My Response To Alvin McEwan’s Article at Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters "The LGBT Community Should NOT Sit This Election Out"

There’s a post today written by Alvin McEwan of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: (and cross-posted at Pam’s House Blend) entitled  “The LGBT community should NOT sit this election out”.

Besides being the author of HBHM McEwan is also  a board member of the SC Pride Movement and a member of SC Black Pride.  Which to me makes this article even more disturbing because of it doesn’t show much PRIDE and FAITH in the LGBT community and in my opinion is nothing more than an apologist post for Barack Obama and a shill for post for the Democratic Party.  But what makes it even worse is the fact that McEwan attacks the very fabric of why we have made what gains we have over the past 40 years and compares the LGBT community to a bunch of spoiled children.

McEwan writes:

Let me make this short and sweet. Any LGBT thinking of sitting this election out should think long and hard about whether it is a wise thing to do for the community. I say that on the basic principle that no American at any time should surrender his or her right to vote. Me as an African-American will never do that no matter how angry I feel…….

The LGBT community has had a wonderful year. Prop 8 was overturned, the Florida anti-gay adoption law is gone, the exposure of George Rekers opened so many’s eyes to religious right junk science, the nation rallied around our youth when those awful suicides took place, and this week will mark one year since LGBT-inclusive hate crimes legislation was signed into law. I have a serious problem reducing all of the positives of this year to one big minus simply because of DOMA and DADT…… (Alvin you forgot to mention ENDA and the Federal Benefits Act )

But mostly, I have a serious problem with our community getting so angry at what Obama didn’t accomplish that we ignore what we did accomplish. Please notice I said we as in the LGBT community and our allies……

This by no means is a defense of the Obama Administration or the Democrats, but an attack on how the LGBT community is yet again “reacting.”……..

We reacted because the police kept harassing us as Stonewall,

We reacted because Anita Bryant told those lies about us in the 70’s,

We reacted because of the AIDS crisis,

We reacted because of the Proposition 8 vote.

Our history seems to be a pattern of reacting. When you react, you lash out and are on the defensive. You are not in control of the situation because you are trying to rally yourself from whatever calamity that has been thrust upon you. And that has been our problem.

These are the “highlights” of McEwan’s article, which you can read in full cross-posted over at Pam’s House Blend

I’m just astonished that any LGBT person could write something like this. especially a person of color.  I wonder if McEwan stopped to think where Black Civil Rights would be today if African Americans did not react in the 1960’s/  No Marches, no rallies, no Martin Luther King speeches.  How far and fast do you think that battle for equal rights would have occurred if MLK just had meetings at the White House and the Black Community just voted and called Congress? .   

But I suppose what galls me the most is his section about “reacting” where he brings up the Stonewall Riots, Anita Bryant(?), and Prop 8.  Because he is totally off the mark, wrong and waaaaay out in left field.

If NOBODY reacted because the police kept harassing us as Stonewall, we’d all be hiding in dark bars still to this day.
If NOBODY reacted because Anita Bryant told those lies about us in the 70’s, Anti-gay adoption would have swept the US and not only have been contained to a few states.
If NOBODY reacted because of the AIDS crisis, Hundreds of thousands more of our brothers and sisters would be dead because Regan and the Government would have continued ignoring it.
If NOBODY reacted because of the Proposition 8 vote. There would have been no appeal by Olsen and Boies because our Gay Inc organizations DID NOT WANT to go that route.
If NOBODY reacted about the lack of movement on DADT we would probably still be waiting for something. Anything to happen.

“Reacting” has gotten us what little we have.  That has is not  the problem as McEwan states.  If anything we need to keep reacting, exerting pressure, and in some cases openly embarrassing and attacking  elected officials both Republican and Democrats because that is what leads getting elected officials moving  because as we’ve seen over the past two years calling your Congressman just doesn’t seem to work.

The bottom line is that those of us who usually will go out on November 2nd and vote.. As we always do. We’ll drag our second class LGBT asses to the Polls and we’ll hold our noses and vote for the Democrats because we know Republicans are evil and Tea Party candidates are insane. and the Democrats suck less (The Dem’s NEW slogan this year) 

As for McEwan trying to rally the LGBT Community to vote by attacking us, our fight and our history is unacceptable and truly insulting and is also helping to set up the LGBT community to take the fall if polling numbers are down and the Democrats get slaughtered in the mid-term.  Because lets be real here.  The LGBT Community are not the only people disillusioned by the Democrats over the past two year, and if we actually had the voting power to swing an election do you think that we’d be in the position we are in now.

McEwan does his own community a great disservice by laying this falsely at our feet.  Because in the end if the Democrats lose the midterm elections they have nobody else to blame but themselves for thier spineless leadership, and gutless political stand against the Republicand and the Tea Party

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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9 thoughts on “My Response To Alvin McEwan’s Article at Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters "The LGBT Community Should NOT Sit This Election Out"”

  1. Alvin McEwen is an uncle tom. I've known this ever since he threw me under the bus in what I often personally refer to as the great gay blog freakout of 2007, when he and several other bloggers and activists panicked when Peter LaBarbera attacked me on his website and completely violated my privacy.

