Friday, January 16, 2009

Your Pink Sheets Are Showing

I wrote a post a little over 24 hours ago that basically called the gay community out for their continued pattern of knee jerk hostility to President-elect Barack Obama dating back to last year's Democratic primary. I pointed out that the man hasn't even spent one day in the Oval Office yet and the predominately white GLBT blogosphere is already making comments that he'll be the worst president ever on GLBT issues.

Well, Queerty linked to that post and the commenters slapped on their pink pointy hooded sheets and began blasting away in the comment thread. One commenter compared me to Jasmyne Cannick, who is another African-American LGBT blogger that white gays have a visceral hatred for because she tells it like it is as well and got a Chuck Knipp Shirley Q. Liquor performance in LA cancelled.

By the way Queerty fans, being compared to Jasmyne Cannick is an honor, not an insult.

But comparing me to Jasmyne was one of the nicer ones. The rest were nasty, racist personal insults, weak justifications of their hatred of Obama, et cetera.

The Queerty peeps negativity in this comment thread is an example of what I and other Black GLBT and non GLBT people have dealt with for years when trying to work with the white gay community in coalition with them. While not all white GLBT peeps exhibit this behavior and are wonderful allies in many cases, there are however too many of them that exhibit the same reprehensible tactics to silence messages they don't want to hear to where it constitutes a major problem.

Too many times white GLBT people will whip out the white privilege card and dish out criticism concerning my community, but are too thin-skinned to take it. They will get their noses out of joint and bellow 'homophobe', 'transphobe', 'you're playing the race card' or cry 'racist' at you if you dare utter it. If you are Black (or any color) GLBT or non-GLBT person and call them out on their shady, borderline racist or less than honorable behavior, they go apoplectic about it and give you that 'how dare you?' look as you do so.

White GLBT people, if you can't take constructive criticism then you are going to continue to have problems working in coalition with other people, especially fellow GLBT peeps of color who are supposed to be your allies.

Another fact of life is that you don't get to decide what offends me or my community, nor will I or any other person of color stop speaking our minds or telling it like it T-I-S is on this blog or any other we post on.

You have the right to disagree with what I have to say, but you don't have the right to call me everything but a child of God for simply pointing out that something is unfair and my viewpoint doesn't neatly line up with your worldview.

The sterling example of the racism on the Queerty thread exposed the Number One reason with a bullet why Black GLBT peeps get so sick of your crap to the point that we say 'Enough' and form our own organizations, clubs, and pride events.

Yeah, your pink sheets are showing, and if you don't stop using the Cali Prop 8 loss as an excuse to let out your inner racist, you're not only going to continue to have a difficult time getting African descended GLBT peeps to help you garner support and craft a message for same gender marriage that wins in our community, you risk creating the permanent split between you and the Black community that the Religious Right was trying to foment when they peddled that 'Blacks voted 70 percent for Prop 8' lie in the first place.

52 comments:

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

You better preach!

I must admit, since the Prop 8 debacle the overall community has been a major disappointment. Everything you say here is true.

It was a long time coming for me to get this point and say, 'damn, Jasmyne's been saying this for YEARS', but I wasn't hearing it then. I'm like Rodney King - I just want everyone to get along.

I still disagree with her on Knipp and his right to do a black character, but the Pink Klan has CLEARLY reared its head and I for one will never forget it.

Brilliant Post! I'll have to make this my Photo du jour.

Renee said...

@Taylor

Chuck is not doing a black character he is doing a genderized minstrel show..PERIOD. He has no right to portray black women in that manner. It is demeaning and insult to everything we have accomplished.

@Monica good for you for speaking truth. These people seem to think that because they are gay they can get away with racism. Guess again. Facing one are of stigmatization does not give you the right to oppress another group of people.

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

Renee...

We could go back and forth for days on Knipp and all the other performers (black & white) who cross gender, color, and class lines in their acts and whether they've got the RIGHT to do it.

But you're mind won't change and neither will mine. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

Wonder Man said...

this is good. it very interesting to see what happens when you have a different opinion from the so called norm...the irony of that

Monica Roberts said...

Taylor,
I loved that photo too.

But on the subject of Knipp, I have no love for a white gay male disrespecting me and my sisters with a non humorous blackface assault on the dignity of African-American women.

Do you have sisters? If you don't I know you have a mother, aunts or female cousins. I bet if you showed them the YouTube clips of Knippy boy they wouldn't find it funny either.

Knipp's 'character' is insulting to me and many African American women on so many levels and I definitely agree with Jasmyne and Renee, Bev Smith, Betty Baye and many other AA male critics in that regard.

