Blacks, Homophobia and Prop 8

Commenter Martin wrote in the following on another thread:


I'm gonna have to side with Sully on the black homophobia argument.on CA Prop 8 shows that African Americans are the largest non-political/non-theological demographic in support of Prop 8 - larger even than the at-large over 65 population.

I look at all of these pro-8 arguments and they look exactly the same as the arguments used to oppose interracial marriage. Maybe the move in CA should have been to put up a competing amendment banning both gay and interracial marriage, just to drive the history lesson home.

A few things:

1.) Here are the SUSA poll numbers which do, indeed, show an appallingly high level of support for Prop 8 among black folks.

2.) If you look back, I never argued that blacks were going to be particularly supportive of Prop 8, so much as I noted the relatively small number of blacks in the electorate of California.. Blacks make up around 7 percent of Cali's pop--there are roughly double as many Asian-Americans (a lot of whom oppose Prop 8) in Cali as there are African-Americans, and many more Latinos (a lot of whom support Prop 8).

3.) Brothers we have a problem: All of the demographic points aside (controlling for income, religion, education etc.), it's very difficult to not be disturbed by all of this. It's sort of sick actually--all our experience with discrimination in this country hasn't made us any wiser. Right, it didn't make the Irish any wiser either, I got that. But, I once heard Bill Cosby say something that rang emotionally true for me, and I'm going to paraphrase. I'm black--I rooted for Doug Williams in the Super Bowl--not John Elway. I want what's best for my team. I want us on the right side of history.

Also, this is one of the reasons why we, as black folks--and frankly me as a black person--should resist the temptation to get all self-righteous about white racism. I still think that if Prop 8 passes, black folks won't be the decisive factor. But, you know me, I'd rather us not even be in the conversation.