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Best "As I See It" 

Joel A. Brown

Hell, we read the first few lines of every "As I See It" column on the Star's editorial page, in which the newspaper's average readers or noteworthy politicians get to weigh in on important topics -- and get their pictures published! Lots of times, the "As I See It" is way more interesting than the official unsigned harping on the far-left side of the page. That was certainly the case on July 24, when the essay was by a courageous African-American man named Joel A. Brown, who broached a subject that has traditionally been taboo. Specifically, he was writing about the black community's apparent support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage -- as if gay black people didn't exist. "It is no secret that members of the clergy, including a disproportionate number of black pastors and ministers, have expressed their support for the amendment," Brown lamented. But that was a slap in the face to thousands of black gay citizens, he wrote. "The interests of the black and gay communities are not distinct and separate, but inexorably linked on this issue. It is not about 'us' versus 'them'; it represents 'us' against 'ourselves.'" Sadly, though, the "us against ourselves" theme played out a couple of weeks later, when 70 percent of Missouri voters cruelly denied their gay brothers and sisters the right to participate in the civil ceremony known as marriage.

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