NOM, Obama, and Race

Obama NOM

The National Organization for Marriage blog makes a lot of posts; sometimes up to five a day. But if you start going back through them from now (June 5) to mid-may, you notice something…odd. I’m not going to talk about gay marriage here; that’s not relevant right now. But here’s a list of titles of selected blog posts NOM has made:

June 5 – Black Pastors Demand Meeting with Obama Over Gay Marriage
June 4 – Boston Herald: Many Black Pastors Remain Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage
June 1 – Black Minnesota Pastor Who Flipped on Marriage Now Risks Losing His Church
May 31 – Video: Black Church Leaders Say Gay Marriage Not a Civil Right
May 31 – Video: Black Church & Civil Rights Leaders Convene Press Conference Opposing President on Gay Marriage
May 24 – An Open Letter from a Black Pastor to Pres. Obama on Same-Sex Marriage
May 23 – Florida Sun Sentinel: “Many Black Voters Unhappy with Obama Over Same-Sex Marriage”
May 23 – Round-Up: Even More Black Pastors Speak Out Against Obama’s Marriage Switch
May 22 – Video: African American Pastors and Civil Rights Ministers Condemn President Obama on Marriage
May 22 – Star Parker: Obama’s SSM Support Forces Black Churches To Choose Priorities
May 22 – Christian Post: African-American Pastors Call on Obama to Reconsider Gay Marriage Stance
May 21 – BET Opines Against Coalition of African Americans Pastors
May 21 – Rev. Owens and Other Black Pastors Condemn Obama’s Gay Marriage Support
May 18 – OneNewsNow: Black Clergy Challenge Obama on Gay Marriage
May 18 – AP: Memphis Black Pastors Condemn Obama’s Gay Marriage Support

Here’s the million dollar question: why is it relevant that the people mentioned in these articles are black? The answer is: it’s not. So why is NOM drawing attention to the race of these people? Why not just have headlines that read “Pastors Demand Meeting with Obama Over Gay Marriage”, or “Minnesota Pastor Who Flipped on Marriage Now Risks Losing His Church”? Many of these articles also mention president Obama, who is also black, and this makes race relevant…right? Wrong. There’s no reason to mention that some people who disagree with Obama on same-sex marriage are the same race as him. Plus, he’s half black, and half white. So why doesn’t NOM also publish articles titled “White pastor objects to Obama’s Same-Sex Marriage Stance”?

I’m not going to draw any conclusions from this, although I hope the reason isn’t what I think it is; rather, I’m going to post a link to this article on the NOM blog and let them explain why they keep mentioning race – that is, if they even let the comment go up. Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher are welcome to explain their tactics.

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9 responses to “NOM, Obama, and Race”

  1. Amend 14 says :

    I submitted the below on NOM Blog. No surprise it wasn’t posted. Must be the word “wedge”.

    Great point Robert. NOM’s nasty race-baiting “drive a wedge” strategy was exposed for all to see in embarrassing detail. Clearly they haven’t learned their lesson. NOM’s still trying to create the fiction that LGBT citizens seeking civil rights (and correctly using that term) is somehow a form of anti-African American bigotry. It’s bogus. That’s why the NAACP called NOM “underhanded”.

  2. Pat says :

    I like how they got exposed trying to do that, claimed they never had the power (as though that made the attempt acceptable), and then continued trying to do that with a hint of shame.

    Race may actually be relevant in some of those–it’s hard to say “BET Opines Against Coalition of African Americans Pastors” without mentioning BET or CAAP–but then even when it is, it’s at least partially because *they* are trying to make it so.

  3. Gio says :

    Their references to race *could be* an attempt to counterbalance the claim that gay marriage movement is the logical/political/ethical follow-up of the civil rights movement.

    I don’t think this justifies their race references academically or morally and think both sides of the gay marriage debate should avoid CR movement comparisons/references altogether, but this is simply another possible source for their use of these terms.

  4. melanc says :

    Nah. You are “not drawing a conclusion’?
    At the same time, you wrote: ‘The answer is: it’s not.’

    But, for your information: Not all Blacks are black, some are brown, some are almost purple, and therefore they do not constitute a ‘race’. They constitute a minority. Same as Hispanics constitute a minority, and they are not all from Spain, mind you.

    The Black minority has chosen the capitalized proper noun “Black’ to refer to their subculture which descended from slavery in USA soil. Obama does not descend from slavery, and plus he is as much racially ‘white’ as he is ‘black’. He is 50% 50% and his ‘black’ genes come from Africa, according to his autobiography. Of course, there’s more than meets the eye, there, if you know what i mean.

    OK, so you don’t want to hear about it. But your argument doesn’t reflect reality. Certainly most Blacks in the USA (and they use that word to refer to their group and to themselves, regardless of genetics/race) have been voting Democrat (for Obama). This is changing, and that is why NOMblog refers to members of this minority by their own adopted proper noun ‘Black’.

    There is absolutely no racial slur in using a term people adopt for themselves over and over.

    ‘Black’ refers to a minority, not to a race. African-Americans are a mixture of races, nowadays, but they still consider themselves a minority. Well, some of them are changing their mind about Obama, including figuring out he doesn’t have the ‘Black Experience’, if you know what i mean. He is not a descendant of a slave in US soil.

