Best Posts in Forum: Race, Religion, Science and Politics
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- Thread: Presidential Garbage Pail Kids
Burn In Hell: A Black Mom examines this from a logical POV
I wish my mom's was like this after I thought I was gonna burn in hell for being an abomination.
I know @alton @Nick Delmacy @Cyrus-Brooks will appreciate this.
- Thread: Black Lives Matter: Civil War
This is exactly why so-claimed "organic movements" like Black Lives Matter and Occupy could certainly benefit from real organization and accountable leadership.
I am definitely not surprised that at the end of the day it all boils down to dollars and cents. MONEY is the center of the universe.
- Thread: Being SGL In A BGLO.
So here's a touchy thing within the subset of the HBCU experience that is the NPHC. As a member of a BGLO (black Greek letter organization) that is bisexual and not a part of the male organizations more associated with accepting SGL folk I have often times felt like the fly on the wall that gets repeatedly smashed. When I joined my organization I was a 19 year old dude that in my second year of undergrad had cultivated an image for myself that made me a popular dude on campus but also very paranoid.
At this time in my life I was finally beginning to understand my sexuality although I hadn't acted on it I knew it was a matter of time and I felt that if I didn't keep up a front people would be able to somehow call out my same gender attractions. So I sought a cocoon, something I could surround myself with and have the protection of brotherhood to deflect any negativity that might come my way if my then secret attraction was realized. That cocoon was my fraternity.
There was an interest meeting for 2 organizations I was interested in joining and being a well liked and known guy I was invited to attend both. Eventually I chose to pursue the org that spoke to who I was and that intake process began. One of the first vetting processes is to subtly weed out any suspected gay pledges and forcing them to drop the line.
It wasnt something spoken of or acknowledged. In fact if you asked anyone a part of any BGLO they would spew out the sane rhetoric about being open to all qualified members and theres no bylaws that say LGBT members can't join so they do not discriminate which everyone knows is a lie and that LGB and sometimes even T people have to slide in under the radar all of the time.
I was one of the lucky ones that couldn't have my sexuality called out and so I wasn't as strictly vetted as those that could and soon the line went from 14 to 9. Eventually after the entire process and the probate and subsequent parties were over I felt a sense of accomplishment. Like maybe I'm not SGL or bisexual and I was just going through a phase. I'm a man now and I do man things I remember thinking.
Around the same time I began learning about well known members of my organization and was convinced I made the right decision by the list of brothers I greatly admired being a part of my bond. On that list was a name at the time I didn't know, Bayard Rustin, but my LB tells me "Yeah he was a fag though so we don't really claim him." and that being a closeted bisexual at the time made me both angry on the inside but also made me want to learn more about him.
I found out how he orchestrated most of the events we now associate with the civil rights movement, he was the right hand man to MLK and helped edit his speeches and logistically made the March on Washington happen by himself. He also was a gay man, a gay man in a gay interracial relationship that was written out of a movement he helped create and he was my fraternity brother and we had even erased him.
That didn't sit right with me, to this day doesn't and even when I'm with my frat brothers and we talk about one of the great men we have come through under I always make it a point to mention that brother.
I eventually started a private LGBT BGLO group with a young lady I had dated but later came out to me and though none of us were out during undergrad there were far more of us then I thought. That made me realize there must be more. At the time there was really no resources to find out but in recent years theres been more and more discussion about it and I thought I'd share this article Gay Men In Black Fraternities as well as a part of my experience with you all.
- Aug 28, 2015
- Daps Received:
I grew up in the church, however I do not consider myself religious now. I can understand people need hope and something or someone to believe in, but I just can't sit there whenever they have the homosexual sermon. It's too much for me and always has been.
- Thread: God Is Tryna Tell You Something
I don't believe hearing God is necessarily a voice. It can be that discernment that comes over you and says don't do this or go there and when you follow those directions it saves you from something detrimental.
I'm going to hell but I chuckled a little bit... As he was one of the most evil justices to sit on the bench I pray his spirit is repented.
Some of his opinions on SGL people.
Here Are the 7 Worst Things Antonin Scalia Has Said or Written About Homosexuality | Mother Jones
12 Must-Read Quotes From Scalia’s Blistering Same-Sex Marriage Dissent
This was a interesting conversation. It seemed a bit generational though - but Roland is right...my FB community is robust filled with all kinds of personalities. I commented on the historic amount of openly gay ambassadors that we currently have representing the US. But I "made the mistake" of pointing out that despite this historic achievement in representation the photo was wierd to me because it was 6 white gay men. Despite that the FACT that the US Department of State has one of the highest number of LGBT employees and even higher numbers in the Foreign Service Six white men make up this picture. No Women, No Persons of Color. After I made that comment, not being critical but celebrating. I had a firestorm of people telling me all kinds of things and I received messages calling me racist and wishing that my career in the Foriegn Service would be cut short because of my comments. I was amazed.
- Thread: Black, Gay and Losing Faith
Link to Amazon Book:
Black, Gay and Losing Faith
RUMAAN ALAM MARCH 15, 2018
Uzodinma Iweala Caroline Cuse
SPEAK NO EVIL
By Uzodinma Iweala
215 pp. HarperCollins Publishers. $26.99.
Uzodinma Iweala Caroline Cuse
SPEAK NO EVIL
By Uzodinma Iweala
215 pp. HarperCollins Publishers. $26.99.
“The American dream” is an apt phrase, because dreams are illogical. The immigrant lives at a remove from the land of her birth and the land of her choice; if it’s not the White House reminding you that you don’t belong, it’s your kids, the fruition of your American dreams who end up just so, well, American.
