6.18.12 Washington, D.C.--Heavy rumblings of discontent about President Obama's policies, or lack thereof, have echoed across the African American community. Many, including high-profile leaders like Prof.and PBS television host have accused him of not doing enough towards the "change" he told them they could believe in four years ago. Now another area of displeasure has moved to center stage.
I have heard this displeasure firsthand: African Americans who say they cannot support or vote for President Obama because of his stance on same-sex marriage. The first time I had that argument, I was a little speechless. Fellow melanin-rich folks are saying that they will stay home come November, (they do not want to vote foreither) than vote for the president because he supports equal marriage rights.
I am always stunned when people of color discriminate. We of all people, should grasp the darkness, the myopic thinking, the ignorance, the fear, the arrogance, the lack of tolerance, the trampling on rights that go along with denying other fellow human beings their rights to exist in this world like everyone else.
The argument is:it is not a civil rights thing, it is a religious/God thing. The Bible says homosexuality is a sin--it's wrong. But wasn't that same Bible and religion used to justify slavery? Justify why we shouldn't inter-marry? Why we shouldn't use birth control? It seems the Bible is used an awful lot to subjugate, oppress, marginalize and deny.
So to those staunchly against President Obama's support of same-sex marriage, staying away from the polls in November is the logical thing to do. Giving a section of the population rights they should have offends so deeply that they are willing to forgo exercising their right to put someone in the White House who will not chip away at women's reproductive rights. Do they grasp that a vote witheld is a vote for the other side? The side whose policies are aimed at continuing more of the failed Bush administration's policies?
Do they want that, or the side that, though far from perfect, will not slash social programs that benefit women and children, college-bound youths, the elderly and the needy? Who will not roll back legislation that at least tries to regulates the financial sector and the environment and who will not roll back much needed healthcare reform and who will fight to end the Bush era tax breaks for the wealthy? It is not the utopia we hoped for but it is exceedingly better than what the other guy--that "snakeskin oilman" - is offering.
There is this idiom which says, "Do not cut off your nose to spite your face," and this comes to mind everytime I hear an Africa American say that they cannot vote for President Obama because of his marriage equality stance. I can understand disagreeing with policies, but using religion to sabotage your own well-being is illogical.
I am dumbfounded, bewildered, alarmed and troubled.
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