When the Supreme Court of the United States’ recent Obergefell v. Hodges decision made Same Sex Marriage legal in the entire country, many Gay and Bisexual men of color discovered through social media that some of their “liberal” black friends were not as tolerant as they once thought. Some were outright intolerant bigots…similar to Confederate flag waving white racists.
Admittedly, most of the responses on my own (non-work related) News Feed were either very positive or indifferent. There were only a small handful of people seen posting blatantly discriminatory remarks, but then again I have some very progressive Facebook friends.
The people who populate my own friends list are a diverse group of genders, races and sexualities. Admittedly there are more heterosexuals than otherwise, to be honest. One thing that I did notice after the Caitlin Jenner and Same Sex Marriage announcements was that 100% of the negative homophobic or disturbing comments posted were made by African Americans.
All of them.
And of those people, 100% were Christians.
This isn’t to say that Black people who are Christians are more homophobic than white people. Many of the more publicized displays of homophobia in the media and public spotlight have been perpetrated by White Americans. Especially the ones that involve violence.
Having said that, many more heterosexual White Americans appear to be progressive on the issue of homosexuality and gender identity than Black Americans. I didn’t see too many heterosexual Black people changing their Profile Photos to the rainbow flag, not like the heterosexual White people were.
Granted, this is all anecdotal at best.
I’m sure someone could dig up a Pew Survey that reveals there to be MORE homophobic White Americans than any other race in the population. But of the over 300 million citizens in the United States, White Americans make up over 200 million of them…So of course its more than likely that there are more homophobic Caucasians than any other race in the country.
That isn’t the point of this discussion.
Let’s make some connective tissues, shall we?
As everyone knows, the push and awareness for racial social justice is on the rise again due to the overwhelming number of violent fatal White-On-Black attacks by police officers and citizens. Calls for “justice” and “equal protection under the law” and the erasure of discrimination can fill your social media timeline depending on the day and news cycle.
ReTweets from Activists and Conscious Rappers along with Jon Stewart rants are shared as gospel; articulated voices of a frustrated society.
In Podcast #34 I made an observation on the irony that many of the protesters in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD were passionate about their assertion that “Black Lives Matter”…but only if those black lives are heterosexual.
What do these protestors want? They want to be treated fairly, to been seen equally, to not be judged or mistreated merely because of who they are or what they look like.
This is exactly what gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people want.
Do #BlackGayLives not matter?
So when you see hate speech in the comments section of YouTube videos calling President Obama an ape or nigger, its clear that these are the beliefs of racists individuals.
The same applies to homophobic hate speech seen online on places like Facebook.
“…Homophobia is like Racism.”
These are not my words, believe it or not. Coretta Scott King said this speaking to nearly 600 people back on April 1, 1998:
“Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.”
This should not be as complicated of a connection as one would think. However I’m constantly forced to argue in debates with (seemingly) intelligent Black Americans that the LGBT Rights struggle is the same as the Civil Rights struggle.
Discrimination is discrimination.
It doesn’t matter who “struggled more.” It’s not a contest.
Some people have retorted that gay people aren’t being killed, so its not the same.
So many Transgender Americans have been killed in the year 2015 alone that it needs its own subsection on Wikipedia.
Homophobic speech, like racist rhetoric, can oftentimes be like a watering can feeding the flowers of homophobic violent acts to eventually bloom. Especially when its coming from or being fed to a person who is already militant or activist by nature.
We saw this first hand with Dylann Roof. Homophobic hate speech and opinions are no different than the racist rhetoric that he likely repeatedly heard and harbored, driving him to committing a heinous hate crime.
Many Black people who should inherently understand what its like desire equal rights are still often seen showing disgust in regards to homosexuals, an equally disenfranchised group in many ways.
Speaking of black activists, 1960’s Black Panther Party founder Huey P Newton said it best in 1970:
“…We must relate to the homosexual movement because it is a real thing. And I know through reading, and through my life experience and observations that homosexuals are not given freedom and liberty by anyone in the society. They might be the most oppressed people in the society.“
How can this be? How can LGBT citizens be the most oppressed people in the society? Well for starters, until recently, they were legally despised by people of all races and genders in the country.
There is not a single enforceable law in any state in the country that specifically discriminates against Black people.
There are, however, laws that specifically discriminate against Homosexuals. Many of them written into the State Constitutions. The June 26th Supreme Court of the United States Same Sex Marriage decision makes the laws pertaining to marriage void, but many “religious freedom” lawsuits will soon arise in the coming months as Christians of all races fight for their supposed religious “right” to discriminate.
This brings me to the “Facebook comments” mention in the title of this article.
While scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, I came across a photo of about 12 black men. It was a tame photo of them all posing for a group shot. I knew at least a couple of the men were gay because they’ve been featured on this website in the past. There was no flamboyant clothing or Michael Sam kissy-cake-face going on…Just men posing stoically for the camera.
Then I realized that this was a “shared post” that someone else had created. My progressive Facebook friend was responding to what someone else had originally posted about the photo. My friend voiced his disapproval on the original commentary and that he was disturbed by how hateful the person and the commenters seemed.
Not only were Brooks’ and others’ comments filled with disgust and hate, whenever a sane person tried to voice their own non-bigoted opinion they were instantly blocked and unfriended by Brooks, unable to respond. Sometimes they were even mocked and ridiculed in their absence.
Seeing abhorrent commentary online is nothing new. As I’ve stated earlier, racists comments are all over just about every popular website on the Internet.
What struck me here was that these people seemed to be saying we need all the black men we can to stand up to White Supremacy and Government Oppression, yet they implied that these men were less than than able to supply that help because they were gay. They were not “real” men. They even state they they are teaching their children to hate and disapprove of gay men.
LaMont Brooks states:
When the war begins…..These mothafuckas won’t be good for shit. REAL MEN NEED TO STEP UP AND BE MEN. ITS ABOUT TO GET SERIOUS YALL.
If you read between the lines, does this mean that women are worthless to the cause? And what “war” is he referring to? A pending Race War?
You know what, never mind. Trying to comprehend the paranoid rantings of a bigot is like trying save exhaled marijuana smoke in your pocket for later.
Embedded below is the full public thread for all to see. Granted this hate speech is not much different than what is seen on sites like Mediatakeout, WorldstarHipHop and others…but the difference here seems to be coming from #BlackLivesMatter advocates who feel like a battle is coming and soldiers are already being lost.
Notice how replacing the words “Gay” and “Homosexual” from the comments below with “Black” or “African American” would easily change this commentary from Homophobic to Racist.
If these are examples of the “Black Lives” that “Matter” so much, maybe the “war” is already lost.