I Was Right to Worry About Black Homophobia

| Sat Nov. 8, 2008 6:43 PM EST

Dan Savage savages black homophobia:

Seventy percent of African American voters approved Prop. 8, according to exit polls, compared to 53 percent of Latino voters, 49 percent of white voters, 49 percent of Asian voters.

I'm done pretending that the handful of racist gay white men out there—and they're out there, and I think they're scum—are a bigger problem for African Americans, gay and straight, than the huge numbers of homophobic African Americans are for gay Americans, whatever their color.

Leaving aside the question of whether or not there are only a "handful of racist gay white men" (and what of racist lesbians and non-white gays?) Dan, as usual, has the biggest pair out there. He's right to demand that blacks explain themselves on this issue.

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In a forthcoming essay for MoJo in print, I wrestle with the question of how Obama moves us into a harmonious racial future. One point my verbosity kept me from is the requirement that Obama force blacks to answer the question of whether "civil rights" means what it says or really just means "black rights". If we're gonna talk the talk, we gotta walk the walk and explain why homosexuals should have their civil rights abrogated and why we, "America's conscience," are leading the charge to deny them the right to marry.

I'm not saying the argument can't be made. I'm saying that blacks aren't being required to make it. So, here it is in simplest terms, black people: Why is discrimination against blacks based on skin color immoral, but discrimination against gays based on sexual orientation moral?

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