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21 Nov 2008

Black homophobia, gay and lesbian racism

Are black people homophobic? Are gays and lesbians racist? Shinen Wong weighs in on the debate as African American voters are blamed for the passage of Prop 8 which has effectively banned same-sex marriage in California.

We all live in a myriad of identities, wound up tightly within our sense of ourselves, giving meaning to who we are. I am 24 years old, male, Chinese, Malaysian, Asian, Gay, Queer, College educated, Buddhist, from a Middle Class background, and a writer. All of these identities make sense depending on who is asking. I am racially "Chinese" in Singapore, "Oriental" in the UK, "East Asian" in America, and "tngrn" (唐人) in China. At the age of 24, I am an adult to most 15-year-olds, and a youth to most 40-year-olds. All of these identities are highly contingent on what they are being compared against, and the context in which they may find themselves especially relevant (or not).

A No On 8 protester at the San Francisco Protest on Nov 15, 2008. Click for more photos.
Yet, none of my identities can exist apart from one another. My being Chinese alone is meaningless. I am not only Chinese, I grew up in Singapore in the late 20th century, speaking English at home and taught all my major subjects in school in English. I have lived as an immigrant my whole life (being a Malaysian citizen growing up in Singapore), and I was part of a racial majority in Singapore. My parents are of Hakka, Cantonese, and Hokkien background, and spoke Bahasa Melayu growing up in Malaysia. All this affects how I live as a Chinese person in today's world. I only superficially share the same Chinese identity as people from China, or Chinese Americans, or Chinese people growing up in the UK or in South Africa, or Chinese people who speak Hainanese at home, or Chinese people from the Tang Dynasty. And yet, all of us can claim to share a rich cultural heritage of being Chinese, even if we effectively have less in common to carry on a conversation with each other than I would have with my gay Caucasian roommate here in Sydney.

The same is true for the other identities I have listed. How can my experience of being gay possibly be the same as a 50-year-old Jewish man growing up post-war Germany? And yet, we may both call ourselves gay, though the root definition of the word remains only a flimsy description of who we are in our totality. It is helpful and perhaps even necessary to identify similarly, to a point, until our differences start to override our similarities, and we will have to come to terms with and reconcile ourselves in our differences in order to make meaning out of our interactions with each other.

Nevertheless, most of us have an intuitive understanding of what it means to belong to such and such identity group, whether it be about sex, gender, national identity, racial/ethnic identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and so on. In other words, we understand that having an identity means understanding that there are unspoken rules and definitions of what it means to belong, and we either fit or do not fit these definitions. Most of us on fridae.com have heard the idea that lesbians are all angry man-hating feminists, or that gay men are furniture-rearranging flamboyant narcissists, or that Asian men are submissive and white men are lecherous, and so on. Some of us may fit these descriptions to some extent, while some of us do not. And yet it remains, that one image of a group starts to dominate what it means to be part of the group at all. This is what it means to "stereotype" a community.

Stereotypes may have a basis in statistical truth. At the very least, they have a basis on what images of who we are get to dominate the discussion of who we are in the media, our classrooms, conversations with our friends, or at home with our families.

One of the interesting things about this recent debate about disproportionately high rates of African American voters (70 percent) voting YES on Proposition 8 (which has effectively banned same sex marriage in the state of California), is that it unfairly places the burden of responsibility for social justice activism on a single race group, and has unnecessarily bolstered the racism that characterises a lot of American LGBT politics. African Americans, in their experience of legendary American racism, are suddenly expected to just be more educated about ALL forms of oppression, as if black folks are intrinsically just predisposed to greater moral understanding of all oppression, what has been called a "presumption of civic obligation to support other liberal causes." This expectation and presumption has been called "exceptionalism."

The truth, as any of us will know coming from marginalised communities ourselves, is far more complex. Many of us know that gays and lesbians are disproportionately more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, or to commit suicide, and yet we would abhor if our sexuality was directly correlated with drugs, alcohol, and suicide by straight people. This mentality would lend support to the stereotype of gay people as mentally unstable, because we are gay. For many straight folks, our homosexuality alone is the reason for mental instability. We know better, of course. We understand that the root causes of our community's abuse of drugs and alcohol and mental instability is NOT related to our homosexuality per se, but instead to our oppression, society's lack of acceptance of us, isolation, and a lack of social support.

