Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Media quick to place blame unfairly on minorities

Amendment 2 not a ‘Black Thing’
Media quick to place blame unfairly on minorities

NOV. 13, 2008
Election Night was wonderful for me – mostly because I did not learn about the passing of Amendment 2 until the following morning. I had just spent over 3 months campaigning my ass off for Barack Obama and victory was sweet. I went door-to-door canvassing my neighborhood, I wrote blog entries, I registered over 200 new voters and I held signs for Obama out on the street. All together, I estimate that I gave the Barack Obama campaign over 165 hours of my time and most of my focus.

I am the President of the Democratic Student Assembly at the Art Institutes of Fort Lauderdale, and I am gay. I worked with most of the campaign staff in Fort Lauderdale and we have been instrumental in helping to get Art Institute students registered… and getting out the Gay vote.

I’m not trying to brag here – I’m just explaining my deflation factor on November 5th when CNN announced that Amendment 2 had passed in Florida, Proposition 8 had passed in California and it was all because of “black voters newly registered by the Obama campaign.” The evidence for this harsh accusation was CNN’s own exit polls…which revealed that 65% of black voters had voted “Yes” on Amendment 2.

I felt so betrayed – mostly by all the black voters that I had been registering and giving encouragement to over the last 3 months. How could this happen? Did they not listen to Barack’s message of diversity and acceptance?

I quickly sobered from my disillusionment when I took a closer look at these exit polls and realized that not only CNN, but Fox, MSNBC and CBS were all basically lying to us in a concentrated effort to blame the anti-gay amendments on the black community.

Do the math: CNN says that 4,755,000 people voted "Yes" on Amendment 2, and they say that 71% of Blacks voted "Yes" on the Amendment. But black voters make up only 11% of the electorate—approximately 523,000 people in this election—and 71% of them voting “yes” means you get a whopping 371,000 people. That’s 8% of the total 4.75 million “yes”
votes. That paints a much different picture, doesn’t it?

Another group which isn’t getting much press these days is Jews – who voted in a strong majority against both Prop 8 and Amendment 2 – proving once again, that minorities stick
together. Shalom!

Here’s another CNN exit poll statistic that isn’t getting much coverage among the pundits: Obama voters as a whole voted 57% AGAINST Amendment 2 in Florida while McCain voters voted 81% in favor of the anti-gay legislation.

So, at the end of the day, we need to place blame squarely where it’s due – back on the white, rural, Christian conservative Republicans over the age of 40, whose tyranny put this measure on the ballot to begin with. Do not let the media conquer us with division…even if the lowest blows come from that sexy little silver-haired newscaster we all admire so much. There is a subtle conspiracy between the media and its Republican advertisers to absolve themselves of responsibility when things get out of hand. A constitutional amendment that specifically targets gays and lesbians is definitely out of hand, and it’s right out of the Jim Crow playbook – Disenfranchisement For Dummies.

Governor Charlie Crist supported Amendment 2 and needs to be chastised as well. We have a new President whom, thanks to a majority of Florida voters, disagrees with our Governor on Amendment 2.

As we work to reverse this hateful act of discrimination (by whatever means necessary) we must always keep in mind that almost 3 million concerned Floridians said “No” to Amendment 2 and meant it.

My new campaign motto is “Yes We Did… and we’ll keep doing it too!”
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