A Conversation with Keith Boykin
Our earliest introduction to Keith Boykin was in the mid 90s on the bookshelves, after chancing upon his first book, One More River to Cross. We were most impressed, especially because at the time there was such a dearth of material written by or directed toward black gay men and his essays read like a breath of fresh air.
A few years later, we finally met Keith at a party (or barbecue?) in Washington during Black Gay Pride, and then started bumping into each other fairly frequently after his move to the Big Apple. The two of us are fairly simpatico, both having a zest for politics and pop culture, and have similar yet different views on national events, having approached life from opposite sides of the TelePrompTerKeith by shaping the news from the West Wing, and yours truly writing it for the networks.
You'll notice, the interviews on this site are labeled "conversations" because we try to go beyond the static interview format. Such was the case with Mr. Boykin. We had a fabulous conversation last week, about everything from his latest book project . to the latest tactics by farright. And, the question everyone wants to know .
Rod: Do you think homophobia is more of Nike Delanie Walker Jersey a problem within our community?
Keith: Not necessarily, but I think it manifests itself differently. You have people like the Rev. Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson who certainly are homophobic and not black. People often expect the black community to be liberal and progressive and sometimes it's a shock when we are not. We still have leaders like Coretta Scott King, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Julian Bond who are very supportive and progressive. And then, there are the Reverend Willie Wilson's. Jakes.
Keith: Exactly. They're anointing Jakes as the "next Billy Graham." You saw that article last week in the New York Times? I think you mentioned it on your site, about the administration trying to make inroads with black pastors? Did you notice how the article said Karl Rove considered Jakes "a vital partner in the White House effort to court the black vote?"
Rod: The irony of course, is that Rove considers TD Jakes an integral partner to court the black vote . but the administration totally dropped the ball on the Katrina relief effort.
Keith: Woefully adequate. And that's being charitable. A strong response would have even challenged the perception that they are indifferent toward blacks and the poor. Which they are. Now Rove is looking to spin the issue. Particularly informative about that article was that they quoted a "black senior administration official." How many of those can there be?
Keith: I doubt it. She'd be much smarter than that. I'm surprised that person allowed themselves to be quoted as saying that the New Orleans fiasco reminded them of Rwanda .
Rod: That's why I thought it was Rice. But she is smart enough not to give away her Nike Kevin Walter Jersey identity.
Keith: Exactly. It's someone else, an aide. But they can be traced by those comments. I'm sure Rove is looking for them now. Not that he can complain about leaks.
Rod: I remember being in a bar in 2002 or 2003, the Hangar on Christopher Street, before the election, and a guy was saying that he worked for the RNC or the Bush campaign, can't remember, and that gay marriage would become the issue of the '04 election. I just thought that guy was drunk.
Keith: Not at all. Just days after the election, the Washington Blade quoted Rove as saying gay marriage had been the president's "wedge issue" to divide the voters, just like abortion had been in previous years. It worked. (ED: Read article here.)
Rod: Ironic, isn't it, that all our success with samesex marriage in Massachusetts, California and Hawaii would bite us. Liberals and Democrats are almost always reacting, not defining.
Keith: Yes, the GOP always sets the agenda. Hilary was right about the vast rightwing conspiracy. They dominate state and national elections because they find issues to energize voters. Their grassroots organizing is far superior. The media is afraid to question or criticize; they're already criticized of having a liberal bias, so they just don't say anything. Reporters are very wary to challenge.
Rod: Oh, I can agree with that. We're afraid to lose access. But you'll notice a different style of reporting has emerged from Katrina. The disaster is so . raw. It affects us all. You Kevin Walter Jersey Ebay saw Paula ZahnMike Brown smackdown? She flat out called him incompetent.
Keith: Or Anderson Cooper and Sen. Mary Landrieu. Often the politicians get away with just saying bullshit because reporters don't do their jobs. But I have been very impressed with Anderson's performance. He's leading the pack with more aggressive reporting.
Keith: Very much so. The White House press corps is so timid. They basically just sit in the West Wing basement and are spoon fed the story of the day. Some reporters only leave to go outside and do standups. [The staff] would just go to the podium and say, "This person will be identified as an administration official." They all buy it. No complaints. So what if you lost your access to that? Sometimes that's not where it's happening anyway. You discuss everything from politics to men. It's a great site.
Keith: No, no. Your site is hot. I love it. It's really fabulous. I talk to all my friends about it.
Rod: Do you really? Awww, thanks. But it's just a complement to your work, and that of many others. Thanks so much for the support. What made you change your format?
Keith: I enjoy analysis, but sometimes the longer format can be limiting. You spend hours or days trying to research and write and may miss many other events. And it takes up to much time. I spend hours writing about the administration and . bam! something else happens.
Rod: Sure, breaking news like . Omarion flexes at the award show. Important stuff. Can't miss that!
Keith: Haha! Where do you find your pictures? Your site is so appealing, so visual. I love the concept. A mix of fun, politics, pop culture, men. It helped me decide that I wanted to take my blog in a new direction.
Rod: Really? Wow. Well, remember, I'm from television. It's all about the pictures and the soundbite. But you just said "blog." My impression was that you resisted the concept of equating your site to a traditional weblog?
Keith: Yes, the word seemed . inelegeant . distasteful to me. It wasn't the extent of what I was trying to do.
Rod: Ahh. Queerty says "webzine", which is newspeak for weblog. But you've built a virtual community. It's wonderful. Everyone reads, chats, comments, quotes, trades messages.
Keith: Exactly! I wanted a community, message board, pictures . somewhere we people can come, Delanie Walker Jersey think, look, sound off. Queerty's that new site, right? What other blogs do you read?http://php.com.ua/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=22783http://ecommsocial.com/blog_entry.php?user=duncan38&blogentry_id=60622http://aquadrillingqld.com/document.php?id=1556
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