Similarly, when African American folks suddenly become the target of blame for the passing of Prop 8, one must wonder, what are the root causes of black homophobia? Is it that black people are just inherently more homophobic than any other racial group? Or could it be that society at large, including the wider LGBT movement, has inadequately addressed the concerns that African Americans disproportionately face? For example, racism in education and a corrupt prison industrial complex that incarcerates African American males at rates far higher than comparable crimes by Caucasian American men? If the No on Prop 8 campaign was to significantly send its message across to African American communities, how could this have been better achieved?

One of the banes of the gay and lesbian movement, particularly in the fight against Prop 8, has been to target and demonise Christianity as the root of all homophobia. And yet, this is ultimately a very myopic move for our liberation. Christianity and religious revivalism in America has historically also been the very tool that has vitalised a cohesive African American identity. In other words, when we speak ill of Christianity because of its contemporaries' treatment of homosexuality, we indirectly speak ill of the very religion and spirituality that has been a symbol of many African American people's freedom from literal bondage.

If it is true that Christianity has played a significant part in creating and sustaining all American homophobia (regardless of race), and I am not denying that it has, we must NOT deny that this religion has also brought an IMMENSE amount of relief from suffering, and in fact has helped catalyse monumental changes for historically disenfranchised groups in America as well, including and especially African Americans. This, of course, is not enough. Christianity needs to be reformed if we are to make significant changes in a majority of people's mindsets about homosexuality. And yet, this reform cannot come in the form of a blanket condemnation or even a blindness to the libratory potential that this complex religion has had for entire communities of people including gays and lesbians.

Since the release of information on African American voting patterns regarding Prop 8, there have circulated reports from African American individuals about having been harassed and called racist names by white gays and lesbians. If black people are homophobic, doesn't this equally mean that gays and lesbians are racist? My argument is neither yes nor no, but that to answer this question would be redundant. There are, after all, black gays and lesbians, who are no less black or gay or lesbian than any other black person or gay/lesbian person.

Basically, racism is racism, whether from gays or straights, though as gay Asians, we may experience racism from our gay community differently than from a straight community. Similarly, homophobia is homophobia, and has multiple causes, of which race is but one, and possibly not even the most significant one. It is tempting to think that black people or Asian people or Hispanic people are more homophobic than white people, but this is a misleading charge, even when backed by supposed statistical evidence. Evidently, "we," as non-black gays and lesbians, are prepared to experience homophobia differently from African American voters than from white Mormons. We need to address our community's racism.

As Audre Lorde, a famous African American lesbian feminist has written, "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house." Not all black people are homophobic, not all Christianity is homophobic, and certainly not all gays and lesbians are racist. If "we," as gays and lesbians, are to request other people's understanding of who we are and why we deserve our needs to be met, we cannot fight homophobia with racism and religious intolerance. We cannot become blind to the cycles of poverty that disproportionately impact communities of colour in the USA. We cannot combat fundamentalist religious dogma with our own brand of violent and anti-spiritual atheism. We cannot close our ears to the needs of people who may have closed their ears to ours.

Malaysia-born and Singapore-bred Shinen Wong is currently getting settled in Sydney, Australia after moving from the United States, having attended college in Hanover, New Hampshire, and working in San Francisco for a year after. In this new fortnightly "Been Queer. Done That" column, Wong will explore gender, sexuality, and queer cultures based on personal anecdotes, sweeping generalisations and his incomprehensible libido.

Reader's Comments

1. 2008-11-21 18:30  
It's naturally a mistake to blame the black community for anything related to prop 8.
Let me state this clear: it's unacceptable to be gay and a racist. And i believe it's unacceptable for anyone in a minority to discriminate against another one.
Does a black homophobe give me any more disgust than a white or asian one?nah, it doesn't.
Homophobes are homophobes, and that means it doesn't matter their skin colour or their religious affiliation. If their homophobia is irrational, we shouldn't try to link it to any other particular factors, unless u expect to find some coherence in their thinking. And they're famous for lacking it.

It's wrong to blame it on christianity as a whole as well. That's the same as blaming social problems on democracy itself.
Blame institutionalized religion instead: blame the higher-ups in those institutions, blame people who kept making public appearances for discrimination, blame people who have been doing a career through bigotry.

