Prop Hate and the African American Community

I keep seeing the same statistic: “70% of black voters in California voted for Proposition 8.” It is often presented with disconcertingly blatant racism. Many people have already written in response to this racism but I feel compelled to add to that because I find it very disturbing – and if only with mostly a collection of links…

Another interesting stat: 25% of people in San Francisco voted for Prop 8.

Prop Hate did not pass because African-Americans voted for it. It passed because the Religious Wrong threw their money & time at it (see for example this article). Their effort included using Obama’s statement that he thinks that marriage should be between a man & a woman, which was plastered on Vote “Yes on 8” campaign information. The forceful response by the Obama compaign – reiterating that Obama is against Prop 8 – did not overcome the lies from the Yes on 8 side.

Some more stats: If we had been able to convince 6% of the White Yes on 8 voters to vote “No,” Prop 8 had not passed. It would have taken 27% of African-American voters.

There are lots of people dealing with this, for example:

Adele Carpenter made these important points:

[Articles about African-American support of Prop 8] displace blame away from those who actually have the power to consistently deny others civil and human rights, and instead, charge that when communities that have long been disenfranchised and alienated from political processes participate, that the results with be negative for LGBT people.

I have not seen anything from the LGBT community that is actively trying to address the unfortunately often blatant racism that has come forth from the statistics you cite. Also, I have not seen any analyses that try to look at why African-Americans tended to vote “Yes on 8:” was it confusion, lack of awareness, religious indoctrination, or homophobia. Probably “all of the above” but to what extend can the homophobia be explained without the religious influence?

And, as a data cruncher, I am also wondering what is behind that 70% number. As far as I know it’s based on exit polls – was the sample of African-Americans asked representative or is there some bias in here?

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