This is a post to address the popular picture shuffling around saying that it’s a great metaphor for what is happening. The picture in question has segregated fountains for “gay” and “straight”. This is a long post, so sorry.
Now, this photo is doing what is very popular around the queer-o-sphere where white lgbtqqia folks like to claim that it’s “just like the civil rights movement”. I want to say this up front: co-opting is a form of racism. It is a form of appropriation. The fact that they are using the images of segregation to further their point, when it’s a real fact that those fountains are still around to this fucking day, is a disgrace to me as a person of color who is queer. I have to sit and watch white queers shit on Black history and the looks on my sisters and brothers and all those in between who are Black are disheartening.
I am going to break down, once and for all, why this “simile” as proposed by the person, is in fact incorrect (especially since it isn’t a fucking simile, it’s a metaphor, dumbass).
According to Ballotpedia, the aforementioned amendment would make this in their state constitution:
If approved, the proposed measure would amend Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution by adding a new section:
Sec. 6. Marriage.
Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.
So let me tell you a little history story. The Jim Crow laws were initially started in reaction to some rights to the now freedmen. Freedmen = Black people who were once slaves. It was now under federal constitution to not own slaves.
That doesn’t mean discrimination stops.
Individual states and cities enacted laws like the ones below (examples are taken from here)
Nurses No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which negro men are placed. Alabama
Buses All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races. Alabama
Restaurants It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment. Alabama
Intermarriage The marriage of a person of Caucasian blood with a Negro, Mongolian, Malay, or Hindu shall be null and void. Arizona
Cohabitation Any negro man and white woman, or any white man and negro woman, who are not married to each other, who shall habitually live in and occupy in the nighttime the same room shall each be punished by imprisonment not exceeding twelve (12) months, or by fine not exceeding five hundred ($500.00) dollars. Florida
Education The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted separately. Florida
Burial The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons. Georgia
Parks It shall be unlawful for colored people to frequent any park owned or maintained by the city for the benefit, use and enjoyment of white persons…and unlawful for any white person to frequent any park owned or maintained by the city for the use and benefit of colored persons. Georgia
Child Custody It shall be unlawful for any parent, relative, or other white person in this State, having the control or custody of any white child, by right of guardianship, natural or acquired, or otherwise, to dispose of, give or surrender such white child permanently into the custody, control, maintenance, or support, of a negro. South Carolina
Also, I’d like to draw to the fact that Slavery by Another Name eloquently addresses the fact that slavery, and forms of forced servitude, and laws targeting to criminalize Black actions were another form of discrimination. Please feel free to educate yourself by watching it online here, thanks to PBS.
So we can see that there is nothing similar about these laws to the marriage amendment (Amendment 1 of North Carolina). The claim made by boldesol that:
“…idea that this image embodies, in that it doesn’t even say that gays are equal on any level.”
No. Because guess what? Cis lesbian/gay people can still go into parks, restaurants, and schools without segregation because of their sexuality. They can intermingle with straight people without an arrest or chaperone. They don’t have separate fountains. (note: I am saying they because I am specifically addressing this post to white gay folk, who are in fact the appropriators)
In fact, many of your relatives benefited from said actions, behaviors, and laws such as Jim Crow and those addressed in Slavery by Another name. So I think you, and many other white queers, need to realize that the comparison and these types of images are in fact racist, unnecessary, and offensive.