Friday, January 31, 2014

Anti-gay rapper needs to be set straight on black, lgbt history, identities

 According to the Huffington Post:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's marriage equality anthem "Same Love" may have rocked the Grammy Awards, but one Texas-based Christian rapper has condemned the track in a very disturbing way.

As The Houston Chronicle is reporting, Bizzle refutes the popular comparisons of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights movement to the civil rights struggles of the African-American community.

At first I was going to ignore this monstrosity but after reading Bizzle's lyrics, I felt that a gauntlet had been thrown down and it's my duty as an lgbt of color to pick it up. These lyrics in general:

"You'd rather fight God than fight sin," Bizzle rhymes on the track. "The Bible is alright until it calls what you like sin/And I feel so disrespected that you were so desperate/You would compare your sexual habits to my skin."

He then adds, "You can play straight, we can never play white ... 

So apparently Bizzle belongs to the contingent of African-Americans who proclaim the lgbt civil rights movement isn't the same as the African-American civil rights movement. I'm familiar with that bunch, especially of the fact that they scream so loud that no one else with a differing opinion can get a word edgewise in the conversation.

Let's go to school, Bizzle. Any African-American who chooses to use the Bible to bash lgbts are woefully ignorant of their own history in this country when that same book was used to justify slavery and segregation. Furthermore, any African-American who even pushes the idea that "gays can pretend to be straight but blacks can't pretend to be white" show more ignorance. As it was, there were some African-Americans who were light enough to pretend to be white. The term was called "passing" and just like lgbts who seek to hide in the closet, some African-Americans "passed" in order to sidestep hate and discrimination.

So basically, if one would look at the collected history of the lgbt community and the black community in America, one would find many similarities. Both of our communities have been the victims of spiritual, emotional, and physical violence based upon antiquated concepts of inferiority.

I am so damn tired of the ignorance expressed by folks like Bizzle and I am so tired of their need to sacrifice historical reflection for the sake of being bombastic or self-righteous. Lastly, I am tired of being their whipping boy, of having my life psychologically dissected for their benefit. I am not a dead frog in science class that you can cut open and remove the parts that you don't like.

I am an African-American lgbt, I will not be muzzled or forced to choose between two identities. I cannot choose to be black or gay. Hell, I DO NOT want to choose to be black or gay. Both identities provide the crucial, cultural ingredients which make me the fascinating and unstoppable uncrowned male diva that I am.

I am person who is uncompromisingly black and unapologetically gay. Deal with it.


Andrew said...

Uncrowned? We have to do something about that.

Long view: I think that every active social movement makes analogies to the last, settled, social movement. This usually provokes the ire of the fighters for the prior movement: "Your argument for liberation is totally different from ours!" For instance (and pardon my simplifications) many nineteenth-century white female suffragists worked with blacks for the abolition of slavery. Abolition got passed, but only black men had the right to vote.
So then this weird split happened. On one hand, white suffragists advocated for WHITE women to get the vote, but not black women. Their excuse was that the women's suffrage movement would be more "acceptable" if it was by and for "well-educated" (i.e., white upper-class) women. Black women got the shaft.
At the same time, some black male abolitionists who had accepted the white suffragists' support backed away from, or even opposed, women's right to vote (e.g. Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass). I think the arguments on both sides were the same as they always are: we don't want to push for too much change at one time; your issue is different from my issue; the Bible supports my issue more than yours; this historical moment belongs to my issue, not yours, blah blah blah. In retrospect it looks just pathetic. How much stronger could both movements have been if they had merged? But that would be like asking people today to merge racial and LGBT civil rights movements into one. Some people get it. Others won't until fifty years from now.

COXYGRU said...


Erica Cook said...

And the fact is not all of us can pass as straight. Some of us are so obviously gay that any pretense of trying to pass is just a bad joke. I hate that this division between black and gay exists. I hate that such an offense is taken to our fight being called a civil rights movement. I talked once to a group who made them selves out to be honoring MLK on FB. The sad part was I was a part of their group. I have never had a picture of myself on FB so I don't think they realized I wasn't black. Because the notion of a white woman wanting to remember a black leader was literally something they just couldn't accept.

They were offended by the fact that as a person with a disability I had benefited from the civil rights movement. I unliked the page, but the whole situation sat badly with me. I won't say that what we as gays deal with is in the same fields as what people of color deal with. I don't feel I am in the position to make a claim like that.

Nor will I say that having a disability is the same. I know that is different. No one will pity you for your race. But there are many cases where victims of violence against persons with disabilities are blamed because they lived independent lives. There have been cases where such people, even though a disability didn't make them unable to testify weren't allowed to because people didn't think they were competent, or were too fragile. It isn't the same, but there are parallels. And why wouldn't people want to know that their fight for equality extended out to help others too? The fight is for equality, and that is supposed to mean all.

I am glad you have found a sense of duel pride in both your haritige and your sexuality, but I know too many black men and women who have been convinced that they have no place in the black community because they are a part of the LGBT community. They don't feel they belong here because the don't feel there are enough faces like there's. It breaks my heart to see how many of them wind up taking their own lives, and it really seams that so many of their families are happier to have a dead kid than a gay kid. I want to scream because I can't help them. I can try, but I'm not what they are looking for.