homophobia

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Added a post  to  , homophobia

Originally Posted on December 5, 2018

Misogyny is so ingrained in our minds, that we think any challenge to it is detrimental to our way of life. That is the complete opposite. Feminism isn’t destroying our community. Our upholding of patriarchy is. Racism and misogyny is destroying our community. Mass incarceration is destroying our community. Lack of funding in our neighborhood is destroying our community. Assault and abuse is destroying our community.

This idea that the black community should only focus on racism, not misogyny or homophobia, is not helping us move forward. If we want to liberate the black community, then we have to listen to everyone’s grievances. All of our issues matter, not just straight cis black men. The gaslighting and silencing of Black women has to stop. Our experiences with Misogynoir are valid. We’re not trying to “tear black men down,” because we expect better from them. We also need to put an end to the homophobia and transphobia running through our community. Why are we shunning our own people based on their sexualities and gender expression? We are encouraging discrimination in our own community. How is this acceptable?

Please, kill the idea that mainstream media has an agenda to, “turn black men gay,” and “make black men feminine.” I don’t know if people realize this, but gay black men have always existed. Gay black men have even been apart of fighting for us to have equal rights in this country.  Bayard Rustin and James Baldwin are two examples. When you complain about black men being “feminine,” that is toxic masculinity. Teaching black men that there’s a certain ways to be “real” man, like holding emotions in and being overly aggressive, is not good. You are also helping enforce the stereotype that black men are “aggressive” and “wild”. That stereotype is dangerous. It has been used as a way to justify innocent black men being murdered by police officers.

Black women are also not door mats for Black Liberation. Stop teaching Black women that in order to help our community, we have be silent when we are hurting. Instead of shaming Black women for speaking out against their rapists and abusers, shame the rapists and abusers. Black people are not obligated to protect predators because they are black. Black victims are the ones should be protected. You make us feel unloved in our own community and we have done nothing wrong. The fact that it is common to have known child molesters and rapists in our families, should disturb you. The fact that it’s common for us to put the responsibility on little black girls to “cover up in the house,” and “stop being fast,” should disturb you. Protect black victims. Protect little black girls. Protect little black boys too.

The disrespect black women receive in this community while simultaneously being expected to do all the labor is exhausting. Respectability politics are enforced on black women. Single black mothers are constantly being disrespected. Why are women being disrespected for raising their children, instead of the men who do not take care of them? We pick and choose which black woman is worthy of praise. Black woman who is sexually liberated? Not worthy of respect. Black woman who wears weave? Not worthy of respect. Black woman who is “unattractive.” Not worthy of respect. Do not say you love and appreciate black women, when you pick and choose which ones to show love to and appreciate. It is disheartening seeing black women internalize these misogynistic beliefs, as well. Supporting those views does nothing to help us.

The Black community is also selective when it comes to which Black life matters and which one doesn’t. There is little outrage for the high rate of Black trans women being murdered in the U.S. According to The New York Times, 25 to 28 trans people were killed last year. The majority of the them were trans women of color. Their life expectancy is 35 years old. The only ones who speak about Black female victims of police brutality are other black women. Koryn Gaines and Sandra Bland deserved better than the black men who were justifying their deaths. Black sexual assault and domestic violence victims do not receive the support they deserve, not even from our own community. According to a study done by CDC, Black women had the highest homicide rates from 2003-2014. It was said that more than half of the women killed were murdered by a current or former partner. We show a huge amount of support for black male victims of violence until we find out that the black man is gay. Anthony Wall and Gemmel Moore deserved more attention than they received from us.

Feminism is not destroying the black community. The toxic views that we continue to pass down from generation to generation is destroying it. If we really want to liberate the Black community, we should start by dismantling the sexist and homophobic beliefs that we uphold. If we say that Black lives matter then we need to act like it.


