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Member since: Tue Mar 11, 2008, 07:39 PM
Number of posts: 24,544

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I'm on the other side of the fence from you for a change

I'm trying to figure out why so many here are acting as though this is so unexpected and SHOCKING!!

Now, I know that I haven't been officially affiliated with the NAACP since my college days, but my understanding is that the NAACP and particularly its leadership, has long been supportive of marriage equality. This surprises me even less than the president's statement from last week.

This was from last year -

This was from 2010 - http://www.theroot.com/views/naacp-reaches-out-gay-rights-groups and referred to past NAACP president Kwesi Mfume's support of gay rights and coordination with Human Rights Campaign in 19 freaking 99!

This was from 2009 - http://prospect.org/article/naacp-takes-stance-against-prop-8

Good news and very encouraging but not surprising in the least. Not getting all of the "oh my god. This is SO unexepected!!!" and "better late than never" from folks here at all.

'CNNís Racist Depiction of The Black Church and Gay Marriage'

"Dr." Boyce Watkins once again leaves me scratching my head...

'CNNís Racist Depiction of The Black Church and Gay Marriage'

On the front page of CNN today, there was an interesting article about the divide between the Obama Administration and the African American church.

The author of the piece seems to be implying that black church opposition to gay marriage is hypocritical, in large part because the bible being quoted by Christians is the same one that promoted the institution of slavery.

I was immediately irked by the insinuation that somehow, anyone who opposes gay marriage is driven by the same ignorance that led some enslavement of other human beings. CNN is a network that has shown itself to be in support of gay rights (Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon are members of the gay community, and the network supported Lemonís book about the agony of being black and gay). The position is admirable, since we can appreciate the concept of providing equal rights to everyone.

I donít oppose gay marriage myself, but I was annoyed by the CNN article. What bothered me most about CNNís depiction of the black church is that it is one that wreaks of the kind of liberal paternalism that treats African Americans as if we are savages who need to be educated by white folks. The comparison of gay marriage opposition to slavery is a deliberate effort to poke at the political pressure point of African Americans, reducing our most painful collective experience into a political football. Itís no different from telling a woman that she should protest the labor practices of Wal-Mart because she was once raped by a Wal-Mart employee.

The bolded bit I actually agree with. And I along with just about every black person on the planet am confused as hell that this seems to be THE issue, the ONLY issue in which the American media gives a flying fishstick about our opinion and seeks us out, but only if the results can be skewed to portray us in the most negative way possible.

The rest of this piece I really have no idea what the brother is raving about. And this ain't the first time.

"The Political Left has failed at this."

I read a really interesting article in Vanity Fair last night about the birth of Occupy Wall Street. You can read it online here http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2012/02/occupy-wall-street-201202

Now, what I have always found interesting is that the president's incessant detractors have always touted that the reason Occupy Wall St. was born was because "Obama failed us" and they believe that Occupy is some sort of referendum on the president. When presented with facts that show that the president has voiced support for Occupy and that many of his strongest supporters also support Occupy, of course they just shrug that off. Doesn't fit the preconceived narrative, you see.

What is most striking about that Vanity Fair article is that they interviewed dozens of people that were there when Occupy was conceived and first put into action. These folks do put some blame at the president (angry that bankers weren't put in jail) and logically, put MUCH more emphasis on the overall corruption and inadequacy of the American political system (which has been going on for decades longer than this president has been in office). But really quite startlingly, some of them also ascribe some blame squarely on the political left for many of the reasons that you already noted.


Co-founder, Adbusters
The left had been chattering on about revolutions for a long time, but weíve basically been howling at the moon. And then, all of a sudden, a bunch of young people [in Egypt] using social media were able to mobilize not just 500 or 5,000 people, but 50,000 people. They inspired us with their courage and with their techniques.

The left has the ideas and the heart but not the MEANS to implement the change that they seek. Apparently, it was this frustration with the political left that was the impetus (along with many other factors) that led to the creation of Occupy. Folks really need to understand this the next time that loud handful of serial malcontents tries to drop everything at the feet of this president -- as usual.

Happy MLK Day, y'all

In celebration of one of the greatest warriors in the fight for BLACK RIGHTS and justice that the US has ever seen.

'Where do we go from here'

Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Atlanta, Georgia
16 August 1967

"Even semantics have conspired to make that which is black seem ugly and degrading. In Roget's Thesaurus there are 120 synonyms for blackness and at least 60 of them are offensive, as for example, blot, soot, grim, devil and foul. And there are some 134 synonyms for whiteness and all are favorable, expressed in such words as purity, cleanliness, chastity and innocence. A white lie is better than a black lie. The most degenerate member of a family is a "black sheep." Ossie Davis has suggested that maybe the English language should be reconstructed so that teachers will not be forced to teach the Negro child 60 ways to despise himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of inferiority, and the white child 134 ways to adore himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of superiority.

The tendency to ignore the Negro's contribution to American life and to strip him of his personhood, is as old as the earliest history hooks and as contemporary as the morning's newspaper. To upset this cultural homicide, the Negro must rise up with an affirmation of his own Olympian manhood. Any movement for the Negro's freedom that overlooks this necessity is only waiting to be buried. As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free. Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery. No Lincolnian Emancipation Proclamation or Johnsonian Civil Rights Bill can totally bring this kind of freedom. The Negro will only be free when he reaches down to the inner depths of his own being and signs with the pen and ink of assertive manhood his own Emancipation Proclamation. And, with a spirit straining toward true self-esteem, the Negro must boldly throw off the manacles of self-abnegation and say to himself and to the world, "I am somebody. I am a person. I am a man with dignity and honor. I have a rich and noble history. How painful and exploited that history has been. Yes, I was a slave through my foreparents and I am not ashamed of that. I'm ashamed of the people who were so sinful to make me a slave." Yes, we must stand up and say, "I'm black and I'm beautiful," and this self-affirmation is the black man's need, made compelling by the white man's crimes against him."


King Center - http://www.thekingcenter.org/
MLK Collection at Morehouse - http://www.morehouse.edu/kingcollection/index.php
Nobel Bio - http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html
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