Friday, October 30, 2009

Will Bernice King continue to 'run game' on lgbts of color?

Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., has been chosen to lead the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization that her father help to found.

Personally I am reticent about the entire matter; that is to say I am undecided on whether this is a good thing .

Bernice King has been very vocal against marriage equality. She has led marches against it and her opinion of marriage equality is best typified by the following statement:

“I know in my sanctified soul that he (Dr. King) did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage.”

It not so much the statement that angered me but what it represented.

An unfortunate consequence of the cultural battle over marriage equality is how it allowed some black leaders to shirk their responsibilites to lgbts of color.

Evoking the implication that the fight for marriage equality was a bastardized attempt by "wealthy white gays" to piggyback on the so-called untouchable legacy of the 1950s/60s civil rights movement allowed black leaders to neglect the needs of their own.

Never mind addressing the HIV rate amongst African-American MSMs, never mind addressing issues of isolation, and lack of self esteem that plague lgbts of color. As long as the focus was on fighting marriage equality and labeling it as a plot of "the white man," black leaders like Bernice King were able to willfully and intentionally hide the mess of the outright dehumanization of lgbts of color by their own people behind the curtain.

Now that King has a bigger spotlight,  I can't help but to wonder will she continue those shenanigans?

Or will she step up and be a true leader?

Will she take the easy road and publicly demonize lgbts (and by extension lgbts of color) in front of eager crowds via religious condemnations?

Or will she note the irony that in some circles, the same religious condemnations will be thrown at her for being a woman who dares to take a leadership position in the black community?

Will she get the poignancy of President Obama signing hate crimes legislation named after both a heterosexual African-American victim of a hate crime and a gay victim of a hate crime?

Or will the poignancy conveniently slip her mind? Or worse yet, will she try to push away the poignancy via talking points surreptitiously provided by religious right groups?

Will King address the fact that lgbts of color have a place in the black community and deserve as much respect as their heterosexual counterparts?

Or will she try to placate us via silly patronizing comments about "not having a problem with anyone's sexual preference" -  comments that are not the words of a thoughtful conscientious leader but a Machiavellian leader trying to play both sides of the issue.

Will Bernice King break the chains of ignorance and hypocrisy that shackle not only the lgbt of color community but the black community at large?

Or will she add another link to that chain?

I'm waiting to see what Ms. King will do.

And I am not the only one.

Will Bernice King be a leader to ALL African-Americans?

Or will she continue to run game on me and mine?

Bookmark and Share


Anonymous said...

Bernice King is a true leader, and i know she will do a great job as the president of the SCLC. I disagree wit your statement that she is pleying both sides. i am a big fan of her father who i truley believe was a man called by God, i believe he was the moses of his time somthing we don't have today, but we as a people need. (all people). i don't believe Mrs King dislike gays as pep, but it the sin, and that's wat homosexuality is, a sin. And because Mrs King is a believer and a dedicated soilder for the lord, it's her duty to tell the truth and stand firm in wat God stood for.(HIS WORD). Ii's her and all christains duty to love gays as people, and by telling them wen they are wrong then our love for them becomes demonstrative, and is always Agape

BlackTsunami said...

Bernice King should be a leader to ALL people, just as her father was.

With all due respect, it is your patronizing tone that makes things difficult to understand the role of lgbts of color in the black community.

What is it exactly that we do? You wouldn't know because we never get a word in edgewise. So many people seem to want to boggart the conversation using rambling tones about "the word of God" calling homosexuality a sin.

Not only is that infuriating but it's also hypocritical. Remember that so-called word of God was also used to justify slavery and segregation. Also, some folks look at that so-called word of God and find reasons to say that King should not be a leader because she is a woman.

But very few in the black community, and very few black leaders has the guts to initiate a real conversation on not only lgbts of color but how the supposed word of God has been distorted and misused throughout the ages.

Anonymous said...

It's truly unimaginable that such hypocracy exists...I have a lot of trouble understanding how deeply the Christian element unfolds as hatred towards the LGBT community,especially coming from the Black community! Saying that being Gay is a sin, well...isn't it their (The Christians) belief that we are ALL sinners? Isn't that why God's "son" Jesus, sacrificed himself? then where's the beef??
I don't believe in the "Christian god", so I see us all as poor bastards just trying to get along in this world...No person's belief is so superior to another's to allow them to deem whether or not people of ANY community should be free to wed in a democratic country!!!It's absurdity! We are SO behind, still stuck in the "Dark ages"!

Mykelb said...

I prefer to keep my money with the ACLU, NGLTF and other organizations that do not take a religious view of civil rights. Anonymous proves my point. The religious have no motivation to assist in equal rights for LGBTs and so should be written off as the ignorant, unintellectual, narrow-minded people that they are.