It's my distinct pleasure to introduce Projectors to Bilerico-DC blogger Wyatt O'Brian Evans. Wyatt is a columnist for QBliss, a nationwide LGBT magazine. Wyatt wrote a series of articles for QBliss that were so popular, we've agreed to syndicate it on Bilerico Project for maximum exposure. I'm confident the series will be popular here. We won't agree with everything Wyatt says, but we'll all be challenged to step outside of our comfortable zones - and isn't that the point of Bilerico Project?
Below is a note from QBliss's publisher about the series and Wyatt's original intro to the first column is after the jump. Wyatt's first installment will post later this afternoon.
In summer of 2008 QBliss, author and journalist Wyatt O'Brian Evans set out to do a series on racism and racism within our GLBTI community. This eye opening and powerful project came before the mainstream media jumped on the wagon of this important issue. In September of 2008 the series began, and was to originally last three months. However we soon learned that three months was not going to cut it, and the series expanded. Then the election came, and we found that our audience wanted more... As a result of this interest and importance of the issue, we felt that we needed to expand the reach of this series and decided to make arrangements to have an additional version of the series to run on another site. We've teamed up with the Bilerico Project. Over the next few months we hope the Bilerico audience will find this incredible series thought provoking, beneficial, informative and puts a real face of this very real issue!
We hope you enjoy!
Russell Olivera Jr.
QBliss Executive Director / Founder
It's a cancer poisoning us inside and out, through and through, to our very core. It's an open sore swallowing up our souls, oozing the puss of ignorance, intolerance and hate. Much more, it's a stain that threatens to chew up the fabric of our nation like a rabid pit bull--leaving it in tatters.
And, it's also that thing which America, particularly white America, simply doesn't have the guts to confront, and then open up a frank, honest dialogue--which could result in some honest-to-God healing. However, with Senator Barack Obama having a very real shot at becoming the next president of the United States, and with Senator John McCain, who promised an "aboveboard" campaign, now subtly and craftily playing the "race card" (because he has so few cards to play; to be fair, former President Bill Clinton played the same game, too), that thing continues to bubble just under the surface. However, like a restless volcano, it appears poised to surge forth and erupt at any moment.
This disease of the mind, character and soul to which I'm referring is racism, or white supremacy. This ambitious series, The Cancer that Slowly Consumes Our Very Souls: Racism, explores how this contagion impacts the GLBTI community, with a particular emphasis on how it is directed against and affects African-Americans. Additionally, the series demonstrates how white supremacy divides members of the same minority group, and pits one minority group against another. As you will find, all of this is centered within the context of my own odyssey: how racism has impacted my professional career and me personally.
Before I go any further, let me state that I don't believe that all white people are racist. During my lifetime, I've had the distinct pleasure of knowing a few whites who didn't appear to have a "racist bone" in their bodies.
However, racism is very much alive...and thriving. Therefore, at this critical juncture in our country, I fervently and firmly believe that this is a curse far too pressing and contentious to ignore.
I'm fed up. And pissed off. Consequently, I don't care who I might piss off. As you follow the series--and I trust you will--you'll find it to be no-holds barred, provocative, and "in yo' face." And when necessary, I "bitch slap" both Caucasians and persons of color. Hey--I pride myself in being an equal opportunity "bitch slapper."
Some of you might think that the concepts and points of view I serve up are too controversial (outlandish, even) and are the musings of conspiracy theorists--and as a result, debunk and dismiss them. But before you are inclined to do that, let's not ever forget the notorious and heinous Tuskegee Experiment. "For forty years, the U.S. Public Health Service has conducted a study in which human guinea pigs, not given proper treatment, have died of syphilis and its side effects," wrote Associate Press (AP) reporter Jean Heller, who broke the story wide open in July, 1972. "The study was conducted to determine from autopsies what the disease does to the human body."
The U.S. Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began the study in 1932. Nearly 400 indigent, syphilis-infected African-American men from Macon County, Alabama were enrolled in the study. They were never told they had the venereal disease, and were never treated.
This is just one of the countless examples throughout American history of how African-Americans--and other peoples of color--have been devalued, debased and dehumanized.
So, the goal of The Cancer that Consumes Our Very Souls: Racism is to blow the lid off "tha muthasucka," so to speak. Perhaps then we can jumpstart a more substantive and honest dialogue about race within our community--and the larger one. At the end of the series, I attempt to offer possible solutions to this insidious disease that appears to be so entrenched deep down in our DNA.
First though, I want to applaud Mr. Russell Olivera and QBliss for allowing me this opportunity.
And before we start the process of blowing the lid off, we need to understand the "gift that keeps on givin'."