Memo

We have now 537 pledges
To: Black America
From: A coalition of Black leaders
CC: Your friends and family
Date: 5/10/2012
Re: No Wedge 2012

As Black voters begin to consider the upcoming election, it is paramount that all citizens be intentional, deliberate and unwavering in our commitment to democratic principles. The current election cycle is perilous because the Black vote has not been under as great assault in generations.

Organizers are using “divide and conquer” strategies that manipulate religious sensibilities, and Black and Hispanic cultural identities to make marriage equality a defining wedge issue. The strategy of mobilizing Black voters based on the single issue of marriage equality is designed to divert attention from the real needs of Black America.

Religion and Faith: There is a great diversity in Black America on the cultural and theological understanding of sexual orientation than the media or popular culture give credence (recent polls show that African Americans are equally divided on marriage equality). We acknowledge that it was President Obama’s faith, which guided his shift in embracing marriage equality. Our community has the ability to hold different positions and not demonize what is perceived to be the “other.” In light of this complexity Black America is compelled to embrace candidates with policy positions that are holistically beneficial for our community as a family.

Marriage in Black America: The real threat to marriage in Black America is not marriage equality. The real answer to promote and sustain Black families is educational opportunities, economic development, eliminating race-based profiling, and eliminating the disproportionate rate of incarceration among Black men.

Human Rights: Interlopers are counting on provoking African Americans and gay Americans battling to determine which group has suffered and or has been marginalized more. Importantly, this discourse has its place, however not to the point of distracting us from the realities that unify us.

Organizations such as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) are using their political and financial resources to influence the Black community by staging Black faith leaders and spokespersons in a campaign to manipulate Black voters with little accountability to our community on the issues, which matter most to the life of Black America:

State legislators have passed voting ID laws in swing states that are clearly targeted at minority and elderly voters; while other legislators are attempting to remap districts based on race to dilute minority voting power. Although the Department of Justice is conducting extensive investigations on the new anti-voting laws and practices across the country, these efforts face protracted legal battles. We must proactively register, mobilize and turn out the Black vote.

We stand together and say no to the wedge strategy, which seeks to both dismiss and divide us.
We acknowledge that we have more in common than that which divides us.NoWedge2012.com

Signatories

Pastors, Clergy & Organization Leaders, click here to become a signatory.