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http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2007/12/10/and-this-is-the-part-where-i-stumble-in-kinda-late/
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23 Responses

  1. Thomas
    Thomas December 5, 2008 at 5:40 pm |

    Wow. Is the mag TRYING to increase the post Prop 8 bitterness? Has there been too little counterproductive internecine snoping among progressive social movements? Or are they just mainlining liquid self-involvement?

  2. Aerik
    Aerik December 5, 2008 at 5:47 pm |

    The bullshit goes both ways. I butted head with the Point of Inquiry podcast’s DJ Grothe when he accused “New Atheist Leaders” (whatever the fuck those are) of equating “new atheism” (which doesn’t exist) with the black civil rights movement. I had to explain that just because we compare the strategy of of one bigot to another does not mean we are equating the victims’ experiences. Nor is that the case when we compare how the victims of different bigotries achieve success with the same activist strategies. In both cases, what is revealed is the sickeningly parallel mindsets of the bigots.

    You can always people who make this accusation were more interested in propping themselves up by putting forth this argument against their fellow oppressed. Ethnic groups, gays, trans, women, atheists, even scientists. Grothe was knee deep in it when he made the argument, and I had to point out that atheist blogger icon PZ Myers aptly dismantled equivocations of modern atheist activists to the radical feminists of the 60’s in We Aim to Misbehave Grothe just wants to make himself feel better.

    Right on cue this atheist blogger (not a leader in any stretch of the imagination) puts up an image that just says “atheism is the new black.” With accompanying followup captioning “I’m sure there are other comparisons to make…” and nothing else. End of her post. So dumb.

    While there are no leaders whatsoever in the atheist community doing that racist crap, you can depend on an occasional asshole getting a flash in the pan of social bookmarking sites by engaging in it. More and more I find myself confronting atheists who say “Atheists are the last acceptable group to perecute in the country.” This is based on a solid survey that clearly showed that atheists were the most disrespected group when it comes to potential presidential candidates. And yes, there are a fair number of cases where atheists are murdered simply for it.

    But the last? Really? Bullshit. I battle with Skeptics all the time for transphobia and misogyny, white privilege and even outright racism.

    It’s all, once again, the delusion of the hierarchy of oppressions. The worst part: we can’t cut ourselves off even from the bullshitters because the last thing we should do is to act as if we can’t eventually come to understand each other.

  3. Jill
    Jill December 5, 2008 at 5:55 pm | *

    Wow. If I were the author of that piece, I would be livid.

  4. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos December 5, 2008 at 6:06 pm |

    Aerik: Not meaning the derail, but “New Atheism” appears to have been applied to a number of authors who advocate antitheism in the last few years: Dawkins, Hitchins and Harris, as opposed to us more complacent atheists who are willing to live and let live as long as our civil rights are respected. So it’s not a term that comes out of the blue, although I personally dislike that method of splitting our community.

  5. Scott
    Scott December 5, 2008 at 6:24 pm |

    Well said Holly, I couldn’t agree more. The Advocate is so dated in so many ways — not the least of which is indicated here — they just don’t get that’s it isn’t all about them. As a gay man the ways in which some narrow minded people within the movement continue to make adversaries instead of allies never ceases to amaze. When gay people do achieve equality, it will be in spite of, not as a result of, so many historically stupid and offensive things like this that the Advocate and others in the “leadership” have done. If there weren’t so damn many of us, the entire civil rights movement might just pass us by left to the “visionaries” at the Advocate.

  6. Renee
    Renee December 5, 2008 at 6:43 pm |

    Here is what get me about all of this. POC have talking about the racism in the gay community for some time now and we have been labeled homophobes. Any taunt was/is used to support what is clearly racist and cultural appropriation. The usual code words are tossed around and we are routinely told that the struggle is the same even though it’s not. Whiteness has the right to our narrative because right now it is useful. Of course this is horrific we all know that good decent white folk shouldn’t be treated like blacks. As a person of color there is nothing shocking about the cover. The white male representatives of the GLBTQI community have been playing the “its’ just like Rosa Parks card” for a very long time. It is seriously my opinion that the bluntness of this statement is what is shocking people, not that the card is routinely played.

  7. NancyP
    NancyP December 5, 2008 at 7:48 pm |

    I daresay that some clueless marketing type is behind this cover. The Advocate cover more often than not features some eye candy or an entertainer. Covers that feature issues by showing average-looking activists or people doing interesting things probably don’t sell the magazine as effectively. I wouldn’t be surprised if the graphic designer or marketer took one look at the article and said to himself , “boooooring”, and decided to be a shit-stirrer, without thinking about the harm this causes to the LGBTQIASGL community as a whole and the black SGL/LGBT community.

  8. Renee
    Renee December 5, 2008 at 9:56 pm |

    @NanctP I think it is a cop out to say that this was just a ploy to sell magazines. Let’s think about why they believed this tactic would work in the first place. They believed that this cover would be successful because this is exactly the attitude that has repeatedly been displayed by the white male leadership of the gay community. The magazine didn’t just pull this idea out of a hat.

