Right-wing bloggers lost their (rhymes with kit) this week, as the Reverend Al Sharpton tweeted out a clip of his recent appearance on Msnbc’s “Deadline/WhiteHouse” with Nicole Wallace. In the clip, Sharpton addresses what he believes to be the biggest hurdle presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, has in winning over African American voters. That hurdle is homophobia.
Reflecting on his recent, symbolic dinner with Buttigieg at Sylvia’s Soul Food Restaurant in Harlem, Sharpton acknowledged that while many people in the African American community are homophobic, he believes Buttigieg has the potential to change hearts and minds.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) May 17, 2019
Al Sharpton’s appearance on “Deadline/WhiteHouse” was intended to be a positive one. He praised Buttigieg’s intelligence, his grasp of policies, his humility and decency as a human being. He suggested, whereas some black people may not have initially been willing to support an openly gay candidate, people in the community came out to meet Buttigieg on that night at Sylvia’s and according to Sharpton, many began to warm up to him.
However, right-wing trash blogs, American Thinker, and Rightscoop put a different spin on Sharpton’s political assessments. Rather than see the potential for opportunity, their divisive, only takeaway instead, was the singular line, “Many Blacks are Homophobic.” That’s it. That’s all they got from his commentary, and with that, they ran.
Yes, many black people are homophobic, but it is laughable for anyone on the right to exploit this as some A-ha moment, as if black people are more overwhelmingly homophobic than any other group. Arguably, homophobia in all communities, inclusive of all ethnicities, is first deeply rooted in religion – specifically Christianity.
Catholics, Christian Evangelicals, Baptists, and many other Christ-based faith groups, all share the same fire and brimstone, doomsday ending for gay people and they often cite an alleged quote from the book of Leviticus in the Bible to support their homophobia: “Man shall not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination” – Leviticus 18:22. The thing is, Leviticus says a lot more than that, about things we all do as part of our everyday routine – but somehow people seem to always skip right past those to get to that alleged “gay” part.
I can’t speak for the other ethnic communities, but as an African American, I am far more concerned with Donald Trump than Bible passages. Trump is an awful, oppressive, malignant growth on humanity, and his administration will spare no harm to any marginalized group, for political or monetary gain. He, therefore, must not have a second term.
That means if Pete Buttigieg becomes the Democratic nominee, he is going to need black people to put their Bibles down and show up at the polls just as they did for Obama. Black people are going to face a choice of either 4 more years of oppression from one of the most racially divisive administrations in modern history, or an elusive biblical term. Black Americans, especially the church folks, need to wrap their minds around this now in advance, let go of any bias, and make a separation between how they may feel about a man’s lifestyle and his competency to govern this great nation.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) May 24, 2019
For those African Americans using the Bible as an excuse not to vote for Pete Buttigieg, please keep in mind all the other “abominations” against God listed in Leviticus. They include men’s haircuts, shaving, eating shrimp, eating crabs, eating lobster and all other shellfish, eating animals with cloven hooves (that means pork and beef), braiding your hair, growing different crops in the same field, wearing garments of mixed fabrics, tattoos, and piercings of any kind and yes, also coming in contact with a menstruating woman is forbidden. I’m not even talking about sexual contact either. Nope, she’s not even allowed in the house!
I know that list seems very restrictive, but hey, those are God’s words, not mine. That’s what Leviticus looks like when you don’t cherry pick gay stuff.
Look on the bright side though; the Bible doesn’t say anything at all about America’s favorite wholesome sport, football. But it does forbid man from coming in contact with the skin of a dead pig. That’s apparently another one of those abominations, so it looks like the entire NFL is going straight to hell. Oh well.
Anyway, if and when the time comes, vote for Pete! Trust me; he’s far more aligned with Jesus than Donald Trump will ever be.
This piece is an opinion piece by one Contributing Writer for Instinct Magazine and may not reflect the opinion of the magazine or other Contributing Writers.