Niru, the narrator of Uzodinma Iweala’s “Speak No Evil,” would seem to be his Nigerian-born parents’ greatest success: sociable and athletic, cultured and Harvard-bound. At the same time, Niru, because of his homosexuality, embodies this particular illogic: His gayness is no particular tragedy in the eyes of his peers, but an absolute betrayal of God’s plan in the eyes of his parents.
This is the central conflict in Iweala’s slender book, one the author handles with admirable cool. Though Niru is still young (he’s a senior in high school), he understands his parents even as they fail to understand him: “Our father lives somewhere between the self-satisfaction that his success has made us soft and disgust that we are unacquainted with the brutal intensity of a world that he has effectively tamed for us.”
Iweala published his first book, “Beasts of No Nation,” in 2005, when he was only 23. It’s a catalog of horrors narrated by a child soldier conscripted into an armed conflict in an unnamed West African country. It’s less a novel than an exercise in voice, told in stylized, ungrammatical sentences. It doesn’t add up to much, which is the point; it bears witness to something meaningless, then forces the reader to find meaning in atrocity.
“Speak No Evil” is a quite different endeavor. Iweala is still interested in style, this time the kind of clarity we sometimes associate with Hemingway and mistakenly term simple. A characteristic passage: “I can’t think straight enough to remember where I put my keys, this pocket or that pocket, this pocket, yes. And my car? I slam my palms against the wall. Again. The skin turns pink. You are not like these white children, my mother says except on my palms that turn pink like their skin turns pink, but only when hurt, or scared or stressed.”
We meet Niru in the winter of his senior year, at a tony Washington, D.C., private school. Released from classes because of a snowstorm, he seeks refuge at the nearby home of his dearest friend, Meredith, where her attempt to seduce him leads to the confession of his homosexuality. If the scene has the patina of an after-school special (earnestness, a touch of melodrama), Iweala deploys the present tense and an unfussy syntax to hook the reader, and it works well.
Meredith, playing the role of understanding gal pal, installs Grindr and Tinder on Niru’s cellphone. Of course the boy loses the phone, and the secret comes out. The ensuing confrontation with his father is violent and heartbreaking: “Are you really telling me the truth, that you are going out and gallivanting with the gays, the homosexuals? Where did you learn this kind of behavior? Is it in school? Is this what they are teaching you?”
Alessandra Montalto/The New York Times
Not long ago, in his column for New York magazine, Andrew Sullivan wrote that “the radicalization of the movement’s ideology and rhetoric” is to blame for “a retrenchment in comfort with gay equality.” Iweala gives the lie to this claim elegantly; some people just hate homosexuality, no matter how much they love their children.
Niru’s mother is a cosmopolitan daughter of privilege, now a physician; his father is a “true village boy” who climbed his way to corporate success and American comfort. Upon discovering their son’s secret, they turn to faith. “It sometimes seems that every African living in the D.C. area goes to this church, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Cameroonians, Congolese. Some work for embassies. Some are taxi drivers. Some are illegal, but they are all truly welcome.” Well, not quite all. Niru’s father takes him to his boyhood home in Nigeria, where they visit still another church.
This intercession, existing in the realm of the spiritual, seems less pernicious than it actually is; it’s not religion but psychological torture, and it occasions a kind of break in the narrator’s psyche. His parents replace his smartphone with Bible verses. “I take the cards — Genesis 4:7, Luke 5:32, First Corinthians 6:18 — and put them in my pocket without looking at them. I have a stack on a shelf in my closet. They remind me of all the things I should do.” It’s not Niru who is closeted any longer; it’s his parents’ God.
Niru’s homosexuality is very much the book’s subject, and the text is interested in dualities — Americans and Africans, white and black, gay and straight, devout and skeptic, the black immigrant and the black American (a role filled by Damien, a college student with whom our hero has a sweet, chaste fling) — while always returning to the question of what his gayness says about who Niru is.
Iweala writes with such ease about adolescents and adolescence that “Speak No Evil” could well be a young adult novel. At the same time he toys with other well-defined forms: the immigrant novel, the gay coming-of-age novel, the novel of being black in America. The resulting book is a hybrid of all these.
If he’s something of a remix artist, Iweala remains faithful to the conventions of these forms, a writer so adept that the book’s climax feels both surprising and wholly inevitable. Its concluding third is narrated by Meredith, not Niru, a strategy that should feel clunky but doesn’t. As with “Beasts of No Nation,” Iweala resists offering the reader much in the way of closure or even insight, as though to suggest that’s the reader’s job, not his.
A writer cannot be judged for his project, only its execution. Uzodinma Iweala is a fine and confident novelist. Genre is a useful thing when organizing texts in a bookshop, but immaterial to the particular exchange between writer and reader.
Form ossifies into genre through repetition. Eventually readers — and writers are of course readers themselves — understand that stories about immigrants function in a certain way, that stories about gayness require a moral reckoning, that stories about blackness require the sacrifice of the black body. For all the interest among readers in creating a literature that reflects its readership, so-called “diverse books,” there are times that “diverse book” seems itself a genre, bound by convention and largely a matter of the identity of a writer who is different from the thousand or so writers we believe to be the canon.
In his smart exploration of generational conflict, of what it is to be a gay man, of the crisis of existence as a black man, Iweala is very much a realist. Perhaps the trouble is my own wish that reality itself were different.
- Thread: Homosexuality is un-African
Black Women Create the Men They Complain About – negromanosphere.com
Black women have been complaining the quality of Black men for at least the last forty years. Maybe longer but I wasn’t paying attention when I was a pre-teen. Black women have called Black men every name in the book, even going on national media to air their grievances. What’s not talked about is how these men got that way. Well I take that back. The sorry state of Black men is always put at the feet of other Black men. There is some truth there but in a community where there is an epidemic of single mothers the blame has to spread to both sides. Indeed with the state of the community I would say women play a more significant part in why things are jacked up. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Black women are raising the very men they come to dislike.