Added a post  to  , homophobia

Originally Posted on February 24, 2018

A Hardee’s employee in Woodhaven, Michigan, has accused other Hardee’s employees of discriminating against him for his sexual orientation. The employee recounted that after an incident where he accidentally spilled ketchup on his shirt, his employees laughed it off and the jokes seemed harmless. The jokes eventually led to him discovering that homophobic slurs were allegedly being used against him when he was not around. Higher-ups allegedly knew about this inappropriate behavior, but no one took action. The employee recounted that his general manager, Scott Papineau, threatened that if he kept working like a “f*ggot”, he could walk off the floor and never come back. This incident allegedly occurred today. The employee feels that he was being bullied by other Hardee’s employees. He recalls being lied on by another employee, causing a customer to yell at him and accuse him of saying something inappropriate that he insists he never said. He believes that other employees were involved in an attempt to get him fired. 

Added a post  to  , homophobia

Like most of you, I was shocked with the election results. Election night, my stomach turned with the almost immediate realization that Hillary wasn't winning this thing. For the next few days and sleepless nights, I struggled to come to grips with fundamental questions about what I thought I knew about my country.

  • For all the division and rancor, for the institutionalized racism and vast economic inequality, wasn't there at least some modicum of decency that would preclude people with any sense of goodness about themselves to vote for a blatant xenophobic racist?
  • How could 53% of white women voted for a misogynist who brags about sexual assault and has acted like the skeevy guy you ran from your whole life?
  • Wasn't it just eight years before that I was jubilant in the Obama victory which seemed like a rebuke of pre-emptive war and a small step of progress towards ending racism?

Hillary was not a candidate I was excited about given her embrace of neoliberal economics and overly hawkish foreign policy, but Good Lord. Compared to the alternative of a Trump Presidency, this seemed like a no brainer.  People aren't stupid generally. This isn't about intelligence, it is about hardened hearts. People vote against their interest when fears and prejudices are played upon in ways that reject others humanity.

For all my personal reckoning about this election, I am still a person of tremendous privilege. In comparison, some of my black friends say to me, "I'm scared. Half of the country literally hates me." Undocumented mothers share their fears of being ripped from their children at any moment. Indeed, many parents have been. In the days leading up to election, my brother, who came out about 7 years ago, was door knocking for HRC and a couple of Trump guys drove by yelling "Go Trump, you Faggot!" There have been racial shootings. The displays of anti-Semitism in the blooming of swastikas and the making of bomb threats to Jewish institutions strikes a unsettling fear into our society. In a new turn for my white self, I fear what my Latinos kids now face as other Latino kids are being yelled at "Build the Wall" and "go home". We've seen similar hate against an Asian American kids and certainly seen a good deal of scorn and hate directed at Muslims.

America. In 2017. Racism. Xenophobia. Antisemitism. Islamophobia. Misogyny. Homophobia.

Yes, economics of white working class folks is a huge set of issues that must be addressed. But don't fool yourself, racism never went away and remains one of the major drivers of political activity including voting. Dehumanizing others is again en vogue. Trump has brought lots of ugliness out of the woodwork and into the open. Education and economic dislocation are real issues but how do you get a working class white person to vote against their own economic interest? Gin up racism and xenophobia. Talk about those immigrants taking your jobs. Get tough on those black protesters. Speak English! Ban Muslims because they might be terrorists. Terrorists! This old playbook has been around a long time. We thought we might just be past some of this because we had a black President. Stupid of us.

Turning this around in any sense will be difficult, especially with another round of supply side (tax cuts for the rich) economic policy that actually created much of the inequality in the first place. We are going to have to do two things at once: engage white working folks in a way that takes their legitimate economic concerns seriously while addressing and not tolerating hate.  We will need to reset the economic discourse through economic education measures that build support for unionization, living wages, universal health care and tuition free college. We also need to hold folks accountable for dehumanizing someone based on their sexual orientation, race, religion, gender or country of origin. Yes, I want your vote. But I’m not going to tolerate hatred and dehumanization in any form in order to get that vote.  

More to come...

Added a post  to  , homophobia

Given the Trump win and the acts of racism we are seeing throughout the country, I pledge to act. I pledge to engage our brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, friends and colleagues, parents and grandparents who are white to discuss issues of , , , , and .

I will do so with the humility that we are all at our different places in our understanding of racism and diversity issues and that we all face tough issues in our lives in which we need healing.

I understand that in order to make a change I have to take the risk of creating discomfort and receiving the scorn of others.

Stephen Rockwell 

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