The Depressing Distraction of Comparing Race and Sexual Orientation
Apparently some parents in Philadelphia are upset because school officials had the "audacity" to acknowledge the fact that gays are lesbians are positive contributors of society by declaring October as Gay and Lesbian History Month on the school calendar. (http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=24065)
Inevitably it will probably lead to yet another outcry by some of my fellow African-Americans of the shame of comparing the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s to today's gay rights movement.
Meanwhile same gender loving people of color will yet again be left out in the cold; our needs and visibility will be ignored because of a silly jockeying of moral position.
For the record, I don't like the fact that I hardly ever see any gays or lesbians of color in the cover of the Advocate or that sometimes we get ugly resistance from our fellow gays and lesbians when we put on pride events focusing on our heritage and our needs.
But in all honesty, in the great scheme of things, the methods African-Americans were brutalized is irrelevant when one considers why the brutalization occurred in the first place.
Why indeed were African-Americans victimized in the United States? For that matter, why were over 12 million innocent people slaughtered by the Nazis? Why have Jewish people been the scapegoats throughout the ages.
It is the same reason why thousands of Russians were killed by their own leader Josef Stalin. Or the same reason James Byrd was dragged to death in Texas, the same reason why Billy Joe Gaither, a gay man, was murdered and then set afire, the same reason why Sakia Gunn, an African-American lesbian, was stabbed to death in New York.
It was because of hatred, fear, and the ideas of supremacy and entitlement.
These tainted characteristics are universal. African-Americans have not suffered more than gays, nor have Jews suffered more than African-Americans, et cetera, et cetera.
In short, passing legislation against the gay community because of propaganda that say gays have shorter life spans or that gays molest children at high rates is no different than passing laws based on the idea that African-Americans are inferior or more criminal-minded.
The extent of how one group has been victimized by the hatred of another should never be used as some type of barometer of prominence or status symbol.
Once we lose sight of this, we lose all of our moral integrity.