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?