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Pimping Blackness in the fight against Prop 8

November 19, 2008

by Kheven LaGrone

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom talks to the press the day after Prop 8 passed and the clip of Newsom arrogantly shouting that same-sex marriage was coming “whether you like it or not,” used in a pro-Prop 8 commercial, was being assigned much of the blame. – Photo: Kimberly White, Getty Images
Depending on how you looked at Proposition 8, the proposition either protected traditional marriage and family or banned gay marriage. No on 8 activists argued that the proposition promoted hate and discrimination. However, before the election, I could hear the beginning of a Yes on 8 backlash on talk radio here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I listened to the No on 8 movement imploding and riling the backlash.

On Nov. 4, 42 of California’s 58 counties voted to support Proposition 8. The state’s five largest counties supported it. What happened?

Initially, many voters seemed not to have cared one way or another about gay marriage – and they certainly didn’t care enough to vote against it. However, the video clip of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s angry rant that gay marriage was coming “whether you like it or not” surely agitated some people into action to support Proposition 8. The clip got a lot of attention. Push people and people push back.

One man called in to a talk radio show and said that when he saw all the, to use his word, “wackos,” fighting against Proposition 8, he assumed it was a proposition that he should support.

Some supporters of Proposition 8 were concerned that gay marriage would be promoted in schools. Opponents of the proposition argued that it wouldn’t. However, when school leaders joined in the fray to fight Proposition 8, the question arose: If they’re not going to teach gay marriage in the schools, why are these teacher leaders getting so involved? To prove their argument that gay marriage would be taught in the schools, Prop 8 supporters highlighted the true story about the elementary school teacher who brought her class to her lesbian wedding.

Some opponents of Proposition 8 pointed at a high divorce rate and the “failure” of heterosexual marriages. The reaction was not one of defeating Prop 8. Instead, protectors of marriage saw the rising divorce rate as a call to “rescue” the institution of traditional marriage.

Proposition 8 was compared to legalized racial oppression. Surely, the opponents reasoned, if we are against oppression based on race, we have to be against oppression overall – and, using this argument, African American voters would have to vote against Proposition 8. However, many African Americans do not accept that a white man’s CHOOSING to live an openly gay lifestyle faces the same discrimination that a conservative, middle class churchgoing African American man might. One must factor the power of choice into the equation.

In fact, some African Americans voted for Proposition 8. Some didn’t. After Proposition 8 passed, Black gay men holding “No on Proposition 8” signs were verbally assaulted by white gay anti-Prop 8 protesters at a rally in Westwood, California. Though the Black gay men had come to join the fight against Proposition 8, they were called “niggers,” and “their people” were blamed for its passage.

I understand those white protesters might have been angered because they had voted for Obama but then felt stabbed in the back by a “fellow oppressed group” voting for what they felt was their oppression.

However those Black gay men at the protest had also come to fight against Proposition 8. Obviously, those white protesters, who assumedly understood oppression, didn’t see African Americans as individuals. If they did, the white aggressors would have sympathized with the Black gay men who joined them at the rally.

Instead, in their rage, the white aggressors reverted to their assumptions of white supremacy and Black inferiority. Like the drafters of the Constitution – which had been used to defend gay marriage – they dehumanized African Americans.

By racially attacking any Black person, even one wearing a “No on 8” t-shirt, they implied that gay marriage was their “white” gay issue – not the issue of the Black gay men they accosted. The implication: Black people were to support “their” movement, but Black gay people weren’t equally included by it.

Similar stories of white gays blaming Blacks have been posted by Black bloggers on the Internet. Those white gay protesters’ “true colors” showed through their rainbow flags. The gay marriage movement imploded into “nigger, we told you how to vote and you did not do as expected.”

The assaults were inexcusable and presumptuous. If a Black woman votes to support Prop 8 based on her faith, that is her right. Nothing in the Constitution says a person cannot base her vote on her faith. However, it is not the right of white supremacists to tell her how to vote or to attack those who look like her.

