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OP-ED: Setting the Record Straight: Wall Street Journal Perpetuates ‘Black vs. Gay’ Meme


Our airwaves, front pages and social media feeds have been dominated by coverage of the presidential inauguration. From Michelle Obama's impeccable ensemble to Beyoncé Knowles' rendition of the national anthem, critics have been dissecting and distorting the events of the historic day, including President Barack Obama's reference to "Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall" in his inaugural speech.

For the first time in history, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community was referenced in a president's inauguration address. President Obama not only acknowledged LGBT Americans as a vital part of this nation's diverse and intricate fabric but declared that this country's various movements for equality are intrinsically linked by a core value: the conviction that all men and women are created equal. Instead of celebrating this truth, media outlets like The Wall Street Journal have insisted on bending outdated statements to perpetuate their bias and fuel racial divide.

In an opinion piece titled "Selma, Stonewall and Obama," Wall Street Journal editorial board member Jason L. Riley purports, "President Obama's equating of gay rights and Black civil rights in his inaugural address Monday had left-wingers cheering — MSNBC's Ed Schultz called the speech a 'progressive barn burner' — but some of Mr. Obama's Black supporters might not appreciate the comparison."

How does this tired, overplayed and inaccurate narrative continue to make its way past editors' desks and into actual publications?

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The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.