I Was Right to Worry About Black Homophobia

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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.

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?

We’re waiting…

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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