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NAACP CEO Ben Jealous Asked About Homophobia Within Organization: VIDEO


No More Down Low attended the LGBT Town Hall meeting at the recent NAACP convention in Los Angeles. The town hall featured remarks by CNN achor Don Lemon, as well as a panel featuring Wanda Sykes, former NAACP president Julian Bond, and current NAACP CEO Ben Jealous.

No More Down Low writes:

Mr. Jealous responded saying the gay community should take the NAACP seriously because the NAACP was there with the Human Rights Campaign helping to pass the Matthew Shepard / James Byrd Hate Crimes Bill. The NAACP were champions of fighting Prop 8 in California as well as fighting alongside the LGBT community in Maine, Massachusetts, in Washington D.C. and in Maryland, and in other places. Jealous also said the LGBT community needed to do more ground work in the black community and not come late in the game with an expectation. He also said the black community needed to be treated with the same respect as the other allies of the LGBT community.

Watch their report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Sorry, buddy... your org has failed us. You can state your support of GLBT community, but I lived through Prop 8 in CA & your declaration of support was muddied at best.

    During an election when black ppl would have been turning out in greater numbers, it was difficult to find the NAACP position on our equality.

    And, as others have rightfully pointed out, I would never not support equality for black people b/c 'the black community' has not reached out to me. Get real, the homophobia is in your community. Deal with it, you are supposed to be a leader.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Aug 2, 2011 11:07:29 AM

  2. Da Chocolate Cub is dead on!

    Posted by: Marlee | Aug 2, 2011 2:02:52 PM

  3. To paraphase a very wise man, many of you white gays need to pluck the planks out of your own racist eyes, first.


    I have nothing more to add.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Aug 2, 2011 2:27:41 PM

  4. ``The racism WITHIN the gay community is ASTRONOMICAL.``

    I think this comment is misleading and essentially baseless.
    As long as ANY community in the world has more than ZERO people who are racist, sexist or homophobic, there are still too many.
    But it would be hard to name any category of people in the entire world that is less racist than the gay community as a whole.
    If the whole world were only as homophobic as the gay community is ``racist,`` then I would be jumping for joy because all of the gay community`s major legal and cultural battles for equality and acceptance would be essentially over.

    Posted by: GregV | Aug 2, 2011 2:51:41 PM

  5. Mr. Jealous makes some valid points, but it`s not accurate to state that the percentage of California`s 2008 voters who were black was smaller than the percentage by which Prop 8 passed.
    Prop 8 passed by 4 points among all voters.
    Exit polls suggest that GLB-indentified people were 5% of that state`s voters and blacks made up 10%.
    BOTH of those categories are a larger number than the percentage by which the measure passed.
    Those polls also suggest that non-GLB voters voted for the measure by 8 percentage points, and that non-black voters voted against it by 1 percentage point.
    As for Dan Savage, he never said anything overtly racist. He expressed disappointment in the Prop 8 results in his post-Prop 8 column, and also spoke in strong terms against any form of racism.

    Posted by: GregV | Aug 2, 2011 3:04:36 PM

  6. That room should have been filled... maybe if they had offered a happy hour, the gays would have come. If we can't show up to discuss thsi improtant topic in a city that has a plethora of black homosexuals, then how can we expect other people to take an interest?

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Aug 2, 2011 5:55:32 PM

  7. "But it would be hard to name any category of people in the entire world that is less racist than the gay community as a whole"

    I also find this statement misleading and baseless.

    Funny, how white gays always claim the gay community is not racist, yet every gay of color I know freely and readily acknowledges that it is...


    and yes, I can only imagine GreggV is white.

    Posted by: Marty | Aug 2, 2011 8:10:30 PM

  8. How could Towelroad write this without pointing out that Julian Bond - black legendary Civil Rights Activist and NAACP leader - is gay and a gay rights advocate? (And so is Wanda Sykes.) I expect the writers on this site to know Julian Bond, but this post is written as if Julian Bond didn't exist. Is the purpose to perpetuate the idea that all black people are homophobes? Why didn't you report on what Julian Bond said? This is an insult to the work he has done for decades.

    I'm a straight black woman and LGBT Rights supporter. ALL discrimination is wrong. Many white members of the LGBT have been doing a lot of finger pointing at the black community for homophobia, without looking at racism in their own community. Black people of all sexualities have stayed pretty quiet about the vicious racism that is going on in the gay community. Maybe we should start naming it so that we have a more balanced dialogue.

    As some folks have said, you can be Black AND gay at the same time, folks. It is offensive for everybody to act like the black community and the gay community are two different communities with no intersection or overlap. There are plenty of folks who are members of both.

    Black gay activists are doing AMAZING work in both communities, and they deserve a lot more credit from everybody. We can start by acknowledging Julian Bond's incredible legacy.

    Posted by: DiMi | Sep 24, 2011 11:36:34 AM

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