The richest girl in town. (fightingwords) wrote,
The richest girl in town.
fightingwords

Open letter to white activists

Not that I want to keep beating this horse, which unfortunately is not dead but, frankly, I've got better things to do, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point y'all to slit's amazing post about the racial aspect of the Prop 8 loss and about political organizing by white folks in general.

Of particular note is a very eloquent treatment of the appropriation of civil rights rhetoric by marriage equality supporters and their harping on Loving:
1. Think about how you use civil rights imagery. There are parallels there, and they should be drawn, but to compare the passing of Prop 8 with lynching and Jim Crow disrespects Black history. Even the Loving decision, which is the most obvious parallel (and one Mildred Loving herself endorsed) had a profoundly different history than the history of gays and lesbians. Angry Black Woman discusses the background on that decision and how it was frankly not a huge priority during the civil rights era: So I have to wonder why the No on 8 people chose to present this as a parallel of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. To my mind, this helped trivialize their desire to marry, particularly among older blacks who remember when being able to marry white people was the least of their worries.

I think for white people the relationship is clear: if it was wrong to discriminate against relationships on the basis of race, it should likewise be wrong to discriminate against relationships on the basis of gender. But sexual 'relationships' between races had been going on for generations; what made Loving historic for a lot of people was that it was finally talking about such relationships in the context of mutual consent and agency for both partners -- as opposed to systemic sexual violence against women of color by white men and the lynching of Black men perceived to be pursuing white women. It wasn't so much "yay! we get to marry white people! this is the best day of our lives!"
Read the whole thing, and especially the link to Angry Black Woman's blog.
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