Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Racism and the Perceived Immunity of the Gay Community

Cross posted at Black, Male, and Gay ... in THAT Order

HRC has decided to host a webchat addressing issues of race and racism within the Gay Community. *GASP* You mean gay people have the capability of being consumed with the same racist ideologies as their heterosexual bretheren? Of course they do... and in some cases they are WORSE than there hetero sexual bretheren. Take this letter to the editor of the Washington Blade for example in response to a qestion about if this country would ever get an openly gay Supreme Court nominee,

One of your readers said the country was run by “old white men” — but just where is the proof of that? We have a black president, a black attorney general, a female secretary of state and many cabinet chiefs or senior posts are filled by non-white males. Whites are now the minority in four states, including California.

In 20 years,17 states will be minority white. Most big city mayors are non-white male. As a gay male, even I know that those so-called “old white men”(read:straight) have passed many laws that have benefited minority groups. Ask yourself, can you honestly see a Supreme Court totally black, female and Hispanic? I shudder at the thought. What’s next? A chairman of the Joint Chiefs bringing his sheep to work? A few cross-dressing senators on the floor filibustering? A group of drag queen representatives in the House? A blind 747 pilot? A deaf music critic? Lifeguards who cannot swim? Why not, isn’t it their human/civil right? Just how far will the envelope be pushed before we implode?

As far as your reader who worried about “old white men,” he does not have to worry for long. The last real generation of whites are lying beneath the sands of Iwo Jima and Normandy. Now, most are pink with yellow stripes running down their backs.  Rome tried multiculturalism and look what happened to them. It’s only a matter of time. I would prefer straight whites making command decisions. Heaven help this country if we don’t.

Now, to this reader's credit I can understand his point about the ever increasing inclusiveness of the gay community. How many other letters will be used to ensure that every person who simply identifies themself as an abberation to the accepted social norm will we allow to be recognized? However, the reader's racism begins to rear its ugly head and all of his points disintegrate into a tirade that exposes his racial prejudices, heteronormative bias, AND - dare I say it, internalized homophobia )for which blacks gays are VILLIFIED in both mainstream and gay media)!

The following information can be deduced from the reader's letter:
  • He must have failed history because he completely ignored the preceding 389 years or so of systemic racial segregation, deprivation of equality, and legalized discrimination.
  • He assumes that one election of the FIRST black president in the 230-year history of the United States had more to do with timing than the influence of what I previously mentioned
  • He assumes that ONLY whites, particularly white men possess the temperament to make good decisions (dissmissing the fact that whites DECIDED to institutionalize the items mentioned in the first bullet)
  • He assumes that the playing field has been leveled by white men's "passage of laws that have benefitted minorities", while ignoring the fact that they selectively chose to ingore enforcing those laws - after all, how fast does one move when they are desegregating at "full deliberate speed"?
  • He feels entitled to the USA being his and whites' ALONE. No other people born in this country are as AUTHENTIC as the whites "beneath the sands of Iwo Jima and Normandy" (a POV commonly expressed by whites at McCain and Palin POTUS campaign rallies. More recently from the whites who comprise the BIRTHERS movement)
The rest is just too crazy to even put any thought into, but he definitely hates the fact the he's GAY.

I sincerely wish I could say that this letter represents an extreme POV on behalf of members of what is considered the mainstream gay community, but it doesn't. In fact, if you look at historical accounts of the Gay Rights Movement you'd be hard pressed to find any significant mention of the Black and Puerto Rican drag queens who were tired of being harrassed by the NYPD and decided to fight back by hurling whatever they could get their hands on at the officers.

When people think of the term "Gay" seldom do they think of the banjee boys made popular by James Earl Hardy, the Butch Queens Voguing in "Paris is Burning" or the hundreds of transgenders who compete in the Ms. Thailand pageant. No, the first image of what gay is that comes to mind is a well-dressed, witty, shallow, white male with a rich, bitch type female friend who lives in NYC, has no real profession of his own, but can afford to live in Manhattan in a FABULOUS apartment.