There was an old saying back in the day. It was said Black women, “raised their daughters and loved their sons.” Essentially single Black women would “raise” their daughters to be independent, to get educated, to get a good career, etc. Little boys in the same household are generally coddled. Mothers cater more to their sons. Many mothers will dress their sons to look cute. I’ll get back to that point in a second. They’ll let their sons get away with not doing well in school. They’ll cater to their sons to point where the boys will never grow into independent thinking men who are able to make a mark in the world. These men usually evolve into men who end up being taken care of by women. Some of these men end up being gigolos or exotic dancers who make money catering to women. The problem with these men is that when a woman needs them to be a man these men are not able to step up.
I want to address that cute thing. Back in the day when I used to hang out in more rough neighborhoods I would see young women with their young baby boys in tow. It struck me how often these little boys would look like little girls. Their hair would be braided and I’ve seen toddler boys with earrings in both ears. The kids would also be dressed fly in name brand clothing. Of course the young women would be fawning over them. Every time I saw this I would think, “There goes a future Mr. Goodbar.” The lesson that little boy would learn is that as long he looks cute to a woman they would cater to his needs. This is where it becomes a problem for women.
The little boy grows up into a man who looks fly and who knows how to get women to take care of him. His teacher was his mother. In any relationship there comes a time when a man has to step up and be a man. This male, we really can’t call him a man, doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t have the training. While the mother was raising her daughter to be strong and independent, she raised her son to be cute and dependent. The women who get involved with those males end up hating the male for the very thing that attracted them to in the first place. Of course the father’s get blamed but in most cases the father was the same type of man who was never raised to be man himself. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Black women are fond of saying, “Your momma Black” to Black men. Usually in cases where a Black man criticizes Black women or when a brotha is dating Becky. Well Black women need to realize that the same men they complain about being playas, womanizers, and thugs, had Black mommas too. Black single mothers who in many cases prevented the fathers from actively raising the sons. If a woman wants to know why a particular Black male is trifling look no further than his mother.
My deleted comment from VSB comment section concerning Nelly's rape allegations -
"Dear Feminists; you may have forgotten but not that long ago you knew for sure that this man raped this woman. You wrote numerous blog postings about it. When people asked logical questions, you yelled "victim blaming / shaming". Come to find out, not only didn't he rape her, she later apologized for what he went through. Nonetheless 'crickets' from you after the facts were revealed and after you attempted to destroy his reputation via social media. Maybe you should STFU before you assume all men (like Nelly or Demario) accused of rape are guilty and the women accusing them are actual 'victims'. You do know this is partly why Emmett Till was murdered right?"
History professor Kevin Mumford's Not Straight, Not White "recounts the history of black gay men from the 1950s to the 1990s, tracing how the major movements of the times—from civil rights to black power to gay liberation to AIDS activism—helped shape the cultural stigmas that surrounded race and homosexuality". If anyone is a member of social science online database Project Muse, it can be read there.
UNC Press - Not Straight, Not White
Project Muse link:
Project MUSE - Not Straight, Not White
Link to "Historian's new book tells neglected history of black gay men" blog, quoted below:
News Bureau | ILLINOIS
Black gay men were largely missing in both black and gay history, so Kevin Mumford, who specializes in both, set out to tell their story.
"I wanted to reclaim a history that had been washed over, that had been overlooked," said Mumford, a University of Illinois history professor. He wanted to show how "black gay lives matter." The result is Not Straight, Not White, being published this month, and the title helps frame the story.
"Black gay men have not led lives that are like white gay lives or that are like black straight lives," Mumford said. At the intersection of race and homosexuality, their challenges have been unique.
Historical racism, notions of black masculinity, concerns raised about the black family, and the "politics of respectability" that African-Americans often employed in response have all played a part, he said.
Fear of interracial sex, for instance, had been central to white resistance to integration and often the cause of black lynchings in the South prior to the civil rights movement. Black men therefore often lived in fear and restrained their sexuality as a result. With the rise of black power in the late 1960s, however, they sought to throw off that restraint and reclaim their masculinity and sexuality, Mumford said.
But black gay men were not part of that picture. "In this definition and redefinition of blackness, this black pride moment, to be gay was to not be black," he said.
In the same way, the 1965 Moynihan Report and the concerns it raised about "pathologies" in the black family also worked against those who were gay, Mumford said.
"One of the things you see in response is this defense of the normality of the black family ... but of course, that normality says we do not have homosexuals in our families," he said.
Other challenges arose within the gay community, where black gay men were often portrayed in a hypersexualized way that was very dehumanizing, Mumford said. Even today, black men are almost nonexistent in gay publications and in popular culture. "Gay men are perceived only as white, and it's very hard to get people to recognize queer people of color in terms of what they're like, and how they're different," he said.
Much of Mumford's book is built around key individuals - black gay men who worked to change attitudes and institutions. Two of those are the prominent writer James Baldwin and the civil rights organizer Bayard Rustin, who was a key figure behind such events as the March on Washington in 1963. As Mumford notes, they were by far the most famous gay men in America in the 1960s.
Others include Joseph Beam, a Philadelphia writer and activist who sought to build a black gay community and give black gay men their own voice; Brother Grant-Michael Fitzgerald, who worked unsuccessfully for the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the Catholic Church; and James Tinney, a prominent expert on black Pentecostalism at Howard University, who was almost denied tenure and excommunicated from his church after coming out, and would go on to found his own church.
