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The unholy matrimony: Black America and LGBTQIA2S+

By Shun Smith

Most Americans understand the long-fought struggle of black people to gain equal rights in the United States. During the 1960s civil rights movement, sacrifice came from both black and white and men and women. They marched, vocalized, and campaigned to end the unfair mistreatment of colored folk. Some would say they made the United States uphold the values and constitutional rights on which this country was established.

Concurrently, homosexual men organized and began advocating for gay rights. Members of the Mattachine Society, one of the more notable gay rights organizations, took a page out of the civil rights playbook when a group of white gay men walked into a New York City bar and declared their sexual orientation but were promptly denied service. They staged a sip-in instead of a sit-in.  

It is undeniable that there were parallels between the mistreatment of blacks and gays — and a deeper connection between the groups. 

When you think of civil rights leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. is probably the first name that comes to mind. Bayard Rustin, one of Martin’s inner circle and a leading strategist, was openly gay. Rustin is credited with the non-violence tactics employed by activists. Ironically, he was also a founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 

Rustin’s sexuality would later cause a stutter step for King when, in 1960, the movement planned a march outside the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Democratic Congressional Representative of New York and Baptist preacher Adam Clayton Powell Jr. so vehemently disagreed with Rustin’s involvement that he was willing to tell the press that King and Rustin were lovers. 

Subsequently, the march was canceled. However, this proved to be only a minor setback. Rustin’s contributions to the civil rights movement outweighed his sexual predilections. 

Other black activists who shared his predilection, which at the time was considered abnormal, continued to fight for racial equality. The late Congressman John Lewis acknowledged the relationship between gay and black civil rights in his memoir, Walking With the Wind: “The peace movement, the women’s movement, the gay movement — they all have roots that can be traced back to Mississippi in the summer of ’64.” 

Despite the close ties between the marginalized communities, black civil rights were grounded in Christianity. Most of the visible leadership were members of the “Cloth,” and churches across the south served as meeting houses and held great symbolic value. 

Additionally, a significant number of sit-in participants were seminary students and college chaplains. Throughout the course of the mid-1960s, spirituality spurred the hearts and minds of faith-based groups into action and helped them break the stranglehold of racist power in America, despite what current activists would have us believe. 

Albeit a stark contrast, it’s fair to reason that during the civil rights era, religious leaders demonstrated a tolerance to lifestyles incongruent with biblical faith. This forbearance may have unwittingly played a part in the future dissolution of black families in America and the entanglement of black liberation and LGBTQIA2S+. 

This year celebrates the eighth year of Black Lives Matter. Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors tweeted out the hashtag #blacklivesmatter on July 13, 2013, after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of Trayvon Martin’s murder. BLM portrayed itself as a grassroots movement “working towards black liberation and freedom.” 

From 2013 to 2015, the organization catapulted into the media spotlight following the deaths of Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Mya Hall, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland, and Mike Brown. I remember those years distinctly because you couldn’t turn on the news or open a publication’s webpage without seeing protests and BLM. 

I might have missed something, but I don’t remember seeing any rainbow flags at any of those protests. 

Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi have a unique connection to civil rights leaders of the past. Not to MLK, of course, but to Bayard Rustin. 

Alicia Garza is a lesbian married to a white woman who is a transgender man. Cullors, who recently parted ways with BLM due to negative publicity around her real estate ventures, is a lesbian. Tometi, not as sexually different as Cullors and Garza, is married to a white man. Opal has only stated that she is married and considers herself a feminist. 

BLM leadership contrived to frame the 1960s civil rights battles as successes only for black men and not for women, queer, and transgender people. BLM prides itself on being women, queer and trans-led. It even went so far as to craft the disruption of the nuclear family in its mission statement. 

The phrase was later removed for something more placid and in line with Marxist agenda. The facade that Black Lives Matter is for Black people became clear in 2020. 

Combining government-enforced lockdowns with the death of George Floyd — now among the most recognized men of the 21st century — bore the Racial Reckoning. Mostly peaceful protests with a sprinkling of riots and looting took over American major city streets. 

The fight for racial equality was sparked once again, but this time there were no spiritual leaders or goals other than defunding the police. No Christian leaders were seen at the front of the movement; this time, the freak flags were flying and cloaked the BLM protest. 

At the start of the Racial Reckoning that ignited late May 2020, the theme was black BLM shirts, BLM flags, and memorabilia. Within a short time, black was being paired or replaced with rainbow and the blue, pink, and white trans flag. 

Currently, it’s commonplace for the black power fist to be marred with rainbows, trans colors, and any color pattern that the original users of the Black Power fist wouldn’t have agreed with. 

The 21st-century pseudo-black civil rights movement separated itself from the Christian faith and the pursuit of equality. BLM was an American nesting doll, the outermost layer decorated in faces of black men and women killed by police, and the inside dolls hid the true nature of the organization, the misuse of black death and the continued destruction of the black family. 

It’s a sexually liberated rainbow-colored wolf masking in black sheep clothing.

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Curtis Scoon

Editor-In-Chief | Founder

The editor-in-chief, executive producer, writer, and businessman. Curtis is active in helping the black community by employing and providing services in the Washington, DC and Detroit, MI areas.

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