Friday, May 11, 2012

African Americans are evolving right along with the rest of the country

I really do get tired of this old trope about African Americans being the one's who aren't supportive of gay rights. I'm pretty sure it was my friend Robinswing who gave me the best comeback line on that one.
People who think African Americans don't support gays haven't met many of our church choir directors.

But the truth is, African Americans are evolving right along with the rest of us on this issue. Here's a statistic that might surprise those who peddle the myth that they're not.
The most recent Pew poll taken this past April showed only 47 percent of African Americans oppose gay marriage today, nearly 20 percentage points lower than in 2008.
That change is happening for the same reason its happening to the rest of the country. Here's 67 year-old Lamont Jacob's story about that.
“My grandson is gay and of course me and my wife love him to death, but it was hard to accept at first,’’ says the Long Beach, Calif., native, while getting his hair cut in South Central Los Angeles. “I didn’t understand why he wanted to be with or marry another man. I just didn’t. I told him that wasn’t a real marriage. But over time, my wife and I learned to accept it and be at peace with it. Who are we to deny him happiness? President Obama just came to that same decision, and I respect him for it.’’
But here's the really cool story. Rather than African Americans abandoning their support for President Obama over this, perhaps he just made a contribution to their evolution.
Annie May Johnson grew up next to the tobacco field her parents worked in Lillington, North Carolina. At 75 years old, Johnson long held the belief that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman, no matter the times. That’s what her parents taught her years ago, and it’s what the good Rev. Mosley preached each Sunday morning at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church during her childhood.

Johnson never believed her view on the issue would waver. But that all changed on Wednesday, when President Obama announced publicly that he was in favor of same-sex marriage, a change from his 2008 campaign stand. Saying his beliefs had evolved from his support of civil unions instead of same-sex marriages, Obama sent ripples through the country and caused Annie May Johnson to take a second look at an issue she thought she’d decided on long ago.

“I always saw marriage as a man and a woman being together for a lifetime,’’ says Johnson, on the phone from her North Carolina home. “That’s all I ever saw growing up, and that is all my parents saw in their day. But when Obama said he now was in favor of it, I thought maybe I’ve been too pigheaded about this thing for too long.’’
That story totally made my day! So thanks Ms. Johnson and President Obama. Is this a great country or what?


  1. Two months ago, I had a terrible argument with my elderly (85) Aunt. She is very religious, and was adamantly opposed to marriage equality. I argued that Jesus Christ didn't say anything about homosexuality. She argued Leviticus, blah blah blah. It turned into a screaming match about religion and intolerance, which ended in my hanging up on her, after screaming that Christianity wasn't the only religion. We did not talk for 2 weeks.

    Even though we began speaking again, neither of us mentioned the argument, and there were no apologies on either side. It was an unspoken agreement to put aside the harsh incident.

    We usually talk about politics, especially President Obama. After he announced his support of Marriage Equality, I did not mention it to her.

    Today, she mentioned it to me. She said she recognized that the President was expressing his personal feelings, and she understood and respected him. She also said she had every intention of voting for him. We talked a bit more about the fact that you don't have to agree with every policy or belief of the person you think is the best candidate.

    Nothin' but net.

    We are both African Americans. Pundits who believe AA will turn away from President Obama are delusional. We love this man more than you can ever know. I could not be more proud of him as a President and a man.


    1. What an absolutely fabulous story laughingzebra! Thanks so much.

  2. I missed this one somehow, even though you're on my roll! Fortunately Infidel753 provided a link in a comment. I responded by saying: I've seen other videos by black pastors and read comments from many African Americans who say the same kinds of things. Even blacks who don't support gay marriage will still vote for Obama. Much ado about nothing from the MSM - trying to make a story when there isn't one.

    And laughingzebra, what a fabulous story. I wish something like this would happen in my family but, alas, we're white and few of them share my thoughts, if you get my meaning. ; )