Reply to "California's Proposition 8: a Stain on Freedom's Flag."
by John Thompson
I was saddened and disturbed by Tim Barrett's "California's Proposition 8: a Stain on Freedom's Flag", and found the article problematic for several reasons.
First of all, it lacks any kind of critical analysis about the marriage-rights movement and how it is in complete opposition to any kind of radical liberationist movement.
But the most significant thing that I found problematic was the way the article actively blamed Latino and Black communities for the passage of Prop 8. This kind of racist scapegoating has been coming from the mouths of white gays, lesbians, and their "allies" for far too long. Yes, the article also blames Mormons, I recognize that. However, this article dangerously perpetuates the "us vs. them" mentality by claiming that Latinos voted for Prop 8 because of "their" religion, or by creating the binary of the "black" civil rights struggle and the "gay" civil rights struggle.
Many queer people of color, as well as critically-thinking people, understand that this binary only makes queer people of color invisible and voiceless. It also ignores the fact that past, current, and future civil rights struggles (black, gay, or others) are part of a larger movement that is interconnected, and always will be. Ultimately, Barrett's article doesn't offer any kind of critical contextual analysis to this issue.
I recommend that everyone read a piece by Alette Kendrick on the racist scapegoating surrounding Prop 8, "An Open Letter to White Gays and Lesbians at the Silverlake Prop 8 Rally".
John Thompson is a senior majoring in Cultural Studies at Columbia College in Chicago, a queer activist, and drummer in the band Everything is Ruined.