Salon has an insightful article on Obama’s booking of an “ex-gay” gospel singer at one of his events, and homophobia in black churches generally:
On Thursday, as the tour began, Obama supporters from the African-American religious community and LGBT campaign leaders collaborated on a letter to the public that attempted to clarify their candidate‘s decision to keep McClurkin onboard, stating, “We believe that the only way for these two sides to find common ground is to do so together.”
Obama’s gay advocates obviously support him regardless of this fumble. But his gay critics are right to ask why he thinks getting homosexuals to sit at the same table with antigay and allegedly “ex-gay” Christians represents some kind of balance. Had McClurkin been a Holocaust denier, my money says Obama would be “embracing a change” in his tour’s entertainment lineup, lickety-split.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Obama is playing to both sides — that seems to be what he’s best at. He means well, but you know what they say about the highways in hell. However, adding Sidden to the mix without giving McClurkin the shaft was enough of an afterthought to incense the gay community without fixing the problem. Did Obama overestimate the depth of the black community’s homophobia and unintentionally solidify the stereotype about him — that he’s the white man’s black candidate? Well, if Sharpton refuses to pander to the homophobic faction of the black church, why should anybody else?
To the last question: Sharpton never had a shot at the presidency.