Saturday, October 20, 2007

Obama Should Repudiate and Cancel His Gay Bash Tour, and Cancel it Now
Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama ripped a page straight from the Bush campaign playbook with his announced upcoming three date barnstorm tour through South Carolina with notorious gay basher, gospel singer Donnie McClurkin. The Grammy winning black gospel singer’s last effort on the political scene was his song and shill for Bush’s reelection at the Republican National Convention in 2004. Obama has hitched his string to McClurkin’s high flying gay bash kite in part out of religious belief (he purports to be somewhat of an evangelical), in bigger part because he’s falling further and further behind Hillary Clinton with the black vote in South Carolina and everywhere else, and in the biggest part of all because he hopes that what worked for Bush’s reelection will work for him. Enter McClurkin. He’s black, he’s popular, and gospel plays big with blacks in South Carolina, especially black evangelicals, and many of them openly and even more of them quietly loathe gays.

Bush masterfully tapped that homophobic sentiment in 2000 in part with McClurkin and even more masterfully in 2004 again with McClurkin and the top gun mega black preachers in Ohio and Florida. He tapped it so masterfully that Bush‘s naked pander to gay bashing with the GOP spawned anti- gay marriage initiative in Ohio did much to win over a big chunk of black evangelical leaning voter to Bush.
In fact, the great untold story of the 2004 presidential elections was the black evangelical vote. Although black evangelicals still voted overwhelmingly for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, they gave Bush the cushion he needed to bag Ohio and win the White House. There were early warning signs that might happen. The same polls that showed black's prime concern was with bread and butter issues – and that Kerry was seen as the candidate who could deliver on those issues – also revealed that a sizeable number of blacks ranked abortion, gay marriage and school prayer as priority issues. Their concern for these issues didn't come anywhere close to that of white evangelicals, but it was still higher than that of the general voting public.

A Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies poll in 2004 found that blacks by a far larger margin than the overall population opposed gay marriage. That raised a few eyebrows among some political pundits, but there were much earlier signs of blacks' relentless hostility to gays and gay rights. A survey that measured black attitudes toward gays published in Jet magazine in 1994 found that a sizable number of blacks were suspicious and scornful of them. Many blacks also were put off by Kerry's perceived support of abortion. In polls, Kerry got 20 percent less support from black conservative evangelicals than Democratic presidential contender Al Gore received in 2000.

In Florida and Wisconsin, Republicans aggressively courted and wooed key black religious leaders. They dumped big bucks from Bush's Faith-Based Initiative program into church-run education and youth programs. Black church leaders not only endorsed Bush but in some cases they actively worked for his re-election, and encouraged members of their congregations to do the same.

This lesson isn’t lost on Obama. Desperate to snatch back some of the political ground with black voters that are slipping away from him and to Hillary; Bush’s black evangelical card seems like the perfect play. Obama wouldn’t dare go down the knock gay path, and risk drawing the inevitable heat for it, if he didn’t think as Bush that anti-gay sentiment is still wide and deep among many blacks.

And that’s what makes Obama’s ala Bush pander to anti-gay mania even more shameless and reprehensible. From the moment that he tossed his hat in the presidential ring, Obama has done everything he could to sell himself to voters, as the Man on the White Horse, a fresh new face on the scene, with new ideas, and the candidate that’s not afraid to boldly challenge Bush and the GOP on everything from the Iraq war to health care. He’s also sold himself as a healer and consensus builder. Legions have bought his pitch, and have shelled out millions to bankroll his campaign. But healing and consensus building does not mean sucking up to someone that publicly boasts that he's in "a war" against gays, and that the aim of his war is to "cure" them. That’s what McClurkin has said. Polls show that more Americans than ever say that they support civil rights for gays, and a torrent of gay themed TV shows present non-stereotypical depictions of gays. But this increased tolerance has not dissipated the hostility that far too many blacks, especially hard core Bible thumping blacks, feel toward gays.

Obama has spent months telling everyone that he's everything that Bush isn't. He can proof it by saying a resounding no to McClurkin and to gay bashing. He can repudiate and cancel the South Carolina “gospel” tour, and do it now.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book is The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation between African-Americans and Hispanics (Middle Passage Press).


