Current Affairs

Comment: The race divide splits the gay community

PinkNews Staff Writer May 14, 2007
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There are places in America where segregation still exists.

Blacks only associate with blacks, whites only associate with whites and neither the two shall meet.

Racism still permeates the fabric of our very society. As the recent attacks on Barack Obama illustrate, no one is safe from scrutiny.

This extends into the gay community as well.

We think that we are above judgmental attitudes, that our minority status guarantees us overriding compassion for all – but we would be wrong.

I learned recently that in Detroit they have two Gay Pride Parades – one for whites and one for blacks.

I was shocked to hear in this day and age we still have such separation.

I’m not talking about Montgomery, Alabama circa 1965, but Detroit, Michigan in 2007. Is it possible that forty years later we are still living in a segregated world?

More shocking and appalling than the black versus white controversy is the fact that the gays are the ones perpetuating this division.

I would have thought the one thing that could bind us together would be our sexual orientation – that gay brother would cling to gay brother for support in a common cause against ‘the man.’

If we can’t get it together to uplift each other, how in the world can we expect the rest of society to support us and our equality?

There is a lot of division among the gays. There is a lot of separation and segregation amongst ourselves and few of us realise it.

I have a few gay black friends, but usually there is only one person of colour present in a large group of whites.

I rarely see it the other way around. Hardly ever do I experience what it is like to be the only white gay in a room full of black ones. Why is that?

I assume there are just as many black gay people as white gay people, yet in social circles, and especially in certain cities, there is very little diversity.

We as a minority should embrace all other minorities.

Empathy should make us accepting of all. We all know what it feels like to be ostracised in a straight world.

We all know the sting of discrimination from hetero society. So

why inflict that pain on anyone else?

Judgment breeds judgment and if we wish to be accepted as is by the general public then we must pay that same courtesy to everyone else.

And I do mean everyone. We all like to pick and choose who is worthy of acceptance or not. We use our own self-hatred to determine who gets love and who gets snubbed.

If we truly want to be accepted by all, we must act that way. We must lead by example.

Civil rights and gay rights began around the same time and they seem to be at the same state of progress.

While blacks are visible in almost every area of society, racial hate crimes and racial profiling still dominate the news.

While you can’t throw a rock without hitting some gay character on TV we still fight daily to break the misconceptions and stereotypes of the narrow-minded corporate media.

We are more similar than we know, yet many in the black community voice open hatred and disdain for homosexuals. In turn many homos think being gay is white exclusive experience.

It’s a perpetual cycle that can only be stopped by refusing to discriminate based on outdated and illogical preconceived ideas.

‘Nigger’ and ‘Faggot’ both hold the same negative and harmful connotations.

Neither should be said in any public forum and both words live in a vacuum of prejudice.

Both words are hateful and small-minded and both should be banned from modern vocabulary.

They immediately stir the solar plexus with insecurity and inferiority. We are more similar than we think.

This is the time to bring it together and close the divides between white, black and gay.

No matter how safe and protected you may fell as a white male in America, you are still a minority as far as homosexuality is concerned.

Being a majority in a minority does not give you superior status. In the big picture, you are still not good enough.

Maybe if we could all get it together – all gays working for collective equality – then maybe we might have a fighting chance in making it a reality.

But as long as we continue to subdivide the group into more and more ineffectually smaller pieces, the more easily we can be picked apart and destroyed.

The phrase ‘divide and conquer’ has a particularly ironic meaning when those being conquered are the ones who are dividing themselves.

Come together. Lay down your bigotry and embrace the idea of oneness. We are all one and finding the common bond is what makes us strong as a group.

A mobilised force can move mountains and change policy and effect global history unchallenged.

It’s 2007 and if you are part of a group that’s been oppressed it is your duty to find other oppressed souls – whoever they may be – and link arms with them to form an imposing wall of justice.

We owe it to ourselves to be bravely united.

© 2007 here! Magazine; All Rights Reserved

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