Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Divide & Conquer: Anti-Gay Marriage Group Gets Caught Trying to Separate Gays and People of Color

I have a new article up at Clutch Magazine

'Same Sex Marriage Rally, State Library of Victoria, Swanston and La Trobe Sts, Melbourne City, Victoria, Australia 091128-17' photo (c) 2009, David Jackmanson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Internal National Organization for Marriage (NOM) documents, which are part of an investigation regarding campaign finance activities by the state of Maine, have revealed an insidious plot to encourage Black and Latino voters to actively reject same sex marriage as a civil right.  These documents were brought to light by HRC (the Human Rights Campaign).

“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…”

Another passage:

“The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? 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.”

Oppressors have long played the game of divide and conquer to maintain their privilege.  For this plan to work, one must first ignore that there are Black and Latino GLBT people, and that by turning against them and refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of marriage equality, heterosexual cisgender people of color, would in effect be denying our own people their civil rights.  Heterosexism and racism are very different marginalizations, but they both work to actively oppress social minorities through the process of “othering” and institutionalized social inequality.  To agree that anyone deserves separate and unequal treatment before the law undermines our own struggles for racial equality, because it supports the idea that difference legitimizes actively oppressing a minority population.

I find it interesting that they seek to portray GLBT spokespeople as racist, because it further shows bias on the part of NOM.  There is no doubt that some members of the GLBT community have employed racist tactics to fight for marriage equality – specifically through repeated acts of appropriation,  but that does not make their cause any less just; it simply signifies someone determined to use the master’s tools to destroy the master’s house.

NOM is only interested in race when it can be used as a weapon to attack another historically marginalized group. The everyday microaggressions that all people of color have to negotiate are of no interest, because to care about that would mean a true acknowledgement of the horror that is White supremacy.  For NOM, racism is but a tool to achieve an end, rather than the soul crushing phenomenon that continues to lead to death, higher rates of incarceration, poverty, poor nutrition and health, as well as purposeful limited educational opportunities.  What is patently obvious from the statements of people like Alan Keyes, is that there will always be a segment of communities of color, who will be quick to jump on this opportunity believing that their bigotry somehow grants them power and a separation from the great unwashed masses.

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Editors Note: The choice of title was not mine.