More Complications of Life?

After reading Is Gay Marriage Anti-Black by Kenyon Farrow, I just can’t help but think that all social complications would never be stopped. Despite what a sad realization it is, I am certain I am not the only one to think so.

To summarize what Kenyon Farrow writes in his article: he doesn’t support gay marriage because he think there is a racial aspect to the whole thing that makes gay marriage pretty much anti-black. He goes through different historical and social examples to back up his argument. Even though I agree to a lot of his points, I just couldn’t help thinking “Why can’t you just get over it?” I am not saying this because I want to simplify the whole matter regarding sexuality and race, but I really believe holding on to past incidences is exactly what getting people nowhere in the racial and gender debate.

Kenyon Farrow is not the only person I have read of thinking the white gay community is using the black civil rights history for their own gains without cutting the black in. Racial struggle in America has gone through such a long and harsh journey throughout history, and yet, couldn’t seem to reach the finish line. To a lot of African American, being black today doesn’t seem much different than before–still being treated as second-class citizens. However, it is very funny that black is not the only group that is claiming this! Many different groups are claiming the same thing. The same claim could be heard in the gay community, the different racial communities. Everyone demands first-class citizen treatment. So what is the problem?

The problem is, if everyone thinks as social order as a pyramid, then demanding to be on the top would mean to kick down the one that is on top. The group that has been on top, of course, wouldn’t be so happy! What should be the solution then? To take down the whole pyramid, then everyone will be at the same level. It’s so easy to say, but so hard to do. Why can people do this? Because people are trapped in their own system. They can’t escape.

Media plays such an important role in imprisoning people within the system. It doesn’t matter whether it is a political or religious system, a system is a system. A system is in the hands of a few to keep the masses in control. To keep the social order the way it is, consistent messages need to get to the masses to ensure everyone is told the same thing. These messages could be found in religious teaching, school, TV programs… It was much easier to keep people listening to the system when there wasn’t Internet. The Internet helps people to find information, share information, and get support to fight an injustice system (e.g. the Arab Spring). However, the system also knows how to use the Internet for its own gains, too. Regulations and policies are something the system use to keep control of the Internet.

The system, instead of a system “of the people, by the people,” it is a system just for a selective few. Apparently, these selective few is usually rich, white, and heterosexual. And these traits are what called “normative” in mainstream society, thus, these selective few has to keep it that way. The privileges of being “normative” are not passed out to people who don’t fit all categories. You can be rich and heterosexual, but if you not white you still can’t enjoy the privileges. Referring to my last post, America is not a color-blind society. It is and always will be a color-conscious society. Racial theme is everywhere. For example, when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is appealed, race and sexuality once again play together.


When these two videos were viral on the Net, many become suspicious of the legitimacy of the videos.
Are they a set up by the system? Because these two gay couples just so lucky that they become the poster image of the appeal. Yet, they are pretty sure not representing the gay community. Because a lot of gay couples don’t look like them. Speculation is everywhere, but no official answer, yet.

So what should be my conclusion after all? That the system is what keeps people going around and around. People are blindsided by different issues that they can’t realize that in order to stop all these injustice about race or sexuality, they need to stop, too. They need to stop being extreme in their POV. They need to stop shut down other POVs. They need to stop thinking of themselves as second-class citizens. There is a lot of things they need to stop doing. But most importantly, they need to stop looking at the past and clinging on it. Past incidences can’t represent the future. These past incidences are used as political tool to keep the people going around in a vicious cycle. For example, a white person thinks a black person is hostile so want to keep a distance. A black person being hostile because he thinks the white treated black poorly in the past, and now being distance so must be racist. Why both think like this? Because of the media, of the stereotypes, of what the society is teaching. Learning history should be about being informed, not to be prejudice! Just an example, but all I want to say is it’s all in your head. Life doesn’t need more complications. Lets move on!

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5 thoughts on “More Complications of Life?

  1. TFallonIII

    I have heard people in the black community make these arguments before, and it has always been hard for me to grasp. Farrow says “Jason West, the white mayor of New Paltz, NY, who started marrying gay couples quoted as saying, “The same people who don’t want to see gays and lesbians get married are the same people who would have made Rosa Parks go to the back of the bus.” It’s these comparisons that piss Black people off. While the anger of Black heteros is sometimes expressed in ways that are in fact homophobic, the truth of the matter is that Black folks are tired of seeing other people hijack their shit for their own gains, and getting nothing in return.”

    I don’t understand that thought process. I realize that homosexuals did not have the same struggles as blacks, but homosexual and black rights are both still civil rights issues. You would think that blacks more than anyone would have more compassion for the struggle homosexuals are going through. I know the situations are different because people can conceal their sexuality while one cannot conceal their race, but at the same time, both groups were/are fighting for similar equalities.

