Let it be known that I am not scared to be wrong or enlightened. But, I am also not under the impression that I'm entirely crazy.
Perhaps, my argument was less relevant than I had hoped. And, I could still be making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Please correct me if I am wrong. It appears you may have based your criticism of “Gay is the new Black” on refuting any interpretation that the civil rights struggle for Black people has been superseded by the struggle for GLBT civil rights. In that light, your words, and the understanding that the slogan alludes to a fashion quip, take on new meaning for me. Regardless, you are correct to admonish the GLBT Community for our strange impatience and conveniently selective focus. Please note that I said our.
Even so, I bristle under the notion that you may not be as inclined to critique Black America’s (not just the gays) habitual reaction to create for ourselves what we feel we are not offered by the majority—at the expense of our visibility and integration.
The argument I failed to even state previously, and hope I adequately express now, is that the GLBT Black Community in the United States must become a visible and active part of the greater GLBT Community. That will not happen if we continue to seek comfort in our traditional coping mechanisms [admittedly born from necessity] without also considering more challenging, but possibly far more productive alternatives.
None of us can behave as we’ve always behaved, think as we’ve always thought, and expect the world and its people to respond to us in a different manner. Nor, can we collectively lift our voices and sing for the harmony of liberty and justice for all and simultaneously debate “relative oppression”.
Of the different social and cultural elements that separate those who fight for civil rights in our country, it is our second-class status that unites us. Women, minorities, homosexuals, bisexuals, persons with gender identities opposite that of their physiology—even as we bear differing burdens, the plight of discrimination covers us all.
I know it’s a hard sell. I shiver under the potential weight (or silliness) of my words even as I am convinced of their truth. Whether or not the GLBT majority is wholly concerned with the Black American struggle, I believe that Black Americans—GLBT and heterosexual—simply cannot afford to not support the GLBT struggle.
Michael P. Vine