A White Gay’s Guide on How to Deal with the Black Community for Dummies: Chapter 16: Skin Folk…Neo-Nazis, Tea Party Members, and Gay Protestors

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What do the Neo-Nazi organization the National Socialist Movement, Tea Party members, and yesterdays gay protestors of President Obama in Los Angeles all have in common–I mean, besides not getting it?  If you said they’re white people who have issues with the president then you guessed right.

Yesterday in Los Angeles at a fundraising event for US Senator Barbara Boxer, President Obama was interrupted by gay rights activists demanding he repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“Repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell!” yelled several protestors.

To which the president said he agreed with the request — “we are going to do that; hey, hold on a second, hold on a second” — when the protestors began echoing  the Obama campaign chant: “Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!”

“Here we go,” Obama replied. “All right — guys, guys, all right. I agree, I agree.”

Obama asked for political unity on gay rights issues.

“When you’ve got an ally like Barbara Boxer and you’ve got an ally like me who are standing for the same thing, then you don’t know exactly why you’ve got to holler, because we already hear you, all right?,” Obama said to applause.

“I mean, it would have made more sense to holler that at the people who oppose it.”

One audience member shouted, “it’s time for equality for all Americans!” Obama repeated that he supports repealing the military’s anti-gay policy, “so I don’t know why you’re hollering.”

For the record, this is an example of why efforts to repeal Proposition 8 in California failed last week after not being able to secure the necessary number of signatures to qualify it for the November ballot.

And as long as the white gay activists continue their consistent attitude of entitlement–entitlement over all others, entitlement at the cost of others, —I don’t expect attitudes to change among even the most progressive African-Americans on gay rights issues.

Nevermind the war, economy, or any of the state and local issues–they’re white and they’re right.

Forget the fact that celebrations of the first African-American president by Blacks are still going on around the country—even though he’s been in office over a year now.

With the exception of Michael Steele, most Black people are head over heels in love with the president and I don’t think that there’s anything he can do—short of cheating on Michelle and getting caught—that will turn Black people against him.

Why is that important?  Because in California, at least for now, Black people’s vote still matters in terms of their ability to make or break a proposition as we saw with Proposition 8.

Protesting the president in Los Angeles is not a good move for white gay activists who need the support of Black voters on their issues. I can’t say it plainer than that.

Does that mean that gays shouldn’t protest the president over there issues?  No, not necessarily–but it does mean that they need to be a lot smarter about when, where,  and how they do it—similar to their Neo-Nazi counterparts who would have been better off in Simi Valley or Orange County protesting immigrants than in downtown Los Angeles.

Wounds are still open from the passage of Proposition 8 in California and the blame and attack on Black people that followed from white gays.  Nothing has changed in that department and judging from white gay activists behavior—neither have they.

Sure–you can shrug it off and say “oh that’s just Jasmyne being racist” if you want—but I don’t need to polls and focus groups to tell me how Black people feel about issues–remember, I am one.  Just listen to this morning’s Hot Topic Tuesday on the Front Page with Dominique DiPrima on Radio Free 102.3FM KJLH.

And while much of the mainstream news media paints the picture that when the gay community protests President Barack Obama, it’s all gays—quite frankly, that’s not the case.  Many Black gays and lesbians end up being guilty by association.  Something I refuse to let happen.  I am tired of my white gay brothers and sisters making life difficult for their Black counterparts with there attitudes of entitlement and privilege—because that’s exactly what it is when you can take of in the middle of the work day to go somewhere and protest the president—privilege.  Speaking of which—I don’t recall seeing many rainbow flag on Saturday afternoon at the anti-Nazi rally.  I’m just saying.

If white gays want to protest something they can start with the Mayor of Los Angeles, the City Council, and the DWP for duping residents into believing that recent approve rate hike was temporary when in fact, it’s permanent.  They can protest California’s unemployment numbers, which surely include gays and lesbians—just maybe not as many white gays as Black and brown gays.  Go lobby for more living wage jobs in Los Angeles County, affordable housing, access to education, and healthcare.  All of which surely gays need—I mean we don’t all live in West Hollywood and Silverlake.  Who knows, if white gays were as outspoken on those issues as they are gay marriage and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell they might have gotten the signatures needed to try and repeal Proposition 8.

