Black Civil Rights and LGBT Rights: Why They Are Not the Same Thing

Image: Atlantablackstar.com

With the considerable amount of attention being paid to racism and LGBTQ rights these days—with the Confederate flag and Charleston massacre on the one hand, and the Supreme Court marriage equality decision on the other—there have been efforts to compare the two, as if to say the Black struggles against racism are the same as the LGBT community against homophobia. However, to make these superficial comparisons is wrong and ignores specific forms of oppression: the systemic racism Black people face and its origins.

In one image that went viral, a Confederate flag was lowered and a Pride rainbow flag was raised, as Linda Chavers reported in The Guardian. Harvey Milk, the assassinated gay civil rights leader, supported the idea of a flag to raise the visibility of the LGBT struggle and San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker subsequently designed such a flag in 1978. Meanwhile, at the eulogy of the South Carolina State Senator, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, President Obama focused in on the Confederate flag as a symbol “of systemic oppression and racial subjugation [and] of the cause of slavery.”

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Posted by The NON-Conformist

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