Before you go there, no Jesse Jackson is not crying because he now has to plan a farewell tour. If not for Jesse’s presidential bid spawning proportional allocation of delegates in the Democratic nomination process, a President Obama could not have been this soon, so there.
Moving on, honestly, I didn’t have any intentions of reiterating what everyone has been saying since the election was called for Obama. Then “Black President” came on my iPod at the gym; I knew I needed to chime in.
Like many, I am ecstatic that the skinny Black man that was cool, calm, and calculated in how he planned out his lofty goal for two years finally clinched what many naysayers said was undoable so soon. Eight years ago a then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama couldn’t score a ticket to the floor of the Democratic National Convention and couldn’t rent a car because his credit card was declined. Now he leads the Democratic Party and the nation. His ascension has instilled in me a belief that I can truly be anything I want to be if I pursue it enough vigorously. Barriers have been broken, and as a Black man, I feel proud.
Unfortunately, another part of me realizes that while one barrier has been broken, another has grown only stronger.
Earlier this year the California Supreme Court made what I thought was a significant judgment in the new fight for equality. And now, thanks the Mormon Church, a confusing ballot, and good old fashioned intolerance this nation has moved two steps forward, two steps back (“…we come together, because opposites attract”)
What bothers me most about Proposition 8’s victory is that Black support for the measure totaled 70%. I know a lot of people – particularly Black people – hate talking about gay issues. I’ve been ‘complimented’ a number of times by readers who ‘thank me’ for not doing it too often.
Well, if that bothers you that much, stop reading here.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I can continue to speak my peace.
I find the irony in the Mormon Church – which is historically racist and notoriously pro-polygamist – pouring millions of dollars into California to defeat Proposition 8 in order to preserve the ‘sanctity of marriage.’ As you can tell by the drive-thru marriage chapels, the high divorce rate, and the tradition of practicing polygamy in the Mormon faith, marriage is a very sacred institution in America.
Them aside, I’m more disappointed in Black America. It doesn’t matter how much of the overall population they make in California, 70% of Blacks supported this. If not for Loving vs. Virginia there would be no Barack Obama, but I suppose that’s different because it doesn’t affect a lot of people personally.
I am not a Bible literalist, but even if I were I find points to scripture to justify support for this measure intriguing. Blacks can invoke stories like Sodom and Gomorrah yet conveniently glance over The Story of Ham and how it was twisted to justify slavery. That’s why it’s important to realize context, what words meant at the time (for example: abomination didn’t mean then what it does now), and everything else that would help a person better understand what they’re reading.
But none of the religious aspects of the debate even matter. This is a basic Civil Rights issue to me. It’s sad it’s not overall viewed as such.
The people of Arizona and Florida don’t agree with me. Neither does Arkansas now that unmarried couples of any orientation can adopt children there.
Thousands of children will linger in the adoption system because people want nuclear families for adoptees – yet no nuclear family steps up to the plate.
Alright, let me not sound like so much of a downer. Again, I am thrilled about Obama. I donated spare change a couple of times throughout the campaign and had Obama lost I would’ve turned to Cindy McCain to get a refund.
Barack has made history and I believe we all should be proud of that. However, for those of you who do care about true equality for all realize that one form of prejudice is seeking to take the place of another. We all have to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Thankfully, while some of yesterday’s decisions worry me, the biggest one gives me hope that it won’t.