CommunityPam's House Blend

Hoosier homo-bigot

Her name is Jocelyn-Tandy Torkwase Adande and she’s a contributor to the IndyStar‘s “IN Touch” column, which features views of a variety of local citizens. She’s of the opinion that gays and lesbians are not entitled to equal rights, simply because she takes offense that the struggle of blacks might have anything in common with that of the LGBT community.

An individual’s sexual preference should be a private matter. Recently, the Democratic caucus of the City-County Council attached an ordinance relating to sexual orientation to a human rights bill that also allows 15 percent of all business contracts with the city of Indianapolis to be awarded to minority-owned businesses.

To gain acceptance, a faction within the party, Stonewall Democrats, agreed to support this ordinance. The majority of African-American council members voted in favor of it and against the opinion of the religious community and its constituents. These council members wrongly allowed homosexuals and their supporters to identify their struggle with the plight of African Americans during the civil rights era.

…Passage of the ordinance was a mistake. To compare the plight of homosexuals to that of African Americans is an insult to my race.

How about she is an insult to my “race”? What about all of the LGBT people of color — how do they fit into her argument? It’s the same old, same old — being gay is the “white man’s perversion” and for someone like Torkwase Adande, civil rights are some sort of zero sum game where protections for gays are somehow going to have an impact on the rights she has gained.

To see these kinds of comments over and over is just sad. It’s the reason why there is going to be a conference dealing directly with homophobia in the black community this month in Atlanta. It is sorely needed.

What I am pleased to see are so many comments/responses to her post from residents that call her out on this. Here are some snippets:

No one gives prizes for who’s the most oppressed. If Black folk want to claim such a prize, let’s give them one. Maybe then they’ll feel justified, and begin to look at someone else’s situation. (Or maybe such a prize should go to the Jews; no army ever sought to wipe every Black person “off the face of the earth.”)

But once these dubious titles are awarded, let’s stop and give a minute’s worth of human consideration to people whose very existence has been denied for millenia; and when not denied, then criminalized. Gay and Lesbian human beings been hunted down and murdered and killed and fired from jobs and beheaded and castrated and chased just for walking down the streets of Indianapolis, Indiana.

***

I am sorry but your race does not have the market cornered on discrimination. No matter how you slice it with clever words like ‘preference’ instead of ‘orientation’ it is still the same thing; a large group of people being treated like second class citizens. I understand that you can not hide the color of your skin but try hiding any secret for a long period of time. It eats at you like drain cleaner, affecting every aspect of your life….limiting your ability to be comfortable with yourself and really blossom as a person. Your inability to think outside the color of your skin is an insult to my minority and I think you are acting a little short sighted by making such comments.

***

Just because you do not believe in equal gay rights does not mean you have the right to decide for an entire race what is insulting. I highly doubt the homosexuals who also happen to be African-American were offended, nor their families and friends. Also, since when did the religious community have any say in politics? They shouldn’t, remember our country was founded so that we would be free of persecution and since homosexuality has been around longer than religion, does not harm anyone any more than heterosexuality does, I see no reason why any intelligent person would deny us our rights.

Thanks to Holly for the pointer.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding