"The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies," says an internal report on 2008 and 2009 campaigns, in a section titled the "Not A Civil Right Project." "Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots," advises the document, which is a road map to the successful campaign against same-sex marriage in California.
I'm in no way shocked by this strategy. It's been obvious for a whle. I am a little taken aback by the language. It reveals the ease with which a lobbying group is prepared to play racial games, and sees African-Americans (and gays, for that matter), as mere means to an end. Then this on Latinos:
"Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity – a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation."
So an allegedly conservative group is trying to prevent Latino assimilation into the American norm, and to harness anti-assimilation feelings and resentment to aid their anti-gay cause. To sum up: divide by race, and oppose assimilation of immigrants. Lovely.
And it isn't working. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll [PDF] shows support for marriage equality rising from 32 percent to 50 percent among African-Americans since 2009, and Latinos now backing marriage equality by 55 to 30 percent.