Friday, October 23, 2009

White Gay Peeps, Back The Hell Up Off President Obama

This is a guest post by the ever fabulous Monica of TransGriot

One of the things I'm alarmed about is increasingly hearing from the African American acquaintances around the country I talk to, various Black GLBT people and family members who know that I interface with the GLBT community is escalating anger in the Black community over the continued attacks on President Obama.

What's feeding that anger? Hmm, where do I start?

*The Black community is still pissed over the displays of overt racist behaviour and being blamed for the Prop 8 loss in California.

*We also haven't forgotten that many of the president's white gay critics were Hillary supporters.

*We remember that many white gay people unfairly attacked the President BEFORE he even entered office in January by proclaiming him as the 'worst president ever on gay rights.'

The one good thing about the Maine marriage fight is that if a loss happens there (and I pray it doesn't) you won't have Black people to blame for it since we're only 1% of the population there.

But with the President in the process of having to clean up the eight years of toxic waste from the Bush misadministration, extricate us from two wars, shut down the Dick Cheney Memorial Torture Prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, get a Supreme Court nomination through the Senate, pass health care reforms, repair and restore our battered national image around the world along with other myriad challenges he's faced since assuming office January 20, it's seen by many Blacks as selfish whining in the context of the major challenges that this country faces when you holler "Obama isn't doing anything for us', "He's all talk and no action' or 'I want (marriage equality/DOMA repeal/DADT repeal) now.'.

Hell, I and other transpeople since 1994 have wanted a trans inclusive ENDA and hate crimes passed. Thanks to you peeps who fought it like right wingers opposing your marriage rights I'm STILL waiting for that to happen.

May I also remind you that Black people have been waiting for full equality for over 200 years now.

I'm also tired of seeing the bullshit meme from white gays online that Black people hate them and don't care about GLBT rights.

No, what Black people hate is you white gays acting like spoiled brats and being called 'racist' or 'homophobic' when Black people of all stripes call your asses out on it. It's not 'racist' to state the fact that President Obama's critics in the gay community are predominately white gays. Deal with that reality.

And oh yeah, pick up a Sociology book and learn the difference between racism and prejudice. Racism=prejudice plus power.

POC's calling out whites for their behaviour isn't racist. Only people who wallow in vanilla flavoured privilege and conservative white males believe that.

Black GLBT people are especially sick of it. In addition to being stuck uncomfortably in the middle between the white gay community and our fellow African descended citizens when you do that, our votes, money and support of Obama helped put him in the Oval Office along with the votes of Black, Latino/a and progressives of all stripes.

It's also starting to piss off the middle class Black people whose support GLBT people cannot afford to lose. You still have much to atone for in the Prop 8 aftermath and much bridge building to do in the African-American community. Constantly attacking a still immensely popular president in our community who has only been in office ten months is seen as unfair by the Black community and it's not politically smart either.

He gets enough crap from the 'white' wing and so many death threats a day the Secret Service can barely keep up with it, and you vanilla flavoured GLBT peeps are complaining he hasn't done enough for the 'gay community'?

Buy a fracking vowel and get a rainbow clue. Last time I checked, the gay community was not made up exclusively of white gay people. We're getting tired and fed up with you vanilla flavoured privilege wielding GLBT peeps not only attacking our community and conveniently ignoring the fact that Black GLBT people not only exist, but we chocolate flavoured GLBT peeps have a diametrically opposed view of how President Obama is doing.

The Black GLBT community is also concerned that your constant attacks are not only pissing our people off and alienating our African American cis and straight allies, you are making our job much tougher in the African American community to make the case why they should support and fight for these issues.

The reality is that Bush left the Obama Administration him a toxic mess to clean up and the man has his hands full. If the rest of us and Stevie Wonder can see that, what's wrong with y'all?

And spare me any spin lines in subsequent commentary of 'you're saying we're 'racist' for attacking President Obama or we can't criticize him.

You can criticize him all you want, but free speech cuts both ways. If you're going to loudly defend your First Amendment right to criticize the president, don't get huffy when I use my First Amendment rights to call y'all out for going overboard on your criticism of President Obama and state the obvious fact about the color of his GLBT critics. Getting mad and attacking Black and other POC critics with the 'racist' and 'homophobic' label because we did so isn't smart either.

Renee's Rule applies to this critique. If it ain't about you, don't make it about you. The people who I'm directing this critique at know who they are.

But seriously, white GLBT peeps. Don't get this twisted. I'm someone who has been in this fight with you for over a decade. I'm a marriage equality supporter and support the repeal of DOMA and DADT, but I also realize that the president can't sign bills to do precisely that unless congress PASSES the legislation. Executive orders can be overturned by the succeeding president as Bill Clinton did to Daddy Bush, Junior did unto Clinton and now Obama is now doing to George W. Bush.

I'm also a proud African descended transwoman who has her antennae up in the Black community, and the chatter I'm hearing is alarming. You can either heed the warning I'm passing along in this post and take the necessary steps to correct this perception problem or dismiss it at your political peril.

But y'all really need to back the hell up off President Obama and give him the time he needs to be the president we believe and know he can be.