So how will the (white) gay movement stop this backlash? One strategy is to PIMP Blackness. Their organizers will probably use African American props – from the same group who were assaulted and called “niggers” at that protest in Westwood. The organizers will want to strengthen their notion that white gay oppression is comparable to racial oppression. What better way of arguing that point than by having an African American making it?

I wager that white gay marriage activists in Westwood will counter the incidents by showing more African Americans in gay marriage ads. White gay activists have used Black props for years to promote the image of a truly equalitarian gay community. For example, many straight people see the rainbow flag as evidence of an embracing community. How could the white gay community demand equality in America, when white gay communities such as San Francisco’s Castro District are racially divided?

Those gay marriage ads will probably feature Black men with white men or Black women with white women because that helps white gay leaders project the illusion of a “diverse” community to mainstream America. Besides, as white men – both straight and gay – have told me, a white lover makes the Black partner look “less bitter and angry.”

But will all these ads speak more for Black gay men and lesbians or insulate the angry gay white supremacist?

The role of race in Proposition 8 was not limited to Westwood, however. According to media coverage in San Francisco, part of the failure of the gay marriage activists was that they didn’t reach out to “people of color” or non-whites. As gay marriage activists continue their fight, they will likely be reaching out to “people of color.” Are “people of color” now being addressed simply because they are perceived to have been an obstacle to the defeat of Prop 8?

Perhaps the gay marriage movement will pimp Blackness and feature images of Black men loving Black men or Black women loving Black women as a way to reach Black communities. Ironic, since Black gay and lesbian writers have complained for years about the paucity of images of Black-on-Black love in the gay rights movement.

Kheven LaGrone is the editor of “Dialogue: The Color Purple,” a collection of writings by Asian and American scholars on the controversial novel. The book will be published by Rodopi Press in the spring of 2009. He can be reached at

31 thoughts on “Pimping Blackness in the fight against Prop 8

  1. G

    Gay black people are being oppressed by white gay people, by their racism and desire to exploit them, just as they would exploit others. When is the white gay community going to apologize for it’s long term racism? It’s nothing new, you just refuse to address it.

    No one was surprised by the hatred, it’s common knowlege. By the way, where was all this righteous indignation in the gay community, when Log Cabin republicans were financially supporting and voting for right wingers who did real harm to the gay community? No blacklists, no threats, to screaming out against injustice then, I wonder why?

    I checked out and not one wealthy gay person even contributed to Obama, especially not Melissa Etheridge or Ellen Degeneres, not one penny. I’m boycotting them, the companies behind them as well, not one penny to Island/Mercury records, or to Warner Brothers, or their corporate sponsers.

    I’ll recomend an article written by Johann Hari, a gay journalist from the UK Independent, he published this article on the very left wing blog, the Huffington Post. It’s titled, The Strange, Strange Story of the Gay Fascists:

    It goes a long way explaining gay fascism, and why rational gay people should take a stand against it.

  2. Cal

    I agree that the racist reaction of some to the black vote on Prop 8 was out of line and I find it offensive. I would also like to point out that outlets like FOX news are hyping this reaction because they love to see traditional Democratic constituenties at each other’s throats. There is however some hypocrisy from African Americans as well. As a young man I worked on Jesse Jackson’s campaign and witnessed him say many times “your struggle is our struggle and vice versa”. The gay rainbow flag comes out of that campaign. Was Jesse Jackson “pimping” white gay men for their money and votes? Was Barack Obama? I think the answer is no, but the idea that only rich white gay men consider their struggle to be one of civil rights flies in the face of history. We have heard the same many times from the leadership in the black community.

  3. Real

    “Pimping blackness” this just sounds like another manipulative way to separate folks (The gay black community from the white gay community) and I really enjoy how a straight (im assuming) black journalist knows how a white gay man chooses homosexuality????I like how that was capitalize as well (CHOOSES) like a straight man knows that it is a choice to be gay??? unless you were gay one point of your life and you chose to be, you would know if it were a choice. What a lifestyle to choose, thats like saying I choose to be hated or undermined by people such as yourself. This is a terrible piece, bad writing and bad journalism. Im not reading Bayview anymore.