Those are the ones to blame. and many are in christian institutions, but blame them specifically.
I'm not a christian, but as far as i know, most religions convey the same. The problem is when specific people start using issues for their own purposes and pollute what should be a positive message.
2. 2008-11-21 19:12  
What Mr Wong calls "fundamentalist religious dogma" is what 90% of the world population believes in i.e. a marriage between a man and a woman (let's presume, we, Gays/Lesbians represent 10%). Prop 8 went through because it used the word 'marriage', had it used ' Civil Partnership' instead, and requesting the same rights under the laws as in an heterosexual marriage, Prop 8 would have failed to pass as it did.
Gays in some European countries have the same rights (and obligations) as heterosexual couples married or unmarried living together under the laws -Social Security, joint income-tax declaration and rebates, insurances, travels, credit cards, bank accounts- but it was obtained because the word 'marriage' was not used.
Unless all religions disappear in one day, all priests and their consorts turn into thin air, that is the way it is and will be. Get used to it,
And don't blame it on Black Americans, they paid for their freedom a price dear enough.

On the sublject of 'are gays and lesbians racist?' : Bears don't shit in the woods !!!

33longchamp
3. 2008-11-21 20:13  
racism is evrywhere and doesnt stop at a gay or lesbian person... I have met enough ultra racist gays/les in Asia, as wel as anywhere else...
4. 2008-11-21 21:43  
It's an interesting and compassionate article. We can't generalise about the attitudes of a particular group, and discriminated minority groups should find it easier to empathise with eachother than the general population would. Who could disagree.

On the issue of homophobia in religion: if certain religious extremists go around as they do apparently declaring war on gays (e.g. the pastor of COOS Singapore " this is a war", or words to that effect, audio published on the internet); other Singaporean pastors characterise gays as "perverts"; the Pope interferes in politics in various countries to prevent civil partnerships (allegedly threatening catholic politicians with dire consequences if they don't toe the line) and starts arbitrarily dismissing gay-oriented or even gay friendly priests; or at grass roots level, if South London Baptists surround my dying, profoundly good buddhist friend in his wheelchair and chant at him that he's going to hell and have a fist fight with his partner; then at some stage there is bound to be a backlash against religion, and people will increasingly see it as an intolerant, destructive and divisive influence.

It's true, religion can be an immense joy and relief from suffering; but it can also be the complete opposite. Sadly many supposed Christians lose sight of the message of love and understanding that I was raised from a very young age to believe was the central tenet of Christianity, and instead they concentrate on judging and controlling their fellow man in accordance with their own prejudices, to the extent of passing laws against them to prevent them having a loving relationship.

Obviously these people are not representative of all who belong to their religion, denomination or sect. But moderate, reasonable and good Christians such as the Archbishop of Canterbury are increasingly under attack by the religious extremists. If the moderates in their midst don't stand up to them, things will polarise further and I suspect there will be a major backlash against religion generally.

5. 2008-11-21 22:32  
The correct term used should be bias not racism. The "blame game" being played here is part of the reason for passage of prop 8, lack of an all inclusive game plan in fighting the religious groups. More importantly the black vote by it's population was not enough to promote the passage of prop 8 alone. Given the large asian/pacific islander & latino's in california and there overwhelming catholic, the blame can't be placed on their shoulders alone. The mormon church has few african american members which promoted prop 8 with a huge funding drive. The church was once threatened with revocation of it's tax exemption in the 70's for it's institutionalized racism. Divisive politics will never serve any community. WE ALL BEAR THE BLAME AND RESPONSIBILITY TO FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS
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7. 2008-11-21 23:46  
I live in a muslim country which discriminalise homosexual the most...they r homophobic yes they r..and more importantly they r making use of religion to fullfill their desire of stopping us to live the live we want...racism cant be related to homophobic...all they need to know is even if may we really go to hell thats our business...we dont hav to make our live miserable bcos of their statement n them
Im a christian n hav read bible...nothing mention abt homosexuals wil go to hell...n the topics related to it r so few...from that i conclude the conclusion of homosexual people wil go to hell is from homophobic people n people who r convinced...
We all should b proud of ourselves..good luck to u all...hope u all wil get the happiness that u all deserved
8. 2008-11-22 01:31  
All of us are not completely PC or spin our reasoning in complete intellectual arguments. I was bitter when the racial breakdown of the vote came out. A bit heartened that the Asian community narrowly supported us, especially given my time in Asia and interaction with the community in SF.

