Minneapolis, Minnesota

The day I turned 21, the only people who celebrated the occasion with me were a self-employed black man and his wife. They took me to Sir rah’s House in Cleveland, Ohio. Mine was the only white face in the place. I have been forever grateful for that wonderful occasion, which was only a part of my continuing education about what it means to be black or different in America.

If there is to be a first (at least half) black president at all, the country and its voters will have to wrestle a lot this year with the issues of race. An honest reckoning will challenge blacks, whites, Hispanics, men, and women. It won’t be pretty. There will be firestorms — and the instant controversy about Obama’s pastor is merely one. Time will tell if it is the last one.

People upset with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright need to get a grip. As a gay man, I have heard and read the words of preachers, pastors, priests, bishops, and even the current pope in his prior role of cardinal. Regularly, their words consign me and others like me to hell. Many of them want me dead. Where is the outrage and indignation about that?

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Minneapolis, Minnesota

The day I turned 21, the only people who celebrated the occasion with me were a self-employed black man and his wife. They took me to Sir rah’s House in Cleveland, Ohio. Mine was the only white face in the place. I have been forever grateful for that wonderful occasion, which was only a part of my continuing education about what it means to be black or different in America.

If there is to be a first (at least half) black president at all, the country and its voters will have to wrestle a lot this year with the issues of race. An honest reckoning will challenge blacks, whites, Hispanics, men, and women. It won’t be pretty. There will be firestorms — and the instant controversy about Obama’s pastor is merely one. Time will tell if it is the last one.

People upset with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright need to get a grip. As a gay man, I have heard and read the words of preachers, pastors, priests, bishops, and even the current pope in his prior role of cardinal. Regularly, their words consign me and others like me to hell. Many of them want me dead. Where is the outrage and indignation about that?

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