  4. Jake

    G: If you really knew what you were talking about, then you couldn’t have posted that Obama was unsupported by wealthy gays. Does David Geffen, perhaps the FIRST PERSON TO TELL OBAMA TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT not count? Billionaire gay Californian doesn’t make the cut? Also, read the articles about how opponents of Prop. 8 were at first worried that everyone was donating to Obama, and wouldn’t put up enough to fight prop. 8.
    Articles to read:
    Besides, with the roiling debate on prop. 8, plus obama getting hit with the Ayers accusations, it’s possible that the outspoken gay community decided it would be best not to make headlines of a “Manchurian Candidate for Gays” or something.

    But some of your broader points are spot on.

  5. Sean Shopes

    Unfortunately the writer’s argument is based on a flawed assumption: that homosexual men and women choose to be homosexual. Nothing could be further from the truth – they do not choose to whom they are attracted to any more than one chooses one’s skin color. Do these same, in this case, white homosexuals choose an openly “gay” lifestyle? Yes they do – and all of society is better for it, not least from a public health standpoint. Is pretending to be heterosexual a better option? How is living on the “down-low” doing justice to anyone? Sham marriages and relationships that have the potential to spread sexually-transmitted diseases to unwitting partners are criminal and immoral. And as for the so-called right to vote ones “faith”: All the evil under the sun has been at one time or another been justified by faith, not least slavery (a subject which should concern every American).

  6. kb

    Wow – some folks definitely need to chill out with the fascist/supremacist motif. Although some famous right wingers have turned out to be gay, including some fairly despicable folks, in my hometown of Chicago I see black folks in every gay bar in my neighborhood – many of them with white boyfriends. Does everyone always feel welcome? I guess experiences during travel where I have been refused admission to what turned out to be a “black” gay bar or in japan to a “japanese only” gay bar should have made me angry, but I have more important things to do with my life than be mad at other gay folks. There is no doubt that pitting us all against one another is great entertainment for the folks who want none of us to succeed – but many of the generalizations in the article and comment are based on anecdote and singular bad examples. I have openly chided the Log Cabin folks while also realizing that having some advocates among republicans are better than none. In addition to white american guys I have hung out with korean guys, japanese guys, chinese guys, german guys, irish guys, australian guys, danish guys, black african guys and black american guys. In my experience gay folks are more accepting to difference overall – but I believe we hold one another to overly high standards on these issues. I know from experience, that with all the baggage we carry we should be more forgiving of one another. It really doesn’t matter if I chose to be gay – I am what I am and demand that I and anyone else be accepted for who and what they are. Self hatred, whether it is practiced by black gays who decide that they have to direct it towards fellow gay folks or white gays who claim supremacy over non-white gays is such a waste of time and effort.

  7. Kheven

    Based on some of the comments I’ve read, I think some points need clarification.

    Someone said I was separating black gays and lesbians from white gays and lesbians. The separation is already there. There have been black gay bars, prides, clubs, organizations, etc. for years. These clubs were caused because a black person (or persons) felt alienated, uncomfortable, disconnected, etc. with their “rainbow” gay community. Just as white gays have felt the need to create a space for themselves black gays and lesbians have felt a similar need.

    It has not been my experience that white gays are less racist than non-gays. For example, I have had white gays tell me “I like you because you’re a good black and not a real one.” I’ve never had a straight person tell me that. I think the perception that white gays cannot be racist because they know discrimination themselves is nonsense. I can just go by the conversations (and arguments) that I’ve had over the years.

    I did not say that a white gay man CHOOSES to be gay. I argued that being openly gay is a choice. By the way, by getting married, he is CHOOSING to make a public announcement of his sexuality. Once again, the power of choice must be included in comparing race discrimination to homophobia. Years ago, I read about a white gay leatherman complain about feeling discriminated against when he went to work or walk down the street in his leather chaps. I did not relate to his discrimination.

    Someone dismissed my essay based on the person’s ASSUMPTION that I was a “straight black male.” That assumption was incorrect.

    I have not heard in the mainstream media about the white supremacist statements made at the anti-Prop 8 protests. I’ve only heard that white gays were upset that blacks voted “disproportionately” for Prop 8.