    Also, headlines very often default to using short words, like ‘Black’. It is standard, non-racist, practice. The title of you post begs the question. Race is not the issue, nor can it be. So, racism cannot be even hinted at. Voting minorities is the issue in all those NOMblog post you refer to. And believe me, Blacks have learned to vote! That is exactly what i think bother you.

    What race are you?

    • Robert says :

      Nah. You are “not drawing a conclusion’?
      At the same time, you wrote: ‘The answer is: it’s not.’

      The thing that I wasn’t drawing a conclusion from is the fact that NOM is shining a light on an irrelevant characteristic of those against Obama. The conclusion I wasn’t drawing is why they think it’s relevant.

      But, for your information: Not all Blacks are black, some are brown, some are almost purple, and therefore they do not constitute a ‘race’.

      The term “black” isn’t meant to be taken literally. Not only are not all blacks purely “black” (see: http://www.computerhope.com/cgi-bin/htmlcolor.pl?c=000000), none of them are. And no whites are white.

      The Black minority has chosen the capitalized proper noun “Black’ to refer to their subculture which descended from slavery in USA soil.

      That’s not how colloquialisms work. They’re not chosen, they seep into our language over time. And the term most certainly does not only refer to those who are descended from slaves, but anyone with sufficiently dark skin.

      Obama does not descend from slavery, and plus he is as much racially ‘white’ as he is ‘black’. He is 50% 50% and his ‘black’ genes come from Africa, according to his autobiography.

      I already said that he’s half white and half black. I’m well aware of this.

      Of course, there’s more than meets the eye, there, if you know what i mean.

      I do not.

      Certainly most Blacks in the USA (and they use that word to refer to their group and to themselves, regardless of genetics/race) have been voting Democrat (for Obama).

      Regardless of genetics? What happened to your previous statement about “Black” referring only to those descended from slaves? And what about all the white, indian, asian, etc. people who voted for Obama? You’re right about one thing though – race is a cultural phenomenom, not a genetic one. And the “black” race includes those who have sufficiently dark skin and who are of unbroken African descent.

      There is absolutely no racial slur in using a term people adopt for themselves over and over.

      I never said there was, nor do I think there is.

      The title of you post begs the question. Race is not the issue, nor can it be.

      I agree that race is not the issue. So why does NOM think it is? Also, you misunderstand what begging the question is. My title, “NOM, Obama, and Race” cannot beg the question, because it’s not even a proposition. It’s a sentence fragment. It doesn’t have a truth value.

      And believe me, Blacks have learned to vote! That is exactly what i think bother you.

      Why in the world would you think that bothers me?

      What race are you?

      I am white. This is not relevant to anything I said, though. My points stand on their own merit.

      • melanc says :

        “White” is a race? it is not.

        It is all about colloquialisms?

        Race is a cultural phenomenom, not a genetic one?

        Anyone with sufficiently dark skin?

        …And who decides who is ‘dark enough’? You?

        If it is all about colloquialisms, then there’s no problem with NOMblog’s use of the term ‘Black’ to refer to a minority – a term the minority appropriated for themselves. You want to make it a case of racism, but you cannot. Because, as you say: ‘That’s not how colloquialisms work’. (So you are giving an English lesson, here.)

        Your title “NOM, Obama, and Race” ties all those words together. There is no race or racial element in NOMblog, but there is such in Obama’s racial bias.

        Race is a genetic concept, based on RNA analysis. It is a scientific term, not a philosophical one. Black indeed is a term adopted by a minority, chosen by them. It is really senseless to discuss a matter with someone who believes only he can define the meaning of words.

        If there is such a concept of race, there is also a concept of race mixtures.

        Political advocates are not measuring race genetically to decide who is and who is not Black, and therefore the term has to do with minorities who adopt a certain name for their group, sharing certain viewpoints and generally certain physical characteristics.

        Yet, it would be racist to vote for Obama solely because he looks more Black than White. It is all about appearances.

        And what would be: ‘broken African descent’? You are arguing there is no political difference between a descendant of slavery in the US, and anyone who has dark skin (you mean ‘dark enough’). Are Australian aborigines Black enough? Or, only if they passed through Africa?

        … dark enough… white enough…

        What ‘merit’ do your points stand on? Or do you mean ‘merit’ enough?

        Anyway, NOM will be criticized for something or another. You can only convince those who are already convinced.

        There’s no progress in this.

      • Robert says :

        “White” is a race? it is not.

        You’re welcome to provide a complete list of races so that I can properly classify myself.

        If it is all about colloquialisms, then there’s no problem with NOMblog’s use of the term ‘Black’ to refer to a minority

        I never said that the problem was that NOM was using the word “black”. I said that the problem was that they were mentioning the concept at all when it isn’t relevant to the point.

        You want to make it a case of racism, but you cannot.

        I already said that’s not what I’m doing. Why must I repeat myself?

        Race is a genetic concept, based on RNA analysis. It is a scientific term, not a philosophical one.

        No it’s not. See this for more details: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teyvcs2S4mI

        Have a nice day.

  5. melanc says :

    You use the word ‘Race’ in your blog, when it is not relevant to the point. The word ‘Black’ is indeed relevant to NOMblog’s posts because Black refers to a voting USA minority (not a minorty in Africa) – the voting minority that gave Democrat Obama an election win to the Presidency.

    Is the moderator biased here?

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