Fitzgerald and Tinney are important for Mumford's history because religion is one of the major themes of the book. "Faith happened to be very important for the people that I discovered," he said, and seeking acceptance in their churches was a key part of many of their stories.
The focus on faith was not something he expected to find, but also not surprising given the centrality of the church in the black community and black history, and in the context of some oral histories, he said.
Isolation was also a common theme in many of these individuals' lives, and it's one reason Mumford was impressed by their stories and what they sought to accomplish. "They were often alone. There was nobody like them in the room. I see them as very courageous."
- Thread: UPDATED: Rapper B.o.B. Believes The Earth Is Flat, Gets into Rap Beef With Neil deGrasse Tyson
So black men can't step at a black college especially when white people are around because we now cooning and buck dancing? When we have black entertainers, entertaining at the white house for Michelle and Obama...they cooning too right...because white people are present there also?
Where is the Shuckin and Jivin cooning book where yall pulling these rules and regulations from?
The sad part about this is that he's some people's therapist with this thinking...He contradicts himself all throughout this discussion. Gay people can't be born gay but Straight people can...okay. He keeps saying "they" classified homosexuality in the 70's as a mental illness...are "they" the same people he calls White Supremacists? Why take their word for it? Also, those same "experts" in the 70s thought interracial marriage was wrong and wanted segregation.
I was never touched as a child...my father loved me...and I never sought out father figures, especially not so much that it completely transformed my sexuality and attraction to the opposite sex.
I wonder if he opened his "School for Boys" if he would ban black gay kids from enrolling...You know what, I don't even care...He's full of hot air...
- Thread: Black Guys...What We Do
This is what people fail to understand. You can't just only vote on the "big elections" you make more impact on your daily life by those alderman, congressional, Senate races and etc. All those small initiatives and proportions... That's the government you see and experience.
- Thread: Being Gay vs Being Black
I can see similarities, like the basic idea of being unjustly treated do to being different. But after that, it splits due to sexuality not being visible/as visible as race, and the fact that many of the faces of the LGBT movement are white.
I just hate reading a lot of the responses to the comparison because a lot of the reactions feel like they come from a place of, "How dare you compare me to that abomination", and that homophobia and LGBT discrimination shouldn't even be treated seriously, if at all.
Religion is (in theory) more like the insitution or mass program of bringing a spiritual practice to people.
Spiritualism is just your beliefs in the grand scheme of things.
For example you can have knowledge without having an education/degree.A person can be brilliant without attending a university just as you can hold or practice spiritual beliefs without identifying with a religion.
For me,religion is just a system to make things easier for the masses and push certain agendas,both good and bad.A lot of time it becomes a routine with no direct relevance for the individual and the possible value of the gestures get lost in going through the motions.
Making Boss Moves in Memphis...
A private group headed by a county commissioner and fueled by anonymous donations bought two parks from the city of Memphis at little cost this week, allowing for the swift removal of two Confederate statues that had sparked conflict for years.
It seems that Van Turner, the Shelby County commissioner, used his group Memphis Greenspace Inc. to buy two city parks for $1,000 each after planning the move with the city attorney. The statues were removed last week.
“When we wake up tomorrow morning, we still will have issues with education, we still will have issues of poverty in this city, we still will have issues with public safety. This doesn’t resolve any of that,” Turner said. “What this does is move this out of the way. This is a non-issue now.”
That may be wishful thinking, of course—Vibe has a few more details, and they report that a group called the Sons of Confederate Veterans have already expressed their outrage on Facebook. It’s possible, and even likely, that lawsuits will follow, and Republican state congressmen have convened to “investigate.” Until this is resolved, the statues are being kept at an undisclosed location.
Either way, this is a bold and decisive move by Memphis, and it would be terrific to see other cities follow suit and end this “controversy” over Confederate statues once and for all.
- Thread: Homosexuality in the New World
When the Spanish began exploring the New World in the years that followed Columbus’s epochal voyages, they encountered a people living in a culture quite different from their own. Throughout Central America and along the Paciﬁc Coast of South America the explorers found a civilization of cities with large populations living around towering temples dedicated to exotic gods. Since the time of the Crusades, Europeans traveling in far off lands had brought back reports of strange lands and peoples, but what the Spanish saw in the Americas was unlike anything Westerners had known elsewhere. In fact, what the Spanish found was like a much earlier stage of their own cultural development. Though they couldn’t know it, they were encountering a civilization comparable to that of the earliest developments in Mesopotamia.
Among the strange habits that the Spanish found among these peoples was one for which they were not prepared. To their horror, they found homosexuality to be a widely practiced custom among the inhabitants of this New World. Not only were natives of every social stratum involved in what to Spanish eyes was a heinous crime against nature; homosexual acts even ﬁgured in the art objects displayed in temples and worn as jewelry.
Bernal Díaz del Castillo, who accompanied the conquistador Hernán Cortés on his conquest of Mexico in 1519, commented frequently on the widespread homosexual behavior they encountered. Cortés, in his ﬁrst report to Emperor Charles V, wrote that the Indians of Mexico “are all sodomites and have recourse to that abominable sin.” Another writer, López de Gomara, called the Indians “sodomitic like no other generation of men.” Father Pierre de Gand found sodomy to be virtually universal among the Aztecs. Bernal Díaz described numerous male prostitutes among the Aztecs, as well as unmarried temple priests engaging in sodomy. Montezuma, the Aztec god-king, was reported to have had sexual relations with the young warriors who were about to be ritually sacriﬁced. There was even an Aztec god, Xochipili, who was the patron of homosexuality and male prostitution. Bartolome de las Casas reported that Mayan parents supplied their adolescent sons with young males to use as sexual partners before marriage. Other missionaries also reported widespread homosexuality among the Mayans. Pedro Cieza de León, in his “Chronicles of Peru,” described sodomy as among the worst sins of the people there.
