While we’re on the subject of Martin Luther King, we’d like to point you to an article by our old friend, sappho-journo Jasmyne Cannick.
In said article, Cannick uses King’s his 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to scold black leaderes for their Tim Hardaway-related silence.
Cannick insists that black leaders’ muteness only proves that they’re just as complicit in homophobic oppression as their white predecessors. By eschewing the inflammatory issue, black leaders are derailing King’s dream and creating a nightmare for queer blacks.
I often feel that the biggest hindrance to Blacks is not the white conservative right but the people that look like us that are too afraid to disrupt the order of things to do any real meaningful work towards my civil rights as a lesbian… [These] Black leaders aren’t willing to rock the boat in the fight for equality and would rather settle for being good Negroes assuring people like me that it will come one day, not today, but one day.
It seems to us that she’s got a point on this one. She’s right when she says that America’s most prominent leaders have yet to come out against Hardaway – something they certainly would have done had it been a white player talking about black people (remember Michael Richards?). Where are those typically reliable media whores, the honorable Reverends, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?
Maybe they’re on vacation or maybe, as Cannick seems to think, they just don’t care. Either way, we hear them loud and clear. And so does Cannick:
…The silence from the Black leadership hurts even more. Because from that silence, I was told very loudly that my life as a lesbian has no meaning to them and that it is morally just to hate gays, even if I am Black. Just don’t go on a tirade in a comedy club about hating Blacks because then we’re coming for you.
Sounds to us like she means business.