I read Bil's commentary about a former Projector who unsubscribed from the e-mail feeds because of their perception that The Project was focused too much on 'Black Issues'
Excuse me? What the frack do they mean "Black issues'? That's about as disrespectful as injecting the term 'race card' in a discussion.
This is a kissin' cousin to the oft spoken term in the GLBT community 'this isn't a GLBT issue'. That term gets invoked anytime someone wants to avoid talking about various sensitive mainstream world subjects that impact our little subset of it. Race is one of those volatile subjects that some peeps are squeamish about or in severe denial over.
But let's get back to this 'black issues' comment. I guess by their definition 'beating the black issue to death' means when we discuss for five seconds anything that reminds you that some of my ancestors didn't come through Ellis Island, but shackled in chains packed in the cargo holds of ships to New Orleans, Charleston, Savannah or some other US port involved in the trilateral trade of human beings.
I guess when I or others mention the fact that African-Americans played or continue to play major roles in shaping GLBT history, that's beating the Black issue to death'.
I guess when we post news on the Project of an African-American GLBT person breaking new historical ground that's beating the Black issue to death'
I guess when I or others express pride in our heritage or try to kick knowledge to Projectors about some of the issues we GLBT people of color face, that's 'beating the Black issue to death'
I guess when I honor one of my heroes on the 40th anniversary of his assassination by expressing my personal feelings in a blog post about him, that's 'beating the Black issue to death'.
News flash for you. Because we are as Condoleezza Rice put it, a founding population of the United States of America, 'Black issues' as you so derisively put it are AMERICAN issues.
America gained ownership of those 'Black issues' when your ancestors transported my ancestors here from Africa in chains, purchased them at those slave auctions, worked them on plantations without compensation for centuries, subjected them to inhumane conditions, fought a civil war over the slavery issue, spent another 100 years after emancipation denying them equal opportunity to participate in American society, passed laws, rioted and executed terrorist attacks against them to ensure they stayed 'in their place'.
This country has no problem conditionally accepting us and ignoring those "Black issues' when there's a war to be fought, but when that war is over America goes right back to the centuries old habit of dissing and ignoring us.
Same dynamic in the GLBT community. Some peeps have no problem occasionally parading us in front of the cameras to show how diverse this community is, but when it comes to being involved in the every day decision making apparatus of the GLBT power structure in various organizations,we're nowhere to be found.
If we GLBT peeps of color start expressing viewpoints that run counter to the tranquilized worldview that some peeps have in this community, then we get either the charge of 'racist' hurled at us or 'you're hung up on Black issues' contemptuosly spat at us.
It's past time for an honest, no holds barred civil discussion on race and race relations in this country. It should probably take a form similar to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings that were held after Nelson Mandela was elected president.
But until we sit down and honestly discuss it, we can't find solutions to the probems that continually crop up. The mistrust and residual anger on both sides will not dissipate by doing nothing about the issue. The Civil Rights Movement of the 60's and the 40 years since did not magically erase a problem it took two hundred plus years to create.
We'll need national unity from ALL Americans to tackle and solve the major problems we'll have to deal with in the next and future decades.
We GLBT peeps should be leading the way and serving as role models for our parent society in how to conduct that discussion. We are infected by the same illnesses as the parent society and we need to begin working on eradicating them in our own community as expeditiously as possible.