In the high cultures of Mexico and Peru the Spanish found a rich tradition of erotic art, much of it depicting homosexual activity. Bernal Díaz, while exploring the coast of Yucatan in 1517, wrote of discovering numerous clay ﬁgurines in which “the Indians seemed to be engaged in sodomy, one with the other.” Fernandez de Oviedo, a royal chronicler, wrote of an expedition to an island off the Yucatan coast by Diego Velazquez, who reported entering a Mayan temple and being shocked to see a large wooden statute of two males engaged in intercourse. Ovieda himself saw some of the erotic art work in Panama in 1515, which he described: “In some parts of these Indies, they carry as a jewel a man mounted upon another in that diabolic and nefarious act of Sodom, made in gold relief. I saw one of these jewels of the devil, twenty pesos gold in weight…. I broke it down with a hammer and smashed it under my own hand.” Most appalling to the Spanish was that homosexuality was frequently associated with cross-dressing, and that these practices often had religious connotations. Cieza de León wrote in disgust of the customs he witnessed in temples in Peru:
"The devil has introduced this vice [sodomy] under a kind of cloak of sanctity, and in each important temple or house of worship they have a man or two, or more, depending on the idol, who go dressed in women’s attire from the time they are children…. With these, almost like a rite, and ceremony, on feast [days] and holidays they have carnal, foul intercourse, especially the chiefs and headmen…. The devil held such sway in this land that, not satisﬁed with making them fall into so great sin, he made them believe that this vice was a kind of holiness and religion."
The widespread homosexual practices encountered by the Spanish were an affront to everything they believed about sexuality. Citing biblical authority, the Spanish held that any sexual act other than that designed for reproduction was “against nature.” In line with centuries of European religious thought, they believed anything outside their conception of what was natural to be associated with sin and the Devil, and so used the “sinfulness” of the natives as a justiﬁcation of their conquest and subjugation of the population. Setting up a branch of the Inquisition in the New World, the Spanish set about prosecuting and executing those found guilty of sodomy wherever they found them. Vasco Núñez de Balboa was praised when during his expedition across Panama, he had forty “sodomites” eaten alive by his dogs.
Almost as soon as the Spanish had established their control, their missionaries began converting the natives and imposing on them their notions of proper, Christian moral behavior. When the diseases the Europeans carried with them to America began decimating native populations, the Spanish saw that as God’s punishment for their homosexuality. Fernandez de Oviedo wrote, “It is not without cause that God permits them to be destroyed. And I have no doubt that for their sins God is going to do away with them very soon.” In 1552 the historian López De Gomora reported that sodomy in the New World was being successfully wiped out by the Spanish. But the Spanish found that homosexual practices were not limited to the inhabitants of the old Meso-American civilizations of Central America and Peru. In Florida, Spanish missionaries found widespread homosexual practices among the Timucua Indians and tried to get them to confess their sodomy and repent. When Spanish missionaries arrived in California, they found homosexuality common among the tribes there as well, and waged a campaign over several centuries to try to wipe it out.
As European explorers spread throughout the Americas, Africa and the Paciﬁc in the next three centuries, their explorations of new lands were accompanied by similar unexpected discoveries about the sexual customs of these primitive, undeveloped peoples, who the Germans called the naturvölker, the nature people. In contrast to the rigid sexual morality focused on procreation held by the Europeans, native peoples in many areas displayed no discomfort with sexual interaction among members of the same sex, and seemed to take such behavior for granted. Early explorers were taken aback by the casual acceptance of homosexual behavior among tribal peoples and confounded by the seemingly universal presence of androgynous homosexual individuals, whom they often found playing important leadership roles in many tribes. Though in most cases the reaction of the other Europeans wasn’t as drastic as that of the Spanish conquistadors with their Inquisition, the missionaries who later accompanied the colonists nonetheless labored industriously to enforce their European sexual morality among the natives.
What is one to make of the sexual practices these early explorers encountered? Certainly to many modern Westerners the sexuality described by the Spanish would be as foreign and as perplexing as it was for the Spanish. But as recent anthropological and historical research makes clear, it is the Western cultural attitude toward sex, as being solely for the purpose of procreation, which is unique. In a vast range of societies around the world throughout human history and in some parts of the world even today, homosexual behavior has existed along- side, and complemented, heterosexual activity, making an important contribution to the health and vitality of those societies. What the Spanish conquistadors saw among the native peoples of the Americas, then, was merely glimpses of the diversity of sexual expression that has characterized many societies throughout the non–European world.
James Neill, Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies
Sciences of Religion and Myth: Homosexuality in the New World
I moved to the United States of America three years ago. Packed all my belongings into four luggage bags, rolled into a car with my five siblings and my mom and my dad. Suddenly, I was at the airport, hugging everyone as tightly as I could. Suddenly I was on the other side of the line, separated from my family by a sign that read “ONLY PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT”. Suddenly, I was on a plane, my country shrinking beneath me, until the cars were ants and the buildings were little toy models. I was sad, but I was also excited. Up until then, I’d only seen America through the lens of blockbuster Hollywood movies. It was beautiful, wondrous, exciting. The possibilities were infinite. I was filled with boyish wonder, and I was ready for my grand adventure.
Since then, I’ve met a lot of people here, and when small chatter invariably leads to them finding out I’m from Nigeria, they ask variations of the same question: “How do you like it here?” and “Is Nigeria different from America?”
