Obama: Everyman's President?
Black, White and Rick All Over
Black is not the new white [“Black Is the New White,” Dec. 26-Jan. 1, by David Ehrenstein]. Since a white man convicted of a felony has a better chance of getting a job than an African-American with a college degree and no criminal history in New York there is no real comparison. Be real about the racism in the gay community. It’s there, right? Why? Because it is a microcosm of our society. So, why would we expect that there would not be any kind of homophobia in nonwhite communities? The bigotry is based in religion.
Just because Barack Obama has been elected president does not suddenly make entrenched institutional racism a thing of the past. Oprah’s been a billionaire for how long? Did blacks become the new whites then? Moreover, while I agree with your anger at Obama’s choice of Rick Warren, I do not think Obama chose to deliberately hurt gay people with the selection any more than he tried to offend African-Americans by choosing Hillary Clinton after she ran a vicious antiblack campaign. Neither do I feel that Obama tried to piss off progressives by keeping Joe Lieberman in the tent.
Frankly, I wonder if Obama may feel that times are desperate and that he has to make nice with some despicable people in a time of crisis. Frankly, if Obama can play kissy-face with Rick Warren and leverage that relationship to get ENDA, the Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes legislation, federal civil-union legislation and repeal of the DADT, then hallelujah!
What kind of shennanigans did Lyndon Johnson have to pull to get civil rights legislation passed? A lot.
Posted by Blake
There’s enough discrimination, hate and bigotry (DHB) around for everyone to have their fair share. We all share in the success of President-elect Obama, skin color and sexual orientation aside. Since all of us suffer when DHB triumphs, it’s up to each of us to recognize when we practice it. Ask the blackest blacks if lighter blacks discriminate against them. Ask the most effete gay man if he is discriminated against and hated by the “pass for straight” gay man. I am a recently married California gay white man; Obama has never embraced same-sex marriage. Therefore, he is not like Bill Clinton, who actually promised one thing and did another. Obama did promise diversity and is reaching out. Well, guess what? He’s reaching out to Rick Warren. The outstanding gay black folk you mention in your article lived their lives to produce enlightenment and promote understanding. A great goal. Your article, David, was outstanding. Your conclusion, though, is a bit flippant. A judgment that it would only take the 60 days since the election of Obama to make blacks into the new whites diminishes the 400 years of practice us whites have had.
Posted by Carl Matthes, L.A.
What a surprise, more bashing of religion by people afraid of it. Rev. Warren simply believes what the Bible says. Period. You don’t have to agree with him, but he’s consistent with millions of — according to you — homophobic Republican Fox News racists. Prop. 8 failed primarily due to Hispanics and African-Americans of faith — not bigotry or homophobia. Obama is ALL of our president, and if he wants to be re-elected, he will govern as such. So far, so good, Mr. President-elect.
Posted by S. Anthony, Chicago
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