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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ministers Betray the Black Community by Defending Race-Baiting Group by Alvin McEwen

The National Organization for Marriage has been steadily attempting to blunt the charges that it is trying to drive a wedge between the black and gay communities on the subject of marriage equality.
Ever since confidential documents came out detailing NOM's strategy to play the gay and black communities against one another, the organization has engaged in several tactics to push aside the knowledge that these documents exist.
And now NOM is employing a new tactic - using black ministers to blunt the charges.
Recently , the organization spotlighted Bishop George McKinney, a board member of the Church of God in Christ. In his attempt to defend NOM, McKinney went out of his way to avoid talking about the specific passage detailing NOM's wedge strategy.
In fact, in his piece, published in The Daily Caller, McKinney cited a different portion of NOM's confidential documents rather than the passage talking about the organization's wedge strategy. And he made sure to point fingers at the media for the scandal.
As did Harry Jackson, another pastor spotlighted by NOM to refute the race-baiting charges. In one post a post published published on NOM's blog, Jackson claimed that the scandal was a conspiracy formulated by the Human Rights Campaign and The New York Times. In another post, Jackson doubled down on that conspiracy theory:
In the midst of this fight, LGBT activists have created a mythology to try to explain the fierce minority opposition to their agenda. Primary among these myths is the idea that the National Organization for Marriage, with whom I and many African Americans have been proud to stand, is responsible for dividing racial minorities against the gay community. Nothing could be further from the truth. NOM has instead provided a national platform for racial minorities to voice their heartfelt outrage at an agenda that is trying to hijack the moral authority of the Civil Rights struggle.
The immediacy in which McKinney and Jackson - and no doubt probably a few other black ministers - are rushing to defend NOM is sad. Remember again the portion of the documents which Jackson and McKinney avoided mentioning:
The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks - two key democratic constituencies. We aim to find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; to develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; and to provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.
LGBT activists didn't write this. The New York Times didn't write this. The National Organization for Marriage did. And when confronted with the documents, NOM leaders Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher did not deny writing it. In fact, they embraced it, claiming that the wording was merely "inapt."
In both their pieces, McKinney and Jackson bragged about allying themselves NOM, but someone should inform them that allies aren't treated as pawns. Allies are not treated like sacrificial lambs or shields created to absorb scorn and abuse for "the cause."
In the long run, this is about more than "gay marriage." It's about a lack of integrity by those who are supposed to be leaders in the black community. Ministers in the black community are seen as protectors. They are not only our voices but our consciences. They are not supposed to lead the community into any type of danger, whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual.
And regardless of his or her personal feelings about gay marriage, any minister with a modicum of integrity would be raising holy hell at the notion of the black community being used as puppets on a string by an organization who has never lent a hand, a voice, or contribution to the real problems plaguing the black community. Problems such as poverty, lack of good health care, and socioeconomic disparity.
But that's not what's happening here. These ministers who have designated themselves as gatekeepers of the black community's integrity have chosen not only to open the door to NOM, but also to throw away the key while advising the organization to help itself to our legacy.
Instead of fearing that the gay community is attempting to steal the legacy of the civil rights movement, the black community maybe should look at those we have chosen to safeguard that legacy.
They are giving it away under our noses.