    Also, please note. I did not make generalizations based on singular bad experiences. I made statements and gave concrete examples to support my point.

  8. tommi avicolli mecca

    I think an examination of who voted for Prop 8 proves only one thing: Religion was the culprit. Evangelicals and fundamentalist and those who say they attend church regularly voted overwhelmingly for it. The Huffington Report says that over 80% of these folks supported 8. That should tell us something. The enemy is, and has always been, conservative religious attitudes. Add to that the fact that the catholic archbishop of SF called in the mormons to defeat gay marriage, and the mormons contributed $20 million to the campaign, and we’ve got the answer for how 8 passed. Pure and simple.

    Religious opposition to LGBT rights is nothing new: In the 70s it was Anita Bryant and the so-called Moral Majority. In the 80s fundamentalists called AIDS god’s curse. In the 90s they tried to cure us with their silly ex-gays groups.

    As an atheist since I was 16 (I grew up catholic), and a queer activist since 1971, I have often been up against religion (usually of the christian variety) when I fought for my right to be who I am.

    People (even those within the LGBT community) have always been afraid to confront the churches because, as British scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins says, religion is afforded “an abnormally thick wall of respect.” It doesn’t deserve it. If religious folks are working against our rights, then they need to be challenged. Treating them with kit gloves has never stopped them from doing their evil work. When ACT UP confronted the catholic church in the late 80s (to much criticism from mainstream gays), it helped change the attitudes of catholics. Suddenly, the church was providing services to people with AIDS and the homophobic pope was hugging someone with AIDS.

    In the early 70s we in gay liberation had a chant, “2, 4, 6, 8, smash the church, smash the state.” Religion is still the enemy. Until we deal with it, we will continue to lose battles like Prop 8.

  9. Mike Smith

    The writer basically says since gay people choose to lead a gay lifestyle they can’t compare their plight to racial discrimination. Let’s think about this for a second. This would mean that it is okay to discriminate against someone who is gay. According to the writer, it’s the gay person’s fault since they can pretend to be straight and avoid discrimination. It sounds like the writer is backing away from the oft repeated idea that gay people choose to be gay. Let’s be clear, being gay involves being physically attracted to members of the same sex. Surley the writer does not think this is a choice. Does he think Timmy CHOOSES to get a boner when he sees Steve. So the choice comes in deciding whether or not to be open about it. If you use the writer’s logic, that would mean if black people had a realistic and simple way of passing as white, they should do it to avoid discrimination. Just as a gay person is born gay, a black person is born black. Wheras the gay person can choose to hide who he really is, the black person cannot. The writer implies hiding who you are is the way to go if you can. So would he recommend black people pretend not to be black if such a thing were possible…I don’t think so. Why is it okay to demand that gay people pretend to be something else. They choose to be themselves just like everyone else chooses to be themselves.

  10. Desmond Albert


    By now, you may have seen or heard about the disturbing behaviors among the predominantly White gay protesters of Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage in California. Outraged protesters have mailed a white powdery substance to local churches, apparently to provoke an anthrax type scare, and most notably have blamed Black folks for their defeat against stopping Prop. 8. To express their anger, some have attacked Blacks with the word “niggas.” I even heard one exclaim that, “We gave you [Black people] your first Black president. How dare you turn your back on us now!” Apparently their vote for Obama was an attempt at a disingenuous deal-maker with Black people. The facts of the matter are: Black women constituted only 6% of the states’ voters. So few Black men voted (less than 4% of the state voting population), that exit polls didn’t even bother to calculate their vote. While 75% of voting Black women supported Proposition 8 , Blacks only accounted for 2.3% of the total Prop. 8 vote ). White men and women, who account for 64% of California’s voters, make up the majority of who produced the actual result.

    An irrational affront on Blacks by the gay community is not unusual, but merely demonstrates symptoms of a larger historic issue of racism between the gay and Black communities. As a Black man who is committed to the education, health and affirmation of Black people, I have talked about being a Same Gender Loving (SGL) man, who has never identified with gay culture. For example, over 20 years ago, I pointed out that Black HIV/AIDS prevention efforts should not be done in a way that blatantly prioritized gay identity over Black culture and wellness. Now close to thirty years later HIV/AIDS is still out of control in Black communities. That gay-identity politics was prioritized over the importance of Black cultural affirmation is a major co-factor.

