Thursday, November 06, 2008

That's not what the article said!



Why Gay Marriage Was Defeated in California, by John Cloud, Time magazine via Yahoo! News.


. . . Gays came back in some polls, but they couldn't pull out a win. Part of the reason is that Obama inspired unprecedented numbers of African Americans to vote. Polls show that black voters are more likely to attend church than whites and less likely to be comfortable with equality for gay people. According to CNN, African Americans voted against marriage equality by a wide margin, 69% to 31%. High turnout of African Americans in Florida probably help explain that state's lopsided vote to ban same-sex weddings . . .


Let's take this one section at a time.

". . . Gays came back in some polls, but they couldn't pull out a win. Part of the reason is that Obama inspired unprecedented numbers of African Americans to vote."


So Obama inspired black people to vote against gays? What about the gay people he inspired to vote for him? What about the black gay people he inspired to vote for him? And what about the nongay, nonblack people who voted for Obama but also voted for Proposition 8? Why is there consistently this overblown, overrated tension created by the media pitting groups against each other. It's getting as bad as the fabricated Mommy Wars stories that pop up every year.


"Polls show that black voters are more likely to attend church than whites and less likely to be comfortable with equality for gay people."


Did someone miss the past eight years with groups like Focus on the Family and the the Christian Coalition practically running the US political agenda? I don't think most of those people are black, but I do think many of them are uncomfortable about equality for gay people.


"According to CNN, African Americans voted against marriage equality by a wide margin, 69% to 31%."


What the linked CNN article actually says is, "African-Americans voted for Proposition 8 by a 69 percent to 31 percent margin." Meaning, 69% of African-American California voters supported Proposition 8; not African-Americans in general voted against marriage equality. There is a difference. One sentence is a statistic, while the other is a misleading generalization.


"High turnout of African Americans in Florida probably help explain that state's lopsided vote to ban same-sex weddings."


That's not what the linked Boston Globe article said. Here is what was actually stated:

". . . They were the kind of voters who gave Obama victories in key battleground states nationwide. In Florida, as elsewhere, turnout was especially strong in many African-American precincts yesterday. Tamika Ruffin, 29, a third grade teacher, said she was thinking of her brother as she cast her vote for Obama at the Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in a middle-class section of St. Petersburg. "He's going to give young black men and boys some self-esteem and hope," she said . . . "


The article mentioned nothing about the ban on same-sex weddings, nor did it attempt to put the blame on black people. Yet Mr. Cloud jumped to that conclusion all on his own and had the backing of both Time magazine and Yahoo!. Lovely.

Here is one more selection from Mr. Cloud:

"The entire New York legislature is now in Democratic hands, and New York's governor, David Paterson, is one of the nation's most eloquent pro-marriage-equality representatives. He is also, by the way, African American. Perhaps he can help bridge the gap between gays and blacks that widened on Nov. 4."


bt-dubs, y'all, there's a black guy in the Governor's Mansion. In New York. Even though I thought we were talking about propositions in California and Florida. Apparently black people will listen to any leader from any state, just as long as that leader is black.

I will say this again, Mr. Cloud: There are people who are both gay and black. Just like there are people who are both black and female. People can be more than one thing at the same time. Stop feeding into the myth that the black people are keeping the gay people down. There are some issues to be resolved, but we didn't start the fire. DOMA was signed into law back in 1996 by one of your pale brethren. And P.S.: Your gay brethren have some strong words for you, too.

.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I totally agree... And I think it sucks that neither Pres. candidate would/could support gay marriages.
But I also think that the No on Prop 8 supporters made a big mistake when they launched that super-vague awareness campaign on TV -- you know, the one with the Latina woman who, despite all odds, just can't get through the wedding to marry the white guy -- and viewers were supposed to be intrigued and go to the website and learn all about marriage equality??? Yeah, did all those undecided voters log on to the website? Very doubtful. Did they even understand what that ad was about? Also doubtful. TV is such a powerful medium with voters, why squander it on commercials that don't relay your message loud and clear? Aren't we wishing we had a do-over right about now?