holzman_tweed: (Default)
[personal profile] holzman_tweed
There's been a lot of stupidity flying around recently about who is to blame for Proposition 8 pasing. We're going to deal on that, because the stupid has gone beyond burning.

Some people, such as the once relevant Dan Savage, are singling out black Californians as the reason Prop 8 passed; and going on to use this as evidence of The Extreme Homophobia Of The Black Community[1] Apparently, someone doesn't remember 7th grade math, and it's time for a refresher.

According to The California Secretary of State, there were 17,304,876 registered voters in California. Shanikka @ DKos calculates that there were a maximum of 1,156,560 black registered voters, and probably fewer than that. If 70%[2] of them voted for Prop 8, that's 809,592 black Californians who voted for Prop 8.

OK, now that we've done some seventh grade math, we're going to drop down to third grade math:

There were 5,661,583 votes in favor of Prop 8. 5,661,581 – 809,592 = 4,851,991 votes for Prop 8 that weren't cast by black Californians.

Now that we're done with the grade-school math, let's get on with the political analysis.

It is perfectly legitimate to hold every single one of the 5,661,581 voters for Prop 8 accountable for their homophobia. Singling out ~800,000 black people for something that over 4 million white people[3] also did is racist bullshit. Proposition 8 failed because Americans are still homophobic, not because Black people are particularly homophobic.

There is also some blame to be laid at the No on 8 campaign's doorstep. Only some because it is the responsibility of every voter to educate themselves about the issues and vote for justice. However, it's hard to educate oneself if the information isn't readily available, and there was a well orchestrated and well funded campaign to specifically lie to people of color about Prop 8. To the extent that No on 8 did too little too late to counter the misinformation campaign, they must share the blame with those who were fooled, and they must take the lion's share of the blame.

I am not the least bit sympathetic to the idea that white LBGTs are to blame for people of color voting for the proposition because of white LBGT racism. That dynamic describes a deliberate choice to use heterosexual privilege to tactically oppress me, and that is an inexcusable thing to do. I find it very difficult to consider alliance with someone who considers such an act thinkable or excusable. However, I've yet to come across a single person who said that they voted for Prop 8 for that reason.

[1] Because white communities are all carebears and honey about LBGTs, right?
[2] Shanikka also points out that that the polling that lead to the 70% figure is highly suspect, but let's neglect that for now.
[3]I'm making an approximation here of how many people who are neither black nor white voted for Prop 8.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-08 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] supergee.livejournal.com
Why am I not surprised that Dan the Doorknob Sucker has joined the racist morons on this one? Sometimes it seems that the only difference between Dan and Michael Savage is that Dan knows he's gay.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-08 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salsuginous.livejournal.com
As someone who lives in Seattle, I do not know why anyone listens to Dan Savage. I mean, sure, he can be amusing when he's giving out sex advice. Other than that? No way.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-08 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] supafrosh.livejournal.com
Well said.

I mean, imagine Dan Savage saying, "Hey what's up with these women voters? Don't they understand our struggle having gone through their own rights movement? They had Hillary Clinton, we've never even had an openly gay candidate. That's it, I'm writing off the female community!"

Yeah, that would be the end of his career.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-08 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hopita.livejournal.com
I've been thinking about this very topic, most likely sparked by an email I got from People for The American way earlier this morning. An excerpt:
The amendment seems to have passed by more than half a million votes, and the number of black voters, even with turnout boosted by the presidential race, couldn't have made up that difference. That's an important fact, but when African American supporters of equality are being called racist epithets at protests about Prop 8, the numbers almost seem beside the point.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-08 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nieceytee.livejournal.com
Thank you for this. May I quote you and link back to this post?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-09 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nieceytee.livejournal.com
Thank you. I already did. You might begin to see a large number of visitors from ravelry.com. That is where I posted your journal entry.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-08 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holzman.livejournal.com
I saw it through one or more layers of "telephone," and the part about the treats coming from white gay No on 8 protesters was lost. That's going to have to get it's own blog entry.

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