Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and Civil Rights Obstructionists

May 26, 2011

For Immediate Release

Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and Civil Rights Obstructionists

New York State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz (D-Bronx) released the following statement today in response to reports of New York City Mayor Bloomberg's speech about America's civil rights movement.

"It was disturbing today to hear Mayor Michael Bloomberg trivialize the suffering and agony of African Americans during the slave era by comparing it to the push to legalize homosexual marriage.


Slavery in America destroyed countless human lives. The slave trade involved kidnapping people from their homes in Africa, placing them in bondage, shackled, whipped and abused on cargo ships until sold here in America. At that point their families and their lives were subject to the whims and cruelties of their masters. Even after Emancipation, former slaves, who were freed faced lynch mobs, segregation and denial of basic opportunities for housing, education and employment. Peaceful efforts to address these injustices were met with police in riot gear, fire hoses and violent dogs.


There is no just comparison between America’s struggle to overcome the evils of slavery and the promotion of the lifestyle of homosexuality. It is preposterous for Mayor Bloomberg to degrade and minimize the plight of African-Americans in this civil rights struggle by equating it with the effort to push to legalize homosexual marriage.


As all survivors of the "Holocaust" will likely agree, comparing the unique evil of that genocide to other tragedies in the world devalues its lesson to the world. While the dictionary may have its official definition, it means so much more and is not allowed to be tossed about to make a point.


Black Americans should not sit back and let Mayor Bloomberg compare the long struggle of their ancestors against American slavery to the current fight for a lifestyle choice. The effort to redefine marriage to include a man and a man or a woman and a woman can never be compared to the struggle against slavery.


Before Mayor Bloomberg attempts to borrow from history for comparisons, he should take a look at the uncivil discourse that is taking place by those whose goals he has embraced.


Black leaders should not allow Mayor Bloomberg or anyone else trivialize their suffering and their history!"