This is what we won’t forget.

When you look at old school movements and social organization when a particular proposition or push failed within a community the reaction was to go into the community and forge alliances and find out exactly why these groups voted this way.

The mainstream LGBT community has gone straight to hate. Pam’s House Blend, Rod 2.0 and Jasmyne Cannick all have  testimonials of African-Americans who went to the big No on 8 rally in L.A. with signs and to support the movement or were just in West Hollywood and were showered with egregious racist abuse.

Just one example:

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.

It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks. YOU NIGGER, one man shouted at men. If your people want to call me a FAGGOT, I will call you a nigger. 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 niggers better not come to West Hollywood if they knew what was BEST for them.

oh and another:

To date, I have received several phone calls from Blacks, both gay and straight, who were caught up in Westwood around the time of that march. From being called “niggers” to being accosted in their cars and told that it was because of “you people gays don’t have equal rights and you better watch your back,” these gays have lost their damn minds.

The mainstream LGBT community has always acted as if there are no People of Color who are LGBT or tried to have us pick one identity over the other. It’s time that we face facts – the mainstream LGBT movement has always been a supremely white movement, not because there aren’t POC who are out, like they try to claim but because we have NEVER been a priority for them. Many would argue that this is only the actions of a few individuals but you know what? The fact that none of the big organizations to my knowledge – HRC, GLAAD, Equality California, etc. – have said nothing about this racist speech. That says a hell of a lot about them. And don’t tell me they’re not aware of it because at least one group, Truth Wins Out, has spoken out.

So here’s the thing the mainstream LGBT movement needs too know : When your racism once again sinks back under too hide under that facade of liberalism it will be way too late because we’ve seen your true colors know and beyond anything else this is what we’ll remember. That your reaction was to scapecoat black people with no reliable basis for such and then you went straight to racist abuse. And when you finally settle down and realize that you ran a crappy campaign with slim to no outreach while the Religious Right got in bed with people they never ever would have spoken with otherwise, the evangelicals made ties with the Catholics and the Mormons – do you know how big a deal that is? But you just expected to win. So when you realize that you need coalition and you need outreach and you need to actually go in and talk to and campaign in Communities of Color?

We will always remember that you called us niggers.

Extra Link: Bilerco Project – check out all the other groups that voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop. 8 and again I ask, why are you blaming the black people?

13 responses to “This is what we won’t forget.

  1. Just. Wow. It’s not like it’s ever been easy being black and LGBT, but it’s especially tough right now in California. I’m currently working on a short video project as a black LGBT response to Proposition 8. If you or anyone you know might be interested in participating, please let me know. Specifically, I’m looking for 12 SF Bay Area black LGBT volunteers (6 women, 6 men) willing to be filmed for a video clip that will be posted to Youtube, Myspace Video, etc. I’m also looking for any LGBT families with black children who would willing to participate. The minute-long clip won’t be about accusations or blame. It will simply be 12 people standing up for themselves and other black LGBT people.


  2. EXACTLY. Whatever kind of thinking lets you rationalize calling on centuries of genocide as a “defense”, that “slips out in anger”? Yeah, that kind of thinking of people as less than people has to be there from the start.

    Most importantly, why WOULD anyone side with you when your line of thinking is, “Do what I say or I’ll threaten you with the words of genocide?”

    Whether the master shouts at you or smiles, in the end, violence and threats are the tools of the oppressor.

  3. Nor should you forget that some in the white LGBT community called you that. I hope that you will also not forget that LGBT community called them out both on that and on the underlying , specious rationale. I hope that you will also not forget that Jasmine, Rod, and (I seem to recall) Pam are also the LGBT community.

  4. It’s so infuriating! Thanks for the links, Naamen. Keep yourself safe.

  5. From the indispensable

    “Comparing exit polls from 2004 and 2008 makes the breadth of Barack Obama’s victory clear. Obama received a larger share of the vote than John Kerry among voters of all genders, races, education levels, and income classes, and virtually all religions. The only groups with whom he underperformed Kerry were older (65+) voters, and gay and lesbian voters.”

  6. Tommy-
    Intersectionality is always hard especially when you feel alienated from all sides of the issue. My feelings on marriage in general are such that I probably wouldn’t be exactly what you’re looking for but I’ll be happy to put the call out to folks I know!

  7. Bankuei-
    They went straight for their privilege without any thought. And I’m supposed to ally with these folks when their first reaction is to use words of pain and hate. There is no rationilizing of it as far as I’m concerned. I’m too through.

  8. Delux-

  9. Dan Holzman-Tweed-
    The difference is that most of the folks who’ve called it out and talked about it are not at the front of the movement. We’ve been deliberately marginalized and speak about it but those seen as the face of the GLBT community continue to stay silent. In that circumstance it’s a case of how much do I want to be hurt by a community that claims to represent me even though there may be pockets of folks who are doing right. At this point I doubt it’s worth it for me.

  10. lavendertook-
    I basically saw red when I heard of this going down, it’s so intensely angering.

    Keep yourself safe.
    Thanks, I’ll do my best. Keep yourself safe as well.

  11. Kate-
    Thanks for this. It puts an added layer onto things and the way the GLBT community is trying to swing the tit-for-tat argument: “We voted for Obama so you should have voted against Prop. 8” which is bullshit no matter what. You voted for Obama because he was gonna be the best bet to get what you wanted not some false loyalty to the black community.

  12. I just wanted to say thank you for this. I haven’t been able to really say anything yet because I’m still so damn upset. I worked my ass of on No on 8 and was devastated when it passed, but it is nothing compared to this. To hear the people that I worked so hard with saying such things hurts even worse.

    I’m sorry. I still can’t be coherent about this. I poured the last several months of my life and a lot of my hope into this. And while the cause is worthy, too many of the people I worked with turned out to be bigoted assholes.

    I guess I and people like me were good enough while we were winning, but now that we’ve lost. Well now we’re the scapegoats. And I just can’t describe how disappointed I am with the people who were supposed to be my allies.

    So nothing constructive here, just more disappointment.

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