That said the continued support of the leader of the California NAACP in our struggle and the incredibly moving speech of Rev. Amos Brown at the Prop 8 protest has moved me to think of it as an issue of community outreach with the minority groups. When the leaders work with us, there is something that we can do no matter how uphill the battle. I do not share the same feelings for the Religious Right and especially the Mormons, whos leaders led the charge against us and trampling our whole concept of what a constitution should be.
9. 2008-11-22 03:08  
well written article! :)
10. 2008-11-22 09:19  
As a Thai/African/Milato Gay American Male who has lived in San Francisco off and on for more than 25 years, it saddens me to say that racial indifference is alive and well...even in san francisco.

I have experienced that indifference from the LGBT Asian and Latino communities for being a mixed African American and from the African American community for being a mixed Gay male.

I was moved by this well written article from Shinen Wong. It gives me hope that people are starting to open their eyes and hopefully their hearts.
11. 2008-11-22 10:13  
Shinen, you said:

"...One of the banes of the gay and lesbian movement, particularly in the fight against Prop 8, has been to target and demonise Christianity as the root of all homophobia..."

I don't think the movement has "targeted and demonised Christianity".

The problem has been that practically all opposition to gay liberation from homophobes has been based on mindless references to the Bible and "God's word". Their opposition has all been about what their God apparently told them. Or told someone somewhere at some point of time. Or something vague like that.

These hate-mongering Christians believe they hold a PATENT on God; theirs is the "REAL GOD", other faiths follow "FALSE GODS", and so on.

They seem to believe that their ideas regarding "God's word" are necessarily binding on others, even on those who don't believe in this particular brand of God.

Of course the same problem exists in Islamic societies too, with muslims being equally pigheaded with their own PATENTED brand of God.

This is a very serious problem indeed; it cannot be wished away just by pretending it doesn't exist. These are the very people who have in the past, burnt alive scientists for refuting their "God's word" of the earth being the centre of the universe. If they aren't resorting to burning people today, it is probably only because of fear of the law.

Questioning their nonsensical arguments is not "targeting and demonising their religion".

As for black people being against legalising gay unions, it's probably to do with the way they've been brought up. When it comes to religion, these black christians are similar in thinking to "conservative white christians". Lacking in education and exposure, they mindlessly follow the same beliefs that many whites followed a hundred years ago.

Also, as we all know, it's the new member that's the most committed. There seems to be a psychological pressure on any newcomer into a community to prove that he's worthy of that community, and he does that by being overly enthusiastic in following the tenets of the community. The Asian, when westernised, became "more western than the westerners". Similarly, when these blacks were converted to Christianity, as the "new members" they became "more Christian than the Christians". Hopefully such problems will start to disappear once blacks start going to school and getting themselves some REAL education.
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13. 2008-11-22 12:25  
The more we care about others, the more they will care about us? *sigh*

Shinen's column is growing on me if for no other reason that it reminds me of what it is like to be 24.

Your best effort to date Shinen. And btw, you should tell the webmaster to make the name of your column VISIBLE in big letters at the top. If you're going to be the next Carrie Bradshaw, it helps to have a soundbite we can remember.
14. 2008-11-22 15:31  
Another good article Shinen, perhaps even better because you avoided 'sweeping generalisations' this week. You warn us in your profile that you will use sweeping generalisations so we shouldn't complain when you do. I am surprised that you didn't allude to the word 'marriage' maybe being a problem, it was left to another reader to do that, and I have to agree with him. Like you I fit into a number of groupings, one of which differs from you insomuch as I am Christian. However, I am getting closer and closer to renouncing because of their narrowmindedness and maybe aligning myself more with Buddha. Buddhism is much more 'all embracing' than modern Christianity. I don't blame the African Americans as a group, though it could well be that they have been brainwashed by people who have no right to call themselves Christian, I think the wording of Pro8 is the major reason for its passage. I am not particularly in favour of gay marriage, though I wouldn't ever vote against it but I do believe we are more likely going to gain success if we campaign for Civil Partnerships, instead.
Shinen, I am pleased to note that there are less negative coments this week and urge you not to become disillusioned and continue to keep us amused every fortnight- and don't change, I like your writings the way they are.
15. 2008-11-22 19:06  
"Our's"!?
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18. 2008-11-23 14:22  
The article is very enlightening. I do agree except : "We understand that the root causes of our community's abuse of drugs and alcohol and mental instability is NOT related to our homosexuality per se, but instead to our oppression, society's lack of acceptance of us, isolation, and a lack of social support." This is just an excuse. Who are we kidding to believe that the problem will not escalate but go away when we are recognised by the mainstream.