Oliver A. FP said...

It's ludicrous... IT'S A WHITE MAN DOING INSULTING BLACKFACE! Do people think it's suddenly OK cause it's, like, all ironic now and stuff?

In my experience, "scene" white gay communities can be quite blatantly racist... makes me sad. White young trans communities less so, happily...

Polar said...

Y'know, Warren's just giving a prayer. He isn't seeking a job with the Obama Administration. He isn't setting policy. He's saying a stinkin' prayer, for Godsakes!

Obama is on the record as supporting inclusive ENDA, inclusive hate crimes legislation, repeal of DADT and DOMA, changes in immigration policy to allow partners to come in the country legally, etc. It makes no sense for people to be on his case before he even has a chance to take office.

Gay rights is important, but with Iraq and the economic crisis, don't expect immediate action. To do so would be selfish.

Dori said...

I normally don't comment here, mainly because I feel that your space is STFU and Listen space for someone like me. I do not understand how someone similarly privileged would think they have the right to come into your space and berate you like that.

My question to my fellow white queers is, what the fuck does this accomplish? How is being a racist fuckwad supposed to fix or change anything?

Seriously. Even if holding racist viewpoints is that damn important to someone, expressing them and infighting because they just have to be the most oppressed person ever is selfish and fucking immature.

If we are all going to get through this, then we (the white GLBT community) need to put on our big kid panties and grow the fuck up.

Monica Roberts said...

Dori,
Actually they linked to the post and put it up as their Thought For The day on Queerty. The racist comments were all there.

I also found it ironic that gay people who profess their admiration and respect for the AA civil rights movement chose to unleash this verbal assault on Dr. King's 80th birthday.

Bu then again, I'm not shocked it happened on Queerty. Its the cyberhome of commenters who hate transpeople and are more conservative than the gay community in general.

And increasingly they feel comfortable enough to express their hatred of Black people as well.

Monica Roberts said...

Dori whenever your heart moves you, comment.

Dori said...

Yeah, I noticed that about the linking and them not being here after I posted :D thats what I get for getting riled up without double-checking.

I appreciate the encouragement to comment, I do. I just feel that I have more to learn by listening to you usually.

The appropriation of the AA civil rights movement by my own movement drives me up a wall. It means assuming that race is no longer an issue, and assuming support without asking for it or listening. Its so fucking obnoxious and privileged.

T. R Xands said...

Hey Monica, I just wanted to say that I read your linked post and this one, and you pretty much nailed what I've been thinking lately about the LGBT community and Obama.

Okay, a couple of his picks/choices have been questionable for me. Like the Rick Warren fiasco, wasn't too thrilled about that (I can't decide if it's offending my atheist or gay sensibilities more). But jacking your support for the man away, "oh I wish I'd never voted for him now!" whenever he does something you disagree with is just getting irritating. The man isn't even officially president yet and already we're looking elsewhere...I wonder if that's like the buyer's remorse thing.

I'm also going to second what Dori said about putting on your big kid panties and growing up, A) because it made me LOL and B) because it's really true. Since the passage of prop 8, the racism the white LGBT community has been showing (not every one of course) has really been freaking me out. It's really revealing and hurtful, it feels like the community I belonged to is suddenly turning it's back on me, and for what?

Sorry for going on so long there, this has become a really personal thing for me lately...I knew this presidency was going to be rough but apparently I was wrong as to WHY.

Monica Roberts said...

TR Xands,
It's personal for not only GLBT Black people, but also Black straight allies such as Renee and others who have also felt the sting of their vitriol when they like I have made comments that didn't mesh neatly with or ran counter to their worldview.

This isn't the first time I've dealt with the racism of the white dominated GLBT community. I've been involved on a national level since 1998 and been an observer of this community since 1980, so what I saw on Queerty on of all days, Dr. King's 80th birthday didn't surprise me.

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

I understand. But I don't see Shirley Q as any more of a stereotype of a certain type of person than Tyler Perry's Madea.

So, then it would be that Knipp is white so he's not allowed that type of parody. I can't get with any sort of double standard, even when it benefits me. It's not fair.

If Whoopie Goldberg (and I love her to death) can get into white face, and the Waynans Brothers can parody white people in the same way, then the converse must be true.

And if I had family who were like Shirley Q, I wouldn't be taking up for them. If our people are doing something tacky and embarassing, then we should willing to be parodied without crying racism.

As long as we expect some sort of double standard treatment -- meaning, we can do it but you can't -- I can't see the fairness in it.

I just don't. I never will.

julian. said...

