What? Too obscene? Something is obscene, but the words I used in the title of this article pale in comparison to the obscenity of the strategy that is being pursued by the bigoted anti-gay evangelists - lead by the National Organization for Marriage. The Human Rights Campaign reports on NOM documents released through the investigation being conducted by the Maine Board of elections. And this is what NOM says in their own update to their own Board of Directors about their own strategy:
The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots… Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key to raising the costs of pushing gay marriage to its advocates...Of course, African Americans aren't the only ones they would like to divide and turn against gay people. Latinos are in their sights too.
The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be even more so in the future... We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity - a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.Now I feel left out. What, are Asians chopped liver?
I don't know what's more insulting - the assumption that black people and brown people have to be told what their values are by bigoted white people who control NOM, or the idea that ethnic minorities who have a deeply held belief - strengthened by personal experience - in the fundamental equality of all human beings will deny their basic yearning for justice if only the bigoted white people can teach them right.
This is a little emotional for me. I remember Prop 8 like it was yesterday. I practically moved into the local No on 8 headquarters in mid-late 2008. I registered voters, recruited volunteers, raised money, tabled at street fairs and malls, and was in charge of the No on 8 efforts at a polling place on election day from 6 in the morning to 8 at night. When we lost that night just as President Obama was winning a landslide victory, I was crushed even as I took immense gratitude in Obama's election.
In that race, I learned a lot. I learned that you can't judge a person by their looks. I learned that our campaign tried too hard to bury the issue of the heart and emphasize the issue of the head instead. I learned what it feels like when you watch a propaganda TV advertisement about how gay people are bad for children and you can't help thinking "They are talking about me." I learned a lot from the people I worked with: they were white, black, Latino, Asian, and plenty that I never cared to ask what race they were.
I also learned that our campaign had done a poor job of working within minority communities. Even with a diverse crew of volunteers, the campaign itself essentially accepted a popular myth that has hurt the gay rights movement more than many other things: the idea that being gay is a 'white' thing, and that communities of color would simply not accept our message. This is a corollary of a sad idea often taken for granted in the gay community: that one cannot both preserve one's ethnic identity and be part of the prevailing 'gay' culture - that ethnic cultures are somehow inherently more hostile to gays than their white counterparts. As though the African American churchgoer did not care about all of God's children. As though the Latina mother did not care about the safety of the gay kids her children go to school with. As a result, we lost the ethnic minority vote.
There was something else that was happening in 2008. A young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, was going to African American churches and speaking out on the issue of equal and fair treatment of gay people. I will bet anything that it was since that time that NOM came to see Barack Obama as one of the biggest threats to their agenda of hate. They have devised a "strategy" for that too.
Sideswiping Obama: Expose Obama as a social radical. Develop side issues .... as pornography, protection of children and the need to oppose all efforts to weaken religious liberty at the federal level.Yes, because there was no porn when there was no gay marriage, the gay monster will brainwash your children with their feather boas, and there is nothing like the "liberty" to infringe on other people's personal moral and religious beliefs about who they marry by the means of state power.
I have never cared much for the arguments that seek to pit one group of minorities against another - the arguments based on which group's suffering was worse. "It's not a civil rights issue" is the precise frame of that argument. It seeks to compare the relative level of discrimination, present and past, and seek to tell one group - see, they are using your movement to advance their cause. What I believe is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said - Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. What I know is that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.
And now we have proof - proof that anti-gay bigots are using this tried and true tactic of divide and conquer to achieve their ends. Keep us afraid of each other. Make us mad at each other. Instead of standing by each other, make us adversaries.
We can't do this anymore. We can't let them do this anymore. I have no intention of choosing between the color of my skin and my sexuality. I have no intention of choosing between the ethnic culture I have been blessed to have as a part of me and the gender of the person I fall in love with. I am tired of intolerant bigots telling me that I have to.