    Every now and then, I often republish another blog piece called Coward Activists; It was written with him (and others) in mind.

  2. McEwan is a piss-poor writer, and an even WORSE activist. His "reaction" diatribe makes absolutely NO sense, no matter how you try to wrap your head around it. The real reaction is his cowardly attack on his own community at the due to his insecurity driven allegiance to the Democratic Party. McEwan needs to just STFU and go away. Why is it that the biggest cowards and suck ups always have the biggest mouths?

  3. Dear Sir,

    the piece I wrote was a response to the nonsense I hear about lgbts sittiing out this election. To do so would be counterproductive to our struggle. And yes I have a problem with the lgbt community consistently being "reactive" instead of "proactive" We gather together after a tragedy, hugging each other and the like but what are we doing to keep the tragedy from taking place?

    Please bear in mind that I am no one's shill but a free man with my own mind. My background determines who I am and I decide how I will act as a gay man. That's another problem in our community. Some self-appointed individuals call themselves setting the rules and the dictates of what our history is and demanding that folks adhere to them. Well I don't and I am tired of all of this useless anger, these ugly words – "I am an Uncle Tom," "my writing is piss poor," etc. Yes I get it. you are angry but the question is what are you going to do with it? What are you going to do about it? Probably nothing but stew in your juices and all people names. It's unfortunately what some of us do best. Two more things – even those in the civil rights movement realized that proaction is better than reaction. I suggest you look up the full history before citing it. Just because the struggle for lgbt equality and African-American equality is similar doesn't mean you can cite it without knowing what you are talking about.

  4. Oh well then by all means enlighten me. Please tell me where the Civil Rights battle would be today if it were not for reaction in the form of Marches, Rallies, and in some cases even riots to they suffered.

    The "ninsense" that you read comes from a recent AP article. But in your post you don;t refer to it as "nonsense" you react it to outwardly at the gay community and trash some of the mosy monumental movements our battle has made. And actually proaction AND reaction is the best strategy for the civil rights movement and I don;t know where you have been for the past two years and what you have been doing but 1000's upon 100's in the LGBT Community have called Congress and Obama with thier pleas for Equality landing on deaf ears.

    If YOU are tired of the "anger" and the "useless words" then perhaps YOU should be doing something other than attackiung your own community and inadvertantly setting them up for blame if the Democrats lose big. You should know that the LGBT Community does not have that type of voting power.

    Your post was dangerous, not well thought out, and reeked of being an apologist or at the very least living in a fantasy world.

  5. This is definitely a set up to blame the gays for the Democrats impending implosion. It goes without saying that the person who is most to blame, Barack Obama, as usual, gets a pass. But among voters,who is REALLY to blame if it comes down to the wire? How about young voters? Take this stat, for example:

    "One statistic from Rock the Vote, the most aggressive organization behind youthful political participation, illustrates the difference between now and 2008 — just 280,000 young voters signed up in its midterm elections voter drive, a fraction of the 2.5 million who eagerly put their name on voter forms two years ago. "

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/44093.html

    There's your "enthusiasm gap" right there. And then there are African American voters. Will they come out in the same numbers as they did when Obama was on the ballot? Of course no one is going to touch THAT third rail. Just ask anyone who raised an eyebrow about Prop 8. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that those two groups, two of the most fervent supporters of Obama, will determine the outcome of this election (if it is even close, that is). Why do you think Obama has been campaigning so vigorously to those groups? It is a shame, but politicians go where the votes are. They are rallying AA's and youth because they need them. Us? Not so much.

  6. Chitown Kev here:

    I have to agree with gaylib in this case, especially as people felt free to unjustifiably blame the gays when Scott Brown was elected.

    People also ignore the historical trends when it comes to midterm elections (the party of the president in power almost always loses Congressional seats…sometimes a lot of seats as happened in, say, 1916, 1928, 1938, 1946, 1954, 1966, 1974, 1994, 2006).

    No, history began on November 4, 2008 and Obama and the democrats are supposed to be immune from ALL of that.

    Rally the vote, yes, but the type of scapegoating that has been taking place in the blogosphere already is non-nuanced, it ignores the historical record, and is simply plain disgusting.

    And as much as I like Alvin, his blogpost feeds off into that scapegoat narrative in a very ugly way.

  7. and if you don't believe there's a meme developing, check this headline out

    "Gay conservatives target Democrats in ad campaign"

    "http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/10/25/gay.conservative.ad/index.html?hpt=T1

    People outside of our community do not know that GOProud is a fringe group. All they see is Gay and "against democrats". When they lose big, they'll have a ready made scapegoat. And McEwan's whiny rant contributes to that meme. He should be ashamed.

  8. Though I might disagree with Mr McEwen on this matter and occasional others, I respect his blog and find his writing informative and interesting. For the most part I reckon he gives great insight. I see no place here for the personal attacks against this writer.

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