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CNN Panel Tackles Gay Vs. Civil Rights Debate

Are gay rights the same as civil rights?

That's the question that was posed at a Feb. 21 CNN panel moderated by anchor Carol Costello and composed of journalists and activists such as L.Z. Granderson, Amy Kremer and Roland Martin, reports Mediaite.

“Absolutely," Granderson replied, taking the lead. “I think that people sometimes get it confused. I don’t think that it’s equal to the civil rights movement. I think they’re different movements."

Discussing how civil rights are international, Granderson continued, “Back in Britain, Catholics were fighting for their civil rights because they were discriminated against legally in Great Britain. So this notion of what is civil rights. It’s not U.S. and it’s not just tied to the civil rights movement, he concluded.

Meanwhile, CNN contributor Roland Martin referenced the African American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in his response.

“The question is wrong," he said. "It’s not a question, 'Is gay rights civil rights?' Is the gay rights movement the same as the black civil rights movement? That is the distinction. We had African Americans in Jim Crow who couldn’t vote, who couldn’t stay in hotels and couldn’t stay in restaurants, but if you were white and gay you could."

Martin, who was ridiculed by GLAAD for making homophobic remarks on Twitter during the 2012 Super Bowl, made the distinction that other movements stemmed from the civil rights act despite critical differences.

Earlier this year during President Barack Obama’s inaugural address, he rhetorically connected Selma to Stonewall, reigniting this heated conversation.

by Anonymousreply 5303/03/2013

And Mr. Martin never experienced Jim Crow, just heard about it, whereas gay people have usually experienced not only direct discrimination but hate from their families. Sure employment is harder for him and store detectives follow him around, but he doesn't know what it's like to be REALLY alone in a world that values only crowds.

by Anonymousreply 102/24/2013


by Anonymousreply 202/24/2013

What is the point of the debate to begin with?

by Anonymousreply 302/24/2013

No it's not a contest and it is not helpful for either side to speculate which is more difficult to live through. Better just to try an have some understanding and support each other.

by Anonymousreply 402/24/2013

Intended to cause division. Nothing more.

by Anonymousreply 502/24/2013

The state of being black is practically celebrated by the media in this country. The idea of male to male sex? Not so much. That's the societal aspect.

Then there's the legal one. Marriage? Workplace discrimination? Adoption? Clubs in schools?

Civil rights and the idea of deserved respect have come to one group but not the other.

by Anonymousreply 602/24/2013

[quote] . We had African Americans in Jim Crow who couldn’t vote, who couldn’t stay in hotels and couldn’t stay in restaurants, but if you were white and gay you could."

Why is this idiot being given a national audience?

We HAVE (present tense) gay people who cannot marry, cannot provide benefits for their loved ones and cannot have legal recognition of their families, but if you are black and straight you can.

by Anonymousreply 702/24/2013

Not so much, R6.

See R5.

by Anonymousreply 802/24/2013

What do you mean "not so much"? It's true.

by Anonymousreply 902/24/2013

There is STILL a ton of systemic racism against blacks built into this country.

And in addition to what R7 said, gay people can be fired from a job just for being gay, and have no recourse in most states. You can't be fired just for being black.

by Anonymousreply 1002/24/2013

R6 your post is NOT true.

R7 and R10's posts are true.

by Anonymousreply 1102/24/2013

LGBT discrimination and segregation is a civil rights issue. However, it is stupid to compare the struggles. Both had pros and cons. Gay people had a closet. You can hide sexuality; you cant hide your skin. However, black people could at least be themselves within their community. A gay person couldn't be themselves at all. You would be a complete social outcast. Being a second-class citizen or having to hide who you truly are both are terrible options.

by Anonymousreply 1202/24/2013

R12's post is also true.

by Anonymousreply 1302/24/2013

[quote]There is STILL a ton of systemic racism against blacks built into this country.

You mean like the kind where people dare to criticize Beyonce's documentary about herself? or the kind where Perez Hilton dares to criticize Azealia Banks for using the word "faggot"?

by Anonymousreply 1402/24/2013

R14, there are none so blind as the willfully blind. This is STILL a country where black men can't catch cabs, and where "Driving While Black" is still a problem.

by Anonymousreply 1502/24/2013

A racist like R14 bruised at the idea of someone challenging gay civil rights. Precious.

by Anonymousreply 1602/24/2013

Of course gay rights are civil rights. Civil rights by definition are about people receiving the same rights in their country, state or local government as others do. That's what it means.

