The Oppressed Become the Oppressors?

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It’s an issue which is opening up into a larger debate about race and sexual orientation in the US in general and California in particular:

The high turnout of Latino and African-American voters for Barack Obama in California had an effect on the vote for a ban on same-sex marriages.

Exit poll data found that seven in 10 black voters and more than 50% of Latino voters backed Proposition 8 on Tuesday.

It’s been a near-universal refrain since even before election day – that the No on Prop 8 campaign had failed to engage with or even acknowledge racial/religious concerns about same-sex marriage and paid a heavy price:

The Rev Amos Brown of the Third Baptist Church congregation in San Francisco told the Boston Herald:

“I think, to be quite candid, some people feel white gay and lesbian people have not been with them on the issue of race.

“So (African-Americans) said, ’Why should we be concerned about them when they were not concerned about us?’”

Exactly the point which Jon Stewart so bluntly made – at the arrival of the first black president, the oppressed became the oppressors. Except Raymond Leon Roker says that’s far from a credible analysis of what the figures show:

According to the exit polling, there’s enough blame to go around. Don’t forget the 49 percent of Asians who voted for Prop 8. And the 53 percent of Latinos who fell in line for it too. And then there is the white vote in support of 8. Slightly under 50% percent of them, a group representing 63% of California voters, voted “Yes” on 8. Last I checked blacks held little sway over all of those groups.

It’s a good point – 50% or so of the largest ethnic group of course holds more sway in a referendum than 70% of an ethnic minority, and Shakikka at the Daily Kos goes further, disproving the argument by looking at population totals, and then breaking down the results by gender, and ethnicity. Not only was the CNN exit polling fundamentally flawed, but she proves that even if their numbers were right, that black voters could still not have had the effect ascribed to them over Prop 8. Hint: whichever way you look at it, the gay community and No On 8 campaign need to identify who their potential future friends might be, were they to set their sights on overcoming the mainly religious wedge issues which the LDS Church used so effectively to get Prop 8 to pass. This applies to all ethnic groups.


2 responses to “The Oppressed Become the Oppressors?

  1. Why my huffPo post has 900 comments and this has none is part of the problem. You assembled a sensible argument from the data (and emotion) that is swirling around. Thank you. And down with Prop 8.

  2. Pingback: Gays Should Protest Black People « Cosmodaddy

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