Other than militant demands and a display of products from the butchers' store (lots of flesh)like Mardi Gra, so far we have not done much activities to be part of mainstream society. Great thinkers/leaders fight a war with strategies, using mainly diplomacy. Our problem is that there are too many scantily dressed Queens trying leading us.

Basically we need a good charismatic leader who can mobilise us and make the change.
19. 2008-11-23 14:36  
post #14 is right. To continue moving toward equal rights for all PLU's, we need good leaders.
20. 2008-11-23 21:38  
Exactly what 'freedom' has Christianity, or any religion, provided from suffering? From St. Paul and Thomas Aquinas to the Ayatollahs and the Papacy, religion has been the biggest obstacle facing genuine social reformers (with the exception of certain libertarian faiths such as Quakerism). The passing of Prop 8 had little to do with race, and everything to do with religion. Stop tiptoeing around the issue.
21. 2008-11-24 00:25  
What about BLACK TEEN pregnancies? Unwed mothers, kids from different males?

It's a HUGE AND BLATANT HYPOCRISY for Churches that speak out against GAYS
but not

into STRAIGHT divorces, infidelities, immoralities etc.

All RELIGIONS must stay out of politics and should not legislate LAWS on general publics that will support their BIAS views and discriminate minorities who don't share those views and dogmas.

Let GAYS get married and stay faithful and committed to our partners.

That's it what we ask ...........

Religious people may DISAGREE and we're fine with it. But disagreements should not lead to DISCRIMINATION justification at all.

anyway PEOPLE of faiths disagree among themselves

different religions, cults and sects

and often hurt and kill those who oppose to them.......

Sad, really........ sad............

Loving God they say and preach, but hateful and intolerance acts they do....
22. 2008-11-24 10:07  
Hey, this is a good article and written by a smart guy, but as an American I think the Prop 8 issue is rooted in the outcome that simply not enough straight people voted against it. Did anyone see the advertisements on TV supporting the gay communities stance on Prop 8? Yuck, they were enough to alienate so many people. With all that cash, couldn't they deploy JWT or Bates or someone who could devise a clear message so straight people would know that gay marrage will do know harm! The good news is it only lost by 4% and next time around the young demographics move into the voting threshold and change it in due time. But the community needs to regroup and spend its money more wisely and fine tune its message and yes get more straight friends to support us.
23. 2008-11-24 10:42  
nice article shinen.

i feel we need more light shone on Asian-African-Latin cross-race-relations and cross-faith issues within the gay community. There is more journalistic work to uncover outside the heavily covered North American and European world.

Some call this 'Asia's Century', and if thats the case we as a community need to become more aware of such topics to be more socially responsible people.

I understand the problem of religion (particularly the Church) and state. In the Philippines for instance, its the 12th largest population and currently the 5th largest English speaking country - both state and church are denying people the right to use modern contraceptives as this goes against the pro-life viewpoint of the Roman Catholic church. We take that for granted don't we? Despite 90% of people being Roman Catholic however, gays have been somewhat accepted in Philippine society, even a transexual being portrayed as a hero in the Japanese occupation era film 'Ai Shite Imasu' ('Mahal Kita', 1941). So yes, religion does have a major role in our societies, but not all who have a religion are against the LGBT community. I have a Muslim Malay-Malaysian friend who accepts me for who I am and all I do.
24. 2008-11-24 13:36  
i like how your articles are informed by critical and cultural theory (and then some). Hope to read more from you.
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27. 2008-11-24 14:02  
A thoughtful and intelligent article. Thank you! I've been reading Black LGBT blogs (primarily Pam's House Blend http://www.pamshouseblend.com/ ) and this is a major ongoing topic of conversation. It's nice to get an gay Asian (Chinese, Malaysian, ...) perspective as well. I am fully in agreement that homophobia cannot be fought with racism or being anti-religion.

