Jim Crow Gone Gay

Should dey get to fighting,
Perhaps de (queers) will rise,
For deir wish for freedom,
Is shining in deir eyes.
And if de (queers) should get free,
I guess dey’ll see some bigger…

– Jim Crow lyrics, parens added


I refuse to argue for my rights to be granted.  The challenge for queers is that, to paraphrase Hannah Arendt, rights don’t mean a damned thing unless you have a State that will defend them.  And, in the US, our State is still selling us down the river.  Love is love, Jim Crow is Jim Crow.

Prop 8 and the other anti-gay legislation that have passed are the Gay Jim Crow.  Actually, they are more harmful than the Jim Crow laws which established so-called separate but equal drinking fountains, restrooms, seating and so on. Harm to Californians and their children is what was cited when the California Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage.

Jim Crow dovetailed with Prop 8 in the elimination of civil rights.  Black Jim Crow eliminated voting and other rights; Diverse Prop 8 eliminated the right to privacy and to arrange our private domestic lives in any way we choose.  Onerous and unjust voting requirements disenfranchised four generations of African-Americans from post-Reconstruction to 1965.  Barack Obama’s call for separate but equal civil unions are, effectively, a resurrected Jim Crow.  Prop 8, which prevents us from engaging in civil society altogether, is Jim Crow.

So how did we get to the point that our first black President is calling for a reestablishment of Jim Crow?  How did we get to the point where black leaders – of all people!- are calling for codified Jim Crow?  Simple: political and financial expediency.  Bashing queers isn’t a wedge issue for nothing.  It gets the folks to the polls and gets them donating in the pews.  It’s still socially acceptable to bash us, to make fun of us and to demean us.  The people who ought to be leading the fight for justice are instead leading a fight for bigotry.  Cven though Karl Rove will hopefully ride a donkey into a withering, sun-beaten and parched desert, he isn’t the last to win an election at our expense.  So, particularly black and latino leaders, lead your flock into the jingoistic GOP who are already planning to pull themselves up by my bootstraps.

Can you imagine if someone were to say that blacks couldn’t marry? Well, wake up and smell the coffee!  What do you think the law was 140 years ago?   As non-persons, black people couldn’t enter civil contracts.  Appalling, unjust – no one in their right mind, today, would argue against ‘appreciable harm.’  Or, if a black person couldn’t marry a white person?  Wake up, that was the law.  Anti-miscegenation was the tradition, was the law, was the way things were done until 1967 when Loving v. Virginia overturned this.


When the judge in the case, Judge Brazile, intoned that:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix….” he was hardly calling on our ideals of inclusion and justice.

Prop 8 continues the proud tradition of bigotry, racism and discrimination in the name of fear.  And queers must do a better job of getting the word out to everyone that this is the case.


Even Mildred Loving (pictured above), the defendant in the Loving case, rose and spoke out on her deathbed in defense of our ability to marry if we choose.

The gay community is divided on the marriage issue itself.  Some of us want it, some of us don’t.  But all of us expect to engage in exercising our right to engage in the civil laws of our towns, states and nations if we choose.

~ by Thom on November 12, 2008.

7 Responses to “Jim Crow Gone Gay”

  1. I continue to be amazed that this is even an issue.

    What evil will rain down upon us if gay people marry?

    The racists have a new cause in opposing gay marriage.

    The weird part is that they do not know they are racists.

    The Supreme Court should remind us all that we (even if you don’t believe in God) are all created equal….

    It doesn’t say one nation, except for gays….