Alex Walker said...

Like almost all of the best and the brightest political leaders in this country, Barack Obama is enslaved by the idiocies of Democrat-Republican politics.

Were it not for the fact that it's a rigged system, there is no question that the Green Party would be much stronger, particularly in California's coastal cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland which are currently governed (and misgoverned) by One-Party Democratic Machines.

I say this not just because of the failures of the Democrats in Washington, but especially because of their failures right here in California. See my Op-Ed posted to the Los Angeles Times Web Site at:

CALIFORNIA POLITICIANS CAN’T REFORM THEMSELVES,0,6131751.story?coll=la-promo-opinion

Agree or disagree? Leave a comment

Alex Walker

Shirt and Tie said...

Ofari, it won't work. This article's attempt to link Obama, McClurkin and Bush to taint Obama's image has failed. Now, I'm not an Obama fan. I'm a registered Republican, but I've Obama credit for teaming up with a gospel icon like McClurkin. It's a political touchdown. I don't know anything about McC only that he is a gospel singer. In this world, every man and woman has the right to decide what is right or wrong. The majority of America and Blacks, according to your article, believe homosexuality is wrong. We believe that it is wrong for us and our children and we don't want the gay lifestyle legislated upon us. In other words, Gay people and their political allies want legitimacy of the gay lifestyle, per government legislation. I say hell no. Gay people can do whatever they want in public or behind closed doors, but don't screw up the sanctity of marriage.

Robbie said...

Ofari, you are as shrewed as the politicians you are shilling for--hillbill?? You went after Mr. Obama, the next President of the USA because you know anytime a blackboy goes after a BlackMan on fox or any other news, it'money coming in-- the pocket.
Ofari, you are a brilliant, intelligent man, who gets to appear on bill o'reilly, CNN, etc. I want you to have your Own show on Fox, why not? Do not buy into the pandering of hillbill(hc) from Arkansas. look at hillbilly past record. George Bush gave Christians what they wanted. Why don't you give us what we want, a Proud Black Man with a Beautiful Black woman, children family in the White House. Obama is the Best of us, and the Best Candidate. I like music, and especially McClurkin...Good goin Obama/Ofari

MustangSallie said...

Darn, I think I'm becoming a Republican because Earl I completely disagree with you! McClurkin is NOT a "gay basher" he's simply said the lifestyle is a sin, by the way, IT IS! If saying the lifestyle is a sin, is "gay bashing", well then, let him bash! As far as Obama associating himself with McClurkin, SO WHAT! I'd rather him associate himself with McClurkin, then whining/complaining "black people don't do NO wrong" Al Sharpton! Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this - I was very supportive of Barack Obama, and am quite disturbed by him associating with a known hate mongerer....

BTW, 'mustangsallie', if you looked back at history, the racist establishment used the bible to justify slavery and the further oppression of African Americans, Native Americans, women, and now it's being used to justify gay bashing - wake up!

People like you aren't 'good christians', you're just using religion as a tool to justify bigotry. And when has Al Sharpton ever said 'black people can do no wrong?' Heck, he's one of the few truly ethical christians out there!

athena.long said...

All of you are clearly missing the point.

Clearly, you have not been able to disassociate your religious thoughts from the statement at hand...


Yet, he is employing the SAME TACTICS.

That is Mr. Hutchinson's point.

The persons involved are irrelevant. The point is Sen. obama is espousing and promoting similar tactics for similar objectives, of which constitutes a hypocritical political conundrum for the Senator.

Also, to insinuate that Mr. Hutchinson is falling prey to the 'black infighting tactics', reveals that once again, your inability to view this situation without colored glasses fuels the argument that black people are in capable of being nothing but monolithic.

That, my friend, is a hindrance to all involved in the political sphere, regardless of color.

Either you are not aware or simply do not possess the ability to truly see and understand that these Rovian tactics in play will ensure a most likely demise if curried.

Waging (and ultimately) legislating a 'war' on any persons in our society based upon SUBJECTIVE beliefs is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

THAT, my friends, is the point.

Anonymous said...