    I cannot tell you how many times I have heard analogies to the black of the civil rights movement. So lets just not put this off on advertising as though it does not appeal to people.

  9. polerin
    polerin December 6, 2008 at 12:59 am |

    Renee: I don’t know how to do this without falling on my sword, but I’m starting to think you’re right on this discussion far more so than I was. This is absurd, and it makes me question any comparison I have made in the past, even the most limited of them. The advocate seems out to alienate everyone with that smug self-centeredness I hate about the right wing.

  10. Sudy
    Sudy December 6, 2008 at 1:55 am |

    Oh. My. Gosh.

    You’ve GOT to be kidding me.

    Nope, I take that back.

    I believe it.

  11. Renee
    Renee December 6, 2008 at 2:19 am |

    @polerin

    You didn’t fall on your sword. Yes I agree the cover and the article are so completely offensive, yet there are some already defending it. What troubles me about this is, considering the fall out from Prop 8 this is the last thing that was needed. I have had quite a few POC contact me in a rage over it, asking me why they should continue to be an ally. I say what I always say, we don’t do it because it is always easy, or for the cookie, we do it because it is the right thing to do. I am going to continue to advocate for gay rights because I believe the cause is just, but my trust is something that has been severely damaged.

    When you are running a social justice movement you need the support of people of various races and classes. This is a lesson that the GLBTQI community did not take from out civil rights movement that was probably the most crucial message of all. Whites and blacks marched together. The Jewish community was beyond instrumental. By turning this anger towards POC what they are assuring is that there will be one less group of people that are willing to fight for the cause. When people feel that their human dignity is being denied they are less inclined to fight for the human dignity of another.

  12. Renee
    Renee December 6, 2008 at 2:21 am |

    For those that have not seen it here is the position of the black caucus on gay rights. When you watch it remember that this is the community that is supposedly so completely homophobic that we don’t even discuss gays and lesbians.

  13. DaisyDeadhead
    DaisyDeadhead December 6, 2008 at 10:40 am |

    Yes, the cover misrepresents the content of the article, or at least skews it considerably. If I were Michael Gross, I’d be furious.

  14. Elaine Vigneault
    Elaine Vigneault December 7, 2008 at 1:36 pm |

    wow. That cover is pretty bad.

    Not only for obvious reasons, but also because of the assumption that there are only 2 civil rights struggles!

  15. Betsy
    Betsy December 7, 2008 at 8:19 pm |

    Thanks for the update; I hadn’t realized that the cover so grossly (/rimshot) misrepresented the content of the article.

    When you are running a social justice movement you need the support of people of various races and classes. This is a lesson that the GLBTQI community did not take from out civil rights movement that was probably the most crucial message of all. Whites and blacks marched together. The Jewish community was beyond instrumental. By turning this anger towards POC what they are assuring is that there will be one less group of people that are willing to fight for the cause. When people feel that their human dignity is being denied they are less inclined to fight for the human dignity of another.

    This. I study and teach the history of the 50s-70s and I think that one reason this is the case is that many students and activists romanticize the more militant aspects of the movement, the pursuit of purity, and the rejection of incrementalism. While I understand that completely, I tend to think that both sorts of organizing are necessary – the fringe can help push the discussion in the right direction by making the moderates seem reasonable, but you absolutely need the moderates, the people willing to ally with those outside the group, even those with whom you might have some deep moral/philosophical differences. Otherwise not a damn thing gets done.

  16. Betsy
    Betsy December 7, 2008 at 10:11 pm |

    Also, is there any way to avoid my comments getting stuck in the mod queue? It seems like every time I try to comment here since I got my new computer a few months ago, my comment gets stuck in moderation for hours.

  17. Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Link Farm and Open Thread Number Umpity-Dumpity

    [...] This cover for “The Advocate” (”gay is the new black”) really is disgusting. Plus, it brings up the “evil or stupid?” problem. See Melissa and Portlydyke’s posts, too. [...]

  18. Campbell Soup Catches Teh Gay, Yet Somehow Doesn’t Mind : The Curvature

    [...] Broth ran an ad in The Advocate, a popular LG(bt) 1 publication that is in some trouble of its own right now.  Quite naturally, seeing the audience, the advertisement (pdf) featured a lesbian couple [...]

  19. Comparing struggles « Blog By Barry
    Comparing struggles « Blog By Barry January 19, 2009 at 4:02 am |

    [...] completely agree that gay is not the new black, and African-Americans did not cause prop 8 to [...]

  20. Angela
    Angela July 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm |

    Read the article. Gross never said “Gay is the New Black.” That was not and is not his position. The article is incredibly well written and thoughtful. Google “Michael Joseph Gross Gay is the New Black” and you’ll find the article.

    And writers have no control over what the magazine puts on their cover. None. No say. Not even in the discussion.

    Many of these comments are very supportive of Gross, but many people are still condemning him without doing their homework. You need to read the article.

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