Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Framers

Last night Senator Barack Obama got elected President of the United States. As of this morning, Californians have voted 52% to 48% to ban gay marriage. Here is what commenter Erik had to say on Feministe about these two situations:

At least some commentators are suggesting that what pushed Prop 8 over the top was African-American voters coming out to vote for Obama. I think we need more analysis to really say this, but there’s no question that there’s a lot of work to be done in the African-American community on LGBT issues.

Really, idiot? We black people don't have a monopoly on hate. Although, that is the impression one would get from reading articles in the mainstream media.

From Yahoo! News:

Exit polls for The Associated Press found that Proposition 8 received critical support from black voters who flocked to the polls to support Barack Obama for president. About seven in 10 blacks voted in favor of the ban, while Latinos also supported it and whites were split.

From The Christian Science Monitor:

Supporters of same-sex marriage may have been hurt by the enthusiastic turnout among African-Americans for president-elect Barack Obama. CNN exit polls found black voters affirming Proposition 8 by a 70-to-30 margin. Whites and Latinos, however, were nearly evenly split.

"African-Americans are less supportive of same-sex marriage and more uncomfortable with the whole idea of gay rights than are whites," says Patrick Egan, a New York University professor of politics who has studied the issue. However, in previous years, exit polling found blacks no more likely than whites to vote for same-sex marriage bans, suggesting a reticence to take away rights.

From U.S. News & World Report:

The first results showing Proposition 8 leading were posted while Obama took the stage in Chicago to give his acceptance speech. Many same-sex-marriage supporters here were struck by the irony of the moment: While Obama represented a symbolic victory over historic discrimination, gay couples in California appeared to be losing the same battle. According to exit polls, in addition to widespread support among conservatives in the state, huge turnout among African-Americans may have played a role in the defeat of same-sex marriage. Seventy percent of blacks told pollsters they voted for the ban.

One of the many things that has been scarcely reported is where the monetary support for Proposition 8 is coming from.

From The Christian Science Monitor:

. . . one prominent organization that had entered the fray in support of Proposition 8 hasn’t escaped unscathed either. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) agreed to join a coalition that included other religious groups to advocate for the ban. Mormon leaders in Salt Lake City sent a letter in June asking church members in California to work for its passage.

Last I checked, there weren't that many black Mormons, except for the ones in my family. Yeah. I'm also doubtful of a large black population in the Knights of Columbus or in Focus on the Family, despite the imagery of the article.

Even if every black person in California voted for Proposition 8, we only make up less than 7 percent of the population of California. That means if the approximately 2.4 million of us black people--including the children and the people not registered to vote--all voted for Proposition 8, we still wouldn't make up half of the 5.3 million votes that were cast in favor of Proposition 8.

Simply put, there is no logical reason to blame black people for the passage of Proposition 8. And yet our media is perpetuating the message that since we black people were all obviously out voting for Barack Obama, we black people were all obviously out voting for Proposition 8 as well. Because we black people love the church and hate the gays. Right. Thank you, mainstream media, for your fair and balanced coverage.


10 comments: said...

Fantastic commentary! I had temporarily forgotten about Prop 8 going up for vote not living in Cali. I'm going to link this article because more people need to take a minute out to think about this.

Tobes said...

Okay... wow. You have totally set me straight. I heard those same reports you were talking about and I was PISSED.

I thought, ‘How can groups that have been *(and still are)* so marginalized vote to discriminate against others?’

But hellllloooo white privilege! After reading your post, I feel smacked (in a good way) back to reality. Blaming this on black voters is not only STUPID, it makes no logical sense. Damn.

Thanks for writing this.

Irwin Handleman said...

honestly bianca, i don't even know what to say right now. your blatant disregard for facts is astounding. no matter what blatant FACTUAL NUMBERS slap you in the face you refuse to believe them. i guess you would rather the media be fair and balanced and liars, then report the truth.

7 in 10 black people supported the ban. 70 percent! what don't you understand about that? but no, can't be mad at the black people, it's the white people for reporting the facts. un-fricking-believable.

yes, african americans make up a small part of the electorate, but they tipped the balance on this thing (along with latinos, of course). the vote was close, and that was the difference, and that is a fact so deal with it for once.

"Denise Fernandez, a 57-year-old African-American from Sacramento, said she voted for Obama but felt especially compelled to cast a ballot this year to support Proposition 8.
“I came out because of my religious beliefs. I believe a Christian is held accountable, and we have to make a difference,” Fernandez said."

Bianca Reagan said...

irwin, how many black people voted on Proposition 8? What was the approximate number, not percentage?

Tobes said...

Irwin needs to take a massive chill pill. "PLEASE BIANCA STOP IGNORING THE FACTS"

Yeah... cause... you're usually such a fact ignorer *snark*

Here's the deal, Irwin. That woman you quoted, Denise Fernandez, could have just as easiy been a white Christian voter compelled by her religious beliefs to vote yes. But because she's black somehow it's the black communities fault???

Learn to logic.

The overwhelming yes vote came from people who attend church regularily. But somehow it's just the blacks and latinos that really irk you?

What about all the white mormons and christians, catholics etc.?

This proposition was defeated by hate and bigotry and a lot of general misunderstanding ("if I don't vote yes, the gays will take over my school/church/what-have-you!") --- and bigotry crosses all racial lines.

You can't pin this on one racial segment of the population because as Bianca said in her most recent post, there are most certainly progressive African Americans and even *gasp* gay African Americans and I'm betting they voted NO.

Irwin Handleman said...


oh, you mean taking one person and using them as an example of everyone doesn't work? welcome to every argument bianca has ever made.

let me introduce you two to the facts one more time. i know you ignore facts and just blame whitey, but i'll do it anyway:

prop 8

the vote among white people was split, almost exactly 50-50
the vote among latinos was split, though slightly more (53%) went with yes
the vote among blacks was 70% yes to 30% no.
black people made up 10% percent of the

why is it so hard to admit that black people voted this way? i can admit when white people do stupid stuff. hell, i'm pissed white people were split 50/50. that's insane to me. if they had voted no in a greater percentage it wouldn't have passed. now can you admit that if 7 out of 10 black people hadn't voted yes it wouldn't have passed?

white people suck for voting 50/50, but i'd be more upset with them if they had voted 70/30. but obviously you don't care that a large percentage of black voters are against gay marriage.

Bianca Reagan said...

irwin, you seem agitated. I think you need a hug.

Tobes said...

I was all set to write a big reply to irwin but let me just direct him here---

Irwin Handleman said...

Bianca, you seem ignorant. I think you need to open your eyes.

Tobes said...

Irwin you seem like a butthead, I think you should go away :)