Open letter: national black leaders embrace President Obama’s position on LGBT equality 1

By: Pam Spaulding Saturday May 12, 2012 6:27 am

Just an FYI, in the wake of Amendment One, actually Wednesday and Thursday, I was deluged with requests by news outlets and radio programs  for comments about North Carolina, the President’s coming out for marriage equality, or both. That I kind of expected. What I was also asked about by some reporters was the inevitable “the black community voted overwhelmingly for the amendment” meme and what does that mean. The reporters asked this without ANY data on the NC results at the time (I still haven’t seen raw data and it’s Saturday).

Not that I would be surprised if the breakdown was disproportionately for the amendment of course. Everyone knows the sensitivity around the issue, but fact that some reporters were fixated on drawing out the conflict, real or imagined without hard data is not useful, and in fact harmful. Look at the result in Prop 8 — there were actually incidents of violence against black people in the aftermath of the vote, some in the public ready to assign blame before any actual demographic information on the vote was analyzed (and lo and behold, the meme was later debunked by Nate Silver in his analysis of the data). The factors most relevant in the breakdown of the vote was education level and how often one went to church.

In the case of the one-two punch of A1 in North Carolina and the President’s marriage equality statement, people reflexively fixated on the black/gay divide– and the possible impact this will have on Barack Obama’s re-election. FULL ARTICLE