By the way, there's a pretty good chance that the 70% figure for Blacks voting yes on 8 is flawed (not that it would make racism OK if it weren't flawed) and in any case the Black vote was not large enough to change the Prop 8 results unless they had unexpectedly voted 100% against Prop 8 (and likely not even then).

Re post #2, legally CA gays have nearly all the rights of marriage, including adoption, under what CA calls "Domestic Partners," so essentially we already have Civil Unions by another name. The freakout was specifically over use of the "marriage" name.
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30. 2008-11-24 14:10  

yes... pure fanciful theory and the writer like most 'queer' identifying homosexuals totally self absorbed....that said I will add, Proposition 8 may well have passed due to homosexual activists them selves being totally ineffective in drumming up heterosexual support, I was watching video and pic reportage on an anti Gay Christian web site and they caught the ugly side of the self described 'queer' lobby opposing them & turned this squalid imagery back on them most effectively, lets face it the 'queering' of the gay world is a tactical failure it was doomed from the beginning but the professional victim one dimensional self termed 'queer' whacko far left ran with it and the result is in Australia and in the USA it is backfiring magnificently, being scungy queers is not is not a vote winner for us, the so called activists responsible for the proposition 8 success must take the blame squarely on their own shoulders much as the Republicans must for their election loss, failure is failure and being demands looking to new strategies to win over the vote deciding general populace, being an unnecessarily confrontationist self marginalizing queer will not do this stupid's, seriously time to grow up and out of it folks, queer is soooo last century and 'unglamorous' once gay men aspired to the heights of life and many against all the seeming odd succeeded now they seem to only want to be 'pigs' bending over in seedy sex clubs taking the pox up the back passage how ever we don't all live our lives as if on the film set of a Divine movie and some of us want to represent what is truly enobling about being Gay..
31. 2008-11-24 14:32  
very long but very well thought out -- as an older gay african american, i wonder about the number of blacks who voted; usually we're cited as being about 14% of the population so that even if 70% voted against gay marriage, i have to ask about the hispanic and white voting blocs with greater numbers and larger percentages voting -- i would surmise without knowing either that the proposition was killed not by blacks voting against it (smaller population percentage and numbers) but because greater numbers of whites and hispanics, with larger voting percentages, voted against it -- who has the numbers to bear this out or refute it?
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38. 2008-11-24 17:14  
Post #22 aztlan_oz , we need more people like you in the community. I am also very glad that Post #15 caesar2003 shared the same view.

The blacks have Martin Luther King. South Africa has Nelson Mandela. If we want to make a change, we must have a cause worth fighting for. ILGA is too brainless to be representing us. And continuous shouting of homophobia, religious bigotry etc etc only push us further away from our goals. And we cannot blame them because majority of us behave and think like freaks. We need a role model and a leader to lead us all ....Alexander The Great calibre..... who knows, one day, UN might give us a piece of land and we have a nation to call our own, just like what they did for you know which country.

I do believe in miracles. You will when you believe .... :)
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40. 2008-11-24 17:33  
On racism, it is very subjective. I like East and South East Asian sexually, and when I turn down people of other race, they label me as racist..... deep in my heart I know I am not, because I have good friends who are from other races.

It is very easy for gays to be confused between sexual preference and racism.
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42. 2008-11-24 17:45  
Post #1 Blueblond summed it up best with his contribution, specifically:

"The problem is when specific people start using issues for their own purposes and pollute what should be a positive message". Bravo!!

Btw great article Shinen!
Keep up the good work!! ;)))
I for one have observed that in the lesbian scene to have a white gf is almost seen as the 'ideal' for many lesbians; if not then the 'next best thing' would be a Eurasian girl. Sorry if I caused any offense by my posting; perhaps my observation's just superfical. But that is exactly what I've witnessed...& experienced.

