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Monday, November 27, 2006

The hustle

Willie Wilson....them lesbians are

Souls on ice

While the GOP was exploiting the bigotry of the black clergy in the midterms, black piety was melting before America's eyes.

By Debra J. Dickerson

The core understanding of blacks as easily disregarded guilt symbols who sing and pray while the white folks run most things has expanded little since the pre-movement days, mostly because the GOP officially scorned their vote. The only change of note in the story line was the spotlight that the GOP threw on non-GOP blacks' racism. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson of "Hymietown" fame and the racist lunacies of the Nation of Islam have been such reliable right-wing boogeymen that Clinton couldn't get elected president until he had his Sister Souljah moment. And what a masterful twofer that was: by disowning Sister Souljah at a Jesse Jackson event, Clinton sent the world's most unsubtle message to whites not to mistake his fondness for fried foods, round rumps and saxophones to mean he didn't know how to keep those people in line.

Now that political shoe is about to be on the other foot, because the GOP's black outreach was aimed directly at a black bigotry. First stop: homophobia. It's simply inarguable that the white right reached out to religious blacks via that most polarizing strand of their psyche and, in so doing, cynically elevated the unworthy and the untested to national prominence -- black ministers like the Rev. Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Texas. At 2006's high-profile right-wing Values Voter Summit, McKissic, attacked as "insulting, offensive, demeaning, and racist" any consonance between gay rights and civil rights. A well-known and vicious opponent of gay rights, he derided gays as "comparing their sin to my skin" and scoffed that they "can't reproduce so they have to recruit." While the civil rights movement sprang from holiness and righteousness, the gay rights movement springs from "the pit of hell itself" and is a "satanic anointment," birthed as it was from the anti-Christ who himself is, of course, gay.

The only wonder is that it took the GOP so long to mine this rich conservative vein when even liberal black ministers like the civil rights activist Rev. Willie Wilson of Union Temple Baptist Church in southeast D.C. channel Jesus thusly:

"'Lesbianism is about to take over our community ... I ain't homophobic, because everybody here got something wrong with him,' he said. 'But ... women falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something, it ain't real. That thing ain't got no feeling in it. It ain't natural. Anytime somebody got to slap some grease on your behind and stick something in you, it's something wrong with that. Your butt ain't made for that.

"'No wonder your behind is bleeding,' he said. 'You can't make no connection with a screw and another screw. The Bible says God made them male and female.'

"The congregation can be heard shouting its approval in the background during Wilson's sermon."

No wonder, then, given his parishioners shouted approval, that Wilson could only bring himself to call his remarks "intemperate" when the backlash began. Indeed, it turns out that rank-and-file blacks may exhibit a political complexity and potential for growth that their leaders don't: While two-thirds of blacks oppose, and voted against, same-sex unions, they also believe that the Democrats will handle the issue better than the GOP. And they voted accordingly: The black percentage of the Democratic vote remains virtually unchanged. Fifty-six percent of conservative Virginia's blacks voted to ban same-sex marriage, but only 15 percent went on to vote for Republican George Allen.

Black ministers like McKissic and Wilson may truly believe that homosexuality is blacks' most pressing problem, but there is reason to believe that not all those amens were sincere. Now that blacks are wiggling free from the echo chamber of irrelevance that kept them from hearing what their thoughts sound like to others, they may come to wish they could go back to rocking hymns while the real citizens got to make all the decisions. It's much easier being a plaster saint than a simple voter trying to hold on to his morality and humanity in a winner-take-all system. The humbling that blacks are about to undergo, as they engage in the same bruising consciousness-raising that whites have had to, will likely do wonders for the soul.

I would be impressed by this, except:

It was as clear as Tavis Smiley's State of the Union 2005, pre-Katrina, that this wasn't playing well, when Rev. Eddie Long got smacked down in his own church by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. That homophobia was just dismissed out of hand.

After Katrina, well, I wish I had saved this picture of TD Jakes, Bush and a family. The father had a homicidal look of hatred on his face. Katrina killed this dead.

This article is a year late.

posted by Steve @ 9:14:00 AM

9:14:00 AM

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