One thing is for sure, if white gays keep attacking the president like their Neo-Nazi and Tea Party member counterparts—come election season—it wouldn’t matter if they got President Obama himself to do a PSA in support of gay rights in front of West Hollywood’s City Hall with the presidents of the NAACP, SCLC, Urban Leagues, and Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton —mark my words—ain’t nothing happening.

Now run and go tell that.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • JAy Matthew

    Thank you so much for saying this, I too am disgusted with what happened yesterday. You hit this issue head on and i want to thank you for that. White people have a huge problem with not being able to acknowledge their white privilege, and i have even met some black people who claim that it does not exist, but my point is that these people do not know what oppression is because of it.

  • Kim

    Jasmyne, thank you for this article, it was right on the money! White people need to recognize their sense of entitlement and chill the hell out! They are serious implications here and they need to know that we willNOT stay quiet for this mess!

  • nancy

    Thanks, Jasmyne.

    I’m white, gay, and pissed off!! … at the protesters who I was horrified to read about it in the morning paper.

    I’m a vet, too. Of course I want to change don’t ask don’t tell, and I believe that change is happening.

  • Dave Busby

    “And while much of the mainstream news media paints the picture that when the gay community protests President Barack Obama, it’s all gays—quite frankly, that’s not the case. Many Black gays and lesbians end up being guilty by association. Something I refuse to let happen. I am tired of my white gay brothers and sisters making life difficult for their Black counterparts with there attitudes of entitlement and privilege”

    For one who doesn’t want to be lumped into the guilty by association crowd you sure do paint all white gays with a big brush. There are many of us white gays, like myself, who are quite happy with the president. I for one am happy with a lot he has accomplished. I do however wish health care reform would have been stronger and I don’t see the need for for a 12month review on DADT when it has been policy for 20 years now and has been analyzed from every angle, I do think he should push them to repeal DADT before the elections to energize the progressive base. I think criticism of the president on the issue is necessary, I think it should be forceful but respectful though. These groups like GET EQUAL do not speak for the majority of gay Americans but they do bring attention to important issues for all gay Americans be it white black or brown.

  • gay civil rights now

    Hmph.

    Rarely do I get to quote by Malcolm X and Barry Goldwater in the same comment:

    By any means necessary; Extremism is the defence of liberty is no vice.
    ________________

    Your post basically argues that people should not advocate forcefully or loudly for their basic civil rights, because they might upset some of their potential allies. I think you are underestimating the effect of discrimnatory laws like DADT. What about Dan Choi chaining himself to President Obama’s White House? Do you also condemn that kind of activism

  • E

    What exact “entitlements” are “white gays” seeking? Last I checked they just wanted the right to marry another, consenting adult.

    Maybe you need a little lesson on the political economy. Entitlements generally refer to cash transfers from the government. For example, the elderly are entitled to Social Security and Medicare benefits. That is an obvious entitlement. College students are entitled to some subsidized government loans. In the recent past, black people were entitled to preferential hiring until courts ruled such racist hiring practices unconstitutional. (Arguably, these entitlements still exist – blacks hold a disproportionate share of government jobs.)

    As for the behavior of gays at the event – they simply want to be heard. They turned out in huge numbers to vote the man into office; many contributed money to his campaign. They are just ready to get what they were implicitly promised. Here’s an article from The Econmist to educate you a bit: http://www.economist.com/world/united-states/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_TQGPQDJN

    By the way, if you wish to be taken seriously, I suggest you improve your writing skills. You should read what you have written before you post it. You’d be amazed how many typos and poorly written phrases you will catch. Good day.

