Okay, so I finally got around to reading this article in response to my position on gay marriage in California and the lack of melanin in the coverage of said marriages written by James Kirchick (who I have never heard of before in my life). After reading James article, “Gay Marriage Isn’t Racist,” I want to thank James for proving that reading is not only fundamental for Blacks but for whites as well.
James starts off his piece by stating that I may not admit it but marriage equality benefits all gays and lesbians.
In actuality, I have admitted that point on several occasions, once juxtaposing it up against the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement where the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. benefited all Blacks, even the ones that were actively working against him.
If James had taken my advice and stepped out of his “whiteness” long enough to understand the point I was trying to make, he might have noticed that in the second paragraph of my article, I said this:
I agree with the basic principle that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry each other. The way I see it, as long as we’re being taxed like everyone else in this country, we should be extended the same benefits, rights, and privileges as everyone else. That has never changed for me.
James continues his article by taking a page from the Republican’s playbook by labeling me as the angry Black woman.
Yo Michelle, you got company.
He accused my opinion piece of being fact-free. My opinion piece. Opinion.
It seems that James took issue with my reference to white gay America’s ‘superiority complex.’ He writes:
“The gay marriage struggle is the perfect example of white gay America’s ‘superiority complex’ in action,” Cannick writes. How so? She never fully explains. In California and Massachusetts, any gay person can get married, regardless of skin color. If black gays are not taking advantage of their newfound right — and Cannick never bothers to do any research to discover if this is actually the case — there is probably an underlying social explanation. My hunch, however, is that white people are not behind it.
Okay, so first James doesn’t know WTF I’ve done in the way of research but I know what he hasn’t done just from this one graph alone, and that’s read my piece.
He then says:
Again, without any evidence, Cannick claims that the gay marriage movement “has been about obtaining marriage for the white gay men and lesbian women who were also willing to fund it. Bottom line. Everyone else has just been along for the ride.” Cannick is correct in asserting that she has “been along for the ride.” Except she leaves out that it’s been a free ride. As a lesbian (er, “same-gender-loving person”), she has benefited enormously from the struggle for gay marriage (even if she chooses not to take advantage of it) all the while not only failing to contribute an ounce of effort to the cause but assailing it all the way.
It’s at this point that I’ll have to redirect you to my earlier comment of having admitted on several occasions that gay marriage benefits all lesbians and gays who can take advantage of it. Again, I never denied that and had James (er, the white gay guy) taken the time to step out of his whiteness as I politely asked him to do in the beginning, he might not have missed that point.
Furthermore, James’ doesn’t know WTF efforts I have contributed to fight for marriage equality apparently. I thought I made it perfectly clear that in the beginning when I got involved in this gay civil rights business I put marriage above everything else. I put it above poverty, immigration, social security, the prison industrial complex, universal health care, etc. For me, that was a mistake and one I quickly corrected once I got a clear understanding of how the game was being played.
James follows this up with what in my opinion just proves my point about the gay civil rights movement being about one thing, marriage:
When not decrying gay marriage as a white conspiracy, Cannick minimizes its importance. “Almost everyone I know,” she writes, “is concerned with the economy, the price of gasoline, unemployment, whether or nor they can pay their mortgage. … Plainly put, regardless of sexual orientation or citizenship, most people are more concerned with those domestic bread-and-butter issues … except for within the gay civil rights movement, where it has been full speed ahead on marriage.” Well, duh. The purpose of the “gay civil rights movement” is to lobby for gay civil rights. Does she expect gay activists to protest the “price of gasoline”?
Let me answer that for you James, yes I do. I expect for any civil rights movement that claims to represent me to fight for issues that affect their entire constituency. For me, that would include the economy, universal heath care insurance, poverty, and more.
While criticizing the supposed selfishness of white gay people, it is Cannick’s complaints that are the epitome of myopia. She views everything through the prism of race.
You god damned right I view everything through the prism of my race, just like you view everything through your privilege—I’m sorry, er– the prism of your race. Only a selfish self centered arrogant asshole would assert that the gay civil rights movement should not be focused on anything other than marriage. How’s that for the angry Black girl?
Only two years ago she penned a piece for The Advocate titled “Gays First, Then Illegals.” Talk about going to the back of the bus. Parroting the language of the most extreme anti-immigration activists with her use of the word “illegals,” she declared then that “Immigration reform needs to get in line behind the LGBT civil rights movement.” Cannick today complains that “Blacks and Latinos are often successfully played against each other.” Does she not realize her own role, however small, in creating such antagonism?
Why yes I do James. Again, reading is fundamental. I thought I clearly articulated my role in that with the following statement:
Coming into it a bit naïve, I bought into the gay rights movement without giving it a second thought. That marriage was the end-all and above all other struggles. But it didn’t take too long for me to figure out what was going on and how.
And even though Blacks and Latinos are often successfully played against each other, when you get down to it, they are both fighting for the same thing, a way to provide for their families. Which is not to say that gays aren’t using marriage to do the same, but these days I’m more interested in fighting for health care for all people regardless of marital status. Capisce?
At the time, I wrote that article, I wasn’t looking at the bigger picture. I hadn’t traveled to Sierra Leone and spent time in conditions that mirror the living situation for many around the world. I also hadn’t come to the conclusion that the white gay majority, or gay mafia as I affectionately refer to them, is never going to get “it.” The “it” being that gay marriage isn’t the only issue that warrants our attention.
I am not above admitting that I made a mistake in how I prioritized the issues at the time. I’d be more embarrassed if today I still looked at life that way.
Thank you, but try again.
James then goes on to make a lame ass attempt at defending the usurping of the Black civil rights language by the gay civil rights movement with the basic analogy that other Blacks have made the same comparison. Blah blah blah.
You ain’t Black and it is extremely problematic when people like you make that comparison for Black people who see gays as being nothing more rich white folks in West Hollywood that got Isaiah Washington fired from “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Now while I will admit that analogy isn’t completely true, there are poor white gays and gays that don’t live in West Hollywood, it’s what we’ve been constantly fed by the media. Those are the images that Black people see in the news that help to shape their opinion.
Now onto what really shows how much of a racist this James Kirchick is and how out of touch he is with all things not white.
In her use of the silly euphemism “same-gender-loving” to describe black homosexuals, Cannick attempts to divide gay blacks from everyone else.
Ya know, I’ll just say this about that. First, no white man is going to tell me how I can and cannot label myself. Those days are over.
I could go on responding to his so-called rebuttal, but it’s late and I’m tired.
James obviously doesn’t get it and won’t get it. It’s very clear to me that he is part of the problem. Basically, his privilege won’t let him look at gay marriage any other way but the white way, er-what I meant was that he can’t look at the issue any other way than what he feels is the right way.
His article was a lame ass attempt at a response to my initial piece and basically just proved my original point that the gay civil rights movement is about marriage for men like him and everyone else is just along for the ride. People like him need to learn that there are other issues that warrant the support and attention of the gay community, issues that affect the gay community just as much, single or married, issues that could be used as bridges to connect with the same minority communities being lobbied by conservatives to fight against gay marriage.
Whatever rock this James Kirchick crawled out from under, I certainly hope he makes a speedy return back to it.
But not before he responds to one last thing for me.
James—tell me how my ass tastes.
Now run and go tell that.