To discriminate as to which people we are talking about is the ultimate irony.

by Anonymousreply 1702/24/2013

Of course the gay rights movement is different than the women's right's movement which is different than the black civil right's movement.

But they are all civil rights movements. They have had different challenges.

To the extent the black civil rights movement was abbreviated to 'the civil rights movement" that is a mere semantic distinction and hardly worth discussing, much less having a CNN panel about.

by Anonymousreply 1802/24/2013


Most prominent black civil rights leaders (from Julian Bond and Ben Jealous, to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson) support marriage equality.


Most white gay rights activists (from Dan Savage to Dustin Lance Black) are unabashed racists who display an irrational hatred of non-whites, gay or straight.

by Anonymousreply 1902/24/2013

It is a complicated topic. In my eyes, the biggest problem is that the face of gay civil rights happens to be a white male one. No one ever really talks about the gays of various shades and the lesbians, and the gay non rich white gay men, who are working for equality also. As long as people equate gay civil rights with rich white gay men, you're going to have this problem across the board. And it's not because lesbians and gay men of color aren't stepping up and doing their thing either. It's a simple PR problem that no one in the community wants to address in any meaningful way. Here is the bitter, ugly truth no one feels sorry for rich white guys, straight or gay. And when you have $1000 a plate fund raisers for marriage equality, people are going to question just what's the problem.

by Anonymousreply 2002/24/2013

What is so damn hard about this for some people? Civil rights belong to everyone; individuals and groups have been fighting, suffering, and dying for Civil Rights in some form for millenia.

However, in the context of US politics, the unmodified phrase "Civl Rights Movement" applies to the African American struggle for survival and equality that continues today. A reference to Civil Rights in some contexts will automatically be understood to rerfer to that struggle, while in others be understood to mean struggles for Civil Rights for other groups, or Civil Rights generally.

No struggle is, or will ever be, the same as another; not only does this fact deserve to be recognized in its particulars, we cannot correct the root injustuces without doing so. At the same time, the common humanity those who struggle, and our common commitment to it, must never be forgotten.

To argue otherwise is to play into the hands of those at the top who benefit from oppression.

by Anonymousreply 2102/24/2013

r15, that's not "racism." It's assessing risk based on statistics. It's no different from insurance companies charging more for people in a high risk demographic.

Now is it fair to the individual who doesn't present risk? No, not in either case. But the motivation behind it isn't one of malice, which is what is behind racism.

by Anonymousreply 2202/24/2013

Nice try, R22. Still racist.

by Anonymousreply 2302/24/2013

r23, you're what's known as a lying sack of shit.

A lying sack of shit who can't even back up your resentments.

by Anonymousreply 2402/24/2013

If the issue of equal rights for gays is decided, in large part, on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment (as countless courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have now ruled), then this issue is, just by definition, a question of civil rights. It hardly matters whether the gay rights movement is "the same as" or "different from" the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, or the Women's Liberation Movement, or whatever historical movement for equality that you can name.

by Anonymousreply 2502/24/2013

You mad, R24?

So let's not allow gays in the workplace because of "assessed" risk of AIDs, right R22?

Male teachers? No--"assessed risk" of being predators.

How about we shackle all male children at birth because of their "assessed risk" of being violent?

Still mad?

by Anonymousreply 2602/24/2013

[quote]Most white gay rights activists (from Dan Savage to Dustin Lance Black) are unabashed racists who display an irrational hatred of non-whites, gay or straight.

Why do freaks like this poster get to spout this garbage on a regular basis here?

by Anonymousreply 2702/24/2013

r26, you apparently skipped the part where r24 said it wasn't fair. Just because something isn't racist, doesn't mean it's a good thing.

by Anonymousreply 2802/24/2013

I really question CNN's decision to include Roland Martin in this "debate," since he was suspended earlier this year from the network for the following tweet:

If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl

by Anonymousreply 2902/24/2013

Sorry, I meant r22, not r24.

by Anonymousreply 3002/24/2013

I didn't skip a thing, R28.

You seemed to have skipped the point, entirely.

by Anonymousreply 3102/24/2013

r32 I'll second that statement.

by Anonymousreply 3402/24/2013

It *is* the freepers, for the most part.

