Blogosphere: Rod 2.0…Not One Black Gay/Lesbian Couple in “No on Prop 8” Ads. Why?

ROD 2.0

Despite questionable exit polling data, the mainstream media and its gay counterparts continue to blame black voters for the recent passage of Prop 8 in California—escalating tensions, prompting scuffles and racial epithets at street rallies  as well as thousands of  mean-spirited comments across the gay virtual community. While gay activists begin to debate the strategy executed by No on Prop 8, the obvious question arises:  How much outreach was done to the black community?

Very little. Jack and Jill Politics slams the racist talking points pushed by revisionist hack Andrew Sullivan and sex columnist Dan Savage.

I followed ‘No on 8′ through Andrew Sullivan’s blog. I clicked on every ad that he posted. I never saw ONE that was pointed towards the Black community. If ‘No on 8′ was serious about trying to address the Black community, they couldn’t come out with an ad with Black gay folks who wanted to get married? With Black gay folks who wanted to be married and had children? California’s a huge state, and they couldn’t find 2 Black homosexuals and 2 Black lesbians with children who could have made an ad?

No on 8’s lack of outreach to black voters is the subject of  a much-debated Los Angeles Times op-ed by Jasmyne Cannick. “No on 8’s White Bias” was the newspaper’s third most popular story emailed yesterday. Cannick says she “wasn’t inspired to encourage black people to vote against the proposition.”

The white gay community never successfully communicated to blacks why it should matter to us above everything else—not just to me as a lesbian but to blacks generally. The way I see it, the white gay community is banging its head against the glass ceiling of a room called equality, believing that a breakthrough on marriage will bestow on it parity with heterosexuals. But the right to marry does nothing to address the problems faced by both black gays and black straights. Does someone who is homeless or suffering from HIV but has no health care, or newly out of prison and unemployed, really benefit from the right to marry someone of the same sex.

Then there was the poorly conceived campaign strategy. Opponents of Proposition 8 relied on an outdated civil rights model, engaging the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People to help win black support on the issue of gay marriage. This happened despite the warnings of black lesbians and gays that it wouldn’t work. … Putting nearly a quarter of a million dollars into an outdated civil rights group that has very little influence on the black vote—at least when it comes to gay issues—will never work.

Likewise, holding the occasional town-hall meeting in Leimert Park—the one part of the black community where they now feel safe thanks to gentrification—to tell black people how to vote on something gay isn’t effective outreach either.

Cannick’s position on marriage may be different than yours or mine. But the fact remains there was very little outreach done to the black community that is now being blamed for its loss. There were no black gay or lesbian faces in television commercials. Black celebrities such as Mary J. Blige who could have raised awareness in Inglewood and obtained free tv news coverage … were deployed to pricey fundraisers in Beverly Hills. Few affirmative black clergy were recruited. Black celebs such as Danity Kane, Golden Brooks and Samuel L Jackson were buried in commercial rotation. The Magic Johnson robo-call urging blacks to vote NO was deployed only 48 hours before the election. Black gay bloggers—such as yours truly—were never contacted by No on 8, never included in any strategy, and, took it upon ourselves to raise money for the campaign.

Since the loss, the hurricane of racial finger-pointing, has outraged the entire black virtual community. Ernest Hardy, the influential LA Weekly and Flaunt film critic and author of Blood Beats Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, describes the “gay-ghettos of the blogosphere” as digital “KKK rallies” featuring “relentless, scaldingly racist recrimination and charges that Black folks are the most homophobic in America, the most backward, stupid and ignorant, undeserving even of the right to vote; the word ‘nigger’ has been freely bandied about on many of those sites, with ‘moderators’ absent at the wheel.”

To be fair, there is more than enough blame to go around. If anyone deserves special recognition for pushing the meme of blaming black voters, and refusing to recognize the lack of outreach to our community, that would be revisionist gay conservative and racial fetishist Andrew Sullivan, whom many progressive and gay bloggers insist upon viewing as their assignment editor. Sullivan once famously wrote “brothers were welcome.” We never realized how much.

No on 8’s White Bias [LAT]
Stop Scapegoating Black Folk on Prop 8 [JJP]
F–k Dan Savage [Ernest Hardy]

Did You Read …
N-Word Hurled at Blacks During Prop 8 Protest [R20]
OMG The Gays Are Trying To Get Gangsta With It [Cannick]
Prop. 8 Protesters Target Mormon Temple [LAT]
N-Bomb Is Dropped on Black Passerby [PHB]

WeHo Marriage Rally Attracts “Noah’s Arc” Stars [R20]
“Yes We Can” to “YES on 8”: Blacks Overwhelmingly Approve Prop 8 [R20]

Anti-Gay, Black Pastors Use Children for Prop 8 [R20]
Blige, Etheridge Raise $3.9M for No on Prop 8 [R20]
“Noah’s Arc” Cast Urges “No” on Proposition 8 [R20]
“Noah’s Arc” Actor Doug Spearman, Black Ministers Urge “NO” on Prop 8 [R20]
SCLC Leader Criticizes Anti-Gay, Black Pastors [R20]

