On a recent appearance on Piers Morgan Tonight, comedienne Wanda Sykes explained her position that "it's harder to be gay than black" to the host:
I'm not talking about the history of black people, of African Americans. I'm talking about at this point right now … I don't know of organizations and groups like Focus on the Family and such anti-gay organizations who are putting up so much money — millions and millions of dollars — into stopping me from, you know, being black or telling me I can't exercise my blackness. There's no equality. There's no equality for the LGBT community."
The "not talking about the history" disclaimer does do away with some of the "but gay people have never been enslaved" responses to this comment. And yes, she is right — no one is trying to stop black people from being black (if only because even the most backward among us realize that's impossible).
Still, we didn't realize that blacks and gays were competing for the gold medal in the Oppression Olympics.
And we don't think we should be.
Any debate in which two different groups' experiences compete for being "hard" (What does that mean, anyway? Legally? Psychologically? In terms of some other measure related to economic or social outcomes?) is unproductive, not to mention impossible to do without at least partly devaluing the struggles of whichever one is deemed "easier." It also ignores the huge diversity of experiences within each group.
Sykes is absolutely entitled to her opinion, but we're thinking this particular piece of social commentary might translate better in a stand-up routine.
Read more at AOL Black Voices.
In other news: Army Ignored Racial Torment, Soldier Says.