Pete Buttigieg's defenders are telling an 'ugly lie' about his lack of support from black voters: columnist

Pete Buttigieg's defenders are telling an 'ugly lie' about his lack of support from black voters: columnist
CNN screenshot

Much has been written about South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s relationship with the African-American community, and some have claimed that the Democratic presidential hopeful has a problem with black voters because he is openly gay. But the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, in an op-ed this week, stresses that as an African-American gay man, he deeply resents the notion that African-Americans are uniquely homophobic — especially in light of polls showing widespread support for LGBTQ rights in the black community.

“All the armchair pundits — and actual pundits — perpetuating the lie that blacks are more homophobic than anyone else are smearing African Americans as a whole, that blacks as a people don’t support LGBTQ equality,” the 52-year-old Capehart writes. He called it an "ugly lie," an quoted New York Times columnist Charles Blow calling it a "disgusting, racist trope."

Capehart stresses that while the problem of homophobia hasn’t disappeared in the U.S. by any means, it’s ridiculous to think that African-Americans are especially predisposed to anti-gay attitudes.

“Only a naif would think that Buttigieg’s sexual orientation would not be an issue — not just for some African-Americans, but also, for the country as a whole,” Capehart stresses. “While the Stonewall riots that ushered in the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement occurred 50 years ago, marriage equality has only been the law of the land since 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was protected in the Constitution. It took decades of marching and protesting to change enough hearts and minds to make that happen.”

Capehart goes on to explain how much “African-Americans have evolved on LGBTQ equality just like everyone else.” And he offers plenty of data to back up his assertions.

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), Capehart explains, has offered a “raft of data” on how African-Americans view the LGBTQ community. According to PRRI, 73% of young African-Americans’ “favor LGBT nondiscrimination protections” — while 65% of all African-Americans “favor laws that would protect LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing.” And PRRI polling finds that 68% of black Democrats and 65% of black independents favor “nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people.”

Also, Capehart notes, PRRI finds that 67% of black Protestant Democrats “support nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people.” And 65% of black Protestants in the U.S. “support laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination in housing, public accommodations and the workplace.”

In light of all the polling data on African-Americans and the LGBTQ community, Capehart writes, it’s time to “stop with the blanket assumptions about black voters and their views of LGBTQ Americans.”

“Black voters don’t own homophobia,” Capehart writes, “and they are not monolithic.”

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.