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Saturday, November 08, 2008

African Americans Voted for Prop 8 in Disportionate Numbers

This wasn't surprising. The same demographic trend was obvious with other votes on this issue. Rachel Maddow had a guest on last night who suggested the No on 8 people failed to have a good outreach strategy and message to the African American community. There's been lots of discussion on this issue over on Pam's House Blend:

In South Carolina, the LGBT population is small. Whether that's a reflection of the truth or just a reflection of how good some people are at living in the closet, I'm not sure. Despite the anti-gay sentiment inherent in so many things in my lovely home state, I am proud to say it's LGBT population is pretty close knit. There is a sense of community of sorts -- an "us against them" theme that reaches beyond race. Because, frankly, when there's so few of you, little things like the color of someone's skin seem to matter less and less.

So, I start this diary with that to preface my absolute shock at what has come out of the anti-Prop 8 movement. Maybe I'm just naive (I am almost certain I am), but I had no idea that there was such racial prejudice within this struggle. I blame the smallness of the SC LGBT "community" on my lack of knowledge, lol.

After reading some of the unbelieveable responses of people I usually agree with, I had to write this diary. Most of the posts seem to stem from just a general lack of understanding about the significance of race, the ignorance of labels, and the assumption that one group of people are beholden to the LGBT movement.

So here goes...
popsiclestand :: The "Black Community"

First, let's get this label, "black community" on the table and out of the way. What is the "black community"? As a black woman, I really want to know. Is it my distinctly southern community that I grew up in? Is it my distant cousins' northern, inner-city community? Is it my good friend's west-coast, breezy community? What is it? Those two words have been thrown around so much in the wake of Prop 8 passing that I think a real definition needs to come out for it.

From my perspective, there is no "black community" in the sense that there is somehow a massive collective, hive mind that people with dark skin somehow share. This isn't the only time this label has come up. Whenever some public figure utters a racial slur, the media turns to the leaders of the "black community" for a response. Usually Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. Sure, they are black leaders who are very outspoken. But somehow, there is the perception that these people and their ideals speak for the black race. I've never even met these guys and I only agree with Jesse Jackson's methods and motives half the time. But he speaks for me? What's up with that?

No, the term "black community" is an objectification of a race of people who may or may not share qualities beyond the color of their skin. It takes away the personal and replaces it with a set of sterotyped expectations. Based on what? I'm not even sure. It's a flippant way of dealing wtih race without dealing with race. Just put a broad label on something and pretend you respect the people you put under that label -- even though you don't give their individualness much thought. Then that label is applied to every person who's black. In the case of the Prop 8 blame-game, suddenly that label is used to, from my perception, justify a sort of passive-aggressive racism.

It irks me.

If you look at the statistics and follow the money that supported Prop 8, the actual characteristic that those who voted "yes" actually share is a traditional belief system. This is across race, gender, etc. There were white people who voted for Prop 8. The LDS church, who provided millions to support Prop 8, is majorly white in its make-up! But suddenly, it's a "black community" problem. I hope I'm wrong, but this whole thing just seems like an excuse for some people to say some things about black people that they've been waiting to say for a long time.

A reader responds:

I agree BUT (0.00 / 0)
The same could be said about there being no Gay Community as well, at least under your definition. I do admire that in your writing you mention that distinction as well, unfortunately I see that the majority here would forget that fact. I see remarks and diaries talking about the "racist" behavior of the Gay Community and how this election was a wake-up call on racisim in the gay community.

Why is it that when the african american voters of california vote en masse in a way we would call bigoted we can't call them a community but when a few crazy fags call some one the n word then it's the fault of the entire Gay community for not educating the other??

An incredible double standard. I read the diaries here, and the comments, but I don't get it. What exactly was the lgbt leaders of the no on 8 campaign supposed to do? How do we educate people who will not even pay attention to Corretta Scott King's words in regards to this being a civil rights issue? How can we educate people who will not listen to the current and past leaders of their own fight for equality?

I don't blame every black person for this loss, I personally know a few (and not personally, know of many more) who certainly voted for my rights, but I would ask you why a group can be called a "community" when they do something good, but then be called "individuals" when they do something bad?

Just look to the headlines here on this site to see that we have no problem calling the loose coalition of gay individuals a community when blamming them for the racist acts of a few nasty angry people, but have a problem calling the african american voting block a community.

So, what's it gonna be? Who is and what makes a community? We can't discuss this without an agreement on the terminoligy.

I myself am not big on labels, my favorite shirt tells you all you need to know about me. It simply states: HUMAN

by: Burnsey

Friday, November 07, 2008

More from Triple A - Ron Carey Has to Go!

