In conversations with gay activists on both coasts last week, I heard several theories as to why Obama has seemed alternately clumsy and foot-dragging in honoring his campaign commitments to dismantle DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell. The most charitable take had it that he was following a deliberate strategy, given his habit of pursuing his goals through long-term game plans. After all, he's only five months into his term and must first juggle two wars, the cratered economy, health care and Iran. Some speculated that the president is fearful of crossing preachers, especially black preachers, who are adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage. Still others said that the president was tone-deaf on the issue because his inner White House circle lacks any known gay people.
Frank Rich, I guess, is just reporting what he's heard, not advancing the theory. Furthermore, I can't separate my own emotional reaction to this from my ego. Writers want their work to have impact. The idea that it isn't is troubling. It's a vane impulse of course, and one I hope to check by laying it out there for you.
Beyond that, it's just enormously depressing to see writers who you respect, writers who you, in many ways, model yourself after, repeatedly invoke this lie. Maybe it's time to stop modeling. I am, at least in my own limited estimation, a hard-eyed skeptic. I work to not assume bad faith in disagreements. But at some point, as someone in it, you start to conclude that this race shit is real.
There are black people all over the net laughing at me right now. I take that.
I just want to say that watching, on the one hand, a black city move toward gay marriage, and on the other hand, people blame Obama's inaction on black people is deeply disappointing. On gay rights, Obama hails from one of the most progressive black churches in the country. Moreover, there's been this ongoing narrative that Obama isn't afraid to tell black people hard truths. And yet when he comes up short, somehow it's because he's caving to the horrid blacks.
In everything else, Obama is postracial. In the matter of gay rights, he is truly black.
With respect due, I am so heartily tired of reading certain white writers talk about what's wrong with us. It's like watching a terminal cancer patient with, a few months to live, talk shit about another patient, with mere weeks.
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