Cardboard Castles and Other Amenities...

I am really interested in using different forms of cultural action to help build better communities. Communities are a vital social model, allowing us to tackle problems beyond the ability of individuals with the focus of a defined (usually relatively small) group of people. How do the arts and cultural work in general help communities grow more sustainable futures? If you have a cool website or project or your own ideas on these subjects please let me know.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Gay is Not the New Black, Why the LGBT Movement Needs to Get Off its Racist Asses and Deal with Race

This is a really excellent article about how LBGT racism is hurting our organizing efforts. Mostly dealing with the fallow-out around prop.8, the article takes the critique beyond the racist backlash of LGBT commentators fallowing the November or the failure of No on Prop.8 to reach out to communities of color. The analyzes the structural racism in our community and how it is crippling our organizing efforts and dividing our community.

I found it on the Facebook page Gay is Not the New Black.

Two choice nuggets:

"But Kate Kendall, (of) the National Center on Lesbian Rights,... “The reason [the Black community] was an easy target (around,” she bluntly explains, “is that there continues to exist among many white LGBT folks outright racism or at least a relentless otherness when it comes to people of color.” (P.2)"


“Lawrence Ellis is among the LGBT organizers of color who saw the failure Kendall describes up close. He says that as he watched the campaign unfold from his perch in the Bay Area’s grassroots, he got mad: “The thought came into my head, ‘I don’t want to be a part of the world they are creating.’ ” So he took off work and began building connections among the small gay and lesbian organizations already active in Black, Latino, Asian and Native-American communities. They looked at data showing Blacks and Latinos to be a trouble spot and rounded up big names, including people like Huerta, to speak out in ads.

When the campaign declined to air those ads, they turned their attention to doing get-out-the-vote work in their communities. “With two days notice, we got hundreds of volunteers,” says Ellis, suggesting what would have been possible had the No on 8 campaign resources been better used. “Any campaign has to make strategic choices, but not building a true coalition, where you get to leverage existing networks—that is a fatal flaw.” (P.4)”

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