I was so embarrassed by some of the responses to your post from some of my fellow Queerty readers... I don't totally agree with you, but that doesn't mean that people can get all racist and shitty about things. So, just letting you know, a lot of Queerty readers aren't like that, and we're happy to hear your piece and take it seriously without getting racist or scary.

genevieve said...

One of the laments of the failure of Prop 8 was that glbt organizations never reached out to communities of color. THe opposition went door to door getting folks to join them.

I'm reading Transgender History by Susan Stryker. One point I always stress is that transgender people of color were architects of the fledgling gay rights movement.

Unfortunately, many glbt organization are white gay male bastians who are more interested in assimilation than fighting for equality.

Anonymous T said...

"As long as we expect some sort of double standard treatment -- meaning, we can do it but you can't -- I can't see the fairness in it."

"I just don't. I never will."

Wow. That's some refreshing, heady honesty.

It's all offensive, and intolerable. What's not good for one is not good for the other.

Go Go Jo Jo said...

Clearly I needed to have checked back on that thread. I am not at all surprised about the responses that you got because I remember how Jasmyne Cannick got *hounded* when she started talking about racism in the queer community like years ago.

"OMG You callnig Charles Knipp a racist makes *you* a racist"--that kind of bullshit.

I haven't seen any of the comments so I can't speak directly to them but I think you're commentary was spot on as usual. *cough* actual best lgbt blog of 2008 *cough*

Go Go Jo Jo said...

On the subject of blackface (omg I am back in college): why is the Shirley Q character different than say the Waynes dong White Girls

Well for one the movie money checks.

No but seriously, the difference is history. The unfunny racial humor of White Girls has never and probably will never be used as a tool to convince the larger society that white people are subhuman and therefore deserve to be at first slaves, then disenfranchised, and now taken seriously as social/economic/political force in this nation. However BLACKFACE has done/is doing that job for white people everyday.

And to answer a comment by Taylor specifically...while I think that there is a difference between Knipp's and Perry's performance. Again the race of the performer isn't a non-factor (because that is the current socio-cultural dynamic of this country period) because of the history it invokes.

However I *do* believe that Perry's performance of Black femininity is triffling and I do not approve of it either. But for different reasons. Namely another Black man perpetuating the cultural myth of the ball-busting matriarch because of his hang ups with real Black women with confidence and independence.

"Ain't I A Woman" by bell hooks is an awesome resource for this discussion I think. Also Marlon Riggs aptly titled documentary Ethnic Notions

And again sorry for the thread jacking.

Monica Roberts said...

Jo Jo,
You beat me to it, so thanks.

The difference between Chuck and 'errbody' else is that he's tapping into all that negative history of blackface and the participating in the centuries old destruction of the Black female image.

MJ said...

Monica,

Power to you for being honest and speaking your mind when there has been so much hatred directed toward you!

I never really realized how much hatred was within the GLBTQ community until I read some of the comments on the Queerty post. But I guess I'm just young and naive.

I've had so many conversations about Rick Warren, mostly, I admit, with white gays. I can disagree with the Warren pick..it doesn't mean that I think Barack Obama doesn't support GLBTQ people. It doesn't mean that I'm a racist. I am a Barack Obama supporter! I do believe that he's supportive of GLBTQ rights! The fact that he picked Warren doesn't change that...I just think that it's a little backward and I can't find myself able to agree with his decision. But I'm never going to agree 100% with any president's decisions.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm okay with people disagreeing with the Warren pick. I'm NOT okay with people using their disapproval of the Warren pick to justify racist beliefs or to cast disapproval onto a president-elect who isn't yet in office.

There is a difference, isn't there?

Anonymous T said...

You're right. It taps into ugly history.

My thought is, why the hell do it at all? For anybody? What possible positive change can it serve to recycle the same ugly behaviour around and around?

It seems baffling to me that people would try to 'rationalize' how it's o.k. for one to insult another, about *anything*. Or how it's 'less' ugly at best.

i spent my entire childhood watching my mother suffer abuse i couldn't put into words. And then i endured everything you couldn't imagine whenever off the 'reservation' in 'white man's land'.

It's ugly. Period. No matter who you are. Just stop. for the love of anything and everything good and decent in the world, just stop.

Is this a hopeless plea? I thought that was the point of this election.

Go Go Jo Jo said...

@Anonymous T I am unclear if you're comment was directed at my comment or not (and just generally what you meant.)

Could you please be more explicit in the point your making? I am confused (because I am unfamiliar with your life story) as to what your mother has to do with the conversation (I am leaning towards believing that you are biracial and that she might be white though.) Also I am curious as to what you mean by "wasn't that the point of this election"?

