29 October 2007

Sorry, Obama is Engaging in Dog Whistle Politics Against Gays to Secure the Conservative Evangelical Black Vote

It turns out that not only did Donnie McClurkin sing, but he also unleashed an "I'm a former gay tirade in the last half hour of his set. CNN has reported it, saying that McClurkin said that, "he has been 'vilified' and declaring that 'God delivered me from homosexuality.'"

As to the white gay preacher that they included, they buried him:
Sidden is the white, gay pastor added to the concert bill as a last minute compromise by the Obama campaign. Sidden's appearance was notably brief and anti-climactic: He said a short prayer to the auditorium at the very beginning of the program, when the arena was only about half full, and then he left.
The New York times subtly suggests that this was dog whistle politics, i.e. that he was trying to tell the largely socially conservative audience that he was uncomfortable with gays without alerting anyone else:
Still, canceling Mr. McClurkin’s appearance might have created more problems. Mr. McClurkin’s support for Mr. Obama could signal to some black evangelical voters that race and religion are more important than Mr. Obama’s support for gay rights.

The campaign has tried to turn the situation into a demonstration of the candidate’s big-tent acceptance. It did bring together some supporters from the gay community and the black religious community who wrote a joint letter a few days ago saying that Mr. McClurkin’s statements had been “deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans, most especially gay Americans.”

At the same time, it said, “a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin’s beliefs” and “their religion prevents them from fully embracing their gay brothers and sisters.” It lauded Mr. Obama “who speaks truth in love to both sides.”
I would agree. The Obama Campaign's response is nearly identical to that of creationists, and the ACLU arguing for the right of Nazis to march in Skokie.

The ACLU was right, but they were talking about demonstrations, not literally on a campaign's stage.

As Matt Stoller so eloquently put it, Progressive Campaigns to Do Not Gay Bash.

I'm probably not as angry as John Aravosis about this, after all, I'm straight*, but I am convinced that this was deliberate, and sophisticated message of bigotry to the Socially conservative black Evangelicals in South Carolina.

*Or maybe I haven't met Mr. Right...Whatever.


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