The Court of Public Opinion

  • The Smartest Man in the World

    It pains me to state the obvious: If a group of people call themselves a minority group just b/c they like having sex, or are attracted to a certain kind of person, i.e. the same sex, that group is “SHALLOW” by definition. Gays are “shallow” b/c they have chosen to create a political movement based on physical attraction! So ask yourself, what is their standard of physical attraction?…one need only look at the images they promote to understand what their standard of beauty is…young, suburban, mainstream etc. I won’t insult anyone’s intelligence by further stating the racial component of what the Gay Movement wants us to believe is Appollian beauty. There is no political movement that calls itself the Heterosexual Movement…b/c it would be “uncivilized” to do so, to categorize oneself according to what kind of sex one has. So even if the heterosexual community is prejudice, at least they don’t believe themselves to be special interest group. I want to protect gay civil rights, but seeing a bunch of Birkenstock Lacoste-wearing suburbanites comparing their plight to black folks and using the Bible to do so is insults my intelligence. Ask yourself, why did the gay community target the Episcopal Church for inclusion, and NOT the Baptist Church, Evangelical, or Nondenominational, or Southern Baptist Church, etc? They targeted the church they perceived as the most “Tasteful” and “Classy” church b/c it was never about faith, but about taste and style! And now they want to legally adopt little black boys and raise them…disgusting and unacceptable. If the black community voted Yes on Prop 8, they did so b/c they realze what I’ve been writing is true.

  • The Smartest One

    It pains me to state the obvious: If a group of people call themselves a minority group just b/c they like having sex, or are attracted to a certain kind of person, i.e. the same sex, that group is “SHALLOW” by definition. Gays are “shallow” b/c they have chosen to create a political movement based on physical attraction! So ask yourself, what is their standard of physical attraction?…one need only look at the images they promote to understand what their standard of beauty is…young, suburban, mainstream etc. I won’t insult anyone’s intelligence by further stating the racial component of what the Gay Movement wants us to believe is Appollian beauty. There is no political movement that calls itself the Heterosexual Movement…b/c it would be “uncivilized” to do so, to categorize oneself according to what kind of sex one has. So even if the heterosexual community is prejudice, at least they don’t believe themselves to be special interest group. I want to protect gay civil rights, but seeing a bunch of Birkenstock Lacoste-wearing suburbanites comparing their plight to black folks and using the Bible to do so is insults my intelligence. Ask yourself, why did the gay community target the Episcopal Church for inclusion, and NOT the Baptist Church, Evangelical, or Nondenominational, or Southern Baptist Church, etc? They targeted the church they perceived as the most “Tasteful” and “Classy” church b/c it was never about faith, but about taste and style! And now they want to legally adopt little black boys and raise them…disgusting and unacceptable. If the black community voted Yes on Prop 8, they did so b/c they know what I’ve been writing is true.

  • Philo

    I saw the videos that were aimed at the black community for No on 8 on their web page, along with videos aimed at other communities of color. They were kind of hard to find but they were there. I never saw them on TV. Maybe the message was getting out, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe there wasn’t enough funding. As for the couples though, I don’t know that I saw any – if so very few. I think the No on 8 campaign suffered from its own internalized homophobia. Politicians and celebrities and clergy said vote no on 8, but we really didn’t see people who would be directly affected. We heard from their parents, but not them. It was strange. Can you imagine if nothing but liberal white people politely appeared in commercials urging voters to support the black civil rights movement? I get their fear-based motivational subtext, but not letting voters hear from real people who would lose their marriage and the countless legal privileges associated with it may have been a mistake.

    It doesn’t pain me to also state the obvious, that the self pro-claimed “Smartest Man in The World” isn’t. His shallow view of an entire community can only see the sex. He’s missing all the love, all the love that’s worth fighting for, worth losing friends friends and family for, he’s blind to the love, the years and decades of devotion and families. And sex and attraction didn’t create a political movement, being beaten and arrested routinely in their own bars created a political movement. Discrimination and ignorance and intolerance did. There’s no Heterosexual Movement because heterosexuals have the power, class and privilege. Why isn’t there a Men’s Rights Movement – oh that’s right, women still make less per hour statistically even today. Movements happen because people don’t have the same rights, uhm, dumbass. And yeah, it’s probably easier to be intolerant of rich white suburbanite gays comparing themselves to blacks, then a poor black lesbian couple living in the hood that’s been together for thirty years (who should have had their own ad).

    Prop 8 was and is very scary in a country where everyone should be treated equally under the law, everyone. I was baptized in a Baptist church, but I don’t care what church you go to or if you go at all. We need to wake up. Maybe you don’t remember when Californians passed Proposition 14 in 1964 to nullify the state law against racial discrimination in home sales and renting. It’s the same thing. Perhaps you’ve forgotten all about Proposition 21 in 1972 when Californians voted to roll back school desegregation measures including busing. And actually, Prop 8 was worse because it wrote the discrimination directly into the California State Constitution. When the rights of any group are put up to a simple majority vote it’s another sad day in California history – and a scary one. Cause if they can change our Constitutional protections this time, where will it stop?