The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has endorsed gay marriage, shutting yet another gate that Mitt Romney might have thought was still open to him in whatever quest he may have had for the African-American vote.
The endorsement likely has very little to do with the NAACP believing fervently that homosexual black men and women should marry each other. After all, the NAACP has never given Bayard Rustin, the civil rights activist, due credit for his selfless contribution (as a gay man) alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, something that should be easier to do if their thinking on homosexuality has really evolved.
It must be all about sending a message to Mitt Romney that there will be no black votes for him come November 2012. In the election that brought Barack Obama to power, blacks voted over 90% for him. That percentage should rise to near 100% this time round, what with all the terrible things the Republicans have done to push blacks and other minorities deeper into the Democratic camp.
Take their rejection of the Affordable Care Act or their tacit approval of Tea Party politics which everyone can see are racist. And of course it’s pretty apparent that the Republicans have vowed to do what it takes, including bringing America to its economic knees, in order to remove the black man in charge from power. Obama must not get a second term because … he is black.
The response to Obama’s gay marriage “evolution” from usually introverted Africa has been muted because, of course, Obama is one of us and we can’t be seen to be attacking him incessantly without looking like traitors. So, the pulpits and political rostrums have been largely silent following Obama’s revelation that his thoughts on gay marriage have evolved.
On a continent where mere talk of homosexuality is still heretic, Obama’s pronouncement should have caused fits of apoplexy in the churches, mosques and national parliaments. The lack of response can thus be seen as Africa finally retreating, at least where public, hysterical, repostes to “our Obama” are concerned. The priests and politicians might not like what he is saying but he is our black man, a son of the Kenyan soil who, thus, has more justification for calling himself African-American than the sons of slaves who were transported to America 300 years ago. We can’t continue nit-picking everything he says that we don’t like – that would be treachery.
In the same vein, the NAACP have closed ranks despite the fact they don’t have a strong history of being gay rights advocates, let alone supporters of gay marriage.
The most important achievement Obama has had on this subject, perhaps, is to make the gay discussion mainstream in Africa and all over the world. Whereas only 10 years it was impossible to hold a rational discussion about homosexuality, today the discussion is as heated as it is happening in bars, on public airwaves, around water coolers, in village meetings and in churches. The context is usually along the lines of “Obama said …” Or why is Obama …?”
From African governments pretending that they didn’t have any gay citizens, to being ignored and/or relegated to the fringes, Obama’s administration has ensure that gays are talked about in African corridors of power up to and including what he might do to the US Aid they rely on if they don’t begin to show that they see the gay question from his point of view.
The subject of homosexuality has lost almost all its mysticism even in the smallest sub-Saharan villages in the 42 months Obama has been in power in the United States. Talk about a seminal leader, setting the agenda.
As an internet friend likes to say: We are moving.
- NAACP’s long history on LGBT equality
- Is GOP trying to sabotage the economy in order to hurt Obama?
- Black civic and religious leaders line up behind Obama (sebaspace.wordpress.com)
- Obama’s Decree Alters African-Americans’ Stance on Gay Marriage (usnews.com)
- Serendipity in Obama’s timing on gay marriage – The Miami Herald (curmilus.wordpress.com)
- Results: The majority of Americans feel same-sex marriage is… (bazaardaily.com)