With gays who are a little less shallow and somewhat educated, Gay means a handsome gentleman who is typically white, professional, owns a remodeled home that he may or my not have completed himself, may be partnered, considering adoption, but DEFINITELY owns a dog or a cat. Again, you seldom see an image of gay that INCLUDES any person OTHER than a white male. Even if the image is female, she typically has taken on a gender specific look that isn't neutral. Gay - typically means white and male.

Look at the leadership of the HRC, GLAAD, and the NGLTF. The leadership is typically top heavy with white males. Ask yourself, was the National Black justice coalition and its predercessor the National Black Gay and Lesbian Ledership Forum formed out of necessity or opportunity? While HRC's National Conversation is a good idea in theory, I am not sure how effective it will be at reaching the people who need to be heard the most.

This post will be in TWO Parts.


wisdomteachesme said...

"When people think of the term "Gay" seldom do they think of the banjee boys made popular by James Earl Hardy, the Butch Queens Voguing in "Paris is Burning" or the hundreds of transgenders who compete in the Ms. Thailand pageant. No, the first image of what gay is that comes to mind is a well-dressed, witty, shallow, white male with a rich, bitch ... type female friend who lives in NYC, has no real profession of his own, but can afford to live in Manhattan in a FABULOUS apartment."
Ok, See this is toooooo TRUE!! seen it/heard it sooo many times.

ok going back to finish reading--just Had to stop and agree with this part!

wisdomteachesme said...

ok, this touches on a few Different topics rolled into one piece.
the white man that commented is scared that he will be ignored and made invisible by the world including anyone else.
he is very ignorant because of pride, ego and wannbeism!
and he is a racist! which is not far from so many others that i have encountered through my years. he is no different to me than the straight whites that began hoarding guns and food rations when obama became pres.
FEAR will make a person do and think and say very stupid things!... Read More
CHANGES that happen because -duuuhhh- they have too affect people differently depending on how much FEAR lives in them and how much control FEAR has on a person's being.

The colored lgbtq's have always been set aside of the white ones. And then you have the colored lgbtq's who join in with the white ones--assimilate in order to fit in because they have the same mindset as straight colored people to assimilate with the white way. continued...

wisdomteachesme said...

The problem is still there no matter if the group of people is colored straights or lgbtq's. We will always be set off to the side and always be in need of our own groups to help move forward. Does there need to be 'some of us' meeting in with the white groups? Yes, of course there will always be that need.
Do we still need our own groups to promote and help each other? Yes, we do!
So the issue is , whether to continue to sit back and allow a small amount of people no matter what color to make the rules for the masses outside of gov't groups.

There are still many many colored lgbtq's that will not come out of the closet--will not allow themselves to live as God has created them to live and will always settle in hiding behind any wall, door, or shallow doctrine in order to feed the FEAR that lives in and controls them.... Read More
HRC and other lgbtq org will take notice of colored lgbtq's is we approach them correctly--they Will see that the number will create a more forceful dignified voice

wisdomteachesme said...

or the Main Cause which is Equality for ALL lgbtq's period.
They are not fools in the sense that they cannot see the trees for the forest. But we as colored lgbtq's must know how to with dignity and compassion, and Truth speak what needs to be spoken. To have the courage to stand up for what is right.
This needs to be done whether 'they let us in' or not. Whether we create our own groups or not.

Pam and i and a few other women were discussing this a few months ago. How Hrc and other white lgbtq org seem to sideline us but say they are not--but do not include us in their big movements. Not asking me my opinion or thoughts about a topic is not including me.... Read More
Saying "oh, i didn't leave you out on purpose, i just didn't think about you" = is passive aggressive racism.

didn't mean to take up much space -- had some things to say--thanks for the time and chance blkseagoat!