  2. I wish that folk would just stop comparing racial issues to homosexual issues. Folk walk out of their doors in whatever skin that GOD assigned them to. You see them and if you have a problem with their skin color that is a personal issue that you have. Gay folk on the other hand wish to push their private sexual preference to the fore front. It is not that serious. You can not pro create which is why man and woman were created in the first place, and for each other at that. I do not care what one does behind closed doors that is up to the individual lustful or not. If you had your right mind intact you would know that you are on the wrong side of nature. No matter how much ground that you make it is a law that you break— the natural order of things. It is a selfish act denying what is right and what is wrong. It has nothing to so with hate on most folk parts, just the fact that by trying to put validation on what is not natural by claiming that your civil rights are being denied is ridiculous! You do not even appear to the eye right yet you want to push your agenda on children by polluting their minds at an early age through the school systems and marriage. I and I alone teach my children! I have taught them that homosexual activity is null and void unacceptable and senseless. We in this family will not play at being a family union. It is not about hate for I do not hate you. I just know that you do not have a handle on your flesh and wish to pervert the natural order of things. I believe that every human has the right to be whatever he or she wants for that is a GOD given right. Once HE put the breath of life in you, hey go for it. Just don’t try to make your way the accepted way. Folk have been procreating for years and years. Just think if gays strictly had to stay only with a same sex partner and heterosexuals were not here you’d all die out. Racial issues have nothing to do with sexual issues. You can twist the facts all you want and really believe it too but that does not make you right. It is perverse (homosexuality) to the fullest. I wonder what you call a homosexual who hates Jews but is not Jewish or a black homosexual who hate whites or a white homosexual who hates blacks? Racist and gay two strikes against man kind. I wonder what you would call a white gay shop owner who won’t serve a black or Indian at his establishment? Or how about a white gay club that exclueds all other races? You all do not have a leg to stand on. How dare you try and make your own induced plight a civil matter. Never have I heard of a gay white man walk in a lunch lounge and be spit on and once he left was hosed down and put upon by attack dogs and had the law behind the perpetrators of these acts! Heck sometime it was the law. Race and sexual preference are two different things. Please stop trying to merge the two. They are very separate issues! Mixed race couples can make children together however gays can not!

    • “Never have I heard of a gay white man walk in a lunch lounge and be spit on and once he left was hosed down and put upon by attack dogs….” Really? No offense, but you need to get out more. The two, racism and homophobia, are deeply merged in Heterosexism. I didn’t merge them; they are merged. Thank you for your comment. thom

    • I don’t think that it’s the exact same thing when someone is homophobic and when someone is racist. The truth is, they both are born minorities, and they are segregated in similar ways. I totally believe that we are all born equal and we all should treat each other with respect. And being gay as a sin is something I believe religion made up. Remember how in the Old Testament people were stoned to death for committing adultery and being gay? And how it suddenly changed from punishment to forgiveness? That was because “God” was trying to protect the line of humans, keeping it safe so that Jesus could be born a healthy baby. Technically it is still a sin, but you are called to forgive and love first. I believe that they go through just as much pain when they are called faggots as when blacks are called niggers

      “Straight but not Narrow” 🙂

  3. I fucking hate when you fags try and compare your bull shit to real minorities. hint no one knows your a fag until you tell them. I don’t give a shit if you get married to one another makes no difference to me more power to ya. But watch the comparisons of real struggle for equality. Racism and homophobia are not deeply merged. When I get pulled over by police its a bit different for you. I’ve had people cross the street when I come there direction, I’ve been accused of things based on my skin color. On site I get judged. Unless your overly obviously gay you should have no problem. Gay equality is a joke simply because of your bull shit comparisons. Seriously face the facts it may help you instead of pissing off the real minorities.

  4. I love that “real struggle” seems to be playing minority top trumps. Before you judge homosexuals try a day in our shoes. In school I was beaten up for my sexuality and had teachers ignore it and at times even join in with the insults that I’d get from other kids, when I got my first job I hid my sexuality for fear of persecution which, when I did come out were realised, I’ve had cops face up to me and call me a faggot and a poof and whatever else you care to think of, I’ve had people try to fight me for walking through the street holding my boyfriends hand, if you don’t think we’re a “real minority” fuck you, you’re no better than the bigots who you’ve had to deal with and every time you experience any racism you can think to yourself, “God I love this prejudice, I’m so glad I get the opportunity to express my own as well. God bless America.”

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