Thanks. I want to respond to your comment but I want to make sure I'm understanding exactly what you were trying to say as well.

Kiera Bacon said...

I realize this doesn't really contribute to the discussion, but I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to Monica. Though I am not a person of colour myself, many of my close friends are, and whenever I encounter racism it feels like a personal attack. Thankyou for telling the us all the honest truth, because it is people like you who are going to by catalyst that makes the world a better place for all of us.

Though you may take hatred from those who cannot see beyond themselves, know that there are many who see you as an inspiration.

- Kiera

Monica Roberts said...

KT,
You hit upon the distinction I was making. I've never liked Rick Warren and wish he wasn't part of this inauguration program.

But one thing peeps forgot is that he promised to reach out to ALL Americans, even if he didn't agree with them.

Anonymous T said...

My fault, Jo Jo.

It's racism in general. It just seems like i've been wrapped up in it my entire life, although usually not black-centric. i'm biracial. My mother is native american.

Things seemed to be drifting toward the 'black face evil, white face funny' mindset. It's not, and there's no excuse for *any* of it. i see half my so-called relatives demonstrating racist behavior, and then i see the other half do the same in retaliation. And i've seperated myself from them since 18 because of it.

i volunteered a couple of hundred hours to Obama's campaign because i felt like he uniquely understood my point of view more than any other candidate could ever hope to. But i rarely have the opportunity to express my views to most people i meet, because they more often than not can't get past my being trans.

So i go to places online, and see everyone just feeding on each other with the race anger, and the trans anger, and the gay anger. Until we're feeding on each other, like now, and not realizing we're contributing to the problem.

Now it's almost as if i have to be careful if i'm the 'right' kind of person to be certain places online, just as in the world. Like lines are getting drawn. And it just gets exhausting. And i wonder if we'll ever get past all this. Ever.

i'm just tired from a lot of things lately. i don't know what i'm trying to say, other than what taylor posted really spoke to me. i'm sorry if i said or implied anything offensive.

Monica Roberts said...

Anonymous T,
if it was offensve, i would have yanked it. I'll let Jo Jo speak for herself, but I presume she was trying to empathize with you.

Go Go Jo Jo said...

Anonymous T,

Thanks for sharing your story with me. I was kind of confused. And while I don't agree that the point of the election was to end racial animosity in the US (because I don't think that formal politics can do that), I didn't find your comment offensive.

The point of my comment wasn't that "white face" is some how better than "black face" only that to try to suggest that they both have the same historical significance in this country is ludicrous. i think racial humor is a very tricky medium in popular culture which is often disappointing because of our inability to loose focus of the radical possibilities that it contains and stoop to "otherizing" (made up a word) some group of people.

For example, Chris Rock who does racial humor very well a lot of the time but gets caught up in his whole "good negro/bad nigger" complex which is rooted in shitty class politics IMO.

Or better yet Tyler Perry who can't seem to make a movie/play about Black relationships where shit is not ultimately the Black womans fault (name one! anybody) even if she is the subject of abuse its *her* anger and madness that needs to be overcome...sorry about the I-hate-tyler-perry's-work rant.

Anyway, I agree that often discussions of race and racism on the internet can become vicious and not always effective. However I do think that political anger is important because it motivates people towards activism. The consequence however is that we have to also deal with that anger and unpack it and throw away the bullshit. Not everyone (myself included) does this well all the time so internet discussions get bogged down by tangential hostility.

I hope this doesn't sound like I am preaching or lecturing. Not my intent but I get that I often sound that way. :0)

HRC Watch said...

Thanks for this post, Monica.
I support President elect Obama 100%. What a great opportunity we have as a nation and as a community to get things on track and I fear that opportunity may pass us by because of the spoiled brats who believe they speak for all of us and who think they are entitled to have everything done their way. They want to stomp their feet and piss and moan while dividing our community and taking the rest of us down with them. It is interesting to see that incrementalism only matters when it comes to other people's civil rights.

~Ethan

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

Well said, Ethan...

I always thought the tran inclusion issue was like a group of friends showing up at a club, and one being forbidden admittance. So the rest turn to this 'friend' and say, "Well, at least we got in. You go around the back, we'll try to sneak you in later."

I'll never understand anyone who can do that.

This latest Obama issue does indeed show a spoiled brat, self-centered mentality, that some of us already knew existed.

Anonymous T said...

Not end racial animosity...you can't do that with an election. The point for me was to take a step in a new direction. Radically change the tone and behavior.

