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Yes, hate groups have African Americans too

Timothy Kincaid

January 17th, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center has long since earned its reputation as an honest monitor of racially based hate groups. At some point they expanded their scope to include hate groups which exist to instigate animus towards gay people as well.

It isn’t easy to get on the SPLC’s Hate Group listing. This isn’t the Maggie Gallagher and Dr. James Dobson and Southern Baptist preacher crowd. Ignorance, prejudice, callous disregard and presumptions of superiority are not nearly enough to quality.

To qualify as a Hate Group, one must engage in active defamation. In other words, a hate group must intentionally spread vicious lies which they must know – or certainly should know – to be untrue for the purpose of stirring up animus against gay people. These are the folks who manufacture fake studies, distort research, make totally fabricated claims, and do so under the presence of telling the real truth that the AMA, the APA, and everyone else with an education and credible reputation are conspiring to keep secret.

In total only 16 groups currently make the cut:

Being called a “hate group” is infuriating to those who identify as Christians. (For a year now I’ve been intending to address hate and love from the perspective of Christian theology, what qualifies as each, where boundaries lie and the difficulty of being human while aspiring to spiritual goals. Frankly, I’ve put it off because to do it justice is a daunting task, but I really do think it may be time to attack the job.)

In the past, those listed have mostly ignored the SPLC. As they didn’t run in circles in which advocating for the cessation of racism was highly admired, they didn’t much care what the “liberal activist group” thought of them. But with the addition of some more vocal and politically connected organizations, attention has been given to the SPLC’s listing. And, naturally, rather than ponder whether their behavior was hateful and should change, a decision was made to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center.

So today a collection of Hate Groups protested at SPLC headquarters. It was the rather sad souls that we have become accustomed to seeing: Peter LaBarbera, who organized the event, and his best buddy Matt Barber, the Associate Dean of Liberty University School of Law. Also showing up to represent the “Nazis were gay” viewpoint was Rachel Connor of Scott Lively’s Abiding Truth Ministries.

But in hopes of embarrassing this institution know for is advocacy for racial equality, this cluster of unhappy clowns was beefed up by including some African American preachers, some particularly nasty hate-filled African American preachers.

DL Foster I’ve dealt with before. He’s perhaps the most mean spirited, personally vile, directly hateful individual I’ve encountered (with Robert Gagnon as his competitor). He’s the type of guy who blames the suicide of bullied kids on “homosexual activists”. He’s the sort of fellow who thinks that the beatings and murders of gay people in Jamaica are godly. Oh yeah, and DL is ex-gay.

Tim Johnson, founder of the Fredrick Douglass Foundation, doesn’t have a high profile for anti-gay activism. He is, however, a convicted domestic violence felon. On Christmas Day 1995 he beat his wife because “that’s the only way I can get her attention.” She was hospitalized with a broken nose and toes.

Then included was a collection of ministers from Church of God in Christ, DL Foster’s denomination: Pastor Glen Sawyer, New Mt. Zion Church of God in Christ, Elizabeth City, NC; Pastor Wil Nichols, Victorious Praise Fellowship COGIC, Durham, NC; Pastor Jon Robinson, Kingdom C.O.M.E. Ministries, Clairton, PA; and Pastor Kenneth Jefferson, Greater Harvest COGIC. The Church of God in Christ is a Pentecostal Holiness black church and it is HUGE, with about five million members and 12,000 congregations in the US alone. By comparison, the largest non racially specific pentecostal church, the Assemblies of God, has about three million US members.

But perhaps no participant in LaBarbera’s little “we got Blaa People too” charade is quite such an example of the type of Blaa People that are so blinded by their evil imagination and their hatred of gay people that they would seek to discredit a respected civil rights organization as Dr. Patrick Wooden, pastor of Upper Room Church of God in Christ. Right Wing Watch caught this particular doozy from an interview with The Peter of just a few days ago (via Joe Jervis):

My belief is that if the medical community would just step forward and just would share with the American people what happens to the male anus, what the problems that homosexuals have with their rectums, the damage that is done, the operations that are needed to sew up their bodies, if you will. And how many of the men don’t even give the stitches time to heal, before they’re back, they’re out there, practicing that wicked behavior. Some are “bleeders”, men who are not turned off by ingesting the feces of other men. If the truth was told, people would literally gag. And no one would want to be in a lifestyle like that. Who wants to practice anything that is ultimately going to lead a grown man to – by the time he’s in his 40′s or 50′s or whatnot – having to wear a diaper or a “butt-plug” just to be able to contain their bowels?

