Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WTF Black Californians?

Preface: I've been sitting here thinking about how to write this. I feel the need to tread lightly, but then because of that feeling, it seems more important than ever to take off the gloves.

First off, let me say I'm sorry to the 3/10 of black voters in California who went to the polls and voted down Proposition 8. I'm sorry that for the past week and probably the next few weeks, you will be included in the many discussions about why a discriminatory ballot measure passed in large part due to the African American vote. Just know that it's not your fault and you voted with your conscience. If there is any fault to lay at your feet it's that you were unable to convey to your neighbors or family that importance of striking down discriminatory legislation even if it doesn't target you specifically.

To the 7 in 10 of your who voted for Proposition 8, I hope that a number of you misread, or didn't read, the ballot. I have always held the belief that for an oppressed group of people to turn around and discriminate against another oppressed minority is one of the most shameful things that can happen. Where was your empathy on November 4th? It was not that long ago that many states had laws banning interracial marriage on the books but people fought it, and some opponents of those laws may not have planned to marry across race but they fought it none-the-less because it was wrong.

Now I'm not going to try and make a case that gays are more discriminated against than Blacks or vice-versa, but I will say that if you believe in fighting for civil rights, AND you believe that your own civil rights still hang in the balance, then you have a moral obligation to support the civil rights of those around you. In my opinion, by not helping those around you gain equal protection under the law you deserve any and all bigotry, oppression or discrimination that befalls you.

For everyone one of you whose faith tells you to oppose gay marriage, remember that somewhere out there someone else's faith tells them to oppose your right to vote, or your right to marry, or your right to marry someone of a different race. Marriage today is a civil institution that carries with it rights and benefits granted by the State, not by god. If you want to close your church's door to gays and lesbians, so be it, but your church should not be in the business of stripping rights from people as it does a great disservice to the struggle so many of you have been involved with in using your faith and your church to fight discrimination.

So please, do not argue that we must take away someone else's rights because Blacks are still discriminated against. Do not argue that we must take away someone else's rights because our church tells us to. Do not argue that we must take away someone else's rights because the case was not made clearly to you. Recognize that whatever your reasoning, you took away some fundamental rights from a minority group and you should be ashamed.

Oh yeah. One more thing. Fuck you Joe Lieberman.

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