Monday, May 14, 2012

Will black folks turn away from Obama?

When President Barack Obama announced his support of gay marriage last week, you could hear a collective sigh in much of the black community.

Moments after the story began to trend on the Internet, my inbox began to fill up with messages from loved ones lamenting, “It’s a sad day” and “Who am I supposed to vote for now?”

African Americans have historically been conservative Christians, which means that they consider gay marriage in violation of what the Bible deems acceptable by God. Pres. Obama’s words, for many, were like a kick in the gut. The man they adore – the one with the brilliant mind and rock star swag, the one who can belt out an Al Green tune and give speeches like Martin – had let them down.

This past Sunday, the effects were still being felt. At the church I attend, the pastor expressed his displeasure with the president’s announcement and the congregation signified with a chorus of “Amens.”

"I am disappointed, Mr. President," he said. "I am very disappointed."

But, is this enough to make African Americans shift their vote to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney?

I don’t think so.

Although gay marriage is a divisive, and for some, nonnegotiable issue, many African Americans would feel like race traitors if they voted against the president.

When Pres. Obama was elected in 2008, many African Americans wept. It was, for them, the fulfillment of a dream that seemed too big to even wish for in this country. He represented, and still represents, the hope of African Americans. 

On that election night, many blacks thought about their great-great-grandparents who had been slaves, and who could not have even fathomed such a historic event. It was the ultimate validation.

For that reason, I believe that many blacks would not want to be the one to vote against the black president and end the high of having a “brother” in the White House. Plus, Pres. Obama’s announcement comes months away from the actual election, and the future news cycles – that will surely be filled with crime reports, unemployment numbers, etc. – will likely cause the gay marriage issue to drop toward the bottom of the rung of what is important to a great majority of people.

Some African Americans are upset now, but I believe that when all is said and done, in November, they are still going to vote for Pres. Obama. What last week's announcement did do, however, was get his named added to many of their prayer lists.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree all this has done was to place President Obama on our prayer list and for those who have never prayed for him I hope that this is a wake-up call to Pray!!!! I can honestly say that I as a Black Woman did not vote for President Obama in the last election because of his views on issues such as abortions, His stand with Israel and I thought well this time I will vote for him but this he came forth with this about Gay Marriage I heart was very sadden, But i will end with what I started you are right Marie our President needs our Prayers and he has mine, now whether or not I am going to still vote for him in November is still uncertain but one thing is very certain and that is I will PRAY!!!! Thank you for this Great article.