Thursday, May 07, 2009

How the religious right exploits the black community

In 1991, writer-director John Singleton came out with the landmark motion picture Boyz N The Hood which analyzed the plight of inner city African-Americans, particularly young black males.

I remember the scene in which one of the characters asked about why there were so many gun shops and drugs in the black community when African-Americans didn't own these gun shops or the poppy fields that produced the drugs.

His implication was that outside forces were exploiting poverty in the black community for profit while not caring about the effects of their exploitation.

It was a good point and I think it can be made when one assesses how the religious right exploits the black community's inability to have a decent conversation about homosexuality.

I know I am not saying anything unfamiliar when I say that the black community avoids conversations about this subject as if even mentioning the word "gay" would conjure up the devil in a puff of sulphur.

Those of us in the black community know that lgbts of color exist and their needs aren't being met because of the wall of invisibility created by this fear.

The religious right also knows this. In fact, they count on it. That's why it's so easy for conservative talking heads such as Mike Huckabee, Maggie Gallagher, Matt Barber, and Harry Jackson to take an aura of phony concern when they accuse the lgbt community at large for supposedly piggybacking on the African-American civil rights movement.

They can play gays against blacks in a "divide and conquer" strategy because the black community is afraid to admit that it and the lgbt community are more alike than they are different, especially with the existence of lgbts of color.

But I want to ask a question similar to the one asked by the Boyz N The Hood character.

How much ownership and access does the black community have with religious right groups? Where are these pro-family groups and their state affiliates when it comes to actually tackling the issues of the inner city? What is their stance on racial inequality in education or employment?

Or how about the sadly high rate of HIV/AIDS in the black community?

That is my point exactly. These phony pro-family groups, these supposed defenders of the black community are nowhere to be seen.

And why should they? They've gotten what they wanted.

Why should the owner of the gun shops mentioned in Boyz N The Hood care that his wares are leading to death and destruction? He has made his money.

Why should the owner of the poppy fields care that the drugs produced from these fields will put more addicts on the streets looking to steal, sell their bodies, or do anything else for their next fix? After all, he has made his money also.

By that same token, why should the religious right care if the rhetoric in their game of "divide and conquer" leads to more lgbt of color invisibility or black gay men being susceptible to fears of coming out, low self esteem, or worse - bad behaviors which lead to diseases such as HIV/AIDS. They've gotten what they wanted - more influence, more power, more credibility and the black and gay communities at each other's throats.

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Thursday mid day news briefs

Greg, no on 'hates' you. We detest anti-scientific anti-truths! - This piece underlines why many lgbts including myself have a serious problem with the ex-gay movement. Folks like the person in this piece, Greg Quinlan, falsely claim that gays attack them because we have a problem with their ex-gay status.

No Greg, we have a problem with your duplicity. If you are ex-gay, then what are you doing at a PepsiCo shareholders meeting speaking against the company donating money to pro-gay causes such as PFLAG? If you are an ex-gay, why are you doing things to make it difficult for lgbts to attain the same type of peace that you claim you have? You can't speak against us and then claim that we won't leave you alone. Being tolerant and being a doormat are two different things.

WTF: DC TV newscaster tells Mike Rogers he wants to take him outside and punch him over 'Outrage' - Mike Rogers works to denounce the hypocrisies of closeted gay politicians who will then work against their own brothers and sisters. Some may think it's wrong, but I approve of what he does.

CNN poll: Generations disagree on same-sex marriage - works for me as long as we have the younger generation on our side.

Effort To Repeal Washington DP May Lack Support - All together now - AAWWWWWWWWW!

Sessions open minded on gay justice - This probably won't happen (it nearly did in the case of President Clinton and Barbara Jordan) but just the idea of it would be fun if only to see how fast the religious right's head would spin.

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Family Research Council send me a big ole lie

I got this via email from the Family Research Council. They are wanting me and others to sign a petition to keep the U.S. Senate from passing the sexual orientation inclusive hate crimes legislation:

The enactment of so-called "hate crimes" legislation is a long-stated objective of the homosexual agenda. It is one step closer to being law.

The House of Representatives passed the Hate Crimes Bill 249-175. When the Republicans tried to stop protections from possibly going to pedophiles and other suspect categories the supporters of the bill voted to protect those perversions. When Representatives tried to insert protections for religion, protecting the Bible from being described as hate speech, the Democrats voted those protections down!

The "hate crimes legislation protects pedophiles" meme is one folks on the right have been trying to push. James Dobson went on video pushing this lie and even Fox News got into the act.

The factoid is more than a lie; it's a huge distortion. Accordng to

Discussing the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which defines as a crime acts of violence or attempted violence "motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim," Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Bill Hemmer, and The Fox Nation, have all recently advanced the false claim that House Democrats voted to "protect" or "defend" pedophiles by voting against an amendment to the bill by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) stating that "the term 'sexual orientation' shall not include pedophilia."

In fact, as Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) noted during an April 23 House Judiciary Committee hearing, the term "sexual orientation" is already defined by federal statute as applying only to "consensual homosexuality or heterosexuality," thereby excluding pedophiles, who engage in nonconsensual sexual relationships with children. In providing her reasons for opposing King's amendment, Baldwin said that it "is unnecessary and, I would add, inflammatory in terms of insinuations."

So pedophiles are already excluded from being covered under hate crimes legislation. Also if the hate crimes bill is against acts of violence, then adding an addendum keeping the Bible from being called "hate speech" is also unnecessary.

FRC loves to trumpet the idea that homosexuality is a sin but apparently has no problem with another sin (i.e. bearing false witness) in pursuit of its goals.

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