Salon on Obama’s Homophobic Buddy
Sen. Barack Obama’s decision to tour South Carolina with gospel entertainer Donnie McClurkin, a self-proclaimed “former homosexual” who believes it is his mission to turn gays straight, suggests that Obama can’t live without the support of the homophobic contingent of the black community and the black church in particular. But African-American politicians have already proved that black support is not contingent on homophobia.What a horrifying concept. Is that what Obama is really saying, that black support is contingent on homophobia? Wow. If a white candidate had made that assertion…Obama’s gay advocates obviously support him regardless of this fumble. But his gay critics are right to ask why he thinks getting homosexuals to sit at the same table with antigay and allegedly “ex-gay” Christians represents some kind of balance. Had McClurkin been a Holocaust denier, my money says Obama would be “embracing a change” in his tour’s entertainment lineup, lickety-split.
Mayor Gavin Newsom in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, Newsom sat down to talk to Adam Reuters: Reuters News Agency’s special “Second Life” correspondent – you know Second Life: that weird Linden Lab-created virtual world that turns everyone into Sims characters… No matter, Newsom says that the gay-nup move may have hindered his own political growth and at least one Democratic presidential hopeful’s not making it any easier:
I’ve basically written myself off of any prospects of running for any different office, and I certainly won’t be appointed by any administration or special councils because I’m a time bomb and too controversial. And I’m not just saying for Republicans.
One of the three Democrats you mentioned as presidential candidates [Obama, Clinton, Gore] God as my witness, will not be photographed with me, will not be in the same room as me, even though I’ve done fundraisers for that particular person not once but twice, because of this issue. [It’s since been pseudo-confirmed that Newsom was referring to Obama as he has appeared with and endorsed Hillary and has also appeared with Gore on numerous occasions since opening San Francisco City Hall to gay marriages.]
Obama: A great many African-Americans agree that homosexuality is “a curse” and that gays are “trying to kill our children”
by makeprofilelink(“John Aravosis (DC)”); John Aravosis (DC) · 10/25/2007 04:26:00 PM ET · Link
Discuss this post here: Comment myCount(‘1866876538974342873’); (0) · reddit · FARK ·· Digg It!
Keep digging, Senator.
Obama is now trying to get gays and black religious leaders to sign a letter that’s basically supporting Obama’s position that he should have homophobes and bigots on stage with him. A few problems. Let me quote the letter:
Pastor McClurkin believes and has stated things about sexual orientation that are deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans, most especially to gay Americans. This cannot and should not be denied.
At the same time, a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin’s beliefs. This also cannot be ignored.
Really? I’m aware that some people claim that there’s a lot of homophobia in the black community – frankly, I wouldn’t know – but Obama is now saying that a great many African-Americans agree with McClurkin? Meaning, they agree that gays are trying to kill our children, that America is at war with the gays, and that homosexuality is a “curse”? I’m willing to believe that we may have to do some educating of a lot of Americans of all races and creeds, but I’m having a hard time believing that a “great many” of them believe the kind of wacky stuff that McClurkin does.
If we are to end homophobia and secure full civil rights for gay Americans, then we need an advocate within the Black community like Barack Obama.
You can advocate just fine even if you lose the presidency.
But this line is the most important:
At the same time, while Obama has said that he “strongly disagrees” with Pastor McClurkin’s comments, he will not exclude from his campaign the many Americans including many in the African American community who believe the same as Pastor McClurkin.
Great, so we’re to believe Obama would not exclude anti-Semites or racists from his campaign either? Well, would he? Someone needs to ask him that question – Senator, are you saying that you would welcome anti-Semites and racists into your campaign, even though you strongly disagree with them, because you believe in some kind of big tent of bigotry?
I simply don’t believe that Obama would have the same reaction, be just as welcoming, if we were talking about racists or anti-Semites. He wouldn’t say that we’re all one big tent. He would kick the racist or the anti-Semite to the curb. Not to mention, “the big tent” concept traditionally means people who have differing political views, even differing political loyalties (Republican and Democrat). I’ve never heard a politician invoke the big tent to mean racists and their victims. This is new. And it’s terribly unnerving. I mean, we’re to believe that the fact that Obama, alone among Democratic candidates, is willing to openly welcome bigots into his campaign, and that fact makes him the best candidate for voters concerned about civil rights. And the corollary, the worst candidate for someone who cares about civil rights is the candidate who actually stands up against the bigots. So the best way to promote tolerance is to tolerate and embrace intolerance. And I suppose the best way to tackle the issue of domestic violence is to not exclude wife beaters from your campaign either? That’s just wacked.
Rather than writing letters, Senator, why don’t you just fire the bigot and be done with it?
Turmoil Within The Thinking Gay Community. Now On The Fence.
By Greg & Matt in Champions, Houston, TX – Oct 30th, 2007 at 6:57 pm EDT
Wow. After witnessing what transpired over the weekend I felt betrayed and hurt and well sick to my stomach.Unfortunately the entire incident of Barack’s campaign including someone of the evil core of Donnie McClurkin has turned both myself and my husband as well as many of our friends off to Obama 08, once my candidate of choice. Whether or not he is able to turn that tide only time will tell. I, however, sincerely doubt he will. Why? Because I think he has become more politician than man and will not stand up, admit it was a mistake and disavow people like Donnie McClurkin.Personally I feel very betrayed. While the McClurkin thing may not seem like a real issue to many, it is most certainly very real to us. I have had to endure ridicule directed at my community and thus myself personally by people like Donnie McClurkin my whole life. To see someone I believe in embrace him for political purposes, well honestly I was crushed and hurt and again I do take it VERY personally.
