Black People And Our Complicated Homophobia

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Damon Young writes:

1. As I listened to Jason Collins and Oprah discuss the extra “stigma” of being gay and Black, I couldn’t help but wonder how true the “Blacks are more homophobic than everyone else” sentiment truly is. I think many of us—myself included—have said it so much that we’ve accepted it to be true, and since we’ve accepted it to be true, we don’t bother challenging or even testing that theory. And, over time, this widely-held theory is repeated as fact.

I’m not here to argue whether it’s true or false (at least not yet), but how do we really know? Sure, we can cite a few rap lyrics or some loosely connected vagaries about black people and Christianity, but all that might prove is that a certain type of black person might be more likely to be homophobic. But, once you control for education, class, location, and any other environmental factors, how would we (black people) fare?

This phenomenon sort of reminds of me of the theory that black people are the worst tippers. Whether or not the theory might be true is inconsequential (And yes, I believe it to be true). It’s so ingrained into so many people’s minds that they don’t even bother challenging it, they use confirmation bias to strengthen their beliefs, and after enough circular thinking it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

2. I think that when people say that black people are more homophobic than everyone else, what they’re really saying is that black men are more homophobic than everyone else. Black women generally get a pass, and I think that pass is undeserved.

Read the rest at Very Smart Brothas.