February 19, 2004
How Blacks Became White
Minorities in the U.S. have been pitted against each other for ever since this place was colonized. Read Howard Zinn, he’ll preach it to you. Talk about how the Irish became white. Or how Jewish folks became white. There’s just a long tradition of one minority group, usually blacks, being set against another minority group, with the victor winning higher social regard, more rights, etc.
It’s happening again, and this time, it’s gays and blacks.
Read Franklin Foer’s article in The Atlantic Monthly about one of the chief architects of the anti-gay-marriage movement, an Irish-American who grew up in black churches and realizes the value of not allowing this fight to be painted as a simple oppressor-oppressed divide.
Daniels’s savvy was also evident in his launching of the FMA. He had made the case for his amendment to leading social conservatives, but he hadn’t tried to enlist them as his main allies, because of their polarizing language and stance. (“The traditional social-conservative movement harkens back to an era of white Protestant cultural hegemony,” he told me.) And because he knew that gay-rights activists would cast marriage as a civil right and evoke the African-American struggle, he had devised a strategy to pre-empt this line of argument: he chose African-Americans, including the Boston minister Ray Hammond and the civil-rights veteran Walter Fauntroy, to be his spokesmen.
It’s remarkable how brazen this guy is about it, though. Take a look at his Alliance for Marriage home page, a.k.a. “Happy Black Heterosexuals for Christ.” Click around for a while. Or, if you’re lazy, I’ll just link to every image besides the logo I can find on the website in the extended entry.
Update (7/22/05): This part of the post no longer makes sense since the AFM redesigned their page. I’m using the Internet Archive’s version of the page from five days after this post to reconstruct what it looked like around this time.
Front page (the Internet Archive lacks the exact image used, but using the given caption and looking elsewhere on the AFM site, I found this replacement, which my memory tells me is at least very similar to the image used):
Sorry, no pics. The prez is white. Can’t have that.
Board of advisors (note that the people depicted aren’t actually on the board of advisors, this is a stock photo intended only to evoke happy black and white heterosexuals united against the scourge of gayness):