R32 you are no better.

by Anonymousreply 3502/24/2013

I can see this thread is heading towards meltdown. I will say that this argument infuriates me like nothing else. I am astounded each day at black people like Roland Martin who say black people couldn't stay in hotel or go in restaurants, while white gay people could. As if he knows that for a fact. As if gay black people don't exist. As if gay black people werent denied the same things by other black people themselves. Everytime this argument comes up it makes me feel like I am at the very bottom of society as a gay black man, it makes me very angry and sad.

by Anonymousreply 3602/24/2013

R19 is full of shit.

by Anonymousreply 3702/24/2013

R34 gets it.

Can't tell you how many racist comments I've witnessed in gay bars or gay events. Or here at DL and other "tolerant" LGBT websites.

by Anonymousreply 3802/24/2013

It's apples and oranges. Very few gay white men and women have ever experienced the daily discrimination felt by black people. It's really offensive to even suggest there is some similarity.

Cue the outraged responses....

by Anonymousreply 3902/24/2013

R39, not an outraged response... just a sigh. You're right and you're wrong. And it's not a contest. And it's not an insult to equate the struggle for gay rights with the struggle for civil rights for blacks and other minorities. There ARE equivalencies and similarities. But that's no in any way saying they're "The same".

Stop trying to sow discord between groups that should be allied.

by Anonymousreply 4002/24/2013

Being black is celebrated in this country? LOL. You might want to ask the Obama's about that.

R20 is right, BTW.

by Anonymousreply 4102/24/2013

Well you're just a liar R39. What are the facts? The facts are that blacks have been protected by the Civil Rights Act since 1964. That they still experience discrimination is a terrible thing, but they already have their rights.

Gays do not have their civil rights.

And I personally have experienced much discrimination as a gay man R39. It is simply not true that all gay people can hide.

by Anonymousreply 4202/24/2013

r40, I think we kind of agree. All I'm saying is I completely understand when civil rights leaders express their dismay at gay rights groups trying to piggy back and co-opt the "movement". The discrimination they faced back then and the discrimination faced today is still very different and much more acute, if you will, then anything faced by gay white men and women. That's a fact.

by Anonymousreply 4302/24/2013

Last time I checked, Obama was elected President of this country, R41, and Mrs. Obama is the most admired woman in America.

by Anonymousreply 4402/24/2013

Gays talk about gays of color all the time. It is our enemies who only talk about white gays. Duh.

by Anonymousreply 4502/24/2013

[quote]All I'm saying is I completely understand when civil rights leaders express their dismay at gay rights groups trying to piggy back and co-opt the "movement".

But what I'm saying is I don't understand. I find it homophobic/anti-gay at the very least. And to dismiss it as "piggy-backing"?!? Please.

Drawing obvious parallels isn't "co-opting" or "piggy-backing"... the very notion is insulting. These people should know better. They should understand the struggle of minorities -- all minorities -- and their efforts to get equal treatment under the law.

by Anonymousreply 4602/24/2013

R44, apparently you're ignorant of all the blatant naked racism being hurled at Obama... and the first lady

by Anonymousreply 4702/24/2013

[quote]All I'm saying is I completely understand when civil rights leaders express their dismay at gay rights groups trying to piggy back and co-opt the "movement".

r43, Only it's not civil rights leaders saying this. Actual civil rights leaders who lived through the era, who did the work of that time--from Julian Bond to John Lewis and Coretta Scott King and Margaret Loving--were among the first to point out the similarities between the two movements and have been vocal supporters. It's know-nothing, arrogant empowered millionaire assholes like Roland Martin and idiotic huckster preachers playing up people's fears and prejudices, most of whom have never experienced a day of LEGAL discrimination in their lives, shrieking that the two movements are incomparable.

Meh, pick a side. I know mine.

by Anonymousreply 4802/24/2013

R48, agreed, there are a bunch of gross racist shitbags who fling their feces at Obama because they are gross racist shitbags, but we we are at a point in history where a black man can be president. I'm in my twenties, and I don't believe we'll ever see a gay presidential candidate in my lifetime.

by Anonymousreply 4902/24/2013

Dream big, R49.

by Anonymousreply 5002/24/2013

r50, with all due respect to Karger, that poster obviously means a serious contender for president, not someone whose candidacy is such an outrageous longshot impossibility that it picks up coverage and interest for that reason alone.

by Anonymousreply 5102/24/2013


by Anonymousreply 5202/24/2013

Uncomfortable truth from r19.

by Anonymousreply 5303/03/2013
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