This cover is an outrage and every African American in America should protest The Advocate’s December issue. Why? It is down right insulting for any minority group at this stage in the game to refer to another minority group in this fashion. When I first saw the cover, I wanted to give the editors at The Advocatethe benefit of the doubt. The terminology ‘new black’ has been under the radar for years now. You hear the phrase used here and there. In the fashion world, designers use this terminology when referring to the color black as it denotes a certain cutting-edge in fashion demagoguery.
But The Advocateis clearly using the term ‘new black’ to imply that the LGBTQ community are now the scapegoats of oppression, inhuman treatment, and seen as second-third class citizens, virtually replacing African Americans whom seemingly have ‘reached the Promise Land’ and happen to be the poster child for a movement that was overwhelmingly successful. Using the term ‘new black’ implies that us black folk have risen beyond our former status as the descendants of slaves, we have over come!
That is laughable. America has elected its’ first African American President, but check out how long that took? Take a look at the major cities in the U.S and notice African Americans and how they are fairing. Michigan is the most racist state in the Union and it is greatly acknowledged that this northern state is racial polarized. The public school system is systematically failing African American students and the drop out rate for African American teens between the ages of 14-17 is nearly 60%! A university education is a pipe dream for most African American children and community college PELL grant funding has dwindled to almost nothing. Drug addiction and crime, teen pregnancy, single parenting, HIV/AIDS, and staggering unemployment has created generational ghetto residents.
African Americans are still in this fight. The war is not over. For The Advocateto use such an insulting phrase gives those who don’t know or understand the Civil Rights Movement the impression that the struggle is complete. This can’t be further from the truth. To say that the fury over the passing of Prop 8 has propelled the LGBT community into the role of the ‘new black’ is preposterous to say the least. For years, the LGBTcommunity has equated itself with the Civil Rights Movement, saying that the Civil Rights Movement is really a Human Rights Movement that is inclusive, not exclusive to one particular group of people.
This ideology is an untruth. The Civil Rights Movement was a vehicle to lift African Americans from 20th Century tyranny and modern slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was a great thing back in 1862. But for many, many years after the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. Black folk and entire communities were burned down to the ground. Lynchings were a sport. African American women could still be raped by Caucasian men without these men seeing some type of legal consequence. African Americans couldn’t address Caucasians eye to eye. Our schools were inferior. The list is substantial. African Americans were vilified because of WHO they were and not WHAT they were. The color of our skin dictated the treatment we received.
How can the LGBT community and The Advocate be so insensitive to African Americans? Do they not know our history? We didn’t come to this country because we wanted to take a trip and scout out the land for Africa. America was not a cruise destination stop. Africans were kidnapped from their homes and bought and sold to feed the greed and laziness of an oppressive capitalistic society. We are not here in America by choice. We didn’t ‘come out.’ We were ‘forced out’ of our native land.
The LGBT community’s fight is no way comparable to the fight of African Americans in this country. African Americans understand what the LGBT community are fighting for. Some support it. Others do not. But each group is diverse and unique. You simply can not cut and paste a movement to fit a cause just because there may be one or two similarities.
‘New Black’ is so uncreative and thoughtless. The cover title of The Advocate’s December issue is merit-less and void of any real meaning. It is just another disrespectful shout-out to African Americans. Like the “drinking the Kool-Aide” line. That has its’ origins in Jonestown.
Besides, the term is ‘African American.’ AND…The color black that is used on the page has deep racist and bias connotations. HMMMM…..