I have a Muslim friend who would every so often tell me that “Brown is the new Black”. This would be after telling me of some discrimination that some Muslim person had experienced. At first I was amused and would laugh when he made the comment, but after a while it would annoy me. He would rant about the increased “racism” Muslims now faced since 9/11. Although some of the situations were blatant acts of discrimination, most I would characterize as “inconveniences”, that we as Black people have had to put up with for ages. But I guess it comes down to what you’re used to having to put up with.
He repeated the comment to me one day and I finally had to “school” him that in no way could Muslims claim that their current experiences were in any way comparable to the racism and challenges Black people in North America faced today. I told him of a story relayed to me by a Black friend of mine who worked at a prestigious law firm. There weren’t many “people of colour” there, but she noticed how the “brown” people… the Muslims and East Indians… rarely associated with their Black co-workers, until after September 11th, 2001. The “brown” people were quick to socialize and sit everyday with their “white” co-workers in the lunch room, but she noticed a chill had developed between the “browns” and the “whites” on September 12th… and the “browns” then became very friendly and found the desire and time, to want to sit and socialize with their new found “Black” brothers and sisters.
I also reminded him that Muslims weren’t very supportive of the civil rights struggles of African-Americans… nor Caribbean/African-Canadians for that matter… and that chattel slavery of black-skinned Africans, whether they are Muslims or not, is still widely and openly practiced today in some Muslim countries in Africa, like Sudan and Mauritania. Although European involvement of African slavery is well documented in western history, not as well known is that Muslims also enslaved and depopulated Africa just as much and as harshly. So as far as I am concerned, “Black is still the new Black… and the same ole Black… all rolled up into one”. Now that Muslims find themselves “under the eurocentric and racist microscope”, trying to equate and legitimize their new struggles by associating it with ours… just does not compute. Simply put: “We don’t want them!” He never made the statement to me again… and yes… we are still very good friends.
It has also always annoyed me when I hear gay people, let me clarify, “white gay people”, compare their struggles for gay rights with the struggles Black people went through… and still go through… for human rights. I don’t believe in comparing struggles or debating who had and/or has it “worse”, especially with “white” people. In my experience, I have found that they engage in such discussions to (1), deflect or reduce their responsibility for past or current acts of racist behaviour; or (2), to perpetuate the societal privileges they feel is their birthright due to the colour of their skin; or (3), to legitimize their own fight to gain the political, economic and other societal privileges that others of their own kind enjoy.
I do agree that the “white woman’s movement” and the “white homosexual movement” have legitimate issues regarding discrimination which they face from the dominant culture, and we should all work together to fight to eradicate oppression and inequality in whatever form it rears it’s ugly head. However, that doesn’t necessarily nor automatically mean that in all cases or with all issues, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, especially when my so-called “friend” is only using me to further their own agendas.
It also annoys me when I see so-called “intelligent Black people”, choose to buy into the manipulative, “white liberal/progressive” rhetoric, and internalize these struggles and make it their own. The above photo is an example of what I mean. Another example is a comment I read in a post regarding the brutal gang rape of a woman in Richmond, California. The victim is openly lesbian and the writer argued that the passing of Proposition 8 in California, which banned gay marriage in that state, was a contributing factor in her rape. The writer contends:
“I believe that when we sanction second class status, when we vote for dehumanization, when we religiously justify inequality, then we encourage and become complicit in violence. Jim Crow gave cover to the lynch mobs. Prop 8 aids the rapists.” Read full post here.
So let’s see if I understand this. I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Now if I exercise my right to voice and/or record my opinion on this issue at the ballot box, then I am not only an ignorant bigot, I am also complicit in the gang rape of an openly gay woman! AND… this accusation is not being made by gay activists, but by another Black person. I guess I should surrender myself to the International Criminal Court (since I live in Canada).
As a Christian, I do hold certain beliefs, which does influence my views on the definition of marriage and on homosexuality in general (see here). But my religious beliefs are not the only factor that influences my opinions or views on this or any other issue. Regardless, just because I have these beliefs does not mean:
I hate gay people;
I am homophobic;
I am complicit or responsible, literally or figuratively, in hate crimes committed against homosexuals;
I support the discrimination or mistreatment of others based on their sexual preference and/or orientation;
I am against gay rights;
I believe that gay marriage will lead to the degeneration or destruction of the “institution of marriage” or society in general;
and whatever else may be assumed or stated in an attempt to demonize me.
It does mean however that as people of African descent, I believe we need to be ever vigilant and not allow ourselves to be duped and used, by the so-called “left-wing” eurocentric activists to achieve their own self-interests. Furthermore, as the debate around the passage of Proposition 8 clearly showed us, they will be quick to point a finger and blame “us” when they fail to achieve their objectives (see here).
“Beware of the hand, when it’s comin’ from the left, I ain’t trippin’, just watch ya step… Can’t Truss It!” Public Enemy.
