Friday, December 19, 2008

Dirty Double Standard Drama

Yo, I need y'all to ponder something for me.

So, Barack Obama picks Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. In response, a whole host of homosexual lobbyists get pissed at him because Warren is opposed to gay marriage. Like many other people on the left, these individuals now accuse Obama of betraying them, and wonder if he's lost his moorings. They note that they helped him get elected, and he owes them something for their support.

Y'all with me so far?

Here's the million dollar question in my mind.

How would the media be handling this if it was black people complaining that Obama wasn't looking out for us enough?

That question isn't totally hypothetical. I watched a program on CNN Wednesday where Donna Brazile was discussing that very same scenario with Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer asked Brazile if black people were out of line for complaining that Obama hadn't done enough to show his support for our community. He didn't say "some" black people, he lumped us all in there together.

I'm still waiting for him to ask that question about homosexuals.

This is a perfect example of how black people are insidiously denied equality in this country. Our concerns are minimized or ignored because the larger society deems them superficial and selfish. We are chastised for expecting loyalty from politicians or political parties that we support at overwhelming rates, while other groups with far less consistent support see their concerns hailed as earth-shattering issues.

We get told we don't really count.

Sidenote: I wouldn't have picked Warren to say the invocation because I think he allowed McCain to cheat during the Saddleback "debate," but that's just me. I'm also sick of people saying Obama shouldn't be buttering up the religious right because they won't support him no matter what he does. In order to be successful Obama must minimize his opposition by their support, and selecting Warren helps with that.

I've noticed that mainstream America has become increasingly less willing to critically examine racial issues, and things have only gotten worse with Obama's victory. I'm not talking about placing a camera and microphone in front of the usual suspects and telling them to discuss the current most popular racial issue. I want Americans to examine their basic assumptions about this country. I want black people to have the freedom to shake free of our role as constant complainer, and instead be seen as people raising valid issues.

If black people were criticizing Obama because we though he wasn't doing enough for us, it would be taken as further proof of our greed and innate racism. (That's right, many white people think black folks are the real racists.) Our protests would not be considered legitimate, not would Obama feel the consistent heat from the media that would compel him to respond to them. It would just be another example of black people showing their ass in the minds of the mainstream media.

This issue reminds me of the hoopla surrounding the passage of Proposition 8 in California, particularly the quid pro quo relationship implied by many gay people. Opponents of Prop. 8 seemed outraged that black people would heavily support that measure considering the fact that the majority of gay people supported Obama. (However, Obama received less gay support than John Kerry. Gays were one of the few groups he lost to McCain and it didn't matter what age they were.)

At the time I was outraged that some gay people felt like black people were being ungrateful by supporting Prop 8. That paternalistic mindset is not uncommon among white people, but it's even more galling when it's coming from people who are arguing that they are the victims of an injustice. It's one thing to disagree with black people's support of the proposition and to be appalled at the levels of anti-gay sentiments in the black community. It's quite another thing to tell black people they need to be more grateful to you because you were willing to let a black guy be president.

The recent uproar has the same undertones. Yet, very few people seem to find this mind set troubling even as black people are continually reminded that we don't have any special claim on Obama because he's everybody's president. If he's everybody's president, then why are gay people getting so angry that he's trying to appeal to everybody?

Makes no damn sense.

Scratch that, it makes perfect sense. It makes perfect sense in a country where double standards regarding black people are accepted with little critical thought. Some might wonder if I'm seeing the racial bogeyman where he doesn't exist, but they are wrong. This situation is exactly the sort of racism that black people face most often today. The subtle demeaning and undervaluing of our worth that erodes confidence and excuses injustice.

Same drama, different day.



Esquire said...

Definitely a double standard. Obama has to be all things to all people at once.

Tit for Tat said...

Gays werent that pissed that Warren is against marriage, as Obama is also. They were upset that Warren compared it to incest and bigamy. Theres a big difference dont ya think?

Tit for Tat said...

oops, thats Gay marriage

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Yep the same double standard. What really gets me is that to some of the gay community our civil right struggle makes their valid, but then at the same time they devalue it. Way too much to talk about this early.

One day we will be able to see right is right and wrong is wrong and who is saying something is rigth or wrong won't color the listeners ears.


Salsa said...

We need to first organize to 'STOP THE VIOLENCE' racisim (self hate)in our own comm-unity and then tackle the racisim in the larger community

Big Man said...


Do you really believe that they were only upset that he compared it to incest and bigamy?

And, is it really an insult to compare gay marriage to bigamy or polygamy? Isn't that a legitimate comparison?

I can see that comparing gay marriage to bestiality, incest of pedophelia is an insult. Those comparisions implicitly question the humanity or moral character of homosexuals. But, I don't understand the anger regarding bigamy.

Bigamy and polygamy are non-traditional unions entered into by consenting adults. They seem to directly parallel gay marriage.

What say you?

Deacon Blue said...

I would copy my comment from a recent post at Ephphatha on the issue of some of those comparisons, but it got pretty I already feel bad posting a "mini blog post" there as comment. No need to build on my sins here.

But I basically agree with Big Man that certain comparisons make sense, while others are very demeaning and inappropriate.

ms. undastood said...

I believe that it is a double standard. I feel like that while homosexuals may be "persecuted" now, I feel like we are living in a totally different time now then the 40's through the 60's. Even though there are still a lot of racist people out there it is more understood now that people have rights and you can't attack someone or point the finger of persecution their way. I think sometimes that the gay community tries look like the victim and compare their hardships to the hardships that the black community faced back in the 60's. I believe nothing compares nothing could be like what I have been told and have watched on various documentaries ( Yeah I was born in the 80's). I feel like being homosexual is a choice and we did not choose to be black. I have no problem with gay people I have a lot of gay friends, so don't take my comments the wrong way. I just feel like our country is so judgemental and superficial. The country was supposed to founded on these principles of freedom and rights and all of that but people have been negleted those very things that were supposed to be so fundamental to the start of this country. I agree everyone needs to take a look at how they view America and all of the stereotyping, racism, and bigotry that still exists. We have overcome but we have not came that far!

WNG said...

As far as I know Obama doesn't support Gay marriage - civil unions and other things like that yes, but not marriage. So why would they be surprised?

And I really think that the media is looking for pretty much anyone who supported Obama who is a little upset right now, because there isn't a whole lot else to make hay out of. Everything else going on in the world is too 'real' and 'newsworthy'.

Anyway - another awesome post...yawn... maybe you should throw up a few clunkers just to mix it up a little.

cinco said...

I agree with some of what's been said.

Obama is not the saviour of the world. He won't please everybody. I think he's doing a decent job- who knows some of his nominees may not pass the 'confirmation' tests ahead.

I'm not deminishing the struggles gays feel that they've had just like I wouldn't do that to any other group. I think Obama is making calculated efforts to put aside his personal preferences for a baby step towards unity. Hell, I didn't even pay attention or desire to know who Bush selected other than Sec. Of State and Defense. If nothing else Obama has created curiosity in the inaugurel ceremony/process and the immediate cabinet positions.
And according to the media 300,000 have applied for the 3,000 available jobs that it takes for the President to run the country.

The expectations some of us have of him should be close to what we had of other Presidents- and for many that has been essentially nothing!

Raving Black Lunatic