For Obama to have to take on the entire mantle of addressing the anti-gay rhetoric promoted by the likes of Donnie McClurkin and his supporters is a lot to ask, but there are going to be precious few voices in the black community who are going to be willing to call out McClurkin on his bigotry and ex-gay misinformation and do something about it. We now know what the "something" is.
Chicago Tribune Blog:
One gay activist involved with the Obama campaign said the situation puts the candidate in a bind, since he risks offending evangelicals in South Carolina if he cancels McClurkin's appearance but could alienate gay supporters if the performance proceeds as planned.
“This story is quickly turning into a disaster for Barack,” said the supporter who is active on gay and lesbian issues. “He’s screwed if he goes through with the trip with Donnie McClurkin….But he's also screwed in South Carolina if he dumps McClurkin. I hope that the staffer who set this up has already been fired.”
About 6:40 pm today, the Obama campaign issued a written statement from the candidate saying that he "strongly disagree(s)" with McClurkin's views. Still, a spokesman said McClurkin would remain part of the concert line-up.
“I have clearly stated my belief that gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens. I have consistently spoken directly to African-American religious leaders about the need to overcome the homophobia that persists in some parts our community so that we can confront issues like HIV/AIDS and broaden the reach of equal rights in this country," Obama said in the written statement.
"I strongly believe that African Americans and the LGBT community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I strongly disagree with Reverend McClurkin’s views and will continue to fight for these rights as President of the United States to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division," the statement added.
Aravosis intends to keep beating on this story.
That's nice, Senator. You strongly disagree with the bigot who thinks I need to be cured, and who has declared "war" on me and my people, but you're going to put the guy on stage with you anyway in order to make a few bucks. Nice. I wonder what Obama would say if Hillary invited David Duke to speak at an event but then said, not to worry, she really loves black people - kisses!
If you're afraid to lead, Senator, then maybe you're not the leader we thought you were.
More to come. Much more. All week.
PS You know Obama's campaign was fully aware of just who this bigot was - this wasn't a mistake. The bigot has been in the news, a lot, for his virulent homophobia. Obama simply didn't care. And he doesn't care now.
I don't think there's evidence of this.