    Currently, Prop. 8 protesters are conducting rallies throughout Los Angeles, but they have not brought their demonstrations to historically Black communities. Why? Given that it’s the only community of color that they directly blame for their loss. The gay community has never addressed the Black community in ways that build bridges on this or any other issue. Despite the civil rights dialogue employed by the gay community, many gay organizations still practice blatant forms of White racial bias. Even to date, when you see Blacks in the gay press, it is extremely rare to see two Blacks depicted together. Black are typically depicted as a White person’s partner or alone. The term same-gender-loving (SGL) was distinctly created to provide homosexual and bisexual Black people with a descriptor that was more affirming, healing and culturally reflective, and to break Black complacency with “gay” racism.

    Yet, my concern is not the redundant problem of racist attitudes in the gay community. What I find troubling is the silence of the so-called Black gay leaders in Los Angeles. During this gay onslaught of attack, where is the Black gay community? We cannot use the excuse that they are not any who are “out”! Where is the Black AIDS Institute’s Phill Wilson, a long time Black gay identity advocate, or the leaders of the gay group called ‘In the Meantime’? I’m told that lesbian identified publicist and writer Jasmine Cannick has offered her perspective, and there are others who are not speaking. I believe this silence results from that White gays are the philosophical parents of many Blacks who have defined themselves as gay or lesbian leaders.

    Consequently, I understand why people in the Black community question the relevance, safety and value of gay as a viable identity in the Black community. Not that I agree with any form of oppression, I merely understand the suspect. This is because the so-called “Black gay community” has yet, itself, to effectively address the Black community. It has rarely even been present in the Black community in progressive ways, only showing up when it’s time to call someone Black homophobic. Similarly, the Black HIV/AIDS movement has been traditionally more concerned with pushing gay identity than pushing the Black community toward prevention and wellness. The Black gay movement doesn’t look like a “Black community affirming” movement, but instead like a group of co-opted Black folks running behind a White homosexual agenda. This exacerbates anti-homosexual attitudes and now anti-homosexual marriage perspectives in the Black community.

    So, in solution, in the age of Obama, we need to be in real dialogue as a community about our cultural, philosophical, and sexuality diversity. As White gays protest against Blacks while disenfranchising the Black community in their political efforts for “gay marriage”, they establish yet another reason Blacks and others have not jumped on their bandwagon. As can be attested to by the lack of Black support, including Black homosexual support against Prop. 8, education about such bills need to be presented in ways that affirm and engage Black people. The current mixture of Black “gay” silence and White homosexual racism will not garner Black support of same-sex anything, let alone marriage.

    About Cleo Manago (

    Cleo Manago is a nationally acclaimed “social architect,” a popular speaker, columnist and director/founder of the AmASSI Prevention, Cultural and Leadership Training Centers, where he is CEO with projects in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas and Harlem. He has appeared on national television networks including C-SPAN, BET – with Tavis Smiley, PBS and most of the major networks.

    His work has been profiled in many publications including the American Journal of Public Health, Ebony, Essence and the Black Scholar-Journal of Black Studies and Research. Mr. Manago he has also been featured in most of the nation’s newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Final Call, Amsterdam News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and several scholarly journals and books.

    Books include: Atonement (collected stories from the Million Man March) and Male Lust (an anthology on male sexuality). His views are presented in the bell hooks’ book: We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity. Most noted is his development of the Critical Thinking and Cultural Affirmation or ‘CTCA’ cultural competency strategy, featured in an American Journal of Public Health editorial. He is also the author of several noted essays, and founder of the Black Men’s Xchange (BMX) in 1989. His historic speech at the 2005 Millions More Movement served as a culmination of over 25 years of hard work.

  11. David Hearne

    ““I like you because you’re a good black and not a real one.” – Khevan

    If you’re going to make stuff up, please be a little more creative.