The top spot (Ron Carey) has to go because he refuses to think out side the box. We need drastic overhauling of this party from top to bottom. We’ve already begun to work on our own BPOU. Yes, while the iron is still hot, we’re talking about what we can do to win the other House seat and build up our grassroots base4 and volunteers to keep them engaged.

If we can’t get the deadweight, status quo, just listen to Fabrizio and the advisers, don’t rock the boat and upset the Governor/Senator/ etc people out of the MNGOP HQ, and all their lackey brown nosers too, there will be absolutely nothing changed.

Who will be the new chair?

Well, Fleming and Sutton are who I am hearing are preparing for it. Logical jumps for them as they are the two closest to the spot and have already been elected by State Central. But who else? I don’t know. There’s a lot of ripples in the water, but I am not hearing specifics, just a whole ton of anger and people ready to get someone in there who will listen to the grassroots not the DC bureaucrats.

Liberty, I sure hope that you will continue to bitch and moan/ make up this liberty thing when Democrats steal your rights then ban the ability for you to complain. What liberties did you have taken away. What, you ability to have terrorists kill you with out you knowing.

Christ, give me a break.

As for the growing Government, yeah, Bush was terrible and we will never out bid the Dems, so we shouldn’t even try. In case you didn’t know, I was supporting a Presidential candidate who believed in that sort of thing. Of course the establishment blue bloods of this party poo pooed that guy.

New blood. New ideas. I’m not saying that I have the answers or the solutions, but I can damn straight tell ya, that we can’t repeat the mistakes a 3rd time in the hopes that things go right.

Oh and this ain’t just an election thing, the party needs to be reformed and engage on the issues. The party must fight during the session and educate Minnesotans on the alternatives, and if the Governor disapproves, then too bad for him.

The next State Central Committee should be interesting.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Run Triple A, Run

Andy Aplikowski - aka Triple A - is considering running for state party chair.

Only if Ron Carey refuses to do the right thing after the recount is done or someone who has helped divide this party and put it in the ash heap comes forward.

A lot of people are ready for change. A lot of different groups are trying to organize and get their own ball rolling.

What I want to see done is for those of us who know the party is better than the results of the last 3 elections. We need to have a get together of those groups. If we all sit back and try to sneak around, the establishment will win again.

Trust me folks. We need to have an open and public debate about what this party needs while it is still fresh in the voters minds. If we wait for another meeting of 2-300 of us to decide the fate of the entire party in a prescribed outcome, we’ll be hosed in 2010 as well.

We need drastic change and we need it NOW!

Grab the popcorn!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama to "Go Slow" on DADT

Philly Inquirer:

Obama: Go slower on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

By Larry Eichel
Inquirer Senior Writer

In an interview with Mark Segal of the Philadelphia Gay News, Barack Obama indicated that he would not proceed unilaterally in fulfilling his promise to do away with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military.
Instead, the Democratic presidential candidate said that he would work through a step-by-step process with the military brass.

"The reason," Obama said, "is because I want to make sure that when we revert 'don't ask, don't tell,' it's gone through a process and we've built a consensus or at least a clarity of that, of what my expectations are, so that it works."

Under the current policy, adopted in 1993 under President Bill Clinton, military recruits are not supposed to be asked about their sexual orientation. Clinton had wanted to let gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals serve openly, but he encountered resistance.

Obama also said he would be reluctant to instruct his attorney general to go to court to try to overturn the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages and gives states the right not to recognize such unions.

"I think we're going to have to take a different approach," he said, "but I am absolutely committed to the concept [that] it is not necessary." He said he would prefer to see Congress change the law.

Obama pledged to make the protection of gays from imprisonment and torture in other countries part of his human-rights policy, calling it "not acceptable" to exclude such concerns from "our broader human-rights advocacy."

The telephone interview was conducted Tuesday by Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia paper, on behalf of the Gay History Project, which includes a number of publications serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Via Independent Gay Forum.



At the GOP convention in St. Paul, Palin was completely unfazed by the boys' club fraternity she had just joined. One night, Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter went to her hotel room to brief her. After a minute, Palin sailed into the room wearing nothing but a towel, with another on her wet hair. She told them to chat with her laconic husband, Todd. "I'll be just a minute," she said.

McCain's Classy Concession Speech

John McCain gave a moving concession speech to Barack Obama. I was quite impressed. It appears the rest of the McCain campaign is full of backbiting and recriminations.

Keith Downey Wins 41A Seat (Erhardt)

This was a three way race, and Downey won with 36% of the vote. This means he's likely going down to defeat in 2 years.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Be Kind to Your Election Judges

That's my thought for Election Day, 2008 - be kind.

In 2004, I worked as an election judge from about 1:30 in the afternoon until the polls closed around 8. For that entire time, I sat and processed same-day registrations. I was happy to help, but know that it can be an intense, stressful task for the judge.