His character, intellect and vision. These were the political reasons to vote for him. His background is what made it personal for me.

i'm not black, so i'm completely incapable of understanding your perspective with tricky racial humour. But i can tell you from my perspective, the 'tragic noble savage' angle media portrays for past and present tribe is very one-dimensional and tiresome. My family is more than a one-note people.

Dealing with the anger and throwing away the bullshit is a great way to articulate it! Sometimes like lately i get exhausted from shoveling.

And i *always* pronounce it 'buh-log-na'...

Go Go Jo Jo said...

@ AT oops sorry for the mischaracterizaton then. and yeah i can get behind that. right now i am in wait and see mode though. that and realizing that people voting "for change" doesn't mean they want to happen in their personal lives or to do the hard work of making it happen. but living in conservative tx is making me really cynical these days.

oh i don't know if you lj but i am a member of an awesome comm there on race and popular culture. the comm often has really good discussions of representations of Native Americans in pop culture.
(linky: http://community.livejournal.com/deadbrowalking/tag/ndnz)

But i agree with you about the "nobel savage" stereotype being a negative image that often people try to pretend is positive. Part of my first discussions of blackface in college actually had to do with "redface" because historically Native Americans were misrepresented in US minstrel shows as well. In fact most marginalized ethnic racial groups in the US were exploited this way in popular culture. Unfortunately in modern racial humor, even as people often try to bring nuanced portrayals of their cultural group, they still reenact the other racial stereotypes. See like almost every representations of Asian Americans in Black film today.

Also you say it that way because your cool and that's how cool people say it. :0)

MHC said...

While I agree with the general premise of Monica Roberts' post, I am a little offended by her willy-nilly use of blanket statements that, intentionally or not, indict the whole white LGBT community for the sins of the few.

I'm all for open discussion. I'm all for saying like it is. I'm all for calling out white privilege where and when it exists (thanks to Rev. Irene for these lessons), but I am NOT for making blanket characterizations of whole communities.

That's what Monica's done in this post with statements like "the white LGBT community" and "white LGBT blogosphere."

Although Monica had a little foreword ("not all white GLBT peeps exhibit this behavior"), her later use of blanket labels is unacceptable.

We shouldn't stand for stereotyped images or language about black people, and we shouldn't accept it when stereotyped images or languages are used against white people, either. Fair is Fair.

Further... I'm extremely, extremely offended ("outraged" and "pissed off" would be better words) that Monica Roberts has compared white gays to the Ku Klux Klan. As an LGBT Southerner (as is Monica - she should know these lessons already), I'm outraged that my entire community is being compared to a group of people (or people influenced by that group's legacy) that would just as quickly beat or kill me as they would Monica.

The KKK is nothing to joke or play around with.

Several times, students at N.C. State University have tried to organize a KKK chapter. In the late 1990s, several pro-LGBT messages painted in NCSU's "Free Expression Tunnel" were defaced with violent messages.

Picture 1
Picture 2
(Photo credit: NC State University GLBT Center)

Notice how one of the messages is displayed right under announcements for African-American History Month.

Does anyone seriously think the KKK-organizing and this type of anti-gay hatred and violence are unrelated? Whether she intended it or not, Monica Roberts has thrown all white gay people, perhaps all white people, into the same group as the KKK.

I sure as hell know I'm not the same as the KKK. I know my 80-year-old grandpa isn't the same either.

"No body ever knew who they were. They weren't public. I never really did care for them much," my grandpa told me when I once asked him if he ever knew people in the KKK. "They did a whole lot of hurt and caused a whole of pain to a lot people who didn't deserve it." He went on to use words like "downright terrible" to describe the things he saw. I could see the anger in his eyes when he talked about remembering them riding though town.

Perhaps we should be more careful about how we throw around the KKK's hateful and murderous legacy.

I think Monica Roberts owes an apology to all of the white gay people and white straight people who have stood up against the KKK since their inception. I think she owes an apology to all the gay people who've suffered directly at the hands of the KKK, or indirectly from the hateful legacy they've left in the South.

And I think she should be more careful about how she paints the entire white gay community based on her contempt for the exhibited white privilege of a few, anonymous users at Queerty.com.

Monica Roberts said...

MHC,
reread that post. Many of you who have been so quick to conclusion jump and criticize me missed this paragraph.

While not all white GLBT peeps exhibit this behavior and are wonderful allies in many cases, there are however too many of them that exhibit the same reprehensible tactics to silence messages they don't want to hear to where it constitutes a major problem.

