4.29.2009

Smitherman vs the LGBT Community

I want to say up front that I am a "johnny-come-lately to this topic, basically because I have problems with both the LGBT community and the Black Community for the very reasons being debated, racism and homophobia.

I also have a problem with Mr. Smitherman...When he talks, I turn off, because I have yet to find him credible on any topic. I am mystified by his election to head the NAACP. I am mystified that so many others apparently find him to be a man worth following.

I found Jill Benavides comments after the meeting at City Hall to be patronizing, and condescendingly PC with regard to Smitherman. It was as if she were talking about a child. In other words..."let him have his temper tantrum, we love him anyway."

Having said all that......Let’s go there...shall we...

Nowhere on either side of this clueless conversation has the Black LGBT community been talked about or included in the conversation. Smitherman talked about his one white gay male NAACP member, as if having one represents all. That is the same way the white LGBT community talks about Blacks...you know..."some of my best friends are....."

The conversation that took place at City Hall obscures the fact that Black gays and lesbians are totally invisible in Cincinnati. And it’s like that across the country. Much of it due to the queer hatred within the Black community, in addition to the racism in the LGBT community

As Black people..we spend most of our lives being beaten up because of the color of our skin. It’s been a very difficult road to electing our first Black president. We have been killed for simply wanting to be treated equally. Laws were passed to make that happen, yet it’s still a problem in 2009, and you have only to look at two recent incidents of men, white men, killing their families and police for fear of a Black man in the White House.

You’ve got white governors talking of secession...that has got to be the ultimate in white flight..think about it...the same thing happens when a black family moves into a previously all white neighborhood...still....that’s not past history...that’s last week....

Now compound skin color with being gay or lesbian and you go from being beaten down on a national level to somebody, maybe your own brother, sister, mother, father, neighborhood, kicking your ass because you’re a sissy or you’re a bulldagger. You get tired of being a target, you get tired of being called names....for Black gays and lesbians...being called a nigger is not much different than being called queer or fag or bulldagger.

Trust me, you’re not going to run out and join the very community organizations that want you dead...

The white LGBT community doesn’t feel it’s racist, but it is no different, really than liberal whites who like using that.."some of my best friends are....." phrase. Blacks are not taken seriously within the LGBT community, usually being dismissed with a patronizing pat on the top of our fuzzy little heads, with a "thank you for coming...but we know better, what’s good for you..."

The prop 8 vote in California exposed the LGBT racism, when it was erroneously reported that Blacks were the reason it passed....Blacks gays and lesbians who took to the streets to protest the vote, were attacked by white gays and lesbians.....called niggers among other things....The white LGBT community has yet to apologize for their assumptions during that time...

Being Black gay and lesbian means you’re caught up between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

Not feeling accepted by anyone can be a very lonely way to grow up and to live.

Smitherman and the NAACP need to realize that there have always been Black gays and lesbians active within his organization and the civil rights movement. What they need to do is to recognize that the NAACP and other Black organizations are also not inclusive organizations working for all Blacks.

There is no mention of the devastation of HIV/AIDS on the Black Community. In fact Smitherman as a straight man is probably more susceptible to getting the virus than any gay black man at this stage, not because he is gay or down-lo, but because Black straight women are the ones being infected at record breaking rates.

Black women are sleeping with down-lo men and taking the germ back to their straight boyfriends...

And why are men down-lo...because they stand to be judged not men, if they come out..being labeled soft is worse than being called a nigger in the Black community. Witness the death a couple of weeks ago of a 12 year old Black youth, who hanged himself, after being repeatedly called a fag at school.

Why was he called a fag, or labeled soft.....he liked school and his mother taught him to comport himself like a gentleman...he was not gay, by the way....just a clean cut little boy...dead...

It is killing our community...yet....I hear nothing from the NAACP about this massive problem. If the women die...who is going to bear your sons? Or will any white or J-Lo looking Latina woman do?

It is no proof of your so called inclusive tendencies if all you can talk about is one gay white boy as a member. Remember, he can always go back to his community in which by birth he is a master of the universe.

Black gays and lesbians must go home to the same hate that they suffer from in the streets.

The entire Smitherman statement left women out the conversation, altogether. That is typical of the misogyny that also permeates the Black Community.

So, to put an end to this ramble.....

NAACP....you need to talk to Black gays and lesbians first.....you need to address the number one killer of Black people in this country and the world....second only to gun violence...which is another problem in and of itself...

Opening the tent to include all Black people will send a bigger message than a useless conversation with white gay and lesbian organizations with issues of their own to deal with..

It doesn’t matter who turns out to support what....until we recognize the problem within our own community, we will be having this worthless conversation in 2010, 2011, 2012.....
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