Obama Angers Black Pastors by Equating Gay and Civil Rights

In a very powerful, eloquent rhetorical piece marking the fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday, President Obama opined about how far we’ve come in this country and how far we have yet to go. In one section of the speech, he attempted to bring all Americans into one unified character through a prolonged description of the diverse (almost schizophrenic) American experience. One part of it in particular has raised the rancor of many black pastors:

We are the gay Americans whose blood ran on the streets of San Francisco and New York, just as blood ran down this bridge.

First off, what exactly is Obama talking about? Where have homosexuals in San Francisco and New York faced systemic, violent opposition and a deprival of basic human rights by the civil government? Specifically, Obama is referring to the Stonewall Raids (and riots) in New York and the assassination of Harvey Milk in San Francisco. But there were significant elements in both of these narratives that indicate something other than pure homophobia.

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