Being Black is not a fashion statement.<more> It certainly wasn’t fashionable when Dr. King and the others were fighting for the right to drink from the same fountains, use the same restrooms and sit in the same classrooms as our White brothers and sisters. Lynching wasn’t the “it” thing to do either. Talk to Emmit Till’s mother and see how popular she felt to find her son with a fan and tire wrapped around his neck when they brought him from the bottom of that river. Being Black isn’t an ethnicity that I decided to land on after careful evaluation of all the others. It is who I am. It is what was ascribed to me from birth. It wasn’t a choice. And during my course, I have experienced mockery and belittlement because I don’t bare the lighter shade of it. Neither was becoming female a choice. As I was given my ethnic identification, so was I issued my gender. Now…with technology people have made decisions to alter that which was an initial identification but it doesn’t change who you were born to be and for me, that is a woman.
Yesterday, the first ever federal court case began in San Francisco addressing Proposition 8 in California. You know Prop 8 right? The one that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state of California–completely annihilating the traditional marriage that we know and understand today. In response, I sent out a request for prayer on my FB page last night because I spotted a woman I knew on television advocating for the 7 million voters who were able to secure a “Yes!” Her name is Dr. LaVerne Tolbert, a former member of the church I once attended. I thought to myself, “man, we have got to lift her up.” Well…to my surprise, another woman who attended church with us decided to comment on my status asking for prayer and likening her decision to become a lesbian to that of the civil rights movement–segregation and the like.
“Although I cannot affirm the “gay is the new black” mantra assumed by otherwise racist non-black activists; I am grievously appalled at black people who have forgotten how many laws were changed to give us the privilege of being even considered human; how many prayer meetings happened that blacks could win the coveted civil marriage and relegate broom-jumping as a novelty; how many courtroom battles and spiritual wars took place to give us political and educational access whether or not we were “light-skinned and had no Negro dialect” ala Reid’s comment about President Obama.” I promised not to get into any banter and I didn’t. I just made it clear where the real battle was.