By Ernie McCray
Damn. One day I’m writing a piece concerning discrimination against lesbians and gays, making a pitch for us to let the now proverbial Adam and Steve or Alanna and Eve feel at ease in just being themselves.
And the very next day, to my dismay, I hear of a little 5-year-old black girl who is kicked out of a school, the Mt. Erie Christian Academy, because she has two moms.
Whoa, right back where I started from. Another story about “beliefs.” Christian beliefs. But I just have to say I can’t see Christ turning some child away from a school with some lame excuse like “The Bible says homosexuality is a sin,” making that little girl, in essence, a victim of her mothers’ sins.
How can a girl be cast away from learning her abc’s at a place where she fit in comfortably? Oh I, for the life of me, don’t know how, over the years, I didn’t see that we black folks have a problem with our gay brothers and sisters. I just missed it.
I mean, as a kid, growing up on the northside of the Old Pueblo, I remember gay people, save a snide “Why you walk so funny?” or “Why you dress like a dude?” remark or two, being accepted pretty well. We just kind of shook our heads, not really understanding, and went “Whatever. Ain’t my thang.” And started playing again.
Closer to home my family had friends who were gay and one of my mother’s dearest friends, Hazel, was a lesbian who poured me ice-cold red koolaid on simmering Tucson summer days, and sat back and listened to my philosophies, my little take on things, like I was Paul Robeson or somebody with something to say. She played a big part in who I am today.
So, I guess I was distracted by such as that because this gross dislike of gay people by black people that I’ve seen over the past few years had obviously been building up over time. I wasn’t hip to it until gay issues became political issues and California State initiatives and propositions were drafted regarding whether gay teachers should be allowed to teach or whether a man could marry a man or a woman a woman – and they’d break the numbers down and black votes were overwhelmingly anti-gay.
I was so blown away I didn’t know what to say, just as I’m greatly unsettled with what happened at the Mt. Erie Academy. What’s particularly sad is we can’t yell “The Man” on this one. He had nothing to do (well, he had a huge role in introducing our ancestors to “The Word”) with what happened on that campus. The only white people involved were those who rushed to the school with paper and pad and cameras to capture such an ugly disheartening un-Christian-like story.
The victim in this sordid tale was a little black girl who lives in a house I’m assuming is in the black community (but it shouldn’t matter anyway) and was enrolled in a predominantly black school run by black educators, in a black neighborhood – a school which is an offspring of an iconic black church which is pastored by black preachers who preach of love, and features soulful black gospel music which was born out of love, with black deacons leading you up the aisle to your seat to hear these sermons of love – and they threw this budding little black sister out. “No room at the inn.”
What’s the definition of a sin? What does love mean to a Christian?
What’s been done to this girl has been carried out by people so caught up in their religious beliefs that they don’t see the hypocrisy in creating a “Non-Discrimination Policy” which reserves for them the right to refuse admission to or to discontinue the enrollment of those who practice or promote a “homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity.” Is it just me or does that seem like a perfect section for a “Discrimination Policy?”
So: Where’s “Black Lives Matter” in this? Should there be an * next to “Black” in that rallying theme? Because it seems that this little girl and her distraught mothers are seen as “less than” us heterosexual blacks in the action taken by Mt. Erie Academy.
You would think with our history of being enslaved and then being discriminated against in horrible ways we should know from experience how desperate one is for just being respected and accepted as human beings, nothing more, nothing less.
We black folks have got to find ways to be supportive of each other, no matter our sexual orientations. We are what our nature dictates.
To those who don’t want to “compromise” their religious beliefs, I can only say maybe you need to pray for a deeper kind of spiritual awareness and human understanding and maybe ask “What would Jesus do?”
My guess is he’d say something like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
And nobody would like having their five-year-old kicked out of school for any reason, especially for having two moms who love each other and their daughter dearly.
All “Black Lives Matter.”
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