Yes it is. It’s dryer and hotter, hot enough that we’re always making the same lame old jokes about cooking meat on the pavements. The food is wildly different. In Nigeria, food is abacha and achicha and eba and fufu and egusi and suya. In America, food is burger and pasta and coleslaw and pizza and fries and Coca-Cola in three cup sizes. And in Nigeria, virtually everyone has the same dark skin. Sure, there’s a substantial number of white people and Asians and a tapestry of races, but mostly, we’re black. And because we’re mostly black, “being black” was never a term that was part of my daily vocabulary. You were tall or short or fat or skinny or intelligent or a complete and utter idiot, but you weren’t black. It was as weird as saying “you’re human”.
But by my first week in this country, that word popped up a lot. In orientation, I learned about the Black Student Union. On the news, the word “black” seemed to pop up with surprising regularity. A lot of my newly made African-American friends would jokingly respond to my shocking love of country music with, “You’re black!Where’s your Kendrick Lamar? Your J. Cole?”
The word “black” got more weight and I wasn’t quite sure how to deal with it. Mostly, I didn’t know if I had any “right” to consider myself black. The word referred to African-Americans right? And I was African. Was there a distinction between being black and being African? I spent most of my time afloat in the comforting bubble of MIT, so it didn’t really matter. I had psets to punt, midterms to whine about, shows to binge-watch on my down time, and while the concept of blackness sometimes seeped into my thoughts, I decided it ultimately didn’t really matter. As that corny-ass saying goes, “The only race that matters is the human race.”
A few months here, and I decided to go to the post office. I can’t remember why; I think it had something to do with my passport. But after I’m done at the post office, I’m walking down Central Square feeling pretty good. The sun is starting to set, and Boston is strangely not showing its bipolar sleeves this evening. Not too hot, not too cold. There’s a nice wind even.
I’m almost at my dorm when I hear someone screaming, “Hey! HEY!” I turn around to see a heavyset, middle-aged white man racing toward me. I start to panick. I’m clumsy as hell so I probably dropped my ID card or my debit card on the sidewalk, and he spotted it. I reach into my pockets, but even as I’m tapping around and feeling both cards secure and in place, I start to realize something is wrong because his face is contorted in rage, and he’s not approaching me in the “Hey, you dropped this” kinda way. He’s approaching me in the “You utter piece of shit” kind of way. Next thing I know, his arms are around my shirt, and he’s shaking me and telling me to confess.
“I saw you!” he says. “I saw you grab her wallet. Where is it? Where is it?”
He’s screaming in my face. I notice one of the MBTA buses parked by the side of the road, but only vaguely, because my head is somewhere else, adrift in confusion, and as it sinks in what he’s accusing me of, and as he begins to say “why can’t you niggers--”, I completely lose it. I start to scream at him. I start to push him off. I start to yell about calling the police.
“Call the police!” he tells me. “Call them right now.”
We’re interrupted by someone hanging out the bus, yelling at us to get our attention. It’s another man and he’s saying, “You got the wrong guy! You got the wrong guy!” For whatever reason, the man holding me chooses to believe him. He lets me go. Without saying a word--a single word--he turns around and begins to walk toward the bus.
I stand there, stunned, waiting to see if he’ll say anything, but he keeps walking, and in a tone so unlike mine, I yell profanities at him until he’s in the bus and out of sight. I turn around, and people are staring at me. Their expressions are variations of a theme--annoyed, judgmental, concerned. I keep walking into my dorm, shaking with such anger. When I’m in my room, I almost cry. But I force myself not to.
All I see is that man’s pink bloated face as he screams in my ears, “Why can’t you niggers--”
I don’t know why I’m writing this. I’m not quite sure what I hoped to achieve when I sat in front of my computer and began typing. But thirty minutes ago, I was looking through Facebook comments, on a news post about a man named Philando Castille, and the comments are going “Why do black people never protest black-on-black crime?” and “They always look for ways to play the victim.” I’m thinking of the video of Philando leaking blood, and I’m thinking of his girlfriend trying to stay calm and I’m thinking of their kid in the back seat. And I’m staring at these comments. Someone has just put up a meme of a lady staring intensely at a laptop; the meme is captioned, “There Must Be Some Way This Victimizes Me.” And I want to post a reply. I want so badly to say, “SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP BECAUSE YOU DON’T--YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.”
But it would never be enough to type it. I wanna scream it at their faces. I wanna reach through my screen and grab them by the heads and shake them like ragdolls and tell them to shut UP. FOR ONCE.
I’ve been in America for three years, and I feel wholly underqualified to speak about matters like this. In Nigeria, they floated past my radar, so why take them on now?
I don’t know. I can’t hide under some fancy little idea that there’s a barrier between black and African--because what matters to these people--you know who these people are--is that they can take one look at the color of your skin, and populate their minds with the entire backstory of you. They can take one look at you, and before they’re even looking away, they’ve put you--they’ve put us--in this mental catalogue. It’s this dreamy little world wherethugs and criminals and menacing and lazy lives.
I go on my NewsFeed and I see my black friends post. They’re tired. This same old shit. This same old story. Only difference is the face this time. They’re upset. They’re heartbroken. The names keep growing, the protests continue. Someone hits reset. And here we are again.
John Crawford III.
Michael Brown Junior.
And I’m tired too. I’m tired of living in denial. I tell myself each time that there’s something I’m not seeing, that there’s more to the story. That it’s not hunting season on black people, because why would it be. That the problem is deeper, nuanced, more complicated.