So I get it, if you believe in your religion and believe you are right in your beliefs, you are a gay basher, or hater. However, if you are gay and believe your lifestyle is right, everyone who disagrees is a gay basher, discriminating. I hate when we can't openly discuss issues because people are always trying to accuse one of being a bigot, racist, or ani gay. You can be pro religion and not be anti-gay. I think the religous people will tell you they are anti sin. Yes, eveyone sins, but that shouldn't mean you can't say anything when someone continues to live in what you define as sin. Let the religious people have their beliefs and stop accusing them of being anti-homosexual, when they are just being anti-sin.


Anonymous said...

Donnie McClurkin is not a gat basher. He speaks from his own experience and offer help to those who WANT TO GET OUT OF THAT LIFESTYLE BUT DONT KNOW HOW.

Anonymous said...

In response to some of the previous comments: if someone judges my sexuality as "sinful", don't get all up in arms when I call them a "gay basher".

Because I am not God and would never presume to know the mind of God, I would never judge anyone to be a "sinner" or presume to know what constitutes a "sin". On the other hand, I do know that I am a man who is sexually attracted to men. That much is clear to me. What is also clear to me is that it's not an affliction or problem that I need to solve. It feels very natural and it doesn't hurt anyone. (Real love and tenderness never have).

Making my sexuality a wedge issue for political gain is loathsome (no matter who does it) -- it's a cheap trick that plays off people's fears. It's sad if Obama feels he has to do that to win the primary in SC. The gay community and the black community can gain so much from supporting each other. To begin this process, we should learn more about each other.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (right after Mustang Sallie) Seems like you are pretty disturbed by this issue -- calling McClurkin a "hate monger" because he disagrees with your, I mean, gays' lifestyle. athena.long I am not missing the point -- Earl's point is, Obama is suppose to "hang out" with the people that will continue to direct this country to hell. That's the point, period. As I stated, I'm slowly becoming a Republican because the Democrats are in a "sinking ship with no anchor" when it comes to morals. They always want to please the gay-right and abortion-right people. No, I am not a 'good Christian' all the time, but, I tell you what, I won't be going to hell for sleeping with another woman or having an abortion. This is my opinion and I'm sticking with it!

athena.long said...

First, as some people have elected to not leave a name, I do not want the wrong 'anonymous' to think themselves a direct target of address, yet....


1st - Are you THAT SERIOUSLY committed to the 'idea' that gays/lesbians 'will continue to direct this country to hell'? How? What is this 'hell on earth' that you speak of? When will we know when he have arrived at this so-called 'hell'? And why are gays/lesbians solely responsible for this departure from all that is 'right'? I'm asking seriously, as I assume that you were making a statement devoid of a mirthful nature.

2nd - If becoming a Republican is what you feel necessary, please do join their party. I am sure that they would be happy to have you. I am not sure why your repeated conjectural threats are being offered, as no one here is attempting to prevent you from doing what you freely reserve the right to do.

3rd - Surely you jest that 'the DEMOCRATS are in a "sinking ship with no anchor" when it comes to morals'.

I think it yet may be time for you to spend a few moments reflecting on just the RECENT indiscretions and 'moral' transgressions of your future party. It will prove most enlightening.

4th - It's funny that you state that 'THEY' (the Democrats) 'always want to please the gay-right[sic] and abortion-right[sic] people.

So the antithetical approach to that would be that:

'THEY' (the Republicans) 'always want to please the anti-gay-rights and anti-abortion-rights people.

Correct, no?

5th - And finally... the pièce de résistance of all of your commentary:

'No, I am not a 'good Christian' all the time'

So when you are 'not a good Christian' at times, what would those times be comprised of?

Would they be times of want? Times of impatience? Times of intolerance? Times of lustful thought or desire? Times of avarice (greed)? Times of sloth (laziness)? Times of wrath (uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger)? Times of pride (desire to be more important than others)?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I can assume that you have committed all of those offenses at least once in your life, like the rest of humankind.

If you are indeed that 'perfect person' that everyone is in search of, please do reveal your identity, as you have many people who would delight in knowing you.

So if your goal is to establish superiority over people whom you do not understand/or agree with, let me say that I, if for no one else, will allow you to believe that you are such, for it appears as if there would be no belief otherwise.

Zennie Abraham said...