I'm not going to apologize for speaking my mind about this issue. If Dan Savage isn't apologizing e for his incorrect statements about the African-American community post Prop 8, why should I?

MHC said...

And you missed these paragraphs, Monica (and arguably the whole comment):

"Although Monica had a little foreword ("not all white GLBT peeps exhibit this behavior"), her later use of blanket labels is unacceptable.

"We shouldn't stand for stereotyped images or language about black people, and we shouldn't accept it when stereotyped images or languages are used against white people, either. Fair is Fair."

You're going to lower yourself to Dan Savage's level? Just because someone else does something wrong and doesn't apologize for it, means that you can do the same?

Monica Roberts said...

MHC,
Why is it imcumbent upon me to apologize for speaking my mind just because you as a white gay man demand it?

MHC said...

This has nothing to do with me being a white man and everything to do with you comparing white gay people to the KKK.

Gay people, like black people, have also been the victims of the KKK's hatred and violence.

Comparing gays to the KKK is like calling a Jew a Nazi.

And, just because I'm a white man, means I can't be offended or hurt by your words?

Monica, we're on the same team. You and I both want the same things. I just think you went a little too far.

Monica Roberts said...

MHC,
You're offended by my words?

Helo, I had people call me crazy, call me a 'failed gay', spout racist invective about me on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's 80th birthday and you're demanding I apologize to you and the white gay community?

The point is, you keep belaboring the fiction that I called ALL white gays racist. Only some of you fit that mold, a point which I clearly made in the post had any of you bothered to read deeper into it.

Since you and my critics missed that, here's the remix:

While not all white GLBT peeps exhibit this behavior and are wonderful allies in many cases, there are however too many of them that exhibit the same reprehensible tactics to silence messages they don't want to hear to where it constitutes a major problem.

The reality is that some of your gay brothers and sisters do share those racist tendencies.

Enough of them do to where it registered in the results of the Black pride 2000 survey that was the source for the 2002 Task Force report 'Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud'

That report BTW is available for you and my critics to peruse gratis at the Task Force website.

So when I say that there's racism in the GL community, I'm not talking about the flare up that recently happened post Prop 8.

It's a cumulative thing I have witnessed over the 15 plus years I've been involved and observed the GLBT community

MHC said...

Why was my last comment removed?

Monica Roberts said...

MHC,
I've been patient in trying to articulate my thoughts on this, but since you refuse to at least consider my point of view and continue to push your demands for an apology without considering or conceding the point that the Queerty editors and contributors to that thread were wrong, this discussion is over.

This is my cyberhome, and while I encourage open discussion, you are still a guest here.

MHC said...

Monica...

From the very depths of my heart... I wholeheartedly agree that there is racism in the white gay community and I confront it living in Charlotte, NC, everyday. I don't know if you can understand how deeply pained and offended I was by your Pink KKK picture and by comparing gays to the KKK. To be compared to the very people I have had to face in my life is, well, more than words can describe. And I'm sure I'm not the only white gay man who has had to face KKK or KKK-inspired hatred.

The KKK doesn't care that I'm white. All they care about is that I'm a faggot. The KKK hates gays just as much as they hate blacks. I don't understand how you can compare the hated and oppressed with the haters and oppressors.

Go Go Jo Jo said...

MHC,

The KKK don't care that you're white? Are you serious? I think you might not get the whole history of the organization to say that.

Also it's really motherfucking disrespectful for you to come into a Black woman's space and tell her about how she can't say when shit is racist. She didn't take the photo of the person in the pink shit. Instead of getting mad at her for posting the picture and speaking truth to power maybe you should get mad at the person walking around in the fucking sheet.

I am not going to insult your intelligence though I want to in my anger. My real point is that you should get some anti-racist training and do some work on how to be a white ally to people of color because if you thought you came here and spoke your mind in a "respectful" way. You are sadly mistaken.

I call bullshit.

Go Go Jo Jo said...

also (because i want to offer something relatively constructive to my little rant) the notion that because one belongs to one oppressive community cannot also oppress others is...ummm one that i disagree. i think its interesting to say that there is racism in the lgbt community and then that its not okay to compare people to the KKK. EVEN THOUGH I DON'T THINK THAT IS WHAT MONICA WAS DOING.

because apparently the racism of the KKK is worse? admittedly the actions that are perpetrated because of that racism are/have been more heinous. the "-ism" is the same. racism is racism. there is not racism!lite.

interlocking/intersectional privileges and oppressions exist. being gay doesn't make you (universal you in this instance) not racist nor does it make your racist behaviors (*cough*) not as problematic as other people like say right-wing neo-con republicans.

