Greetings dear readers!
There’s trouble in Black paradise…
Things started to crackle during Anderson Cooper’s interview of Spike Lee, just as I expected. Ferguson, Missouri’s incident tied to this country’s overall “race relations” problem is super hot topic for mainstream media and its conventional audiences.
Lee shook things up, unflinchingly stating that America has an age old war against Black men—one that hasn’t diminished. Cooper’s flurry of interjection and rebuff had Lee missing a powerful opportunity; getting Cooper’s take on the vicious age old war against lesbians and gays would have been “the bomb”—given that he recently (significantly) “came out” as a gay man. The interviewer’s “astonishment” revealed more than he realized.
I have absolute empathy for Cooper’s struggle with “coming out,” knowing it was agonizing without a doubt. Honesty here (in this day and age) still means high risk: brazen physical attacks, murders (under or uninvestigated) and public humiliations (hurled eggs, heckling and the like) by “straight” stalkers. In a pre “movement” era no hate crime laws provided retribution back-up. Police themselves were often the culprits.
Having treasured loved ones and family members suddenly turn vicious and ostracizing (tossing underage youth to the streets) devastates one to the core. What awaits most homosexuals when desperately seeking camaraderie, self understanding and release is a predator laced underground (big city “Mecca’s” are far and in between).
Given this climate (where innumerable people still “wait” with astronomical struggle to accept themselves) it is the profound impact of gay liberation forerunners that makes living openly possible—with protective civil laws being scratched into place; many “movers and shakers” long vanished prematurely, never reaping for themselves. Hence Anderson Cooper can now ride those preparatory “coattails,” face family, friends and coworkers while still keeping his cushy job.
Early in my hellacious self-acceptance “zone” I expected that folk who were subjected to such deep discrimination (like the Anderson Coopers) would automatically empathize with outsider “others,” magically shedding that disconnect through the fire of their own coming to terms—like being glazed in a kiln. I was in for an eye-opening surprise.