Earl, you've written nothing positive about Barack Obama in all of your posts. The latest one I didn't even bother to read because it was you - I know where you're going.

I have come to regard you as one of us who's a "crab-barrel" -- not interested in overall Black success.

What a shame.

athena.long said...

Mr. Abraham -

The TRUE shame lies in the fact that

1 - You ADMIT that you elected to NOT READ, yet comment on something you know not about

2 - You are using the idiom 'crabs -IN A- barrel' INCORRECTLY, in your attempt to bolster your perceived superiority, when in actuality, you have exposed your ignorance and lack of attention, which

3 - you make us all look bad.

It will be ever increasingly difficult to escape the 'blacks are lazy' stereotype with this type of flagrant (in)activity.


Anonymous said...

mr reilly i agree 10000% with donnie mcclukin homosexuality is not gods intention . i am a christian and do not agree with mr. obama. homosexuality is a sin . we finally have somone stand up against it great job donnie . i dont believe in gays or lesbians or homosexuality and would not want my kids taught its ok to be this way its not ok it is sin . i dont have no kids but would not want them taught its ok .

MustangSallie said...

1. Can the Anonymous commenter(s) just use a fake name as to not confuse the other bloggers?
2. athena.long you are NOT the only voice of reason on this blog. To continuously say, "we've all missed the point" is condescending, as if YOU know it all and everyone else is stupid. GET REAL! If you are a lover of Hutchinson's opinions, FINE! While I respect Hutchinson's opinions, I don't agree with everything he writes. I have NOT missed the point! "Your point" in reading the piece may not be MY point -- we all see and read things differently. It doesn't mean YOU are right and everyone else is wrong! As I stated above, GET REAL!
3. Someone else thinking about becoming a Republican -- good for you!

itzok07 said...

All gay bashing aside. I think that Barack Obama move to get Donnie to head a tour for him, is a brilliant move. While I don't agree with the gospel singer 100%, I do believe in tolerance for all people, cultures, and religion.

Our country would be a better place if more people respected these fundamental views.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:

"I won't be going to hell for sleeping with another woman or having an abortion. This is my opinion and I'm sticking with it!"

Okay, you do that. In the meantime, don't try to legislate your morality over those of us who don't think that way.

Anonymous said...

"God, please make me heterosexual. I ask this in Jesus's name so that my life may bring glory to you. God, please take away these feelings I don't want. Please, please let me wake up straight"
Declare what is to be . . . Isaiah

athena.long said...

Oh My Dear Ms. mustangsallie -

Oh my.

I didn't realize the power that I contained to rouse such emotion, such fire, such passion! Thanks!

First, confusion is something that I am far from. I do appreciate though, that your desires (regarding identity disclosure) coincide with mine. (here's the part where I wink twice, just to spare 'confusion')

2 - Thank you for recognizing that I have a 'reasonable voice'. Much obliged =]

3 - When someone makes a generalization, it doesn't necessarily mean you, UNLESS you take it that way.

If you feel inferior because of my perceived 'superiority', I apologize for not being able to prevent that.

4 - I am not a lover of Mr. Hutchinson's opinion(S) per se. I'm sorry, and you know me how?

5 - "we all see and read things differently." Thank you -MA'AM-! I am quite comforted by that statement.

And if I may borrow your words once more, you are quite correct, "it doesn't mean YOU are right and everyone else is wrong!"

6 - What would 'getting real' entail? Again, you know me how?

7 - If you are not already a registered Republican, you should take the plunge!

I did =]

MustangSallie said...

athena.long I'm going to let you have the last word(s) - "As my grandmother use to say, you can't argue with the devil he (or she) is always right."

athena.long said...

If calling me a 'devil' is what you feel you must do, far be it from me to deny your due.

(Btw, I actually do not believe in the devil, but I must say, you make a most compelling argument!)


Anonymous said...

I feel Pastor Donnie McClurkin is only quoting what God's word says. If God said it, there is nothing else to it. Homosexuality is WRONG! I don't care how you sugar coat it, it will still be wrong. I love everyone no matter what. I have 2 known relatives that are gay plus a very close friend, but I can LOVE them, but hate the sin. And yes, I agree that everyone should have equal rights, but don't ask for special rights because you choose to live a certain lifestyle. I Pray that everyone, no matter what the sin, will realize their sin before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Pastor Donnie McClurkin is only quoting what God's word says. If God said it, there is nothing else to it. Homosexuality is WRONG!"

