Thursday, October 25, 2007

There goes that ugly juxtaposition again. Thanks a lot Senator Obama

In an attempt to quell the controversy over putting on a concert with anti-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, Barack Obama has recruited Columbia Pastor Andy Sidden to take part.

Sidden is openly gay and the pastor of Garden of Grace United Church of Christ.

He is also white.

I know folks are getting uncomfortable because I made that observation. Well don't waste good uncomfortability because I am about to put you more ill at ease.

Inviting Pastor Sidden is a huge faux pas. Why couldn't Obama's people have found an openly gay black pastor?

Yes, I know. I sound racist. But I don't care. I am just one of many people who have voiced this concern. In fact, there has been a lot of justifiable anger over it. However, I don't think folks have correctly articulated the reason for the distress.

Allow me to break it down.

When Obama first included McClurkin in his campaign, he made himself look like a hypocrite. Here is a man who onced addressed homophobia in the black church now inviting a purveyor of it to raise money for him via a series of black gospel concerts.

And when he is criticized for this decision, he seeks to soothe wounded feelings by inviting an openly gay white pastor to take part.

So on one side of Obama is Donnie McClurkin, who represents the black church. On the other side is Pastor Sidden, who represents the lgbt community.

That is the wrong symbol to put forth.

Inviting an openly gay black pastor would have been an excellent way to demonstrate the commonalities between the lgbt and African-American struggles for self-determination.

Obama's clumsy invitation to Pastor Sidden only perpetuates the myth that being black and being gay are two separate identities that don't overlap.

Furthermore, it means that folks like myself (lgbts of color) are once again shown how invisible we are.

No. More than that.

We have been given the hook, pushed to the side, had the trapdoor to the alligator pit released under our feet.

LGBTs of color haven't been just pushed to the back of the bus in this controversy. We have been kicked off of the bus and told to find our own way home.

Perhaps Obama's people couldn't find an openly gay black pastor in time for the event? I don't know. I guess I will give them a little slack.

But I won't give slack to the Human Rights Campaign. In their statements regarding this issue, I don't think the group even once addressed the fact that lgbts of color exist. And whether anyone wants to admit it or not, we are the ones who will suffer the most from this controversy.

We already know that the mainstream African-American community doesn't give a damn about us. Now we see that the mainstream lgbt leadership may feel the same.

Apparently we don't exist except when it is convenient to fit someone's agenda.

But back to Pastor Sidden. Of all the parties involved, he is the least guilty (by that I mean he has done nothing wrong.)

I implore the blogging community as well as the lgbts angry over this situation not to sharpen their knives on him or his reputation.

I know Pastor Sidden. He is a good guy who probably jumped into the middle of this situation because he wants people to know that God loves them no matter what orienation they are.

The ironic thing is this entire controversy could have been avoided if Donnie McClurkin had practiced that same principle.

8 comments :

NG said...

I got the feeling the Rev. Sidden volunteered himself in the hopes that he could help cool things down.

This whole Obama gate thing just wreaks of bad judgment on the part of his campaign staff.

Or maybe, Obama is just not ready for prime time.

BC WaterBoy said...

An underlying problem here that's going unnoticed. Religion in politics. Why is it that non-believers are invisible in these campaign stops and the front-runners continually push relgion. They need to get out of the religion business and back into getting the country out of this mess that was caused largely by religion in the first place. Let's be honest, religion is the root cause of homophobia and not a single candidate has the guts to tell the truth about it.

Candace Chellew-Hodge said...

Alvin, you hit the nail on the head. Andy accepted the invitation because someone asked him to pray and never turns down the opportunity to pray and share God with people. Yes, he's involved because he wants to spread God's love and grace - not because of anything political. He was asked to pray, he said yes. I hope Andy doesn't become anyone's target.

Lee said...

Your comments are the best I've heard yet. Thank you so much for speaking the truth. Obama has screwed up royally.

Scott said...

I was uncomfortable with a white gay preacher showing up at the event too, when at least 4 GLBT African-American Rev's could have done the job (not sure if they volunteered though).

I agree with you that nobody should attack Rev. Sidden, as he seems to have gotten involved with the sole purpose of trying to cool things down a little.

Anonymous said...

NO, you see, during the election the real black man came out for all of us to see. Now everyone knows who the real racists are. Funny, I used to think black people could and should be respected? Today after watching their endless diatribes of hate, a whole new sect of racists has been born. We, the original white supporters of black people who really thought they were serious about wanting to unite and reconcile, who now have had our eyes opened up by the black man himself! Now, I tend to agree more with the KKK when it comes to saying, they absolutely do not deserve to live in America. NO WAY!

BlackTsunami said...

For those who just that ridiculous rambling from anonymous, I have no intentions of responding to it.

Sometimes letting someone show their ignorance is the best response.

Erikpan said...

In your own insane rambling words, 'Anonymous', "Now everyone knows who the real racists are." Yes. You.