  • GranDiva

    I find that you are accurately representing what Black people say to one another whenever things like this happen. Like it or not, people feel this way. Straight black people, gay black people. (I am Black and in the LGBT community, for the record.) The reality is that no one likes to hear the truth (especially on the West Coast) of what people are thinking. The reality is that everyone isn’t holding hands and singing kumbaya–not in California, not in the US, not in the LGBT community, not amongst political parties. That said, what would be nice is for those offended by this post to react with “Oh, damn–I didn’t realized that another marginalized community was feeling this way.” Truly, it is the first step in understanding one another and, subsequently, moving forward.

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  • Hiya Gran Diva

    You’re right GranDiva, it would be good for the targets of Jasmyne’s venom to turn the other cheek. Somehow, though, this blog doesn’t encourage it…

  • Donny D.

    GranDiva, I’m not offended by what Jasmyne wrote, but you put into words what I was already thinking when I came to your post: “Oh, damn–I didn’t realized that another marginalized community was feeling this way.”

    Why don’t more of California’s gay activists realize this? It seems to me it’s their business to know how their actions will be perceived by different groups of people so their actions have the desired effects and no negative repercussions.

    Do they think black people’s opinions don’t matter? Or does it even occur to them to wonder how people who aren’t white and middle class might feel about their actions?

  • E

    It’s easy to say, “Oh, damn–I didn’t realized that another marginalized community was feeling this way,” or some other dismissive comment when you are not legally oppressed. Do you think black people from the civil rights era should have just said, “Gosh, those white people really do have some unfair laws in place right now”? No, that would be ridiculous.

  • God

    Same condescending, self-righteous, racist, narcissistic shit from that carpet munching nitwit who gets her talking points from FOX. You never cease to amuse.

  • How do you know they were white? There was a black woman among the GetEqual protesters who chained themselves to the White House fence.

  • Jennifer

    Obama’s race does not make him above reproach — on LGBT issues or any other.

    “most Black people are head over heels in love with the president and I don’t think that there’s anything he can do—short of cheating on Michelle and getting caught—that will turn Black people against him.”

    You can glorify him as much as you want, but he is not your Great Brown Savior. He is a politician. And like others of his ilk, his actions do not mirror his words. I’m no “white gay”. I’m a Black lesbian, and you disgust me white your shuttered eyes and narrow mindedness.

  • Chitown Kev

    Yeah, I’m am totally against the idea that any community with grievances against the president should check with (in this specific case) the black community to see if it’s OK to air grievances.

  • LORDY

    While I wasn’t too happy myself to see the protestors as Boxer is really battling for her seat…. hey this is what democracy looks like!!! No one needs a green light from anyone to protest.It reminds me of dumb pro-war people saying that anti-war protetors make our country look weak by protesting its war policy—hey thats veryThird Reich of you Cannick–“Yours is not to question why…… ” So sorry Obama by virtue of being a man of color dosen’t get my unquestioning blind allegance that would be just moronic..And really I agree with what the protestors were saying. I guess now to the dim-witted cross eyed with blind allegiance i am now not a black woman anymore–big LOL

  • LORDY

    Jennifer I think you are on spot– good for you for not being a blind sheep-yes there is a blind allegance to Obama. I for one love Cynthia mcKinney the green party canidate(a black woman)and a true anti-war activist. The boat she was on recently was rammed by the israeli navy while on a humanitarian mission bringing medication to gaza when under siege by the Israelis(when are they not under siege) I really think the troop buld -up in Afganistan is horrid–all that bombing all those deaths–pulling out of Iraq and into Afganistan…just bad policy……….and what about Guantanamo——-?????????? We are now preparing to try a young man captured as a child!!!!! Where is the transparent Habeus Corpus we were promised????? Obama is a good orator but actions speak louder than words