I suppose you're following all of the Levitican laws, are you?

"I agree that everyone should have equal rights, but don't ask for special rights because you choose to live a certain lifestyle."

There was no choice in my being gay -- only a choice about whether to be honest about it. (If you don't believe me, ask your gay relatives and gay friend.) I don't want special rights, just equal ones. I've been with my partner for almost a decade, a deeply committed and loving relationship -- the "special rights" I seek are simply the ones you take for granted every day.

"I Pray that everyone, no matter what the sin, will realize their sin before it's too late."

And I pray that you will wake up and realize that by condemning me as a sinner, you blind yourself to how similar you and I are. We might have different sexualities, but we probably have a lot more in common than you think.

You strike me as someone who reads the Bible. According to the Old Testament, those who commit adultery should be stoned to death. Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees with a woman accused of this "sin". His instructions to the crowd that had gathered were brilliant and very applicable here: “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” Apparently Jesus himself found some flaws in those old Levitican laws -- or at least he took issue with people judging others by them.

Anonymous said...

McClurkin was raped by 2 homosexuals as a child, makes sense if he is not too fond of them now....


Terrance said...

I don't care about Donnie!
Self-hating people like Mcclurkin have been pushing the God Conspiracy Theory to the edge of reason for years. It ain't natural I tell ya! Organized religion has been resolute in its hypocrisy on each and every issue you mentioned. Empirical evidence alone proves that "it ain't natural.”

I stopped giving these people any credence after years of living in Brooklyn and viewing every sect in the world as they all converge on subway platforms and street corners. Literally following texts and hearsay from thousands of years ago, in 2007, is probably classifiable under the DSM-IV diagnostic manual.

Mutilating little boys and little girls genitalia, mummifying women as to only allow their pupils visibility, magic underpants, handling snakes for the lord, sit, kneel, stand, sit, shaving your head and having sex through a bed sheet/glory hole, demanding the unnatural state of celibacy of young men and then ignoring their sexual aberrant behavior, promising retribution and virgins in the afterlife and giving your messiah a 'Thriller Michael Jackson to Casper the too friendly ghost Michael Jackson' make-over in order to make him palatable to western sensibilities...Come on! No really come on!

I didn’t even get into the idiocy regarding gay people that is coming from the black church and their new anointed leadership...half of whom are formerly of the "House of Labaja," Hey girl! how you doing? All rightttt! I could be wrong, my grandmother would probably say, “How dare you? The reverend Dr. Suga Pie Coco isn’t on the DL. He invited those sodomites to that ‘John Blair Bible Tea Dance’ in the church basement last week to help them find the lord!” Whatever granny.

This is all madness. What would Jesus do? Who knows, this madness was founded so long after Jesus' day that it probably bears little resemblance to what he preached. As for us heathens, as the earth heats up and the wells run dry, I often think that the ancient sun worshippers and earth worshippers may have had it right all along.

athena.long said...

"...half of whom are formerly of the "House of Labaja," Hey girl! how you doing? All rightttt!"



big d said...

Ofari is the replacement for Armstrong Williams willing to crawl on his knees for a place at the table with Hillary and Bill. Donny McClurkin is a christian gospel singer so its no surprise that he as 99% of christians believe that homsexulity is a sin. In the interest of fairness why doesnt Ofari ask Bill and Hill to repudiate mega churches First AME or West Angeles ( both preach that homosexuality is a sin and against God) where she is likely to visit when the 08 race heats up.

alicia banks said...

thank you for calling obama out!!!

when hillary said obama was inexperienced, she was vilified.

yet, we all now see how obama's actual inexperience has sabotaged no seasoned politician would ever affiliate with a toxic psycho, rabid, gay, gaybasher like donnie m...

alicia banks
eloquent fury

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, you hate gays. I don't understand why he should cancel it just because you have a problem with gays. That's saying a lot to the people who think you are a role model. Guess what, you just lost a fan.

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