For months now, the falsehood has spread that Blacks - as a general population - dislike the gay community. I've tried to argue that this is simply not the case. Blacks have been unfairly blamed for the passage of Proposition 8 and Black churches have been put on Front Street as the leaders of that campaign. Gay leaders like Dan Savage have repeated this notion so much that I worry it will cause a permanent rift in relations between the two communities and that it sweeps Black GLBTs so far under the bus that they aren't sure where to feel comfortable. Trying to get this across is like shouting into the well that little Jessica fell in to. Then, thanks to Blue Oregon contributor Caitlin Baggott, I read this:
Homophobic black clergy do not speak for the entire black Christian community. Though they receive dramatically less media attention, many African-American religious leaders, like Reverend Lee in Los Angeles, are encouraging acceptance and inclusion in their congregations and communities. African-American Christians have long resisted readings of the Bible that exclude and oppress. Enslaved blacks were admonished to "obey their masters" but they believed the story of Moses leading his people from bondage. Jim Crow religion told black people to be silent about oppression because the "meek shall inherit the earth," but Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. called for "justice to run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty and ever-flowing stream."
LGBT communities and black communities are not separate constituencies. They are overlapping communities full of our own brothers, sisters, daughters, friends, preachers, and choir directors. To oppose equality of any kind for LGBT individuals is to oppose equality for black people. They are us, we are them. Empathy reminds us of that basic truth.