It turns out that skin color is more important than morals, at least for some:
A Public Policy Polling survey found 27 percent of black voters believe same-sex marriage should be legal, up from 20 percent in a poll conducted on May 6, three days before Obama announced his support. And 59 percent say they are opposed to gay marriage, down from 63 percent in the previous poll, which was taken before the North Carolina primary.
On May 8, voters approved a state amendment, defining marriage between a man and a woman as the only legal union. North Carolina law had already banned same-sex marriage, but the passage of the amendment means civil unions and possibly other types of domestic partnerships will no longer be legally recognized.
And yet, the poll found that 55 percent of African Americans now say same-sex couples should be allowed either to marry or form civil unions — an 11-point jump from the May 6 poll; 39 percent say there should be no legal recognition for gay couples in North Carolina, down from a majority, or 51 percent, in the pre-primary poll.
So, blacks are apparently becoming more tolerant of gay marriage. This is an interesting shift since blacks tend to be extremely conservative when it comes to these sort of social matters. This shift, then, indicates that blacks are rather tribal, and are thus willing to change their morality in order to justify their support for someone who shares their skin color.
Incidentally, I attend a predominately black church (long story; don’t ask). We have class on Thursday night, and the subject of class was politics. The (black) teacher is very conservative, and is not a fan of Barack Obama. However, all the other black people in the class are dyed-in-the-wool Democrats. Not liberals, mind you, but Democrats. In fact, if you talk about policies, blacks sound rather conservative. But if you talk actual voting patterns, blacks become rather liberal.
Anyhow, it was during this class that one of the students said that, and I quote, “whenever I vote, I just vote straight Democrat,” thus confirming the suspicions of conservative white people and reinforcing the polling statistics on the matter. (For what it’s worth, this horrified the [black] teacher.)
Another student argued that Christians should stand against all immoral matters, and shouldn’t single out one issue—in this case, gay marriage—as the deciding factor. He went on to say that if we couldn’t vote for anyone who had any sort of immoral stance on anything, then we wouldn’t be able to vote at all. The conclusion he drew was that, pragmatically speaking, it’s okay to vote for someone even if their stance on something is decidedly immoral. This is, of course, nothing more than an especially active rationalization hamster working overtime to reconcile the contradiction between needing to support “family values” and needing to support people of one’s race. And, in the end, race won out.
Anyhow, these anecdotes simply confirm my point that blacks are rather tribal when it comes to politics and, I suspect, other matters as well. Thus, the sudden shift in support for gay marriage among black folk is nothing more than tribalism being rationalized by an especially healthy rationalization hamster. The moral of the story is that talking politics with black people is generally a waste of time because they already have their tribes and there isn’t anything you can say to change that.