Thursday, June 02, 2005

Michael Eric Dyson

This past Friday May 27th famed commentator, activist, intellectual, and author Micheal Eric Dyson visited Indianapolis Indiana. I must admit this man is my modern day hero. As I told a close friend after an evening with Kwesi MFume, intelligent and poised men really turn me on. More so than the hot bod attached to an empty head, I respect and desire a man that makes me challenge my intellectual boundries and form unique conclusions and opinions.

I mean really, if we are to have any confidence in this anti-gay, anti-black, anti-steroetypical exsistence of ours we have got to learn to form our own opinions and examine history to form our own perspectives. If I was going to see the world through the eyes of the common (average, status quo) black man then suicide would have to be in my verty near future.

Anyhow, Dr. Dyson joined us at a local church to discuss his new book, "IS Bill Cosby Right?: or has the black middle class lost its mind". I quite enjoyed the good doctors reflections. Mr. Cosby has been very vocal as of late chastising the lower income and less fortunate segment of the black population for what he calls a failure to hold up there end of the deal. The deal being all of those battles that were won in the 60's in favor of equality for blacks. Mr. Cosby goes so far as to say what good was Brown V Board of education if nobody wants it. The other comments were aimed at allegations that he was airing our dirty laundry to which he responded that our dirty laundry gets off the bus at 2:30 everyday speaking ignorantly(sic) and wearing hundred dollar tennis shoes.

I am paraphrasing but I think most of us heard those comments. So Mr. Dyson takes his turns at Mr. Cosby reminding us that it was the cos who made millions off of the Fat Albert series and JEllo Pudding. It seems that the man is so far removed from the lower class blacks that he has forgotten his roots.

I am sitting in the audience chomping at the bit waiting for my chance to ask the big question. When they announce question and answer time I race to the microphone practically knocking down a young lady who beat me to the front. She could see the intensity in my face and she graciously allowed me to go first. Now I have been criticized as of late for allowing my sexuality to take over my entire focus in life. But if these people are going to sit spellbound hanging on every word from the great Dr. Dyson I demand that he teach them a thing or two.

Dr. thank you so much for coming to Indy to share with us tonight, I am a huge fan and IO want to thank you for challenging me to be an intellectual. My question is, Would you mind sharing your thoughts with us concerning gospels of inclusion and relationships between the black community and the black gay and lesbian community. And would you elaborate on the neccessity of the black church to adopt a new dialogue as it pertains to same gender loving Christians.

The room fell silent. Now I have asked similar questions, in similare venues, of Kwesi Mfume, Tavis Smiley, Kevin Powell, adn Danny Glover I have come to expect the room full of black folks to grow still. This is still not a popular topic. The gay issue is white to so many of us. And the only thing we as the collective black family have done is to hide it and sweep it under the rug and tag it as somenody else's problem. So I fully expected the good Doctor to soften his usual rhetoric. For those of you that dont know Michael Dyson is the author of an essay entitled, Homotextualities, "Homotextualities: The Bible, Sexual Ethics, and the Theology of Homoeroticism,". In this piece Dyson clearly asserts an opinion that Christianity is related to homosexuality in its innate male to male bonds and passion. There is room in the black church for same gender loving African Americans.

But unlike Mfume who as head of the national NAACP spoke out in favor of same sex marriage but in response to my probes at Clowes Memorial Hall some months ago just prior to his announcement that he was running for the senate, did his best Gregory himes tap dance impersonation and towed thy party line, Dr. Dyson spoke loudly and boldy from the church pulpit. "We have got to stop taking on the charateristics of the oppressor", he said. We cannot tell other people who they can and cannot marry.

I have never been more proud. I stepped away from the mic, satisfied that my question was answered clearly and with passion. As I made my way back to my place in the pew..............Landrum hissed at me from the social hall and motioned me back behind the door as if I were a runaway slave and he was my Quaker midnight tour be continued


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