O, btw @ aztlan_oz- I totally get yr point, but it's totally pointless & counterproductive fighting bitterness with bile, if you get what I mean ;)))
And besides, being a Christian does not automatically mean one supports anti-gay laws.
Google "Thio Li-Ann 377A - 1 "- amidst the usual mindless commentaries,one individual "mattlim" contributed something really useful:

" God and politics DO NOT MIX and this is coming from a Christian who is a liberal, believes in evolution, and supports gay rights. Dont u even dare start quoting me scriptures on adam and eve. I'm not saying let these gay ppl parade on the streets or make out where ever they want. Just let them live quiet and peaceful lives. If they want to do anything in the private of their own rooms and NOT PUBLIC, so be it. The govt has no business in their homes."

So, as Shinen highlighted very clearly in his article, nothing is ever totally in black or white. As anyone who's understood the great Einstein's statement- Science without Religion is lame, Religion without Science is blind- will know.
43. 2008-11-24 18:23  
A friend of mine wrote this, I'd like to share with everyone :)

Racism: Ignorance manifested through hatred.
Sexism: Ignorance manifested through conceit.
Homoophobia: Ignorance manifested through misunderstanding.

44. 2008-11-24 21:42  
I agree that not all christians and afo-americans are homophobic. This is yet another sympton of the fact that the right wing christian lobby is a lot more organised hence the result. Liberals by virtue of their beliefs are very open to debate and therefore has no cohesive message to transmit. Until Liberals start being militant in their attitude and speak with one voice, proto-fascist agenda's will always have an upper hand in any debate.
45. 2008-11-24 23:56  
I am so impressed with Shinen's article. A 24 year old with such deep and insightful way of expressing his views. Will be looking out for his articles!
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57. 2008-11-25 11:11  
I think it's quite a stretch to suddenly brand the whole African American population as homophobic.

As Bill Maher himself brought the topic on Real Time recently, it's not about race, but in this case it was religion that made them vote Yes for Prop 8.
58. 2008-11-25 13:56  
Oh good god it seems to me that Shinen seem to be going through some kind off identity crisis, I think you'll find your feet in a few more years my dear we'v all been there!

Most off us forget that we our indeed aliens : ) and we come-in many shades, shape & sizes, speak in many different languages some off us cannot speak at all, however we got great technology to speak for us & fly us to the moon to meet our relatives, who also do all of the above and below wink wink

Are black people homophobic? Are gays and lesbians racist?

Are disabled people homophobic or racist?

The answer is yes, however not all aliens, act in this manner.

They are many shades of Brown, but only one true Black & White!

I have yet to see a black or a White person.

Have you?

What I do know is when a aliens acts in a homophobic or racist manner, The effect on the receiving end, is very painfull...


There's really no fine line between the two

It should not matter where you our on the planet or who you choose to be with, just learn to love and not carry around hate with you, carrying something so heavy is far more damaging to you and others...

carrying all that hate around with you will destroy the soul, and you need the soul to the door so that the soul can live for ever more...

Those beautiful souls well let you in to there party of true love and all the ZEST but please don't spoil our magic, if you do God will boot you out off the universe, Gods a true given soul cool doud...
59. 2008-11-25 17:47  
Oops, i'm a bit late to this forum. But interesting topic. And interesting posts. Bravo to all.

Of course we can't brand the entire African-American population as homophobic. And of course we can't blame black voters (just 10% of the California electorate) for the passage of Prop 8. But we can sure as hell say that anti-gay bigotry is more present in the black community than in any other ethnic group in the USA. Take Prop 8. 51% of whites, even with the barrage of "vote yes" from the pulpit, voted no. 51% of Asians, usually a reservoir of conservative social values, voted no. Just 47% of Hispanics, arguably the most socially conservative of all ethnic groups in California, voted no. But only 30% of blacks voted for gay equality. 30%! Unfortunately, this is the polite side of black homophobia. Just listen to the fag-bashing lyrics of Brand Nubian, Canibus, Common, Cypress Hill, DMX, Eazy E, Eminem (yeah, yeah... I know he's white), Goodie Mob, Allen Iverson, Ice Cube, Ja Rule, Jay Z, Mase, Mobb Deep, Public Enemy, Snoop Dogg, T.O.K., 50 Cent and a host of lesser known rap and hip hop artists to get a quick sense of how grotesque, nasty and pervasive the black stereotyping of gays can be. Of course, hip hop hardly defines the entire black community but it does present a form of virulent and public intolerance towards gays that has been largely eradicated (at least on the surface) in other ethnic groups. Unfortunately it's not just rappers in search of street cred who are guilty of this bigotry. Black sports stars and celebs can often be counted on for the gratuitous anti-gay diatribe. Sure, we'd like to blame religion for all this homophobia. And certainly many black churches with their evangelical and fundamentalist tendencies do legitimize intolerance towards homosexuals. But it can hardly explain the grinding. demeaning disdain that comes from the street and popular culture. Perhaps it's a result of the exaggeration of male power and the rejection of the feminine that is so disturbingly apparent in street culture. Male homosexuals are simply presumed to contradict the caricatured maleness that is so highly prized. Interestingly, lesbians are more tolerated and butch dykes are even given a certain grudging admiration. Whatever the reason, the homophobia is there and apparent.

