Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SOME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE BLACK AND THE LGBT CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENTS

In the interview by the Washington Blade of Don Lemon entitled, Proud to be out, an interview I strongly urge you to read, the following is mentioned by Don Lemon:

But when the backbone, the structure of the community has been so associated with the church, it’s even doubly more imprinted on your being and on your psyche.

It seems to me that this is the major difference between the African American Civil Rights movement in the 1950's-60's, where the Black Church was usually behind the fight for equality, and the current LGBT Civil Rights movement. And it's a gigantic difference.

Now, the Black Church is usually against the fight for equal rights for equality by LGBT people; even resent the comparison between the two Civil Rights movements.

Hence, the lack of church and community support for LGBT people and this struggle, which leads to low self-esteem and lack of organization counted on in the Black Civil Rights movement in the 1950's and 1960's.

African Americans had role models right in their own families, churches, and neighborhoods; people who would affirm them as people of worth. Most of their churches saw their struggle for equality as they did Moses leading the children of Israel to the Promised Land.

In the LGBT Civil Rights movement, it is rare for a young Gay person to have role models in his/her nuclear family and what LGBT people exist in his/her church and neighborhood are usually closeted.

This is one of the reasons why the fight for equality for LGBT people is much more difficult than it was for African Americans, as self-esteem among the former is far less than it was among the latter; consciousness of kind was far greater among the latter than it is the former.

Therefore, we can't count on the Black churches to help lead the way toward the Promised Land of equality for LGBT people, just as we can't count on predominantly White churches to help lead the way for LGBT people to reach that Promised Land of equality.

Unlike the Black Civil Rights movement, it will have to be secular forces within society, both at the organizational and grass roots levels, that will have to lead the way among LGBT people whose identity is neither affirmed nor respected within those institutions with which they are most intimately involved and familiar.

And it is this reality that will make the fight for LGBT equality even more difficult than it was for our African American brothers and sisters!
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7 comments:

genevieve said...

Jerry, that's what's sad. The church should be the first in leading the fight for equality for GLBT people. In my opinion the church kept the civil rights movement from splintering off or disappearing altogether.

What bothers me also is that the vast majority of transgender people murdered are people of color. The black church should and must speak against this violence and lead the fight for equality.

Jerry Maneker said...

You're absolutely right, genevieve!!!! Jerry.

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Jerry,

Genevieve is right. The Christian church should be the driving force behind any movement for human rights. Its official absence from the LGBT equality struggle undermines both the faith and the struggle. You need God on your side when speaking truth to power. Unfortunately, most "Christians" only pretend to worship God, and many LGBT have rejected Him outright. How can we heal this rift?

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Don Charles: It seems to me that we heal this rift by having the ministries we have that show all who read our posts that Christians seek to live out the Gospel of grace, and embrace ALL of God's children; LGBT people are made in God's image, as are his Straight children, and those who do not recognize this fact are either ignorant Christians or are not Christians at all, despite their rhetoric to the contrary. As Jesus said, Many people will say Lord Lord and I will say, Depart from me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you. Best wishes, Jerry.

NuWine Press said...

But you can count on NuWine Press, The All-Inclusive and LGBT-Affirming Voice of Indie Christian Publishing to produce works that speak to the open-minded Christians of the world. (Founded by an African-American lesbian Christian) :-) www.nuwinepress.com

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks NuWine Press for your upcoming book, "Raw: A Poetic Journey." It promises to be interesting, and the poetic medium is every bit as essential as any other in the fight for equal rights. Best wishes, Jerry.

NuWine Press said...

An update! RAW: A Poetic Journey - finding a Way from Conflict to Revelation published by NuWine Press: The All-Inclusive and LGBT-Affirming Voice of Independent Christian Publishing is now available on amazon.com!