  12. JOjo

    I have met many people,in my community Black,white poka dot and blue but on the average I would not have any idea what there sexual perference, and frankly would not care. So to compare it to the blacks history in America is very interesting.

  13. David Hearne

    Khevan’s article is totally irresponsible and he should not be taken seriously by anyone. He was not at the Westwood demonstration and does not know whether “Geoffrey” or “A Ronald” were actually called epithets by gay whites or not. It doesn’t seem likely that this happened; a look at the crowd in the demonstration shows considerable black (and other) representation. But this story keeps getting repeated because of something posted on an internet bulletin board. Maybe Khevan just wants to have a platform for some other personal grind. But he’s off and running with it, as are a number of people around the net.

  14. Kheven

    David Hearne, you write that “this story” keeps getting repeated on an internet bulletin board. Do you mean, my story or the stories of African Americans being accosted? Please be specific.

    Also, you say my essay is “irresponsible” and “shouldn’t be taken seriously.” Are you saying the stories about the African Americans being accosted were not true? If so, please tell us why those bloggers would lie? By the way, my story was about more than those individuals’ stories.

    Also, I disagree that writing about these issues is “irresponsible.” There should be discussion about this topic other than the ones that white men are telling for African American same gender loving people.

    Next, you’ll tell us that white gays weren’t mad enough to get violent and offensive after the passage of Prop. 8. You’ll also tell us that Black folks weren’t blamed in the media for the passage of Prop. 8.

  15. David Hearne


    I was referring to the story of the two black gay guys who were allegedly called ‘nigger’ at the Westwood protests. It has gone from “two posters on a BBS said this happened” to “this happened” in a very short period of time. When you try to find ANY verification, all you find is the same reference being repeated on websites, all going back to two anonymous people whose truthfulness or motives are unknown. You repeated it as fact, which I consider irresponsible on your part.

    To your credit, and I appreciate this, you at least responded to a challenge on the subject. At some point down the road I will expect that there will be those who will switch from “this happened” to “it doesn’t matter if it happened, because it represents stuff that does happen” as if often the case when “common knowledge” is cross examined.

    You ask why the bloggers would lie. We’re talking about the internet here, people lie for attention, to make a point, to deflect, and all sorts of reasons. People lie so they can point and say, “I made that happen.” But it doesn’t make sense, and that’s why it needs to be questioned. To many it appears to make sense because they think it confirms what they already believe, but in observation it does not make sense. Look at the Westwood videos. For some reason, “the Mormons” outside the temple were largely Samoans or Tongans. Did you hear anyone yelling “Go back to Samoa!”? Did you hear anyone yelling, “You fucking Chink (or whatever)?” No. People were yelling “Go back to Utah!”, which is kind of funny actually, considering who they were yelling at.

    There should indeed be discussion, I hope that you and I are having one. Too often it seems, people make up their minds and then brush off any actual discussion. Writing about racism is not irresponsible, repeating as fact something that you don’t know to be a fact is irresponsible.

    Next, you’ll tell us that white gays weren’t mad enough to get violent and offensive after the passage of Prop. 8.

    I was proud of the gay people taking to the streets in Westwood. I was impressed when the gay people through Joel’s Army out of the Castro. As disappointed as I was in the numbers, I was still proud of the folks in Florida who protested the passage of Amendment 2. I was proud of every gay person who actually got off his or her ass and stood up for themselves. I didn’t look at those videos and see “white people”; I saw gay people and straight friends of the gay community. Is that what you saw?

    I confess that I was feeling angry and violent- towards the Mormons. I wouldn’t have minded if the protestors had taken down that temple brick by brick. Afterwards, I might have felt differently, but in that moment I wanted revenge. I did not feel the same antipathy towards black people. I was angry when I read the reports of how the black vote broke out, of course I was. I indeed felt stabbed in the back, not because “I voted for a black guy so you should have voted against Prop 8.” but because I thought that we had a common understanding that We were voting for Change to a more fair and just society. I was shocked to discover that so many people, especially people that I thought would understand, didn’t see me in We.

