Update: Protests against Obama being planned:
And now we hear, via MSNBC, that Obama’s staff think they’ve weathered the storm, that the crisis has now passed, and it won’t damage them much at all. Funny, but I’ve got enough additional info to write about for the next week at least. There’s much more on this McClurkin homophobe, and I plan to talk about it at length.
Hey, so I’m wondering what kind of protests we can plan at Obama campaign stops? They need to be whimsical, bitchy, and embarrassing as hell. All suggestions are welcome. Maybe carry signs saying “I am a man.”
Update: The National Black Justice Coalition has written to Obama:
While we appreciate your recent statement reassuring the public that “…Gays and lesbians are our brothers
and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens,” we must also remind you that actions speak much louder than words.
Your willingness to share a stage with Rev Donnie McClurkin is alarming and frankly deeply disappointing.
Rev McClurkin has consistently disparaged gay men and lesbians, spread half truths and unproven theories about our lives and has shown a willingness to work with those who would use the rights of gay Americans as a wedge issue to divide black families for their own cynical political objectives. The fact that Rev. McClurkin uses his religious beliefs to justify bigotry and discrimination is so damaging that it cannot be addressed with a simple media statement no matter how heartfelt or sincere.
The fatal mistakes and ugly calculations made by Barack Obama on race, gender and sex are now tearing full force at his campaign. Obama wants to blame the staff, again. A conference call for tonight has been scheduled. David Geffen and Oprah as well as certain Big Blogs are silent, waiting. The crisis in Obamaland is growing.
The Obama campaign has scheduled a conference call with campaign manager David Plouffe and other top aides to re-assure gay donors and other backers who are angry at the inclusion of a gospel singer hostile to homosexuality, Donnie McClurken, in Obama’s South Carolina gospel tour, one supporter advised of the call said.
“They’re trying to put out the fire,” said the gay Obama supporter of the call planned for this evening. He said he hoped heads would roll. “Somebody made the decision [to include McClurken] and somebody approved the decision,” the supporter said. “The question is, Will he hold someone accountable?”
The story’s the talk of gay blogs like Towleroad today, with Obama taking a beating.
One sort-of-defender is Chris Crain, who says this speaks to Obama’s ability to build a big tent, but also points out that others on the gospel tour also have “anti-gay histories.”
The full purpose of the Obama evangelical tour this coming weekend is being exposed. It is not only McClurkin who is a homophobe on this Obama gay-bashing tour:
Well, it’s no secret among Black same-gender loving people that Donnie McClurkin went from being a gay man, to being a heterosexual gay bashing gospel singer and preacher. And sister’s Mary Mary made it crystal clear earlier this yeat [sic] in an interview with Vibe Magazine how they felt about gays. When asked how they felt about homosexuality and having a gay following they likened gays to prostitutes and murderers.
“I feel how God feels about it, um… but I still love them. You know what I mean? I don’t agree with the lifestyle, but I love them. They can come to the concert; I’m going to hug them just like I hug everybody else. They have issues and need somebody to encourage them like everybody else – just like the murderer, just like the one full of pride, just like the prostitute, everybody needs God. What your struggle is may not be what my struggle is, but we all need Him. So, that’s what our music is about: giving and God. Not to condone the lifestyle or to say, Oh it’s okay, but not to bash – but just to give them God. I mean, I’m appreciative of all of our supporters and fans. Hopefully what their hearing and saying in our music is my love for God.”—Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell, VIBE Magazine, March 2007.
This has already been nicknamed the “gay-bash” tour because three of the acts are on the record for rebuking the “gay lifestyle.” Mary Mary, the enormously popular duo, has a large gay following but has compared gays to murderers and prostitutes. Hezekiah Walker is a minister of the Pentecostal faith, traditionally inhospitable to gays, and, heads a Brooklyn mega-church well-known for its anti-gay views. Walker was also the subject of an unfounded gay rumor that has become urban legend.
Let’s analyze what this all means.
In a little noted October 18, 2007 Obama appearance on the Tavis Smiley Show , discussed on Politico, Obama unwittingly stated that he took the African-American vote for granted.
On “The Tavis Smiley Show” last night, he went into some detail on his thinking on African-American voters, arguing that they’ll ultimately wind up with him, once he’s able to address them directly on television.
He said he wasn’t winning among black voters in Illinois polling in 2004.
“We went up on TV, and by the end of it, we got 85 percent,” he said. “[It’s] the same thing you’re starting to see in this race.”
Obama took the African-American vote for granted. That was a big mistake. As November approaches Hillary is at least competitive with Obama for the African-American vote if not outright leading Obama with African-American support.
As we noted yesterday, quoting Earl Hutchinson:
This lesson isn’t lost on Obama. Desperate to snatch back some of the political ground with black voters that are slipping away from him and to Hillary; Bush’s black evangelical card seems like the perfect play. Obama wouldn’t dare go down the knock gay path, and risk drawing the inevitable heat for it, if he didn’t think as Bush that anti-gay sentiment is still wide and deep among many blacks.
Obama took African-American votes for granted and now he is sending a coded message with his tour to try and gain some support. Hillary is a strong supporter of the African-American and Gay communities. Obama is sending a not very subtle message that Gays are second class citizens to him. Obama of course issued a statement on paper discussing his pro-Gay views. But Obama will remain Quiet in public. This is the candidate who is running ads which state: “We can’t just tell people what they want to hear, we have to tell them what they need to hear.”
Why is this such a crisis for Obama?
While Gays constitute part of the Democratic base, Gays are still a minority in that base. Estimates vary widely as to how many Gays vote even as Gay financial contributions are substantial. The Obama calculation is that courting the African-American vote in South Carolina is much more important than whatever Gay support is at risk. Only now is Obama awakening to the real threat posed by his tour.
As George Bush calculated in 2000, courting the gay vote is also a way of courting the liberal and youth votes. Bush received 25% of the gay vote in 2000 but most importantly by courting Gay voters Bush was able to portray himself as a “compassionate conservative”.
Obama has based his entire campaign on the youth vote. Obama presumed he would get the African-American vote in places such as South Carolina. In Iowa and New Hampshire, which have few African-Americans, Obama counted on the most progressive and energetic demographic – young people.
But Obama is only now beginning to realize how pro Gay rights young people are. Obama’s gay bashing tour threatens the very foundations of his election strategy. Without young people Obama has no organization in Iowa and New Hampshire. Without enthusiastic young people Obama will have no campaign workers on the cold election days in Iowa and New Hampshire.
As Obama’s gay bashing tour gets closer more news outlets are covering the story. USA Today. New York Times. Many other news outlets are covering the story. The story is not going away and Blame the Staff will not work again.
Obama is not the only candidate caught on the riptides of race. John Edwards has been complaining about Hillary’s Chinese donors recently. John Edwards is also making an ugly pitch which African-Americans see as coded language. Most Americans see the coded language too:
“If you’re running in a tough congressional district…you gotta ask yourself would you rather have Senator Obama at the top of the ticket to help, Senator Clinton at the top of the ticket to help, or John Edwards at the top of the ticket to help,” Edwards asks.
Edwards goes on to say, “your instincts will tell you the right answer.”
Obama and Edwards are playing to our worse instincts. They are about to find out that appeals to our baser instincts work only for a very short time. They work only until they are exposed.
Time has run out on those playing the Black, White, Lavender and Yellow division cards.