In some ways, it's our fault. Political correctness obliges us to hold blacks to a different standard than we apply (rigourously) to others. Racial sensitivities are so easily inflamed that any rational discussion to formulate remedies is virtually impossible. Instead, we make excuses, indulge in elaborate rationalizations and end up with lofty banalities. But we non-blacks can only frame the discussion and challenge the stereotypes. The solution, if there is one, lies with the black gay community itself. They are the ones that have been most affected by the homophobia of their wider community. Unfortunately some black gays get totally lost in the blame game and rather than working towards solutions simply indulge in the usual self-defensive clichs that plague race relations in the USA. Fortunately, some have emerged with an insight, a courage and a wisdom that we goody-goody white and Asian folks can not match.
60. 2008-11-26 16:52  
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King , Jr.

Too bad so many seem yet to understand this. Unfortunately it is very much human nature to want to believe that "they" will never come for me...
61. 2008-11-30 20:30  
Gay Marriage and a Moral Minority
by Charles M. Blow

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/opinion/29blow.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
62. 2008-12-01 03:30  
A straight male friend reminded corrected my arguments on this issue. It's not about racism. It's about Civil Rights: Equal Marriage. And Civil Partnerships not only does NOT give the same privileges, but also put LGBT into second class human being.

Yes, we found the culprits, The Mormon, the Blacks and the Hispanic groups who voted for the passing of Prop 8. But with the exception of Mormon (religion forcing their way to be politician) the ethnic group data provide LGBT to reach out for alliances. The voices from Charles M. Blow are straight to the point. Instead of arguing Interracial Marriage (that they are skeptic about) and being Religious (not the religion per se) reach out to them on things that will their conscious thinking. Remind them that their religion told them that being slaves were serving GOD; Remind them that their religion deemed their dark skin as sinners; Remind them that by saying Jesus is a Black Man only skew the skin color perceptions, but still a man made perceptions; Remind them that by looking up on that 2000 years old, outdated philosophies has made them to abandon their blessed assets: Intelligence that separate us from animals; Remind them that families are divided because of this centuries old ideas AND the abandonment of conscious thinking and knowledge. If our grass roots movements do those perhaps we will TURN people who has always said, "But that's the word of GOD" INTO those who says, "That's bullshits, I am the one reading it, I am the one saying it, and I am NOT GOD, so I am going to get myself educated and start using my intelligence and conscious selves. These people will turn themselves into alliances; some of them do.

As for the Mormon (and the Christian Mob clan), it's clear they are the one who pour money that can be used for the hungry. They are the one who teach Fear on one Sunday and Love on another Sunday and then tell their disciples, "You are equipped with the tools, now go out and Hate, thanks for your donations to keep my preaching salary going in this difficult economic situation. Your children are cute by the way, let me teach them "some lessons." Forcing their way to change the U.S. Constitution to serve their politics of religion.

Peace and Love on Earth.
63. 2008-12-02 03:34  
Re Shinen post #35
Here's another link you might like to browse:
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1182991,00.html
Sure, Jamaica is not the USA. But it does illustrate the grotesque effects of popular culture on homophobia. The violent anti-gay message so evident in Jamaican reggae is echoed again and again in American hip hop and rap (see post #32). The notion that such homophobia is rooted in religion does, I think, disguise a much smellier sociological and psychological mess.

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