  • Shaking My Head

    About time someone told it like it is. I’m not apart of the LGBT community, but after reading the comments, some people can’t really handle the truth. This all still boils down to being racist, Yes. I said it.
    Is everyone OVERLOOKING the fact that Obama is trying to clean up BUSH’S mess? The man said it wouldn’t happen overnight. He is trying to do the best he can. Never have I seen such disrespect with a President. It is disgusting, actually. Let McCain have won office and made the EXACT same promises Obama has made. Bet everyone would be patinetly waiting on him, giving him the benifiet of the Doubt.
    And as far as these “Gay Rights” go..
    Let me break it down for you.
    1) If one more damn person compares this Struggle to the Afircan American Struggle, I think I’m going to scream. In no way, shape or form is this the same kind of struggle.
    2) Look, no one cares if your gay. You want to be gay, Great. Be as gay as you want. But just because YOU are gay does not mean the WORLD MUST ACCEPT that you are gay, therefore PLEASE don’t try and cry about “you don’t have the same rights as a heterosexual couple.” America was built on the Constitution and on a plethara of strong reglious beliefs. No where does it say that “Gays deserve certain rights because they like the same sex.” YOU as an American already HAVE God given rights that you use (and some of you abuse) all the time. There will be no special RIGHTS for you because of who you are. That is a bit silly.
    3) The only Thing that I ACTUALLY agree on is getting rid of “Don’t ask Don’t tell” . Being gay should not stop you from wanting to fight for your country. Seriously, and on that note, I think the Military is EXTREMLY wrong for refusing to enlist someone because of that. On that one, I hope Obama changes. BUT ONCE AGAIN, IT WILL TAKE time.

  • LORDY

    To-“Shaking your head-“–HONEY stop your little pea brain is simply rattling!!! Bush was majorly disrespected and he deserved it. No kid gloves for Obama b/c he is black!!! He talked the talk but is failing to walk the walk. The troop build-up in Afganistan is the theory that the Iraqis are tired of being murdered by US troops so now it is the Afghani peoples turn?? Address the lack of Habeus Corpus(STILL) in Guantanamo and our trying of children there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF——stop talking silly smack and address the subject @ hand.–you are a major dimwit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Yo “Shaking My Head”

    “1) If one more damn person compares this Struggle to the Afircan American Struggle, I think I’m going to scream. In no way, shape or form is this the same kind of struggle.”

    Go ahead and scream hater. Know why they’re the same? Because the strange fruit hanging from today’s trees are gay lesbian kids, disrespected by people like yourself, alongside black folks. Matthew Shepard and James Byrd were BOTH targeted for assassination.

    These two proud social justice movements aren’t the same, but they’re similar. Now get over your ignorant homophobia.

  • Robert

    I voted for Obama, and I plan to do so again. I am generally supportive of his policies and programs, so far.
    That said, the mentality of ‘don’t you dare criticize MY President!’ is, in my opinion, unfortunate and counterproductive. My best guess is that he’s waiting until after the midterm elections later this year, so as to minimize lost seats in Congress. But that could also justify waiting until his second term, so as to not jeopardize his re-election. Then he can put it off again, so as to not endanger the Democratic candidate to succeed him.

    Then it’s 2017, and we’re doing this all over again. Rather not, thanks all the same.

  • Brilliantly written.
    But they did it again last night in San Francisco at another fundrasing for Barbara Boxer.
    Boxer can’t be pleased. Instead of good things being reported about Boxer, all we here
    about are the protestors. Not only are they turning off Black voters by heckling the President during his they are hurting Boxer’s chances to get re-elected.

  • Kelly

    ‘No kid gloves for Obama b/c he is black!!! He talked the talk but is failing to walk the walk.’

    This is how the entire Democratic party is–empty promises for gays.

    Considering that I can be fired in my state for simply being gay I don’t care that some other group might be offended that I’m asking for the same rights on paper as everyone else. In fact, most of what I hear is that, as a gay person, I should shut up and sit down. Not going to happen. Haters, keep on hating.

  • Christian

    This is the same kind of action political activists have been staging, with successful results, for a hundred years. The only relevant difference between this protest and those of the suffragettes, and freedom riders, Civil Rights activists, and of the second-wave feminists is that you don’t think marriage (or the GLBT movement in general) is important.

    Please tell me what oppressed group fighting for justice, equality, and empowerment didn’t begin its journey believing and arguing that it was indeed “entitled” to those things?