Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NAACP President Derrick Johnson knocks it out of the park with statement on same-sex marriage

Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson did some excellent work today with his statement concerning the divide amongst African-Americans over same-sex marriage. In short, it's not about morality. It's a matter of equality under the law.

Some excerpts:

For decades, this great nation was divided by miscegenation and segregation laws created specifically to pare us into easily controlled enclaves. Those in power knew full well that a poor white population separated from its poor black brethren would never have the strength to challenge a system designed to keep the majority impoverished and as a source of cheap and free labor.  
Today, the battle to divide us continues--only now we are capable of recognizing it.  
Segregation laws helped maintain a rift between the races, weakening them. Today, those looking to cut deeply into the clout of a struggling middle class now seek to emasculate AfricanAmerican churches and divert them from their age-old battle for social equality and reform by hammering the divisive issues of morality such as abortion and now same sex marriage. 
It is no coincidence that we are seeing multiple states dredge up marriage purity laws at a time when the middle class is becoming aware of growing economic inequities between the richest Americans and the rest of the nation. Likewise, it is no accident  that the issue of same sex marriage arises at a time when a host of southern states seek to create laws restricting voting.

The NAACP has always fought for a government that treats its citizens equally. If we are to remain true to our objective of equal protection for all, then we must come to terms with marriage equality as a right for every person.  In short, one can be religiously and culturally hetero-centric without being legally and constitutionally homophobic.


We must conclude that the LGBT community is instead just one more social class targeted with discrimination. The recent call for war against marriage equality amounts to a war on yet another minority. It is a war that seeks to isolate us from one another, as it has attempted to isolate us from  our Latino brethren, and from economically underprivileged Caucasians. We have seen this tactic in the past, and we must not again fall victim to it. LGBT persons are our sons, our daughters, our family members, our co-workers and our fellow church members.

I strongly recommend that you read the entire statement here.


political observer said...

Damn. That's as good a statement on the issue as I have ever read. And dudes kissing dudes grosses me out. Derrick is really gifted and Mississippi politics is lucky to have him.

Kingfish said...

Yet when it comes to redistricting, no one can find him.

Jesse Yancy said...

It doesn't matter whether dudes kissing dudes grosses you out, man. This isn't about sex. It's about equal rights under the law, and that's an issue any American can support, no matter who they kiss.