Sunday, November 9, 2008

An Open Letter From Professor Tracey To Dan Savage - You Owe African Americans In California An Apology!

Mr. Savage,

Your post entitled Black Homophobia was flat out wrong, period. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about and were completely out of line. You should have done some research and some careful thought before posting something so negative. You should make a public apology and begin mending the fences you have torn down.

I suggest reading Facts Belie the Scapegoating of Black People for Proposition 8 and Prop. 8 and thinking before we write and Black homophobia and putting the blame for Prop 8 where it belongs. You would have found concern, disappointment, and community kinship at Pam's Houseblend, What Tami Says, A Choice Of Weapons, and not to mention the multiple posts on Proposition 8 at Racialicious. You might have learned something.

And before you went off the rails accusing your fellow African American citizens you might have found some allies. You might have discovered that many Black Americans are disturbed by homophobia in the black community, but have a keen understanding of the failure of the white gay community to do outreach in those same communities. You might have found a way to be working on and resolving the issue of homophobia in the black community, but you didn't even bother. Now, instead of allies, you have made angry enemies, very non-productive, my friend.

And if you have the nerve to take Black Americans to task, then have the guts to take responsibility for your words. I was horrified to read that after you wrote that incendiary post that you stopped reading the comments after racist vitriol began to be directed at African Americans and criticism began to be directed at you. That is flat-out irresponsible! You can't stoke fires, then ignore the inferno!

If we all followed your logic then African Americans should be enraged at the white gay community. Fewer white gay Americans voted for Obama than in 2004 for Kerry. What happened there, it wasn't like McCain was even attempting to appeal to gay voters. And what about gay Log Cabin Republicans that didn't vote for Obama at all? Do black folks get to point fingers at those white voters or it doesn't matter because Obama won? This kind of race-baiting logic can get EVERYONE in hot water.

We all need to find out what went wrong in the black community with this issue FIRST before deciding that EVERY black person in California is homophobic. And you being an outsider to the black community needed to proceed with caution before laying blame because you have now lost your credibility and your compassion by leaping to unproven conclusions. In your desire to express your anger and to find someone, anyone to blame, you succeeded in doing nothing but taking complete attention away from the important issue at hand, how to gain equality for gay Americans of all races.


BLKSeaGoat November 9, 2008 at 9:17 AM  


Thanks for this letter. May I cross post it over at my blog?

Faith November 9, 2008 at 3:38 PM  

I wrote about this at my blog as well. I'd add Andrew Sullivan to that letter - thought blah blah he backed off somewhat, but my beef is why are these white men who happen to be gay so quick to fall into racist thinking? I live in SF and I can tell you the No on 8 campaign did NO OUTREACH. They messed up and assumed people would vote for it just because. Also whites, Asians and Latinos voted against it overwhelmingly so why focus on Blacks? I also have moved away from labeling Blacks who may be religious with this broad brush of homophobia. Being hostile is not going to build relationships. We have to find another road to get people to work with us. It's not like they ever compare the Holocaust to Gay Rights but they'll appropriate every Black social movement when they want to claim victimhood. Gah!!

D.J. November 9, 2008 at 3:58 PM  

This has been a constant source of conversation in my house the past couple of days. While it is true that blacks voted 70% in favor to Prop 8 according to exit polls it is also true that blacks make up less than 9% of the total citizens of California. It is funny how nobody seems to report that.

I personally am happy that this has gone down the way it has. I like to know when people are hiding hoods under their bed.

Mista Jaycee November 9, 2008 at 4:20 PM  

Hey Prof Tracy,
Did you forget about Mista Jaycee over at a choice of weapons? I know you read me, especially since I am a faithful reader and commenter here at Aunt J's Revenge. I too have taken a strong stand against Prop 8 and since I'm right next door hey continue to stop by.

Anonymous,  November 10, 2008 at 11:45 AM  

I was upset with the Prop 8 results, and also with so many states voting against gay adoptions, especially the adoptions because I have met wonderful same-sex families who chose to adopt black children abandoned in the child welfare system. BUT the reactions have been ridiculous. The report on the Daily Kos is so on point. There's no way the numbers add up and it is extraordinarily sad how many black men are disenfranchised in this country. I'm sure Dan Savage is working to get condoms distributed in jails, yah right like he and those other critics are doing grass-root activism in black communities. The only way to end ignorance is education, not preaching to the racist choir. A note should be taken from Obama's campaign strategy, where he actually went into traditionally racist neighborhoods and dared them not to look in his eyes and discuss the issues with him like a man.

Shurl November 11, 2008 at 12:15 AM  

I f Obama had the nerve to campaign in Ruby Red states (and flip MANY of them Blue) then gay activists need to go to black, latino, and christian neighborhoods and sell their case.

Anonymous,  December 7, 2008 at 11:10 PM  

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