    So while others were simply saying, “Don’t believe this (blacks throwing the vote).” I did what I always do: I started doing research. What I discovered in the precinct maps was that it wasn’t race that defined the anti-gay vote amongst blacks, it was economics. Poor black precincts voted for discrimination, and middle class and black precincts voted against discrimination. By the way, the white precincts were all over the place; the only thing I found was that the closer to the water you are, the more likely you are to vote against discrimination.

    You’ll also tell us that Black folks weren’t blamed in the media for the passage of Prop. 8.

    I didn’t and I won’t. I can’t imagine why you would say that. I also won’t ignore the numbers or the implications. There is no free pass on this. Everyone who voted for Prop 8 committed an immoral act, they voted to strip a minority of equal rights. The LDS church is a hierarchal religious and political organization known for the obedience of its members and it was a legitimate object of protest. The same simply cannot be said of the black community in whole or in part, which is why there was no protest targeting the black communities.

  16. Kheven

    David, regarding the men at the anti-Prop 8 rally, I read the men’s quotes. You name them. Didn’t you read their quotes?

    You write they were “allegedly” accosted. They made statements. Are you saying that the bloggers made up the men?

  17. David Hearne

    Kheven, on December 23rd, 2008 at 10:38 am Said:
    David, regarding the men at the anti-Prop 8 rally, I read the men’s quotes. You name them. Didn’t you read their quotes?

    You write they were “allegedly” accosted. They made statements. Are you saying that the bloggers made up the men?

    Kheven, on December 23rd, 2008 at 10:59 am Said:
    I should have added the following link:

    I’m not saying that the bloggers made up the men, I’m saying that the two posters on those blogs are anonymous and their reports are not supported by any eyewitness accounts that I can find. Moreover, it’s unlikely that it happened, for the reasons stated before. I am 50 years old, went to my first gay activist event at 19, and was a regular in as well as working in gay bars in DC and San Francisco for 15 years. I have NEVER heard a white gay person call a black person a nigger to his face in all that time. Yes, I have heard the word, we all have. I have used the word, most of us have. But I have never seen anyone do something so deliberately stupid and I have seen a lot of stupid in my life.

    Pam is not saying that she knows that this happened. She’s saying that two people who post on two other blogs said that this happened. She is then commenting on it as if it is fact. What I a saying is that I have not seen anything to back it up.

    I’m also not saying that there is not racism in the gay community. I’m well acquainted with some of the _history_ of racism in the gay community, because I was there. I know for example, that the Lost And Found in DC tried to keep black guys out, and Andre’s Clubhouse tried to keep white guys out. And one bar discriminated against lesbians and a women’s bar discriminated against men.

    Thinking a bit more about the election results and Prop 8 demographics, there is a call out there to “stop blaming blacks”, which given the numbers could be read as “Let’s not talk about this, because no good can come of it.”
    I don’t particularly approve of not talking about things because they are uncomfortable, but I fail to see how discussing the demographics of the vote is divisive but repeating an unproven claim about name-calling at Westwood is positive or productive.


    Я практически случайно зашел на этот блог, но задержался тут надолго. Задержался, потому что все очень интересно. Обязательно скажу о вас всем своим знакомым.

  19. XSatiram

    Спасибочки, что просветили, и, главное, как раз вовремя. Подумать только, шесть лет уже в инете, но про это первый раз слышу.

  20. Lawrence Shine

    The writer of this piece didn’t do his homework.

    There ain’t no Pimping Blackness going on with the Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Coalition.

    The Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Coalition is an all Black political action committee. BRC was founded by african-american activist Zwazzi Sowo, after a very brief period BRC was handed to Andrea Shorter. Our Coalition is and always shall be a group lead by and focused on african-american interests.

  21. Jahleel

    Lawrence Shine, few people in L.A. – where I am from – nor anywhere else know about or feel the weight of the existence of The Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Coalition. Who are they? What are they? Also, regardless of how all Black the Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Coalition is supposed to be, giving the British “Q” in its name, it clearly white gayness is its philosophical and political blue-print.

