Monday, March 30, 2009

Christopher Smitherman: Warns us Queers

From Christopher Smitherman's show this weekend:

Cincinnati NAACP president warns GLBT community about criticizing appointment of anti-gay rights activist Chris Finney, 3/28/09 from Funky Broadway on Vimeo.

The information also appears in the latest CityBeat blog post:
“I think you should be very, very cautious LGBT community,” Smitherman said. “I think you should be very cautious moving forward. I don't think this is a tree you want to bark up. But if you want to go there, if this is what you want to do, we can go there.

But the bottom line is your community as it deals with racism in the African-American community, you’re not there,” he continued. “You're absent. And then when it's convenient for you, you start evoking (sic) Dr. Martin Luther King. Proposition 8 lost in California because the (gay) community isn't properly engaging the African-American community. And you're showin' up at the last minute trying to build bridges and have relationships, and it doesn't work that way.
I do like his point: "It's not enough to just talk about Martin Luther King."

Meanwhile, he makes an interesting point: "How can you be racist and be gay? It's an oxymoron to me." In the end, I think, racist pervades regardless of other minority indicators. But, then again, so does homophobia and heterosexism.

More Updates: the Enquirer picked it up, as did GoMagazine and the Democratic Underground.

Update: I just cut a lot out of this blog post. I'll let you guys do the talking. Tell me what you think. Also, if you decide to repost, just give us a heads up so we can track it across the world-wide-weirdness known as teh interweb. Like this post from the Lavender Newswire, which is about to be blogrolled here at, and the ever angry :-) Wolfie at,, and don't forget the Cincinnati Black Blog's reaction, as well as Cincinnati blog.


Anonymous said...

ok. when did HRC, equality ohio, etc appoint someone who ACTIVELY created legislation that TOOK AWAY a minority group's civil rights?

Sorry - I agree with the "you haven't been there for us" and the undercurrents of racism in gay-world - but, really, "being there" is different from "endorsing and enabling your worst historical adversary".

I'm catholic, I know when someone's trying to confuse me with guilt.

Anonymous said...

The more this guy spoke, the angrier it made me. And he wonders why there's such a racial divide in Cincinnati. When we have black "leadership" basically yelling and presenting himself in an unprofessional manner,he's not making the situation any better when trying to build unity between the white and black community. Last time I checked, black people don't have to come out of the closet. Last time I checked, black people have national laws protecting them from hate crimes and workplace discrimination. Last time I checked black people had the right to marry whomever they loved, be-it they are heterosexual. Last time I checked, the black kids were getting the scholarship money while I got jack shit even though I've had to face plenty of adversity being gay. And boo fucking hoo about your traffic lights and trivial bullshit... there's a much bigger war going on out there for the LGBTQ community at this time, and he clearly does not get that. I have no respect for this guy, whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

How can you be African-American and be homophobic? Very easily, apparently, if the way A-As' votes on Prop 8 carried the day is any indication. Or the way A-As voted here in Cincinnati on Issue 3. Gays haven't been there for A-As? WTF? The OPPOSITE is true.

The Seeker said...

Oh dear God...
Shit like this makes me wanna cry.

Anonymous said...

Links to Kevin Osborne's 3/30/09 CityBeat item.

Withers: 10 Random Thoughts
by James Withers, contributing editor, 365Gay Blog, 3/31/09

8. Christopher Smitherman, the Cincinnati NAACP chapter president, warned gays and lesbians about consequences if people kept giving him grief about picking homophobe Chris Finney to be his group's legal advisor. Smitherman, you are no Michael Corleone. Keep the empty threats to yourself. Really.

SCG said...

If the "LGBT leadership" *did* show up for the various events he's talking about, would they be welcomed guests? Yes, racism exists. Yes, racism exists even within the gay community. But the homophobia of the African-American community, particularly toward blacks who are LGBT is undeniable, unbelievable, and unacceptable.