Cory Capron has written a thoughtful piece on bigotry and polygamy. It is well worth the read. After last night’s “debate” between supporters and opponents of the amendment, I’d like to focus on just one word: bigot
One entry found for bigot.
Main Entry: big·ot
Etymology: French, hypocrite, bigot
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
– big·ot·ed /-g&-t&d/ adjective
– big·ot·ed·ly adverb
I wish everyone could have attended the “debate” last night. Sponsored by Hampton Watch, the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha, the event featured two amendment supporters – former delegate Winsome Sears and Rev. Ray Johnson – and three opponents – state Senator Mamie Locke, 3rd district Congressman Bobby Scott, and Commonwealth Coalition Campaign Manager Claire Gastanga. (Sorry – I don’t know how to put the tilde in.) Three to two sounds unfair, except that Johnson brought his congregation with him.
I have the entire “debate” on tape and, if I find time, I’ll post it. As I sat there and listened and took notes, one word kept coming to mind: bigots. The fact that the crowd was mostly black was not lost on me. Yes, black folk can be bigots and that certainly was what was on display last night. The entire argument waged by Johnson and Sears was one of bigotry and I found it appalling. It was like a KKK rally, only the folks under the hoods were black.
Blinded by bigotry, these folks used the Bible as justification for their position. I see absolutely no differences between the claims made by these black bigots and similar claims made by white bigots to justify discrimination against blacks. Of all the groups who should just get this, it should be blacks. After all, it is not as if gays are unknown to the black church. In my home church – the one where my father was ordained in 1946, the one that I grew up in, the one that my family still attends, where my brother-in-law is a deacon and my sister a deaconness and a member of the choir – every prominent family had at least one gay member.
Blinded by bigotry, these people are unwilling to acknowledge the effects of this amendment on their own families, on their friends, on their co-workers. Blinded by bigotry, these people would rather focus on running gays out the state than worrying about things such as the breakdown of the black family, the crime in black neighborhoods, and the high unemployment.
“Protect marriage,” they say. From what? Are gays responsible for the fact that over 50% of all marriages end in divorce? Are gays responsible for the fact that non-traditional families outnumber traditional ones? Actually, believe it or not, Sears said that they were! She said that we should look to Scandinavia, where gay marriage is legal, and people over there are not getting married. Um, earth to Sears – how can you conclude that gay marriage had anything to do with that? That’s like saying babies are born out of wedlock, and black people have babies, therefore black babies are born out of wedlock! It’s absolute BS.
(Sears, by the way, has an agenda. She said something to me afterwards about these politicians not representing their voters. My sense is that she has plans to run again. I guess losing to Scott by 39 points wasn’t enough of a lesson as to who is out of step with the voters in the 3rd.)
I actually started this post early this morning and I’ve been stewing about it all day. Fortunately, I ran into Virginia Beach School board member and pastor Todd Davidson this afternoon. After chatting with him, I finally calmed down. Davidson is voting NO. Rather than me giving you his reasons for doing so, I’ve invited Rev. Davidson to write a piece for this blog and I’ll post it.