  22. mary Post author

    Adding the Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Coalition quote to Kheven’s story was my move alone. Kheven had no part in it and was polite enough not to complain.

    I’ve now removed it to clear up the confusion. For the record, though, in case anyone is curious, here it is:

    African American LGBT leaders call for unity in aftermath of Prop 8

    The San Francisco-based Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition, calling for an end to blaming African Americans for passage of Proposition 8, held a press conference Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Castro. “We are very encouraged at the recent protests nationwide to demand the overturn of Proposition 8,” said Lawrence Shine, BRC board member. “However, the blaming of African Americans for the passage of Proposition 8 needs to stop now. Enough is enough.”

    Exit polls suggesting 70 percent of African American voters voted to ban same sex marriage have been widely reported. “Clearly, the work must continue to outreach to African Americans and other communities of color and faith on the matter of marriage equality,” said Andrea Shorter, BRC co-chair. “Still, this 70 percent figure simply doesn’t add up and has caused enough unnecessary hostility and division. Cooler heads and rational minds must prevail to advance civil rights for all versus allowing racial targeting to needlessly tear us apart.”

    The BRC, formed in 2007 as a forum for political action to empower Black LGBT people, announced a panel discussion on Wednesday evening with the Stop AIDS Project to improve African American and LGBT community relations and work for marriage equality. For more information, email

    Mary Ratcliff, editor
    SF Bay View

  23. Lawrence Shine

    Thank You Mary

    I appreciate your attention to this matter.
    We are working hard to grow our organization,
    and want to get the right message out about us.
    There is a large void in California based political action commitees consisting of afrocentric Black LGBT people.
    BRC is working to help change that. We are looking forward to continuing outreach and collaboration throughout our entire community.


    Lawrence Shine

    Bayard Rustin Coalition

  24. Liberal Sista

    I found the results of Prop 8 to be morbidly disgusting! Although I am a Black heterosexual female, nevertheless I have always supported gay marriages, same-sex adoptions, as well as upholding the Supreme Court decision of Roe V Wade. Unfortunately, Christianity has a played a vital role in many Black communities. Many African Americans are physically liberal, but socially conservative. What went wrong with Prop 8 and the Black vote? A.S.S.U.M.P.T.I.O.N and BAD MARKETING! There is a smaller percentage of Blacks living in California than any other ethnicity group. There are more faith-based televised sermons advertised on BET, than MTV or VH1. There were no grassroots campaign pushing the opposition agenda of Prop 8 in Black and Hispanic urban/suburban areas. Kanye West, a rapper who has openly expressed his support for gay marriages would have been a great spokesperson for the Black community. Politics is a game of chess, and Prop 8 is just one of the 16 pieces! The Mormans understood their religious constituents. If you want to forward a faith based agenda among minorities, then target the Black churches. President Bush did this during his Presidential campaign. Trying to push Prop 8 right after the Presidential victory of President Obama {without gaining a favorable amount of attention to this subject from Blacks and Hispanics} was infantile. You want Prop 8 eradicated? Then reach out to the Black community. It’s NEVER too late! I still support same sex marriages.

  25. Liberal Sista

    Here is a great chess move. According to DADI, 69% of births among Black women were to unwed mothers. Black women are the least likely to be married (more than any other women of any different ethnicity). Call the Black churches out on their hypocrisy. The older pre-Civil Rights generation do not believe that Gay-Marriage is a civil rights issue, so don’t make it one! It’s a losing battle! Instead create this argument, “Why are so many African-Americans concerned about respecting the institution of marriage, when so many children in Black communities are being born out of wedlock?” This would be a great debate to take on with Black pastors. A widely publicized debate on BET with pastors {like Creflo A. Dollar and TD Jakes}, would push the issue among many young voters in HBCUs (historically Black Colleges and Universities). Target the Black Gay Elite in Atlanta, Georgia to pull further resources. They are well connected to many other Black organizations and learning institutions. I hate to admit this, but the failure of Prop 8 did not lie with the Mormans or religious Blacks. The failure lied with the upper-middle class gay elite who refused to form allies with the Black and Hispanic communities. The Morman churches CAME PREPARED!


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