Obama under fire for gospel tour with anti-gay singer
Under the headline "Did Obama just lose the gay vote?", Todd Beeton at MyDD.com writes on what he calls the growing firestorm over Barack Obama's "Embrace the Change" gospel tour set to start Friday in South Carolina.
Singers on the tour include Donnie McClurkin, who has crusaded against homosexuality and who says he is a former homosexual. For information on his book Eternal Victim/Eternal Victor, in which he describes his "bout" with homosexuality, click here. For a conservative take on his views, click here.
In a statement on his website, Obama said he disagrees with McClurkin's views on homosexuality, but he did not cancel the appearance. Read the full statement here.
Among those asking Obama to cancel the event was Wayne Besen, executive director of the gay advocacy group Truth Wins Out. “Obama’s statement was inadequate and we are disappointed that he failed to sever ties with Donnie McClurkin," Besen said today on the group's website.
Political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson got the ball rolling Friday on Huffington Post with a post headlined "Obama Should Repudiate and Cancel His Gay Bash Tour and Do It Now." Today he notes that Obama has not canceled his appearances with McClurkin and wonders, "How hard will Obama fight as president for tolerance, specifically against anti gay bigotry?"
Stops on Obama's gospel tour are Charleston on Oct. 26, Greenwood on Oct. 27, and Columbia on Oct. 28. Joshua DuBois, the campaign's religious affairs director, said in announcing it: "This is another example of how Barack Obama is defying conventional wisdom about how politics is done and giving new meaning to meeting people at the grassroots level. This concert tour is going to bring new people into the political process and engage people of faith in an unprecedented way.”
Posted by Jill Lawrence at 10:34 AM/ET, October 23, 2007
SHould he have asked Sex Freak and Addict Kirk Franklin instead?
On a serious tip ...Mr. McClurkin’s viewpoints will get more than a few ‘Amens’ in the barber and beauty shops.
ESPECIALLY South of the Mason/Dixon.
I’ll remind you of a poll this year of Black South Carolinians:
A look at how black South Carolinians view faith
Percentage of those surveyed who said religion is very or fairly important in their lives; 88.4 percent said very important
Percentage who said they are Protestant
Percentage who said they believe “the Bible is the literal word of God and without error”
Percentage who said they attend church at least twice a month; 57 percent said they go every week
So, YOU tell me if you think that Obama’s going to take heat in South Carolina for having McClurkin.
I'm also going to say something that is unpopular; - I hope Obama does NOT pull McClurkin.
It will be seen as but another way that Obama is disrespecting the Black community for others OUTSIDE of the community. That is how it will be seen, and that's not how Obama needs to be seen in the Black community of South Carolina right now.
As someone else pointed out on another board, they felt this Gospel Tour was Obama's attempt to make up for his disrespecting of his pastor, Dr. Jeremiah Wright - for DISinviting him to say the opening prayer at his kickoff in Springfield. I have to agree with that assessment, which is why Obama is stuck like Chuck over this McClurkin thing. Disrespecting Black folk and the church ONCE is one thing. But, doing it a SECOND TIME? In such a highly religious state? I don't think so.
Black folks are not gay friendly, but doesn't mean that we're hostile either. But, we have made up our minds.
In the usual suspect polling, in the high 60's, Blacks are AGAINST discrimination towards homosexuals and lesbians when it comes to JOBS and HOUSING.
On the other hand, ALSO in the high 60's, Blacks are OPPOSED to Gay Marriage. Period.
And, as a community, we don't see any conflict with those positions. We would not be against someone trying to feed themselves or clothe themselves. But, marriage is seen as a religion-based institution, and Blacks are too conservative, religiously - to believe in Gay Marriage.
Doesn't make us anymore homophobic than the general populace, but Blacks in the South see the gay marriage issue the same way as their White evangelical brethren - you don't have to like it, but it is what it is.
He will not be able to win the general election without White votes. But, he'll never get the nomination without Black Votes.
So, IMO, McClurkin stays unless HE pulls out, but even that, I believe, would not reflect well on Obama.
As for Dr. Hutchinson -he's so in Hillary's corner, puleeze. He's written nothing but Obama hit pieces from day one.
And before I am bombarded with those asking me about our Black Homosexual and Lesbian Brothers and Sisters:
I believe homosexuality/lesbianism is genetic and am awaiting for it to be discovered through this search of the human genome.
Once that has happened, we all can begin to turn the next page.
Because...if we all our God's Creatures...and it's in the DNA to be a homosexual/lesbian, then it was part of God's plan after all.
I'm just waiting for it to be confirmed - that it's genetic.
I have nothing against my Black lesbian and homosexual Sisters and Brothers, but I know the world in which we live.
I stand by what I said - Black folk have made up their mind about this. They don't see the conflict between their positions on Housing and Jobs, and Gay Marriage. Now, you can debate with them, but they believe they have more important issues to deal with in the community.
JASMYNE CANNICK: Obama: Blacks, Gays, and Homophobic Gospel Singers