At a time when we could least afford it Matt and I financially supported Barack in his campaign for the Senate. A time when we could have used the money for other things more important to the well being of our young family, but we chose to make a stand for someone we thought could make a difference in the future for our children.
I now feel we made the wrong choice, not just because of this incident, but to me it is the proverbial icing on the cake.
Unfortunately for Barack it will be hard to back track and regain the support of many of us in the Gay community. People like Donnie McClurkin have taunted and verbally abused us our entire lives. And don’t think for one minute that from the pulpit he and people like him haven’t inspired others to commit acts of violence against Gay people. They have.
Matt and I are both intellectual, professional and deeply involved in our community. We now live in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. We used to live in Chicago and that is where we first embraced Barack. Before that we were Californians where we both attended college as do our sons.
Now we are in a position where we CAN financially afford to support Barack and influence others to do so as well…in significant numbers. At this point however the wind has been knocked out of our sails, and I dare say when we make our decision on how to donate our personal funds in January they will most likely be going to another candidate.
We are not a single issue household, but this issue has tarnished Barack. I haven’t seen him out at the Gay community group meetings or hanging out with Gay parents on the weekends for that does not make good publicity. I have seen him constantly with these bigoted little churches courting them.I have to base my vote on who most closely matches my values.
I can and will use my influence and inheritance to support that person. My husband runs my mother’s business which belongs to me now. We have made no decision at this point, but unless Barack Obama takes some decisive action to exclude and make an example of a bigot he CHOSE to embrace he will not be our candidate.
I’m a working Joe, one who has struggled uphill against overt discrimination my entire life. For Obama to embrace McClurkin and not disavow him well……
What will it take to make Barack realize a man selected to represent him strikes at the very core of many of us like a venemous snake?If he chooses to right this wrong will it help? Tell me what you think and why…..and how this disaster can be remedied.
To me it’s the Katrina of his campaign.
Barack Obama Isn’t Homophobic
But, says Obama, lots of African Americans are—so why shouldn’t he appear with ex-gay bigot Donnie McClurkin at a campaign rally in South Carolina? Lots of African Americans are anti-semetic too, so I guess it would be cool for Barack Obama to make a campaign appearance in Louisiana with David Duke?
Cross-posted from Daily Kos.George Bush’s spiritual advisor, pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, endorsed Barack Obama today and will campaign on his behalf. Caldwell heads a ministry called METANOIA that is essentially a de-gayifying programs for youth. The hurt and damage these programs do to our children is SICK SICK SICK.When Senator Obama invited anti-gay activist Donnie McClurkin on his “Embrace the Change” gospel tour, it was painful to me as a young gay man. I warily turned the other cheek only to be slapped in the face by our potential nominee once again.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is progressive cannibalism. If the essence of Senator Obama’s much ballyhooed ‘change’ means laying down with the enemy, it is certainly not the type of change that I want to embrace.
Senator Obama may be able to win against Republicans, but is a Pyrrhic victory worth it for the Democratic party? I am looking forward to attending a GLBT fundraiser at the Hiro Ballroom in New York this coming week; Hillary is going to be there in person to fight with us.
Please note that I am aware that Senator Obama challenged African American churchgoers at the Ebenezer Baptist church to be more understanding toward the GLBT community. To me, it was nothing more than Obama promoting Obama for Obama at our expense.
“Don’t call me a bigot or anti-gay,’ he said. “Don’t call me a homophobe, because I love everybody. . Let me tell you something, the grace of God is given to all men.” ~ Donnie McClurkin
Pam Spaulding for Glenn Greenwald: Obama zapped by the third rail of black homophobia
Oct. 24, 2007 | Presidential hopeful Barack Obama and his campaign have just stepped on the third rail of black homophobia and gotten a jolt that has landed the candidate flat on his back.
His campaign is sponsoring a gospel concert series in South Carolina called “Embrace the Change Tour,” an important state in which to make headway with black voters. It features extremely popular recording artist and “former homosexual” Donnie McClurkin. The problem is that it appears that no one on Team Obama bothered to read up on the well-known homophobia of the recloseted singer, who demonizes gays and lesbians, comparing them to liars.
McClurkin explains, “There are certain things like, you know, anybody who has a lying problem; they get to the point where they hate being so, having such a lack of character that they make a change.”
And McClurkin has declared war on gays and lesbians as well:
The gloves are off and if there’s going to be a war, there’s going to be a war. But it will be a war with a purpose. I’m not in the mood to play with those who are trying to kill our children.
The subject of homophobia in the black community is something that Obama has actually touched upon in the past; it makes the current fracas perplexing. In the Tavis Smiley/PBS presidential forum earlier this year, he took the opportunity to call it out:
One of the things we’ve got to overcome is a stigma that still exists in our communities. We don’t talk about this. We don’t talk about it in schools. Sometimes we don’t talk about it in churches. It has been an aspect sometimes of our homophobia that we don’t address this issue as clearly as it needs to be.
The decision by the Obama campaign to issue a mealy-mouthed statement condemning the singer’s views — but leaving McClurkin as part of the tour — only revealed how fine a line the presidential candidate is walking between his LGBT supporters and the black religious voters he covets.
My guess is that the political cost of throwing the LGBT community on the bus was considered a fair price to pay to pick up some votes in the Palmetto State — the gamble being it would be far less likely to rise to a significant level of controversy in the mainstream media.