Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

A Victory Tainted

During the primaries, I was disappointed that Hillary did so poorly among African-Americans, but I understood the desire among African-Americans to see a member of their own community in the White House. African-Americans are basically invisible in the media and in politics. To finally have a public figure of this stature is an important achievement, not just for African-Americans, but the entire world.

The reaction in the African-America community has been a beautiful thing to witness. This picture of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. while watching Senator Obama’s speech speaks a thousand words.


Eugene Robinson, a columnist for the Washington Post, penned a beautiful column called Morning in America.

I almost lost it Tuesday night when television cameras found the Rev. Jesse Jackson in the crowd at Chicago’s Grant Park and I saw the tears streaming down his face. His brio and bluster were gone, replaced by what looked like awestruck humility and unrestrained joy. I remembered how young he was in 1968 when he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., moments before King was assassinated and hours before America’s cities were set on fire.

I almost lost it again when I spoke with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), one of the bravest leaders of the civil rights crusade, and asked whether he had ever dreamed he would live to see this day. As Lewis looked for words beyond “unimaginable,” I thought of the beating he received on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the scars his body still bears.

I did lose it, minutes before the television networks projected that Barack Obama would be the 44th president of the United States, when I called my parents in Orangeburg, S.C. I thought of the sacrifices they made and the struggles they endured so that my generation could climb higher. I felt so happy that they were here to savor this incredible moment.

I was also brought to tears by the ladies of The View.

As a supporter of president-elect Obama, I am grateful that African-Americans turned out in record numbers and I hope that they continue voting for Democrats. But something very ugly happened on Tuesday, as well. In Florida, African-Americans made up 11% of voters. They voted 96%-4% for Obama. And they voted 71%-29% for Amendment 2, a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

To be fair, fully 35% of Obama’s supporters here in Florida voted for the measure, but no other racial/ethnic/religious group gave Amendment 2 such support. There is something very disturbing about these numbers. On the same day that African-Americans in Florida went to the polls to cast a vote against the hundreds of years of racial oppression in America, a vote of symbolic and historic importance, they overwhelming support a measure to codify hate and discrimination into the constitution. That isn’t just disappointing. It’s disgusting and it reeks of hypocrisy.

Given the history of racial oppression in this country, we should all celebrate Barack Obama’s victory and the African-American community has earned the right to be proud. But the African-American community should also be ashamed at what transpired at the polls on Tuesday. If our civil rights leaders are truly interested in equality and justice for all, they will speak out about the homophobia in the African-American community.


  1. spacemanspiff

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  2. i honestly FEEL for you.  i was not that familiar with the ballot measure if FL.  but i was in CA last weekend and was so super psyched and saw hundreds of people and assumed it was a shoo-in.

    when i get my comp back i will be blogging about this.  disgusting.

  3. sricki

    The whole thing nauseated me. When I crawled out of my drunken stupor Wednesday and realized that all three bans were passing… I was heartsick.

    I was sure Prop 8, at the very least, would fail. But… no. We can’t seem to take a step forward without taking a step back.

    Make no mistake, I’m ecstatic about our victory Tuesday night, but — yeah, it does put a damper on the moment. We have a lot of work to do.

  4. NavyBlueWife

    One of the biggest issues is education on this issue.  If people understood that it does NOT force religious institutions to marry people, I think more people would be in favor of civil unions/marriage whatever the hell you want to call it.

  5. Jjc2008

    I had to consciously make an effort, as a woman, to get myself over the disappointment of the rampant sexism on the left.  I wanted to be a part of celebrating the progress, the giant step forward in race relations.  But always, for me, there is a piece missing.  I know some day it will change.  But I may very well miss it.  I see the same thing for the Gay/Lesbian community. I believe things have been changing and that some day we will see that giant step.  But many today will not be here to see it.

    I think about the women who fought long and hard for suffrage and then lost their bid while Negro men, with whom they worked, went forward with the right to vote.  I think about all of us who worked long and hard for Senator Obama knowing our bid for equality, whether we our women or gay citizens, was set aside.

    Hang in there, with us.  We must all continue the march forward.

    • psychodrew

      I just spit up some perfectly good beer from laughing!







      Okay, it was Miller Lite.

      But I’m a poor grad student.  That’s high class for me.

  6. anna shane

    on one hand in California there is a big win for Barack, and on the other we need to sue to keep the gay marriage ban from being enacted.  it’s weird.  I know there are social conservatives who are still Democrats and who don’t get it.  

    I got my one and only Barack robo-call asking me to vote against prop. 8.  

    This is the last ditch effort of some in my generation to be socially reactionary. What good old days they’re preserving I can’t fathom. But every year the prejudice against gays drops down, as old folks die and younger one grow up. the parents may have voted for Barack but the kids voted against prop. 8.  

    But it’s a sad sign indeed that this kind of cruelty passes for morality.  

    We must laugh at them, take gay to the streets once again and party in their faces. the gay culture still has much to offer the ‘breeder’ world, I’d start with the jokes and the parties. It’s really time to lighten up and our gay culture has always been great at showing the irony of silly identifications.  

    Maybe we can have a day dedicated to mocking homophobes?  

    Humm, what should we call it, ‘we came to play?’

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