Several Black pastors in conjunction with the High Impact Leadership Coalition have put out an ad about how they're opposed to the hate crimes bill currently in Congress. It's the same old argument, that preachers won't be able to speak their mind when it comes to sexuality because the hate crimes bill will silence them, even though the biggest, smartest, and most consistent free speech crazies in the country support this bill.
But an original argument is not what they're after. What they really want is to support the myth that civil rights is a battle between the gays and the Blacks. And when we're playing Blacks vs. gays in this country, there are always the same three big losers:
- Black gays
The white straights who fund and bait these sorts of projects are the ones who won't be affected, or "win" in their minds, even though I still like to believe that racism and homophobia mean no one wins.
But what this does accomplish is it makes the mostly white AFA and Focus on the Family sorts feel like they are in some way in favor of civil rights. Consider this statement from Harry Jackson of the HILC:
These actions [backing the Matthew Shepard Act] are tantamount to the gay community saying, "Freedom for me, but bondage for you." This attitude is just not consistent with America's ideals.
Doesn't that make it seem like this is a zero-sum game whereby only the gays (he doesn't seem all that concerned with the B or the T, although I'm sure if you asked him...) or only Blacks can get a place at the table.
Also, consider this:
In addition to the damage that gay marriage does to the black family structure that is already under stress, legalization of gay marriage has the potential of endangering the next generation.
We can't all win, we can't all be equal, so might as well sacrifice one group of people. And now this has turned from a cooperative fight for equality to a minority catfight, making it all that much easier for those in power, those who don't have to have laws change and governments move to have access to the right to achieve their full potential so simply ignore it all as whining.
Of course, this message fails when one balances the High Impact Leadership Coalition, whose constituency might one day be big enough to fill up the corner table at Applebee's, with the much larger NAACP, which supports the Matthew Shepard Act. The Act doesn't just add sexual orientation and gender identity to current hate crimes legislation, it expands that legislation to cover more crimes than those committed while the victim was engaged in one of the six protected activities, proving that we are either working together, or we're not working at all.