ISTOOK: Black leaders sell out to the same-sex movement

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New priorities conflict with the interests of black America

Black is out; rainbow is in.

The civil rights movement has been hijacked at the expense of black Americans. One black leader says the NAACP literally has sold out to check-writing homosexual rights leaders.

The legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. now is used to promote a new agenda. It was expressed in Wednesday’s Lincoln Memorial speeches by Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama.

Sexual rights, which protect behavior, often are emphasized more than racial equality, even though race is something that nobody can change about themselves.

The NAACP has been paid off by the cash-rich homosexual rights movement, said the Rev. Bill Owens, president of the Coalition of African-American pastors. He told me in an interview on WMAL Radio that homosexual-rights leaders have bought the NAACP, just as homosexual-rights activists have become major cash cows for the Democratic Party and for Mr. Obama.

“Never in my lifetime did I expect to see the things I’m seeing now,” Mr. Owens said. “The sad part is that so many of our black leaders have been paid off. That was just not true in Dr. King’s age. You couldn’t buy Dr. King. Now it’s about the money.

“[An NAACP] board member gave us the names and gave us that information in confidence. I said that three times on nationwide TV; they never have refuted it. If it were not true, they would have refuted it. The first gift was $1 million and it went from there.”

Mr. Owens is not the only black leader who believes the civil rights movement has been hijacked. Bob Woodson, of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprises, told a Republican audience this week that blacks again are being sent to the back of the bus. “Everybody has come in front of them on the bus — gays, immigrants, women, environmentalists,” Mr. Woodson said. “You never hear any talk about the conditions confronting poor blacks and poor people in general.”

Mr. Obama demonstrated that agenda change with his public comments last week. At Binghamton University, he said, “Just as we should judge people on the basis of their character, and not their color or religion or gender, the same is true for their sexual orientation.”

Mr. Obama acknowledged major improvements for blacks in the past 50 years (at least until his economic policy knocked them back). So he shifted his pleas to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights. And rights for illegal immigrants. And his environmental agenda. He also told a radio audience that King would have supported Obamacare.

Mr. Obama is not alone in changing the civil rights agenda. Last weekend’s Lincoln Memorial rally, put together by the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, was more rainbow than black.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. made it clear as he told the crowd, “Our focus has broadened to include the cause of women, of Latinos, of Asian-Americans, of lesbians, of gays, of people with disabilities.”

That the left has new priorities, at the expense of black Americans, wasn’t just dreamed up by Mr. Woodson or by Mr. Owens. However, the new agenda wasn’t mentioned by King in his “I Have A Dream” speech.

The new priorities conflict with several interests of black Americans. For example, blacks have the highest unemployment rate and will be hurt the most by amnesty, work permits and citizenship for illegal immigrants. Job competition from millions of legalized workers is a huge problem for black workers. Resources historically used to enforce civil rights laws are being shifted by the Obama administration from racial issues to sexual issues by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Civil Rights.

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About the Author
Ernest Istook

Ernest Istook

Ernest Istook spent 25 years in public office, including 14 years in Congress. He was rated one of the top 25 conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Then was a Heritage Foundation fellow and a fellow at Harvard’s Insitute of Politics, where he led a study group on Propaganda in American Politics Today.

Now as a radio host and ...

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