I got up early this morning to vote, and faced a long wait. The logistics inside the polling place aren't the best, especially when trying to keep multiple lines organized. Nobody dislikes standing in lines more than myself, but I'd ask that voters be willing to give the volunteers running the polling places the benefit of the doubt today. They have to play the hand they're dealt in terms of facilities and staffing levels. It's easy to jump into some kind of conspiracy theory if we're inconvenienced, but let's just take a breath, wait in line, and calmly exercise our franchise.

Monday, November 03, 2008

AFSCME Gay Baiting McConnell

Page One Kentucky.

I hope this backfires.

AFSCME has released what could have been an amazing radio ad attacking Mitch McConnell. It goes on and on about everything Mitch has done to ruin the world and then brings up his military record.

A deep and ominous-voiced announcer says:

“Now, people in Kentucky are asking why Mitch McConnell won’t release his entire military records. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that McConnell was discharged after serving less than six months. But McConnell won’t discuss the full details … What is he hiding? … Isn’t it time for Mitch McConnell to be straight with us?”

Was it really necessary for AFSCME to sink super-low to the ground and question Mitch McConnell in a manner in which could be construed that they’re hinting at sexual orientation? We’re absolutely blown away by this b.s. And that’s coming from us– folks who want nothing more than to find out once and for all if Mitch has something to hide. But we’re intelligent enough to know that you don’t jack around with a story like this unless you have evidence.
Annoying. Homophobia isn’t okay anywhere, any time, no matter what.

I encourage you to contact AFSCME to let them know how you feel about this ad.

Democrats Gay Bait Mitch McConnell

Check it out on Pam's House Blend. I find this action by Michelangelo Signorile disgusting.

Why is it worse for closeted gays to vote for anti-gay legislation, than heterosexual hypocrites?

I have no idea whether Mitch McConnell is gay or not. My feeling is it ain't nobody's business but his own.

Dean Barkley Hearts Antonin Scalia

During the Senate Debate at Blake School, Dean Barkley stated his favorite supreme court justice was Antonin Scalia. I thought that odd, because Scalia's rulings when addressing gay plaintifs have been full of venom. I asked his spokesperson, Chris Truscott about this.

Chris - Can you get a comment from Barkley about why he thinks Justice
Scalia is the best Justice on the Supreme Court? Has he read the Lawrence v Texas decision? I thought Barkley was of the opinion that Government should stay out of people's bedrooms. Scalia believes in Sodomy laws, laws against sex toys - and laws against masturbation.

From the dissent:

Countless judicial decisions and legislative enactments have relied on the ancient proposition that a governing majority's belief that certain sexual behavior is "immoral and unacceptable" constitutes a rational basis for regulation. See, e.g., Williams v. Pryor, 240 F.3d 944, 949 (CA11 2001) (citing Bowers in upholding Alabama's prohibition on the sale of sex toys on the ground that "[t]he crafting and
safeguarding of public morality … indisputably is a legitimate government interest under rational basis scrutiny"); Milner v. Apfel, 148 F.3d 812, 814 (CA7 1998) (citing Bowers for the proposition that "[l]egislatures are permitted to legislate with regard to morality … rather than confined to preventing demonstrable harms"); Holmes v. California Army National Guard 124 F.3d 1126, 1136 (CA9 1997) (relying
on Bowers in upholding the federal statute and regulations banning from military service those who engage in homosexual conduct); Owens v. State, 352 Md. 663, 683, 724 A. 2d 43, 53 (1999) (relying on Bowers in holding that "a person has no constitutional right to engage in sexual intercourse, at least outside of marriage"); Sherman v. Henry, 928 S. W. 2d 464, 469—473 (Tex. 1996) (relying on Bowers in rejecting a claimed constitutional right to commit adultery). We ourselves
relied extensively on Bowers when we concluded, in Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 U.S. 560, 569 (1991), that Indiana's public indecency statute furthered "a substantial government interest in protecting order and morality," ibid., (plurality opinion); see also id., at 575 (Scalia, J., concurring in judgment). State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation,
adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers' validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today's decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding. See ante, at 11 (noting "an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult
persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex" (emphasis added)). The impossibility of distinguishing homosexuality from other traditional "morals" offenses is precisely why Bowers rejected the rational-basis challenge. "The law," it said, "is constantly based on notions of morality, and if all laws representing essentially moral choices are to be invalidated under the Due Process Clause, the courts will be very busy indeed."
478 U.S., at 196.2

It took several emails and calls to get a response from Barkley's campaign:

Sen. Barkley is a strict constructionist, though his view of what the Constitution means sometimes differs from that of others who describe themselves the same way.

Keep in mind that Sen. Barkley is the only candidate in this Senate race who lists support for same-sex marriage on his issues page. That's his view of what the equal protection clause means to the letter of the law.