Obama Hypocrisy on Homophobia

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Barack Obama went before Dr. Martin Luther King’s church yesterday and delivered a stirring speech that, amongst other things, decried homophobia in the black community.

For most of this country’s history, we in the African American community have been at the receiving end of man’s inhumanity to man. And all of us understand intimately the insidious role that race still sometimes plays – on the job, in the schools, in our health care system and in our criminal justice system.

And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community.

We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.

The speech, which you can watch here, is beautiful, but marred slightly by the fact that Obama has worked with an actively homophobic leader of the black community in the past. And he accepted the endorsement of another just a few days ago. The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, who has supported Bush previously but will campaign for Sen. Obama, runs a ministry that is all about the ex-gay thing. From the website:

We are pleased to announce the creation of ” The Way, The Truth and The Life”, a program created to provide Christ Centered instruction for those seeking freedom from homosexuality, lesbianism, prostitution, sex addiction and other habitual sins.

No one is spotless here. Hillary Clinton identifies Billy Graham as a spiritual influence even though Graham is (or was) famously anti-Semitic. But nevertheless, this is disappointing.

Update: John Aravosis contacted the Obama campaign and it told him that Caldwell was a little over-excited when he said he would be campaigning for Obama. The campaign hasn’t actually asked him to do anything.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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