But then I see those comments on Facebook. “He shouldn’t have resisted” and “He was no angel” and “All lives matter”. Those god-awful comments, made from pedestals of privilege so blinding they think they live in a world where the same rules apply to them. This is the same country that had separate toilets, fountains, buses for “colored people”. This is the same place where black people were once slaves, property, indistinguishable from land and cows and cutlery. This is the same place where historically black colleges had to be a thing for black people to have any hope of an education. The same place where white Brock Turner gets six months after caught in the act of rape, and black Brian Banks gets imprisoned for five years on a false rape charge. The same place where the black bodies keep piling up, where the executioners stow their guns in their holsters and go home to watch football and live their tidy lives. There is no nuance, there is no complication. There is no subtlety. There is a problem. We feel like dogs. We feel like we don’t matter.
So the next time someone starts with that bullshit--all lives matter--I’m gonna resist the urge to kick them in the face, because violence is never the answer. I'm gonna think of the ever-growing list of names, and I’m going to think of Philando Castille, and I’m going to wonder how all lives matter when their lives didn’t, not to those on the other end of the trigger. In a flash, in the same moment it takes to flip a coin, they destroyed decades of hopes, dreams, thoughts of the future, family. They destroy the promise of a life where you can rise from bed in the morning and be reasonably certain of returning to sleep at night. They take away the illusion of safety, of protection.
Because you’re a thug and you were resisting and you were never a good father to begin with and you should know better and if only you had complied, if only you had been a model citizen, if only you had followed the law, if only, if only.
If only you were anything but black.
Same old story, ain’t it? There’s nothing else I can say.
Same old story. Only thing that has changed is the face.
Rest in peace, Alton.
Rest in peace, Philando.
And rest in peace, to the names that haven’t been added yet, but soon will be.
read the original post here
I know some folks don't like Shaun King but I had to agree with him here...
When a black family loses a loved one to some type of racial terror — be it at the hands of police, white supremacists, or another angry caucasian, they are often asked a question that you rarely see asked of anyone else in a similar position.
Last week, before her son, Philando, had even been buried, his body riddled with bullets from a Minnesota police officer, Valerie Castile was asked live on CNN if she forgave the man who shot him.
Why in the hell would you ask her that? Has that man asked to be forgiven? Has he admitted that what he did was wrong? Has he repented and accepted some form of justice? Has he been arrested or charged with a crime? Has he reached out to the family to communicate his feelings about their unimaginable loss?
This woman is still trying to wrap her mind around how and why her son's life was violently taken from this world. She doesn't even have an official police report about the incident. A jury has not yet been convened. She hasn't even been able to grieve at a funeral, and she's been asked about forgiveness?
It's an outrageous question that she should've never been cornered in to answering, but Valerie Castile minced no words in her response, "He took my son's life. I don't forgive him. Bottom line."
Do you think any family members of the slain police officers in Dallas were asked this weekend if they forgive Micah Johnson?
On 9/12 did you see reporters asking people if they forgave Osama Bin Laden?
When Syed Farook and his wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino and injured 22 others, nobody was rushing to ask people if they forgave him.
In other words, when the roles are reversed, and white people suffer any form of violence, it's just common sense that you don't ask them, particularly in the immediate aftermath, if they have forgiven their victimizer. You particularly don't see this ridiculous question being asked of white people when a person of color was responsible for the violence.
It's patently absurd. African-Americans, in essence, are expected to process and overcome their pain in a way that is both superhuman and irrational. It can take months or years, decades even, for some people to get to the point where they can sincerely say they forgive someone for how they've been wronged.
If someone cut off your son's head today, would you forgive them tomorrow? If a stranger brutally raped and maimed your daughter today, would you forgive them later tonight? How about tomorrow or the next day? Would you be ready to forgive them in front of the nation then?
Of course you wouldn't.
Yet that's exactly what the victims of white supremacist Dylann Roof were asked on live television just days after he slaughtered their loved ones in a Charleston church.
Just stop it. Don't rush our grief. And if you want forgiveness, earn it, and start providing some justice in this country.
KING: Stop asking black victims if they forgive white victimizers
- Thread: Black Guys...What We Do
You're Not "Conscious" If You're a Homophobe
by Anna Gibson
I’ve always considered myself “woke.” I’m an avid reader of history and because of this, I became aware of the forces that oppress black and brown people at a very young age. My parents introduced me to books like Introduction to African Civilization by John J. Jackson and From Babylon to Timbuktu by Rudolph R. Windsor when I was just ten years old. I thrived on the information I found in these books. However, at some point, I lost my way, and I can’t say that life in my teens and early 20’s was a reflection of the ideas I learned back then.
I decided to dive back into what it truly means to be conscious in the past six months. I’ve devoured books like When the World Was Black by Dr. Supreme Understanding and Maat: Guided Principles to Moral Living by KMT University Press. It’s like I’m a kid again. I can’t stop reading about my history and speaking to people of like minds who are interested in eradicating racism and all its subsequent effects on our people and our communities.
However, I was hurt by what I found in many of the major texts of the conscious community. Much of the community didn’t seem to accept me as a lesbian woman and would regulate my black womanhood to a secondary role within the movement. Many men in the “conscious” BLM community are masterful at hiding deep-seated homophobia and misogyny behind their “concern for the state of the black family,” avoidance of the “effeminization of the black man,” and protecting their “Queens” at all costs.
On the contrary, what I’ve found is that men in the BLM movement only define me as a queen when I fit into their narrow idea of femininity. They only find me respectable if I maintain a standard they can control. I’ve found myself in a number of perplexing situations. One brother practiced polygamy, but the moment one of his wives decided to get another lover she was a whore, simply for doing the same thing he did. I’ve been told I needed “correction,” as though I were a child who is disgraceful and completely out of line because I’m attracted to women. I’ve been dismissed, disregarded, and held in contempt. I’ve been judged and told I need to repent by the same individuals who claim that black and brown people need to throw off the religion of their slave masters and embrace who they truly are.