MHC said...

Go Go Joe, I never said gay people couldn't be racist. And, thanks to Rev. Irene, I've learned many lessons since college and try every day to be an ally. I even agreed with the premise of Monica's post.

I just think she went too far, comparing the hated with the haters. That's my main discomfort.

GoGoJoe, did you read my first comment here? Do you think that anti-gay hatred in the South is disconnected from the KKK's legacy? What about all the gay people killed by the KKK, too?

Not understanding white privilege and being a general racist a-hole is a lot different than being a KKK member and believing in white supremacy. For the former, lessons can still be learned and soaked in (I'm evidence). For the latter, pretty much all hope is lost.

Go Go Jo Jo said...

MHC,

Honestly, I can't decide if you are intentionally misspelling my name or not. Or if it is supposed to be an insult (it's not) or a nickname (I don't like it). Either way, I'd prefer it if you didn't. Go Go or Jo Jo are both fine or you know the full thing. Thanks.

Yes I might have some clue about the homophobic/racial violence perpetrated by the KKK. I have lived here most of my life and grew up in a town with an active chapter. I have other reasons but I don't really think its necessary to give you my credentials.

Okay, so perhaps I can be more eloquent with my position. I do not think that you have the right to tell Monica whether or not she "went too far" as if she is some how incapable of coming to a reasoned stance on this issue and decided to say it for--I don't knowo shits and giggles--and you needed to tell her it was a problem. I get that you might not think that is what you did. But to understand the responses that you received you might want to consider that something more is going on besides me not reading your post clearly. You stepped into the safe space of a woman of color, attempted to teach her something about racism (what are the degrees) and anti-racism activism (i.e. what is going too far or not.) If you are someone who considers themselves and ally then you might want to think about what the role of an ally is.

As to the "difference" between being a "racist" a-hole and a KKK member. Do you think all members of the KKK are involved in acts of physical violence? They aren't. Many of them are/were just random men and women going around trying to reek emotional and psychological damage on people of color. Many of them are and have been professionals, blue collar workers parts of everyday society. More than a few now sit in congress or have in the past and several of those gentlemen are supposedly (I don't personally give a shit) reformed. So if you're trying to suggest that there is something "special" about the racism of the KKK and/or its members I don't agree with you. But I already said that. Restating it like you don't believe me without giving a nuanced reasons as to why doesn't convince me otherwise.

Also your statement seems to say (and this might not be what you mean) that there is a difference between "regular" racist assholes and the KKK because one believes in white supremacy. As if a belief in white supremacy could some how be divorced from racism.

Now I have to go to work were I will be unable to respond to any reply that you give. However, that is not because I am unwilling to respond and I will check back here if you want to have a thoughtful discussion.

MHC said...

No, Go Go Jo Jo, I did not misspell your name on purpose.

I don't understand how anyone can say I haven't been trying to have thoughtful discussion. I've been trying to have a thoughtful discussion from the beginning, hence my long, well-thought out first comment, which I poured over for more than an hour. I posted it here, but also at Bilerico.com, where Monica cross-posted this post.

I hate it when people put words in my mouth -- when people assume I am something I'm not -- when people call me a "chump" and a "hater" without any regards to knowing who I am, what I've done, how many family and friends I've pissed off and lost, who can no longer stand to be around me because I call out their racism and because I decided to be an ally to African-Americans and expose white privilege. And then, on top of all that, after being a victim myself of the South's hateful legacy, get burned by being compared to the KKK. That. Went. Too. Far.

My main point, which was deleted by Monica:

The point is (1) lumping victims of hate into a group with those who hate them, and (2) using blanket statements that paint a whole community stereotypically.

I'm not asking you to apologize to the white gay community... you evidently didn't read what I asked...

"I think Monica Roberts owes an apology to all of the white gay people and white straight people who have stood up against the KKK since their inception. I think she owes an apology to all the gay people who've suffered directly at the hands of the KKK, or indirectly from the hateful legacy they've left in the South."

1. White gay and straight people who have stood up against the KKK.
2. Gay people (no race mentioned) who have been victims of direct KKK or indirect KKK-legacy violence and hate.

Monica Roberts said...

MHC,
I'm not allowing you to TR Knight me.

Get it through your thick skull that I'm not apologizing for what I said in that post than you conclusion jumped on. I have nothing to apologize for and stand by what I wrote.

The documented facts are (see The Task Force 2002 report on the issues) and recent racist statements by gay peeps in the wak of the Prop 8 loss) that Some of you white gays ARE racist.

I clearly quantified that in the post, but you continue to deliberately miss that.

