You Said the N-word!

We knew that publishing Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou’s “Gays Are the New Niggers” would make some waves. It came to us, in fact, because others (perhaps rightly) were reluctant to run it with that title. But when we saw the essay’s call to the memory of Bayard Rustin, the civil rights movement’s master of nonviolence and its too-often forgotten gay conscience, we knew there was no better way to mark the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

I’ve been amazed by the outpouring of support we’ve gotten for the piece. It’s as if people are actually reading the thing, not just looking at the title and rushing to scribble off a diatribe. KtB has the greatest readers. Thank you.

Hussein Rashid, a frequent contributor to Religion Dispatches, wrote to us with this to say:

Regarding gays as the new niggers, I wrote a similar post regarding Muslims. It is serious time for coalition building.

Back over on RD, Jonathan L. Walton concludes his blog post on the piece thusly:

Rev. Sekou argues convincingly that while Gay may not be the new black, with the passing of Prop 8 and other state constitutional amendments proscribing the lives and liberties of our gay brothers and sisters, “Gays Are the New Niggers!”

In another letter, Mary Miller wrote:

Thanks for the excellent article on Bayard Rustin. Most people know very little about his influence on the civil rights movement for both blacks & gays.

Last but not least, the first one that came in this morning. It’s from Levita D. Mondie:

Thank you for publishing this insightful article about the parallels and departures between gay struggle and black struggle.  I will be certain to use this article in my African American literature course, where, during the lynching unit, students can explore Matthew Shepard’s lynching as well as contemporary lynchings of black folks.
Rev. Sekou has provided fresh, new insights for us to contemplate.

Peace and Light,


Okay, should we have some diatribe? There’s got to be some. Bring it on. Be thoughtful.

Nathan Schneider is an editor of Killing the Buddha and writes about religion, reason, and violence for a variety of publications. He is also a founding editor of Waging Nonviolence. His first two books, published by University of California Press in 2013, are God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet and Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse. Visit his website at The Row Boat.