Who indeed? Certainly no one I’ve ever met, encountered, read about, or who ever existed outside the disturbed imagination of Dr. Wooden. If he keeps that sort of nonsense up, the Southern Poverty Law Center may find itself in the unenviable and ironic position of having to add an African American church to its list of Hate Groups.

Comments

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Aaron
January 17th, 2012 | LINK

My God, what Wooden said is perhaps one of the most disgusting things that I have ever read. What a despicable thing for a supposed man of God to say.

Hyhybt
January 17th, 2012 | LINK

I’d always heard that using muscles makes them *stronger.*

PJB863
January 17th, 2012 | LINK

Yes, it was disgusting. That’s good in the sense that mainstream media will avoid covering the event and giving LaBarbera and the others the publicity they crave, on the grounds that it’s just too gross to put on the 10:00 news.

But it’s a bad thing too because it would really allow the participants to portray themselves for what they really are to the general public.

WMDKitty
January 18th, 2012 | LINK

“the Southern Poverty Law Center may find itself in the unenviable and ironic position of having to add an African American church to its list of Hate Groups.”

Awkwaaaard.

Anyone know why the Black community — a community you’d think would be, you know, sympathetic to the struggle for civil rights — why are they so damn anti-gay?

jpeckjr
January 18th, 2012 | LINK

The protesters are standing across the street from the SPLC headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama. They are standing in front of the National Civil Rights Memorial, which honors men and women who died in the civil rights movement. The memorial was built with money won from the KKK in a lawsuit. The SPLC headquarters is designed defensively so it is almost impossible to hold a demonstration directly in front of it.

Look around you, haters. You’re going to lose.

paul canning
January 18th, 2012 | LINK

The ‘diaper’ comments are very common in Africa – I wonder if they thought it up themselves or got it from Wooden and his mates? hmmm

StraightGrandmother
January 18th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid, why thank you very much :) In fact I will be linking to your article in response to a current conversation I am in at

http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/complementary_beings

At Mercator Grandfatherl refers us to an American Thinker article that uses as it’s source…The Family Research Council. Comments there are moderated so my comment won’t show up for a while, I already alerted the readers to the fact that The Family Research Council is a designated ***HATE GROUP***, but now I will go enter an additional comment referencing your article. Your article happens to be quite timely for me, many thanks :) :) :)

EOJinDc
January 18th, 2012 | LINK

@WMDKitty and anyone else who shares the sentiment. Please stop making monolithic comments about the Black community. I am Black and have experienced nothing but acceptance and love from my friends and family. Ignorance is not limited by skin color. There are ignorant Black people, and if they are so blinded by their animus, SPLC should add them to their list of hate groups. It’s not “awkward.” It would be the right thing to do because that’s how we should treat hate. Call them out. Don’t give them a dark corner or allow them to find safe harbor anywhere.

A better question is why is the mainstream LGBT community forgetting that there are Black LGBT people who are out and lead happy, productive lives? All I read about are Black pastors who have done what several white ministers and white male Conservatives have been doing-secretly having sex with men. I hear about Black men being ashamed of being gay and living on the “DL.” In the mainstream LGBT community, it’s called the “closet.” Even if being on the DL were as widespread as some might think, why should it be treated any differently? A closet by any other name is still a closet.

Where are the stories about Dr. Sylvia Rhue, Mandy Carter, and Kylar Belarus who is a Black Transgender man who was featured in Black Enterprise Magazine? Ebony and Essence, two Black publications that are ubiquitous in the Black community have run several, lengthy pro-LGBT pieces. Ebony even included a lesbian couple in it’s February issue focused on love in the Black community.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I am taking a harsh tone. To the contrary, questions and assumptions based on there being somekind of difference between Black bigots and White bigots is annoying, but everytime the question is asked, it opens a door for dialogue.

Imagine the unstoppable force that would be unleashed if the strategies and institutional knowledge of the Black Civil Rights community (people like US Rep John Lewis, Julian Bond, Benjamin Jealous, and Mary Francis Berry) were pooled with the outreach network that’s been built by the mainstream LGBT community. I get goose bumps thinking about it.

