Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Obama and Bigotry

I am actually fairly shocked that Obama's supporters are standing by his decision to remain on stage and campaign with someone who declared that homosexuality is a curse and should be cured.

Aria even called it a 'hullabaloo.' Honestly? A hullabaloo? Standing on stage with a bigot is not a hullabaloo - it's offensive hypocrisy, particularly when you claim to be the candidate of change, of HOPE. It is irrelevant that Bill Clinton did the same thing in 1992 - it was wrong then and it was wrong now. How can a presidential candidate who claims to come from the mold of MLK and RFK stand on stage with someone who curses 10% of the population? Someone who spews hate and is a proponent of 'conversion therapy' - pseudoscientific babble condemned by every reputable doctor and responsible for thousands of teenage suicides.

That's exactly what it comes down to - this cursed Reverend supports a policy that is not only scientifically unsound but is also responsible for thousands of teenage suicides and cutters and the like. The fact that he added a gay pastor is entirely irrelevant - just because you have a token queer with you onstage doesn't mean the bigot's hate is undone. The bigot YOU'RE standing next to. Also, let's get one thing clear - the gay preacher was added after this Reverend's horrendous views came to light.

Obama's campaign might have made a mistake to initially campaign with him - I'd understand if that were the case HOWEVER, they issued a statement condemning the hateful reverend...but are still campaigning with him. Is that leadership? Saying you don't like what a bigot says but nonetheless using him for votes? This situation is vile - and I think the opening paragraph of the Human Rights Campaign's response sums it up nicely:

“I spoke with Sen. Barack Obama today and expressed to him our community’s disappointment for his decision to continue to remain associated with Rev. McClurkin, an anti-gay preacher who states the need to ‘break the curse of homosexuality.’ There is no gospel in Donnie McClurkin’s message for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. That’s a message that certainly doesn’t belong on any Presidential candidate’s stage.”

And yet that's where it remains. This honestly hurts me on such an intense level that it's difficult to describe to those who've never been ostracized for being gay. Like, it's a gut feeling - something that almost brings tears to my eyes.

And yet, it's 2007. Disgusting.


Pooya said...

Kyle, this is political campaigning. Sometimes you have to campaign with people you don't like. I remember that way earlier in the campaign, John Edwards had some anti-Catholic bloggers in his campaign.Do you think Edwards hates Catholics? Bill Clinton campaigned with the same guy Obama did. Everyone gladly accepts supporters.

Campaigns are large and sometimes the people supporting you view have views that you do not. Do you think McCain agrees with Bob Jones University? No. But he went there.

Kyle said...

"Kyle, this is political campaigning. Sometimes you have to campaign with people you don't like."

If we're going to 'turn the page' on political campaigning as usual, we should spurn the bigots, not campaign with them. It's not about like or dislike - I dislike asparagus but am not against standing on a stage in front of thousands of people with a nice healthy batch. Someone who is a clear racist though, or a sexist, or a homophobe, I think we can all agree for the most part that we should not seek their support.

"Do you think Edwards hates Catholics.."

I never said Obama agreed with the reverend's views. In fact, I am quite certain he believes the opposite. The point is that he is getting on stage with someone who is a clear bigot.

By the way, I suggest you take up the anti-Catholic blogger thing with Bruinkid - he has some strong feelings on the topic.

Anonymous said...

Why do you attack Obama, but not all the other Democrats who court African-American minister who share McClurkin's views?

For more see this article:

BruinKid said...

Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan are NOT "anti-Catholic". This was a vicious smear started by the radical right-winger William Donohue, head of the equally right-wing Catholic League.

McEwan asked that religious conservatives stop imposing their beliefs onto women's reproductive and sexual rights. Marcotte made a snarky comment about the Catholics' opposition to contraception forcing women to "bear more tithing Catholics". To imply these things make them "anti-Catholic" is quite a stretch, and by repeating it, you are doing nothing but perpetuating Donohue's ugly attacks.

And when Democrats unwittingly repeat GOP talking points, we all lose.