Thursday, November 20, 2008

African-Americans versus Gays: Instigated by the Extreme Right?

By: Sherry Rashad

Former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton used to mention this “vast right-wing conspiracy” that might dash her hopes for a Senate seat which many of her detractors back them dismiss as nothing more that paranoia disguised as propaganda. But the recent rift and increased tensions between the African-American community and the Gay community over the passing of California’s Proposition 8 probably the most controversial anti-Gay marriage bill in recent memory which for all intents and purposes is simply discrimination disguised as law. This debacle only highlights what sensible American’s fear the most: a discriminatory law that denies a group of persons the right to practice self-determination. The question now is; Is there really a vast right-wing conspiracy and is it really as powerful as most of us perceived it to be?

Proposition 8 came into being and became a binding law mostly due to the millions of dollars worth of funding being raised by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormon Church. Are they still mad when one of the Republican Party’s founders – Abraham Lincoln – referred to their practice of polygamy as “barbarism” just like slavery, and they’ve been waiting all these years for revenge? Well, the Mormon Church’s 12th President – Spencer W. Kimball might be resting less than peacefully now. Remember that he was the first Mormon president to allow African-Americans to be eligible for priesthood – if deemed worthy – in the Mormon Church back in 1978.

Are the different Christian sects of America still uneasy of Blacks and homosexuals that they deemed it – even by any means necessary – not to integrate them into the flock? With these serious questions still left unanswered, some “issues” had already marred everyone’s jubilation of the historic victory of President-elect Barack Obama. Like some right-wing conservative church’s adopting Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nation ideology out of their fear and ignorance when it comes to accepting African-Americans and the Gay community as their equals. Intolerance in America may be at it’s last dying breaths, but it is yet much too early for complacency. Looks like eternal vigilance will forever be the price that we must pay to keep the progress made by the Civil Rights movement of the past 40 years or so from being repealed by the misguided and ignorant "Right".