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good and insightful post you have here. as an asian lesbian, i have experienced discrimination from both angles. i would say that being discriminated as asian hurts me more, as since it can be seen immeidiately, i get it all the time, even off the street.
As a lesbian, people seem to be surprised that i am one, and even become more careful that they shouldn’t discriminate me.
Excellent post. People know that generally speaking the disparity reserved for the black community is as bad as it gets around the world. If humanity was a barrel of oil black people would be that sticky tar like goo at the bottom. So when people perceive that they are being treated poorly as a collective by the dominant community that is predominantly white, they like to equate that to the treatment of black people.
Some of the most blatant racism I have had the unfortunate first hand experiences with have been people of Middle Eastern decent and white gay people. I once lived down the street from a gay man who was such a closed minded bigot that he would make Chip Saltsman, who distributed the Barack The Magic Negro CD to his Republican Party associates, look open minded from a racial perspective.
Some people simply refuse to understand the ugliness of the racial discrimination that plagues the black community. How many times have I heard people dismiss racism in employment practices by telling the story of how their grandpa couldn’t find a job for a couple of months back in the depression of the twenties?
King Politics said:
Well, I agree with you to a point. Gay is not the new black in the sense that blacks are still fighting for true equality.
However, I support gay marriage and support all minorities if they face discrimination. What good is it for me not to help them?
In my opinion (actually it’s a fact) sexuality isn’t in the Constitution and that’s the only thing that should govern, not our religious beliefs because we all have different religious beliefs.
Sorry, but I am sick and tired of seeing and hearing about homosexuals being compared to black people. Gay rights is not a legitimate human rights movement. Since when did behaviour become an issue of discrimination or human rights? We have allowed the liberal white media to brainwash us into believing that persons demanding the right to practise sodomy are continuing the civil rights struggles of the ’50’s and ’60’s. That is an insult to black people, and for the love of me, I can’t understand how any intelligent black person can allow himself/herself to be deceived like this.
Lady C said:
I don’t believe the LGBT should use the same narrative as the AA narrative in this country. They need to get their own. Whatever sympathy I may have for the community dwindles when I hear, “Gay is the new Black.” It is simply not true.
Marriage is for procreation as far as the Bible is concerned. So, why not have a civil ceremony that addresses hospitalization visits and property disbursement for the couple. I don’t have a problem with civil ceremonies, and I don’t see where religious groups should have a problem with it. Gay people pay taxes even if you won’t allow them in your houses of worship.
Civil unions are financial bonds, and sooner or later, when the cash drawers start filling up because of these unions, local governments will declare it is a state’s right to allow gay unions that are much more like marriages.
Asa, why you always stirring up trouble? LOL!!
Seriously: why can’t we have equality? If the state sanctions marriage and you are a citizen of the state/nation, then the laws should provide equal rights to ALL citizens of that nation – slam fucking dunk!
My religious tenets or lack thereof should not be the basis of determining what other people with other tenets, practices, beliefs, inclinations or orientations get to do. The only foundation that the secular state should provide is a level playing field. If the government sanctions marriage, then marriage should be for ALL CONSENTING ADULTS. And if you want to marry your sister, I don’t give a fuck! (One of the most asinine arguments against gay marriage I’ve heard)
My quibbles or comfort, or somebody else’s phony religious doctrine should not enter into it. That shit is between you and your God and me and my therapist. AND, people’s rights should not be auctioned off or voted on by the ignorant majority; that is a recipe for prejudice, blindness and rank stupidity to reign free.
Nobody who has responded here needs to love or like gay people, gay sex or gay marriage in order for justice, in order for law to dictate that marriage cannot be Jim Crowed. Muthafuckas don’t like your black ass and you didn’t like it when they legislated against you; how the fuck can your pretzel logic fail to note the same thing here?!
And I’m sorry for those kneegroes who don’t like Civil Rights metaphors being drawn between gay and black rights. But King said it himself: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” How the fuck are black folk – of all people – gonna say “you can’t use my experience in the same sentence with gay rights”?! Back in the day, we were likening our experience to Moses, talkin’ ’bout being the lost sheep and how a chariot was coming for to carry us home.
How could we compare our experience in America to those stories detailed in the Bible?! How dare WE?! Because, when you are under the gun and need some inspiration, need some help, you look for similar experiences and similar struggles that will provide more ammo to your cause.
I’m tired of our bullshit hypocrisy. I’m tired of the “our shit don’t stink” mentality that many of us bring to this debate, as if niggas aren’t gay as hell ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong: Asa is on point when he points out that we SHOULD be wary of white folks – gay, straight or pin striped. But we need to grow the fuck up. We have to have more maturity, more discernment, put some of that personal voodoo aside and recognize that we don’t live in a jive ass theocracy…yet, though we know that “they” use religion to do exactly what its being exhibited here – blind people to their commonalities in order to keep them divided. And controlled
To quote ‘Zel: “the games chess NOT checkers muthafuckas.” Stop allowing your asses to get checkmated by your own dumb moves.
