Protest Amendment 2, But Leave The Racism Out of It
The protests in California over the passage of Prop. 8 have gotten heated, and an ugly problem is the bit of racism that's emerged after exit polls showed 70% of African-Americans voted in favor of its passage. This Saturday will see a nationwide protest against the passage of Prop. 8 and similar bans, including Florida's Amendment 2. Here, 71% of African-Americans voted in favor it, but it's a misguided mistake to blame minority communities.
We have to remember that at the end of the day these things boil down to campaigns and politics. Yeah, it's totally fucked up that the decision of what rights to ban in a state constitution can be decided by which side is more politically savvy, but those are the realities. GLBT rights leaders have to acknowledge that to fight future battles, and maybe start proposing a few measures of their own. Both in California and Florida the groups campaigning against the ballot initiatives didn't do much in the way of minority outreach, especially compared to their competitors. Go to Yes2Marraige.com, you'll see links to special pages for "Black Americans for Marriage" and "Latinos for Marriage". Go to SayNo2.com, and you'll see no such thing. The site doesn't even herald the fact anywhere that the Florida Chapter of the NAACP recommended a no vote on 2 (a brave action that caused friction with African-American Christian leaders). There just wasn't enough minority outreach. Period. And in both California and Florida where the amendments passed their respective thresholds by just 2%, it could have made the difference.
Ultimately any anger directed towards the African-American community is counterproductive. The strength of the gay rights movement is in the fact that homosexuality knows no race, no ethnicity, no class, no nationality, no religion, no gender, no income level, and for that matter no species. Misguided racism just undercuts that strength.
Anyway, there will be a national protest this Saturday Nov. 15th against the passage of Prop. 8, Amendment 2 and related measure. You can find information on the Miami protest (at City Hall) here, and information on the Ft. Lauderdale protest below.