As this clip from Umar Johnson demonstrates, many of the foremost leaders of the black community would attempt to prove that we (women and the LGBTQIA community) hate the opposite sex for being who we are. Johnson often speaks about “treating” people in the LGBTQIA community as if we have a disease. He also makes hateful comments toward single black mothers, saying that they “castrate black boys and wonder why they grow into gay men.”
However, despite his rampant homophobia and misogyny he claims to love all African American people. This fear lies in the inability to understand the contributions that LGBTQIA people and black women have made to the civil rights and black power movements.
An interesting dynamic reveals the origins of misogyny and homophobia in the community. It illuminates a deep-seated fear of black men in the “conscious” community. I think Dr. Umar’s comments against single mothers and lesbians reflect a question that seems to be implied in black male anger against black women: What about me?
You see this question in many forms in the black conscious community, whether you hear about black men disparaging trans women, black men condemning lesbians, or black men hating gay men. A man is hated if he “behaves like a woman,” on one hand, but if a woman isn’t “his” it also becomes a serious problem. This is an issue of ownership and contempt, both of which serve as the foundation for misogyny, and the rejection of the LGBTQIA conscious community. This hatred is what’s REALLY meant in some of this discourse when we hear “Black women NEED black men,” and why men feel rejected enough to feel castrated when they aren’t involved.
If you need an example of this misogyny all you need to do check out articles on For Harriet’s comment threads, specifically the ones about LGBTQIA issues and love. You’ll see that while many men are completely silent about articles on the deaths of black women, they will come up at arms when conversations around LGBTQIA love and identity are centered and the discussion isn’t about them.
Dr. Umar Johnson’s misogyny and homophobia isn’t an isolated case. The issue is much bigger than him. The truth is, you can’t be concerned with the freedom of our people from oppression while excluding a large portion of our people. Black Lives Matter explicitly means that ALL black lives matter. If you throw out any portion of our people based on fear and ignorance, YOU don’t belong in the movement. For years LGBTQIA people have fought for have our freedom from the labyrinth of structural racism, and we will continue to do so because people of the Black diaspora need us.
Because of the ignorance outlined above, it’s understandable that many LGBTQIA people and women (God forbid if you’re both) may enter the Black Lives Matter movement and feel attacked on all sides. This is incredibly damaging, because quite frankly, we love our people and want to make sure they know who they are and how much of a powerful impact they can have on the world. I know how easy it is to become discouraged. You shouldn’t internalize misogyny or homophobia. Instead we should take time out to understand the common arguments against women and LGBTQIA community as well as further outline the origins of homophobia and misogyny within the movement.
People in BLM claim that the LGBTQIA conscious community are a “danger to BLM” and promote “black genocide.” On the contrary, I would posit that our unity can only be a danger the very establishment that oppresses us. The civil rights and black power movements didn’t collapse just because they gave LGBTQIA people a platform. LGBTQIA inclusion actually strengthened us. This can be proven by taking a look at some of the elders that helped place black liberation at the forefront of America’s consciousness.
Bayard Rustin was a prominent organizer that helped organize many of the events that made Dr. King’s platform possible. He was the mind behind the March on Washington and many of the sit-ins that occurred in the 1960’s civil rights movement. He wasn’t in the closet either. In an era that openly criminalized the LGBTQIA community and shunned women, he openly advocated for the rights of both. That level of fearlessness and tenacity in the face of adversity is exactly what we need in the BLM movement.
Angela Davis also strongly influenced the black power movement, and in 1995 she confirmed the rumors that she was a lesbian. To this day, she does lectures at college campuses, and has an impressive body of work that establishes her contributions to the Black Power Movement.
Some would claim that others would have come along and done the same thing if these powerful men and women didn’t, but this is a logical fallacy. We can’t deal with what could have been, since it didn’t happen. It can’t be denied that the elders I just mentioned—and many others—made extensive contributions to the movement, and we wouldn’t be where we are without their influence. If we’d rejected them on the basis of sexual orientation, identity, or gender, we would be missing out on a huge aspect of the liberation of our people.
Our ancestor Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, offers us insight into the primary insecurities that drive most “conscious men”. In his speech, “A Letter to the Revolutionary Brothers and Sisters About The Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements,” he states:
We should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion, whatever your insecurities are. I say ‘whatever your insecurities are’ because as we very well know, sometimes our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the mouth, and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in the mouth because we are afraid that we might be homosexual; and we want to hit the woman or shut her up because we are afraid that she might castrate us, or take the nuts that we might not have to start with. We must gain security in ourselves and therefore have respect and feelings for all oppressed people. We must not use the racist attitude that the White racists use against our people because they are Black and poor.Newton was one of the few people in the Black Power Movement that openly reflected on its homophobia and misogyny. He even went as far as recognizing his own bias in the same speech and recognizing that rejecting us will do more harm than good.
In short, I would urge many members of the BLM movement to take an honest appraisal as to why they feel so threatened by the LGBTQIA and feminist communities, as Newton did. You aren’t protecting the conscious community. Instead, you’re wasting valuable time and energy rejecting a part of our people who contribute gems to black liberation and perpetuating the same cycles of oppression that holds us back as a people.
To my LGBTQIA brothers and sisters, let the track records of our elders speak for themselves and empower you to further action. You have a place in the BLM movement, even if you’re ridiculed for being who you are and loving who you love. Continue to lead our people to liberation and serve as an example to our brothers and sisters in the movement. Let it be known that unity is the key to success, and division will only lead to failure in the struggle against white supremacy.
Anna Gibson is a student at Wayne State University who’s currently immersed in African Studies. You can catch up with her on Twitter @TheRealSankofa or on Facebook where she’s hiding in plain sight.
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