And guess what, your disrespectful demand for an apology when you haven't done so from the Queerty folks who started this crap in the first place is getting old.

You are wallowing in white privilege by feeling you can wander onto my blog and demand an apology for something I never said.

Lets' be real for a moment. Some of you are blind and willfully ignorant to that fact that you benefit from WMP, and anybody that calls you on that fact you use bullying and silencing techniques up to and including racist name calling to silence them.

Did that make it any clearer?

Also, if the post ain't about you as Renee at Womanist Musings so eloquently stated, don't make it about you.

Bottom line, until I get an apology form Queerty's editors for them allowing the racist attacks on me on Martin Luther King's birthday, you can wait for a apology from me for telling the truth on y'all about as long as my people have had to wait for slavery reparations.

Happy King Day!

Dori said...

MHC,

If the whole point of your comments is: "But we're not ALL like that!", then you missed the fucking point.

The fact that you feel entitled to an apology for being "compared to the KKK" but insist on not being a racist is also an indicator that you missed the fucking point.

The post is about racists in the GLBT community. If you are not a racist then it is not calling you one. The fact that you are getting defensive indicates a guilty conscience from where I'm sitting.

Even if you aren't feeling guilty, it is still the height of arrogance and privilege to come into a space like this and demand to be catered to. This is not your space, this is Monica's space. She does not owe you squat.

Go Go Jo Jo said...

I'm not allowing you to TR Knight me.

and with that ladies and gentlemen i bow gracefully to the mistress of the ring.

@MHC

it seems to me that we're having like three different conversatioins. one where you seem to think that monica didn't go far enough making a distinction between white gay allies of the black community and racists in the white lgbt community. my problem is the way you presented that argument as if monica owed it to you. and that goes against my no cookies policy (i.e. if one needs metaphorical or literal cookies for their ally work--they need to reflect.)

the second whether it is okay to compare non-KKK racists to KKK racist because of the iconic nature of the KKK's racial violence in american history. i have already said that to me the heart of the comparison is about the ideological similarities and not necessarily the actions. i get that you might not agree that those are distinguishable and therefore the are upset about the comparison. however, to me racism is a racism is a racism. none are more or less redeemable because of organizational affiliations.

third conversation is whether or not you're being personally attacked in this thread. and while that wasn't my original intent--i really just found your statements about the KKK not caring about whiteness ridiculously offensive. but then you continued with some pretty unally like behavior demanding an apology from monica in her safe space so...yeah its also about your behavior and how i think it was inappropriate. i am sure that you'll disagree with me on this point too.

ultimately, i don't think that we will agree on any of the above issues soon and i feel like we're bringing drama to monica's space that deflects from this posts message and the relatively calm conversation going on in response. i would propose then to move this conversation (if you really still want to have it and if you don't, that's fine too) to my blog.

Go Go Jo Jo said...

@MHC oh and i really was confused about the name thing but i know i commented in a snarky way. thanks for clearing that up.

MHC said...

Go Go Jo Jo... I'd love to continue the conversation. And, I didn't intend to imply that I wanted a "cookie." I was replying to being called a hater.

I didn't mean to come into Monica's safe space. I posted my original comment at Bilerico.com (where she cross-posted) and Queerty.com, too; not just here.

We are having multiple conversations... each of them with multiple complex layers. The non-KKK vs. KKK thing really wasn't a point of mine: If it showed through, I didn't intend for it to. My main point was comparing members of an oppressed minority to at least one of the groups that oppresses them: Kind of like comparing a Jew to a Nazi, you know.

My email address is publicly available so, I'm not afraid to share it here: matt@interstateq.com. Go Go Jo Jo, I hope you'll email me. I'd love to continue the conversation.

In fact, my desire for further conversation is open to everyone, Monica included. And, despite the hard-hitting comments between us, I hope Monica doesn't think I hate her or despise her. It's just the opposite: We play on the same team, want the same things for our country and society. I just happened to disagree with just one small part of her reasoning, a part that sincerely and deeply offended me.

Monica Roberts said...

MHC
You still missed the gist of this article.

That racism in the GLBT community is a problem, and elements of that community felt comfortable enough in their bigotry to use it in an attempt to silence a comment I wrote on my blog.

George Wallace, Ross Barnett and Lester Maddox never worse those hoods, but were examples of the whites who through their words and actions expressed the same racist sentiments that undergirded the Klan's more violent methods for oppressing and opposing the civil rights movement.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr once said, "It's not the racists in white sheets I'm worried about, it's the ones who wear Brooks Brothers shoes and Gucci pumps."