This I know for sure. If a Republican politician or a conservative Christian actor stated that he or she personally didn't approve of gay marriage, that statement would get plenty of online criticism from gay celebrities and gay members of the press. It would be posted and shared on Facebook and Twitter. If a handsome news anchor came out of the closet and recorded an "It Gets Better" video, he'd be praised online and would probably get an invite to the next GLAAD Awards dinner event. When Shirley MacLaine was added to the cast of TV's Downton Abbey, that news circulated like gay wildfire on Facebook and Twitter. Monday, I joined the outrage over the senseless killing of unarmed 17 year-old Trayvon Martin. You know the case. The national outrage has now made international headlines. Ever since Monday, I've been very disappointed to wonder when the gay media is joining the national anger over this American tragedy. It seems like some upscale gay white liberal celebs and press members and, frankly, acquaintances of mine would only be motivated to get involved if this entertainment news story broke: "Cast of Downton Abbey outraged over Trayvon Martin killing. Joins local march."
On Twitter, gay celebs like Sandra Bernhard praised actress Ellen Barkin for her bravery bringing attention to how she was "jostled" by NYC cops during an Occupy Wall Street protest. JOSTLED. Abner Louima must've read those tweets of praise and said, "Seriously?" Nothing against Sandy B. but I think you get my point. I have been called the N-word. I have been well-dressed, unarmed and carrying several forms of ID in broad daylight and stopped by three cop cars in Seattle. I was walking back to my room at The Four Seasons Hotel after breakfast. Why was I stopped and searched by armed cops? Because a "black man with a newspaper" had robbed a bank ten minutes earlier. I had an itemized receipt and had chatted with folks in the coffee shop during my breakfast when this robbery had occurred. It didn't matter. I was a black man carrying a newspaper. Three cop cars urgently pulled up to me on the street. I had my passport with me and my employee ID from WNYW/Fox 5 TV where I worked on-air for a news program. I had my return airline ticket. Plus, I was staying in the Four Seasons Hotel. I was still searched. This story made the New York Daily News. I was in my hotel room later on the phone with a Daily News reporter friend when two other Seattle cops came to my room to check my carry-on luggage for stolen loot. I didn't hang up the hotel phone. I put the receiver down to let him hear. My reporter friend wrote up the story. That was nothing nearly as horrible as what happened to young Martin but that is what it's like to be a black man in America. I want a different, better America for two great loves of my life -- my two young nephews.
If upscale gay white liberals do not really understand how offensive the N-word is, if they don't grasp how racism in the Land of the Free shreds the fabric of one's soul, they should seriously talk about that subject with their black and other minority friends. Maybe they should start looking at the parties and other social functions they regularly have and attend. Look at their circle of friends. How many black folks are usually in the mix? If those gay celebs, reporters and bloggers who shout down the intolerance of marriage equality think that Martin's murder has nothing to do with them, they should think again. They should think about the gay white couples adopting children of color. Look at their young faces and see the face of the late Trayvon Martin as they grow up. And if you're going to ignore racism, then don't tell gay youth that "It Gets Better." Because not all gay youth is white and upscale. Diversity covers a lot more than the colors seen in the rainbow flag. It covers more than the rainbow flag itself. If I was still living in New York City, I would've marched in Wednesday night's Union Square rally for Trayvon Martin. May he rest in heavenly peace.