with the 400 blood-soaked years black people have been through in this country. There are stories some blacks lived through, stories others were told by their parents and stories that never had a chance to be told.

I highly recommend that you read the entire article. While I agree with most of what Granderson wrote in his commentary there is quite a bit that I take issue with. I'm left wondering if he was able to bring anything new to the discussion regarding racism in the gay community and the homophobia that exists in the black community. Have we not heard this all before? Maybe from Jasmyne Cannick but in a much harsher tone? How do we bridge the divide?

Openly gay retired NBA player John Amaechi sums up my thoughts on this issue in a recent interview with SWERV Magazine.

"The argument about and time wasted in comparing if the black human rights struggle is different or the same as the LGBT human rights struggle boggles my mind and once again, shows a total lack of nuanced understanding of identity. All sides need a slap. When minorities fight only the majority wins".



<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I totally agree negativity breeds negativity. No one wins. There is no progression. Even perhaps a bit of regression. We all need to let it go and move forward TOGETHER. Forget the black/white. We are all struggling as Gay americans period. And by now, most blacks have white in them and vice versa. So, there really is no point other than in some cases, outward apperances. This divide sickens me.

July 17, 2009 1:23 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

The article had a good bassline (Gay is not the new black) idea and turned out to be totally ignorant.

He belittles gay rights, presented gay history and oppression as only existing 40 years (while playing Oppression Olympics with black struggles), and basically reduced criticizing Obama to a thing only white gay people do as if there aren't any gay black people who would do the same. All while being obnoxious and making cheap jokes.

I think I could have done without him posting it at all.


Semi-related to this is the responses from black gay men I've read elsewhere: It pains me that there are black gay men (I haven't heard lesbians make these type of remarks) who can't see how these issuses effect them or other black gay people.

DOMA/ENDA/DADT are not "white people's" issues and it would also be nice if some people can start noticing there are other people who aren't black or white and how this might effect them too.

July 18, 2009 12:25 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I totally agree with the top Anonymous comment.

That article reminded me of something self-confessed racist James Earl Hardy said in an interview, "to be pro-black you have to be anti-white."

Out of date, backward, ignorant and blinkered.

July 21, 2009 8:24 AM


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