    I agree that we should “take down the pyramid.” It’s ridiculous to be fighting for the top spot. Everyone should be fighting for equality. It would be smarter for repressed groups to work together for all causes instead of all trying to claim the top spot. I don’t know if it is because of the system though. I think people have a tendency to be selfish and only focus on their own issues instead of recognizing the struggle of others.

    Reply
  2. scrowe1

    Ah yes, the classic social pyramid structure. We learned about it in history class when we talked about the ancient Egyptian culture, and a rather ruthless one at that. But back to the bigger picture, which is, do we keep it or let it go? I believe when it comes to the issue of equality, it would be terribly wrong to exclude others in a country that prides itself on fairness and freedom. The word “freedom” isn’t whole without equality, right? But, we have to define what we call equality. That everyone should make the same amount of money and live in the same size homes? Not exactly. There exist plenty of people who refuse to put forth effort regardless of race, income, or class, yet expect to be looked at as “upper crust.” It doesn’t happen like that.

    Hard work, if it doesn’t earn you money, must earn you respect, acknowledgment of your sacrifices. I have no authority and obviously don’t have the understanding of the complex laws that govern societal structures, most of us don’t. But I do believe that hard work and dedication regardless of societal standings should be seen in a better light than it is right now. There are so many complications to the societal pyramid, complex sub-structures that exists for one reason or another.

    Ken Farrow’s article on gay marriage being anti-black was controversial in my mind. I had not previously heard of this cultural issue within the black community (but that doesn’t mean it does not exist). As for his inability to acknowledge gay marriage, I don’t really understand why? This suddenly makes me curious as to the existence of other homosexuals possibly against gay marriage. What is their reasoning? I just think it would be an interesting subculture (if you can call it that) to learn about.

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  3. tkoptfitness

    Kenyon Farrow’s article, “Is Gay Marriage Anti-Black?” provides an controversial look into the divide between homosexual and black culture. The major issue being, that for the most part, black people do not see gay rights as a civil rights issue. Furthermore, the majority of African-Americans don’t find common ground with homosexuality. One of the major issues I have with Farrow’s writings are his insistence on blaming, “Right-wing Christian” groups for driving a wedge between the two communities.

    I completely understand African-American’s disagreements with the gay community, on the subject of civil rights similarities. Black people were heavily discriminated against by their own country men, for a very long period of time. The reasoning behind black people’s disagreement with the homosexual community, is in the nature of their plight. Many African-Americans see homosexuality as a choice, not genetic.

    Kenyon goes as far as chiding right-wing Christians as being “anti-black” and promoting their own agenda. I see this as discrimination against these groups, and I am more than certain that my black friends raised in “right-wing churches” would either laugh or take major offense to Farrow’s presumptions. Are there churches that contribute to an anti-black agenda? Absolutely. One would be ignorant to assume that racism doesn’t exist in even the most “hallowed” of sanctuaries. That shouldn’t allow one to generalize an entire group as being anti-black. There are many issues with Christian belief systems and homosexuality. I will not dig into this, as this is not the point of the post.

    I agree that the media has a subliminal hold on much of society, and imprisons some. I believe that those imprisoned are unwilling to think for themselves, and dig into the issues on a deeper level. If this is what really controls much of the black community, then I would challenge those controlled to think outside what the media tells you. Misappropriation and misguidance, are propagandist abuse mechanisms that are used in every society.

    Do I believe that a point of view change is necessary? Yes. Unfortunately, past incidents often do affect the future. Racial inequality has always existed, and I’m not quite sure the black community will ever fully forgive white people. Maintaining a strong viewpoint is not a weakness. Instead, it should be seen as a strength. The ability to create revolutionary change is sometimes what it takes to coexist. Revolution doesn’t come at the hands of those who are passive. However, a point of view can not and should not, be forced down someone’s throat. The black community has the explicit right to disagree with gay’s attempts to share their civil rights issues. While many will disagree with this, a shift in attitude can’t be dictated.

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  4. Kim A. Knight

    I think we maybe covered this briefly in class but one of the reasons that I have heard from people within the LGBTQ community against gay marriage is I think partially reacting to the ways in which traditional heterosexual marriage can end up in fairly rigid roles and a division of labor in which one partner is subordinated. In addition, an emphasis on marriage suggests (in theory) that lifelong monogamy continues to be positioned at the center of a system in which anything different is pathologized.

    Reply
  5. Kenyon Farrow

    I’m glad to see this discussion of the my article here. Here are some other pieces I’ve written on same-sex marriage if you’re interested in reading some newer stuff…
    http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/05/north_carolina_amendment_1.html

    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4546 (radio interview)

    http://www.alternet.org/story/151444/gay_marriage_in_new_york%3A_progressive_victory_or_gop_roadmap

    http://sfonline.barnard.edu/a-new-queer-agenda/afterword-a-future-beyond-equality/

    http://thefeministwire.com/2012/04/anti-gay-marriage-groups-black-strategy-has-long-history/

    Reply

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