OPINION: Stop Using Black People As Pawns In Gay Marriage Fight

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From the Washington Post:

Their refrain was as familiar to me as dining hall food, and equally as offensive. All too often, white liberal classmates at the University of Virginia would ask, “Shouldn’t blacks, more than any other group, support gay rights?”

I never understood my classmates’ need to align the historical struggles of blacks with those of homosexuals and then push their quadratic equation of oppression on me. Was not one point of Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,” a classic text for college seminars, that blacks deserve an existence free from an assigned role? That they should not be pawns in any social movement? And even if they hadn’t read the book, wasn’t it clear that stereotypical assumptions based on race are regressive?

RELATED: OPINION: Black Voters Should View Gay Marriage As A Civil Rights Issue

Hearing that from my white peers was one thing — they and I often viewed race through different lenses, with mine being one shade darker than rose. But last month, one of our greatest civil rights leaders also sang the same cacophonous tune in an attempt to peg African Americans’ morals and opinions to our socio-historical identities.

“Black people, of all people, should not oppose equality,” Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP, declared at the National Equality March in Washington.

RELATED: Black Voters Drove Gay Marriage Ban? Online Debate Rages

To be clear, Bond has used this line several times, and when he says “equality,” he isn’t talking about the right to vote, the right to eat at a public restaurant, the right to attend an integrated school or the right to a fair trial. He is talking about the right to change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

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