NAACP endorses gay marriage

And the tide has turned:

The NAACP’s board of directors voted Saturday to endorse same-sex marriage rights – adding the influential voice of the country’s leading black civil rights organization to a debate that has divided the African-American community…

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law,” NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement released Saturday. “The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people. The well-funded right wing organizations who are attempting to split our communities are no friend to civil rights, and they will not succeed.”

I have said in the past in one place or another (if it was on FTSOS, I can’t find it) that the black community should have been ashamed of itself given its high proportion of bigots during the Prop 8 days in California. (If memory serves, other minorities also suffered from a high rate of bigotry over the issue.) Of all the groups in the US, blacks may be the most well positioned to understand what discrimination is like and why it’s wrong. It isn’t merely an intellectual exercise for them; it have been reality for so many decades and centuries. Yet here we are, still trying to get over this hurdle. I think this announcement by the NAACP is going to give progress a big boost, but it’s slightly surprising that more blacks and other minorities aren’t ahead of the curve on this one. Chalk it up to Christian influence, I suppose.

The NAACP now presents itself as a counterbalance to the influence of the traditionally socially conservative black church. It can also help establish closer ties between blacks and gays, two of Obama’s most loyal constituencies.

I’ve always wondered what the black church looks like. Where is it located? Who runs it? Who are its members? How does it file with the IRS? Is it a made-up concept that unnecessarily simplifies all black people?

10 Responses

  1. Baptists I think. Even when I lived in Georgia I went to a catholic church, and as I recall, there were surprisingly the same number of blacks there as there are in the general population, 15-20% or so by my estimation.

    I know black people in the south, where the largest concentration of blacks is, generally concentrate that concentration in protestant churches of some description or another, predominantly which one, I do not know.

    That’s my two cents, but you are right, there is no “black church” persay. Careful though, if I didn’t know you were a liberal I could see people screaming racism at you for this post!

  2. […] NAACP endorses gay marriage ( […]

  3. In the UK, it always annoys me when people talk about various “communities”: the “black community” (all Africans and all Asian Indians always live side by side and always see things exactly the same way), the “LBGT community” (lesbians, bisexuals, gays and trangender people are all just the same thing, really), the “Muslim community” (Sunni/Shia, what’s the difference?). It’s like some kind of Noah’s Ark, where the lions and antelopes put their antipathy concerning nutrition aside pro tempore, for the good of the whole.

    I sometimes wonder what would happen if they talked about the “Palestinian community”. After all, Jews and Arabs speak with one voice, don’t they? Let’s just lump ’em together. What’s the harm in that?

    I’m still waiting to be classed as a member of the atheist community, so I can ask where the central office is. Still, I see myself as more of a North Hertfordshire atheist. I’m not too sure I want to be associated with those guys from the south.

    Then again, there are atheists even in North Herts that I just can’t get on with. Atheists who believe in homeopathy, for example. Atheists who don’t believe we landed on the moon. Atheists who habitually get drunk and obnoxious.

    I suspect my next The West End of Snailswell Lane, Ickleford, Hertfordshire, Well, Just My HouseReally, Atheists’ Community Bring and Buy sale is going to be pretty poorly attended.

  4. Well Nate, I’m not going to “scream” Micheal is exercising racism, but he’s flirting with it. (By the way, Liberals can also be racist as well as ageist). By saying that blacks should understand discrimination more so than others, Michael is in fact indirectly questioning why they lack the intellect and/or sensitivity to learn from their past. Although I’m sure he will deny this..saying it must be their christian influence..he is in fact making color an issue…that they should be “ashamed” of their bigoted voting on prop 8 in California…..

    The ability to discriminate is not predicated on the color of one’s skin…we are all human. Rather it is ignorance.

  5. First, you have no idea what I mean when I talk about oldness. Betty White, who is pushing 90, is wildly younger than you could ever hope to be. Stop creating strawmen and try to understand a single one of my points about old people.

    Second, I never said anything about intellect. You made that up.

    Third, I don’t see why you think I would deny that I’m questioning the lack of sensitivity to a very real past. Moreover, I don’t see why you would say I’m being indirect here. It is clear what I said: Black people face discrimination in America perhaps more than anyone (depending on area). As a result, I would expect them (and other minorities) to have lower rates of bigotry against gays.

    Fourth, blacks in America have a higher rate of Christianity than other groups. Religion, despite stupid claims to the contrary, influences people. In this case, the Christian religion tends to hate gays. (And shellfish, but I digress.)

  6. First of all, you know nothing about the reality of old age….you haven’t lived it yet. Your view of old age seems to be distorted by an image of a character actress . Stop hitting me with a ficticious lovable strawlady while denigrating me for not living up to your ideal fantasy.

    Second, I never said you said anything about intellect…you made that up. I inferred it from the statment you made about blacks as a group. That is why I said “indirectly”. I was being polite by not accusing you of talking about the intellect of blacks which is, as we are all aware, an historical target of most racist. I do not think you were aware of your youthful flirting with this troubling fact.

    Thirdly, I don’t know why you might think black’s are “insensitive” to their past but I do know that pointing your finger to a group, and signaling them out for a trait which, unfortunately, most humans share… can be seen as racist.

    I’m not calling you a racist. I know by your life’s activity you are not. I find it odd however when the NAACP comes out with an anti discrimination statement we all favor, you point your finger at the very group they represent as having a high degree of bigotry on the issue. A simple “Thank You” would have been a more appropiate response in my eyes.

  7. 1. You still don’t get it. When I talk about a person who is too old, age has nothing to do with it. You’re convinced your generation is great or at least better than others merely because it is your generation.

    2. You can keep playing up the “I’m older, therefore I know more than you”, but you aren’t convincing anyone that knowledge comes with age. You accused me of talking about the intellect of a group of people when I said nothing whatsoever to that effect. Your inference was embarrassingly incorrect.

    3. You don’t know? Have you read my post? Blacks are more commonly insensitive to their past (and present) by virtue of their pro-bigotry voting rates in California. If I recall correctly, 74% of black voters were against equal rights for a particular minority. That’s surprising bigotry for a group which has historically had its rights voted away by majorities.

    And yes, I realize that can be seen as racist. I also don’t care.

  8. If you don’t care how you are perceived, even seen as a racist, you are confirming my point. This piece flirted with racism…you left the door open and, upon further anaylsis, it could question the intellectual capacity of blacks.

  9. I also don’t care if someone is dumb enough to hear the term “black hole” and think something racist has been said.

  10. […] NAACP endorses gay marriage ( […]

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