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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Obama/McClurkin: what's next?

I have had John Aravosis's AMERICABlog in my favorites bar for years now. I've followed John's take on the McClurkin story including his breakdown of the Obama press release and his latest blog offering...anti-Obama t-shirts.

I can't object to John arguing against Obama's choice of McClurkin or McClurkin's views. Further, it's John's right to sell whatever T-shirts he'd like. Senator Obama's a public figure...calling him a "bigot"...well, we can call that free speech.

I do think it's a fair question to ask John, however, what's next?

John, you've led this campaign highlighting McClurkin's views and, for a variety of reasons, it has became the story of the blogs for this week and even got the national press talking. Where are you going to take it from here?

Is it enough that a wave of anti-Obama rhetoric has swept the web? Was that what you were after? Or were you looking for something more....say, engagement, policy debate, coalition-building between Blacks and gays? What kind of response and challenges can we look forward to from you regarding the other Democratic presidential candidates? What is AMERICAblog doing to bring Democrats of every skin color who are sympathetic to McClurkin, who perhaps even share his mindset, into engagement and a reasoned exchange of views?

John, I look forward to reading about your outreach efforts in the days and weeks to come!

In the meantime, I am sure I'm not the only AMERICAblog reader here in Oakland who has called my Assemblyperson, Sandre Swanson, co-author of the Leno Amendment in favor of gender-neutral marriage, AB43, my Representative, Barbara Lee, supporter of the Baldwin Amendment restoring workplace protection of Transgendered persons into HR 3685 and my Mayor, Ron Dellums, who was one of 67 votes against DOMA in 1996, to express my support of marriage equality and the full equal workplace protections that all of us progressives endorse.

John, you're encouraging your readers to do just that, right? To reach out? To interact? I mean, you wouldn't be comfortable leaving the impression that you think our elected African-American leaders were bigots, John...or would you?



  • McClurkin does not belong on the campaign stage of a progressive Democratic presidential candidate unless he is willing to say that full equality is justice, & he concedes the necessity of this justice. McClurkin's message is that homosexuality is a sinful condition & that he has been delivered from its sinfulness. The form of his personal deliverance is something of a mystery - one suspects is it self-imposed celibacy. This is not justice. There can be no transcendent or utopian reconciliation on human rights via this belief,& if Obama thinks there can, he is totally wrong. If Donnie is political, his politics are suited to Republicans.

    By Blogger Bob, at 7:18 PM  

  • Bob,

    You didn't answer the question.

    What's next?

    Are you going to hold Edwards and Clinton and Dodd to the exact same standard vis a vis their campaign stage?

    Do you approve of the "Bigots for Obama" t-shirts?

    I called my reps and Mayor...all three African-American...to argue for marriage equality and the full ENDA and found that they all had powerful gay rights positions.

    That's the point.

    Do I think that there are significant numbers of Democratic voters of all ethnicities who have views that would be more akin to McClurkin's than Aravosis's?


    The point is what we do given that...and how we conduct ourselves to build our coalition.

    So, my question is, what's next?

    "Bigots for Obama" t-shirts are worse than a bad idea.

    I think they betray bad judgment on John's part.

    By Blogger kid oakland, at 10:48 PM  

  • I long ago deleted my bookmark for AmericaBlog. John is...well, John is a Republican operative if you must know.

    Proof in his own person that being gay, like being black or a woman, means absolutely nothing when it comes to who you really are politically.

    Good thing about this is that it's another nail in the coffin of identity politics.

    By Blogger A.Citizen, at 9:22 PM  

  • Heartfelt thanks for this oh so important post kid oakland! Hope with all my heart it gets picked up and widely disseminated. If I can figure it out I'll see if the DigIt site is friendly to a high recommend.

    By Anonymous newspaperbrat, at 9:43 PM  

  • Why aren't you blogging here, man???

    What I find interesting is that here were are, almost two months later, the event has past and John, as usual, has dropped the ball. The outrage, the moral indignation and all those words that twist upon themselves just lay there on the floor. This is why thinking people don't take John's little crusades seriously.

    There's always the shouting, the teeth gnashing as if the incident is personally directed at him. The petulant, "I'll show you!", rouse up the gang, let's go get some bullies and then the school yard taunts and empty threats and increasingly lame and cheap publicity stunts...

    Then nothing changes. Nothing will change. It doesn't suit John to have people focused on actually doing something. He needs them angry and offended, unless it suits his needs.

    By Blogger faboo, at 8:15 AM  

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