Comparing struggles: Gay vs. black
Democracy can be a tricky thing, said Christine M. Flowers in the Philadelphia Daily News. On the same day that America elected its first black president, “uber-tolerant” California thumbed “its collective nose at what some consider the newest civil-rights crusade,” gay marriage. What’s more, 7 in 10 African-American voters voted for the gay-marriage ban, putting them on the side that gay activists are accusing of “discrimination and bigotry.”
Many people bristle at the suggestion that African Americans and gays share a similar struggle, said Leonard Pitts Jr. in The Miami Herald. And it’s true that their experiences aren’t equivalent, but “gay people, like black people, know what it’s like to be left out, lied about, scapegoated, discriminated against, held up, beat down, denied a job, a loan or a life.” It’s hard to understand “how people who have known so much of oppression can turn around and oppress.”
So why are gay-marriage supporters protesting outside Mormon churches instead of African-American ones? asked Rod Dreher in BeliefNet. It’s because that would be a bad way to make the claim that your struggle is related to black Americans’ fight for civil rights. Mormons supported the Proposition 8 ban too, and they are “white and middle class, therefore safe to attack.”
There’s something “deeply arrogant” about expecting African Americans to instantly jump on the “gay civil rights bus,” said Herndon L. Davis in Gay City News. There are religious and cultural reasons why so many blacks voted the way they did. And if gay activists really want to compare their fight to the black civil rights struggle, they should be more patient—it took blacks hundreds of years to go from slavery to the presidency.