Civil Rights, Gay Rights: Is Gay Really The New Black?

New Black
Daily News columnist, John McWhorter, recently wrote a piece claiming, “Gay Really is the New Black.”In it, he points to the black community as having a unique responsibility to help our LGBT brothers and sisters fight for equality. He says,

“As a consequence of its painful heritage, black America has a special responsibility: to be further ahead of the curve than whites on accepting gay people as full citizens.”

Many in our community grit their teeth at comparisons between the LGBT rights movement and the Civil Rights one. It’s a comparison that is regularly debated with equal amounts of passion from both sides. McWhorter’s claim that the African-American community has a responsibility to be instantly more progressive than whites adds an interesting (but not so) new layer to the discussion. It raises many questions about how we as a community are expected to process our oppression and it’s long lasting effects.


One thought on “Civil Rights, Gay Rights: Is Gay Really The New Black?

  1. AdamD

    While both blacks and gays are marginalized in our society in this nation, the basis behind the social stigma for each is mostly different. The push against LBGTQ rights is mostly being directed by people who don’t hate LGBTQ individuals but there religious beliefs dictate them a duty to prevent things God wouldn’t like, based on a book of contradicting stories. The push against true civil rights and for white privilege has been mostly based on the feelings of hate or of an irrational fear.
    LGBTQ community members also have a very different history and legacy of oppression than black community members. The LGBTQ community members don’t have a history of slavery, while black community members have a history of being targeted over their skin or accent rather than their sexuality. If I were to make a comparison between being black and being gay, they both have something uniquely in common, they both have history and also in the present that has seen too much violent oppression and laws that are and were against their rights.


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