EOJinDC
January 18th, 2012 | LINK

@paul canning, BTB has been extensive in it’s coverage of the Ex-Gay movement’s presence and influence in Uganda: http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/03/28/10171

Here’s a link to their full coverage: http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/slouching-toward-kampala

I’ll admit that I have not read all of the articles. So, at this point, when I say that the source of the comments in question are white Evangelicals from the US, it’s circumstantial. But the presence of the Ex-Gay movement in Black churches in the US for the last 20 years has been well documented.

I think a strong argument could be made that both Wooden and the anti-gay movement in Uganda have the same devil sitting on their shoulder whispering lies into their ear.

Blake
January 18th, 2012 | LINK

His comments do remind me of another pastor, somewhere, who talked about eating da poo-poo…

Reed Boyer
January 18th, 2012 | LINK

“For a year now I’ve been intending to address hate and love from the perspective of Christian theology, what qualifies as each, where boundaries lie and the difficulty of being human while aspiring to spiritual goals. Frankly, I’ve put it off because to do it justice is a daunting task, but I really do think it may be time to attack the job.”

I agree. Actually, I think you’re up to the job, which is akin to eating a whale: one bite at a time (i.e., a series).

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2012 | LINK

EOJ

You raise good questions. But unfortunately there may not be good answers.

I hope that at BTB that we don’t give the impression that black bigots and white bigots are somehow different. And we try not to buy in too heavily to the DL theme. But we are white guys and I’m sure that impacts the way we write. As much as I may become infuriated by the casual racism that i see, I’ve never lived it.

But in this particular commentary, race is relevant. In fact race was the whole point of the protest. Those COGIC ministers would not have been invited if they had skin with different levels of melanin.

John B.
January 18th, 2012 | LINK

I think he’s misunderstanding the purpose of a buttplug.

ebohlman
January 19th, 2012 | LINK

It should be noted that the SPLC has long designated several black separatist groups as hate groups.

WMDKitty
January 19th, 2012 | LINK

@EOJinDC — Dude, whatever. The truth is that the black community, for the most part, is virulently homophobic, and it shows. Too bad you’re in denial.

Timothy Kincaid
January 19th, 2012 | LINK

Ebohlman,

Thanks for the correction. Good point.

WMDKitty,

The black community is not “for the most part” homophobic. It is, numerically, less supportive than other races.

But numbers dont tell the whole story. And in this instance we are talking about two black communities -one very religious and a bit segregated, and one that is more assimilated and secular.

Just as the white San Francisco cellist and the white Iowa corn farmer are not defined by their race on the issue of homosexuality, so too are the black dance instructor and the black COGIC pastor not defined by their race.

And I am not convinced that african Americans are in the same place they were three years ago. I’ve seen significant change.

It may still be true that taking black people as one demographic and making comparison solely on race, that you might still find less support. But let’s look from this perspective: attitudes in the black community today are no worse than attitudes of Whites ten years ago. And I don’t recall anyone saying “why are white people so homophobic?” at that time.

F Young
January 20th, 2012 | LINK

@EOJinDC
“I hear about Black men being ashamed of being gay and living on the “DL.” In the mainstream LGBT community, it’s called the “closet.” Even if being on the DL were as widespread as some might think, why should it be treated any differently? A closet by any other name is still a closet.”

I agree that a closet by another name is still a closet, but “down low” is not a racist term used by white LGBT’s to disparage African American closeted gays, as you appear to suggest.

It was invented by African Americans themselves to describe African Americans in opposite-sex relationships who have sex with men (usually) on the side, but who nevertheless consider that they are not gay.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down-low_(sexual_slang)

I don’t see anything wrong with white LGBT’s using the same term that African-Americans use to describe themselves.

Marlene
January 21st, 2012 | LINK

Let’s also not forget that many of these highly conservative black churches are under the delusion that they are the sole owners of the label “oppressed” and own the title to the phrase “civil rights”.

It’s clear though that none of these supposedly “intelligent” men recognize the herculean efforts and passion of Bayard Rustin, who just so happened to be gay, and was one of Dr. king’s most trusted advisers.

mrmstur
January 26th, 2012 | LINK

“Anyone know why the Black community — a community you’d think would be, you know, sympathetic to the struggle for civil rights — why are they so damn anti-gay?”

The answer is white slavemasters forcing their backward religious views on blacks for centuries.

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