If sex makes love then why not let all groups who want to have sex, and can legally do so, get married? Marriage is exclusive in the USA and this hurts more groups than just same sex couples. There are so many sexual minorities, besides homosexuals who are also discriminated against by marriage and sex laws in there current forms.
I was born a polygamist, but that won’t get America and the rest of the Western world to Legalize polygamy. Polygamy is recognized in many countries and it has a long history of being legal in societies world wide. As far back as I can remember I have always desired multiple women. It is in my genes and it is natural. Why can’t polygamist get the narrow definition of marriage changed? Prostitution is called the worlds oldest profession. There are ancient traditions of temporary marriage which worked like prostitution. Folks who like to pay for sex also are discriminated against in most of America because prostitution is illegal in most states. These folks also like variety it also might be in there genes.
Teenagers also cannot marry without their parent’s permission, so this too restricts marriage. Many adults prefer virgins. Western society once praised virgin marriage. If teens can get abortions without parental permission why can’t they marry without parental permission? This forbidding of young marriage leads to more out of wedlock pregnancies. Additionally, why can’t adults marry high school students without parent’s permission? Why should homosexuals get their marriage definition change before these other groups? Are no those who enjoy paying for sex, polygamist, teens and other folks who want to marry virgins all equally, as deserving as same sex couples?
Same sex couples are part of a long list of groups of people who cannot marry. What makes them more discriminated against than teenagers, polygamist, and those who want to pay for sex.
IP: I’m not opposed to prostitution or polygamy at all. Adults and kids? Don’t know about that one.
Gays are “persecuted” and “discriminated” against because of who they are AND what they do? Pedophiles, Johns or polygamists are “prosecuted” exclusively because of what they do. People don’t bash, condemn or lynch people who have sex for money…but if you’re gay?! Ask Matthew Sheppard.
Thank you for your candor. Do You lable all marriage relationships between a teens and an Adults a pedophile relationships ? I said nothing about kids because teenagers are not kids, they are young adults. Yes we agree that kids should never marry. However Laws against marriage to a person who loves another are automatic persecutions to that person inside and out. I do not support arranged or forced marriages but I am demonstrating that our western laws on marriage are equal opportunity discriminators. One man with one woman has always been exclusive.
I have been told that the prophet Muhammad was probably married to some young people. Could you also adress marriages between teens and other teens. Thousands of teens are getting married every day all across the world without their parents permission. Why have the right to abort and not to marry?
I have had many friends married to teens when they were over the age of 18. My current best friend married his first wife when he was 22 and she was 14. I had an aquantence named Wallace (a female) who married a 20 year old soldier at age 13 in the 50s. They stayed together untill 2003 when he died. For groups in love who want to marry how do you slice who one is from what they do?
Please comment on teen marriage
IP: I don’t want to get into the entrails of this issue; suffice it to say that if a “state” and its citizens wishes to place age limitations on the activities of “youth” – voting age restrictions, abortion or marriage restrictions, sex restrictions – I suppose they are entitled to. The more I think about it, the more my anarchistic tendencies come up. Government sucks.
I agree strongly!!!Peace
Is gay the new black? In terms of discrimination yes, everything else NO!!!!!!!! You cannot compare being gay to being black. Years ago blacks were slaves working for the white man getting beat up, tied to trees, dragged on the road on the back of cars JUST because of the color of their skin nothing more. Being gay is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT; Being gay is liking a member of the same sex group. Even though I accept it(not gay) it is going against natures natural course. The anatomy of a man and a women is designed to be together. A man and a women being together is how our human race reproduces and survives. A man deciding to be with a man and a women deciding to be with a women is not the same as a human having darker skin. They are both discriminated a against yes but apart from that its NOT THE SAME AND CANNOT BE COMPARED!!! Its insulting that gays compare themselves to blacks. They have a little bit of struggle trying to get people to accept them and they are saying that they are treated like blacks. Blacks put up with WAY MORE than that for a very long time over 400 years to be exact. They must be very strong men and women to come all the way from being slaves to becoming president of the united states.
For me Color is not an issue as long as there is true love on it. Although it’s a general fact that we cant please everybody, what is important to me is the love that they feel and how they are going to fight for it.
I respect people who are against on same sex marriage. Although other people criticizes so badly, and instead of getting mad, I pray for them that soon they can accept gays and lesbian.
Do you think all preist can go to heaven? and all gay and lesbian will go to hell ?
Sexuality is developed and learned since very early age (it is possible that it starts from birth). This goes on through the teenage years even to adulthood. And the so called gay genes are by far inconclusive (to say the least) compared to the race genes.