The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science held a dialogue at Howard University in Washington, D.C. last month to discuss the underpresence of science in the African-American (which, it turns out, all Americans are African-American, as Dawkins explains after the introductions) community.
Moderator Mark Hatcher posed a question to the panel about homophobia in the black community. Panelists Sikivu Hutchinson (board member of the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools advisory council and author of “American Terror”) and Rice University professor Anthony Pinn responded positively, and the moderator also expressed his own frustration with blacks working against equality for LGBT people.
Clearly there is a greater lack of acceptance among black communities than among other racial groups in America. Despite accusations of racism leveled against those who noted this following the Proposition 8 vote two years ago, it is not racist to point this out. It is, however, racist to think that the prevalence of homophobia among blacks is a result of their blackness.
Homophobia is always caused by the same thing — ignorance and a lack of education — and it affects all people of all races similarly. And of course, the disproportional lack of education among black communities is the result of our nation’s immoral enslavement of their forefathers and the following century during and after which America has never significantly committed to raising the socioeconomic status (and by extension their collective education) of blacks to a level near their white counterparts.
The really sad part is, is that most if not all African-Americans have somebody gay in their immediate family, but refuse to discuss the issues outwardly and openly. Its like we are ashamed of it and keep hidden in the closet or swept under a rug.
Kameelah… I think that accurately describes a lot of Americans, not just black folk. I think a big difference is that many primarily white religious orgs/denominations have moved forward on LGBT inclusion, yet the overwhelming majority of primarily black religious orgs/denominations haven’t.
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