Naming the column "We 55 respectfully disagree," the Advocate says:
In an “open letter” to The Advocate and to LGBT people everywhere, more than four dozen prominent activists of color take issue with Jasmyne Cannick’s commentary calling for LGBT equality to take priority over rights for illegal immigrants. Quoting Audre Lorde, they remind us, “There is no hierarchy of oppression.”Though recognizing that Ms. Cannick was writing as an individual, the statement asked both the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and the National Stonewall Democrats "to publicly clarify their own positions in this ongoing civil rights discussion" (Ms. Cannick serves on the board of the former and serves as Co-Chair of the Black Caucus of the later).
In a statement I just received in my mailbox, NBJC says:
NBJC has begun the process of developing a formal policy on issues of immigration. We believe these issues to be serious and complex, deserving timely but thorough consideration. As we engage this process, our core values remain the same. NBJC is dedicated to fostering equality by fighting racisim and homophobia. We envision a world where all people are fully empowered to participate safely, openly and honestly in family, faith and community, regardless of race, gender-identity or sexual orientation.I for one thank NBJC for a prompt response and hope that they will engage some of us in the dialogue as they develop a policy statement on immigration.
In my first post on this issue last week, I spoke of the bridges that needed to be built between LGBT communities of color. I can say that the overwhelming response that I have had to the letter (as well as that received by some of the people who signed it) has been tremendously supportive and encouraging. I am sure that Ms. Cannick has also received supportive comments as well (in fact, a few have been posted as replies to her original blog entry). But if we go down the road of who gets the most props, both sides will probably end up losing [then there's even those friends of mine who think both sides are wrong]. The challenge remains how to have a meaningful discussion on what the immigration issue means to LGBT minority communities in a way that, at the very least, prevents dividing communities further.
Commentary from other blogs:
- Community vs. Coalition: Oh no she didn't! (Like Claire Huxtable, but with Tattoos - April 12, 2006)
- Immigration and Gay Rights (Loydletta's Nooz and Comments - April 11, 2006)
- Bullet points on immigration (Bejata - April 11, 2006)
- Immigration (J's Theatre - April 10, 2006)
- The great black gay immigration "debate" ...there's none... (The Edge of Night - April 10, 2006)
- Immigration vs. Gay Rights (Pam's House Blend - April 10, 2006)
- Is Jasmyne Cannick wrong, frustrated, both or neither? (The Mad Professah Lectures - April 9, 2006)
- False Divisions (Geekstew - April 9, 2006)
- Who are the illegals? Part II (Marta Donayre's Blogazine! - April 7, 2006)
- Franchise and entitlement (Sincerely Robb Pearson - April 6, 2006)
- Tagged! (The Larry Lyons Experience - April 5, 2006)
- Queer presence at today's NYC immigration rights rally (April 10, 2006)
- An open letter to the LGBT community on "Gays First, then Illegals" (April 10, 2006)
- CONLAMIC Watch: On immigration? Still pimping for the extreme right (April 9, 2006)
- On Immigration, an LGBT rift? (April 7, 2006)