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Saturday, June 11, 2011


 I’ve been watching, with a great deal of interest, the public reaction to Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant in which he stated (among other things) that, if his son were gay he'd "pull out a knife and stab that little n**ger to death." Whoa! Now, however, Morgan has come forward to say he's sorry.

Sure he’s sorry. So was Michael Richardson. So is every single, solitary bigot that rants and raves and then is surprized when the vast majority of folks get on his or her case for their bigotry. Here’s the text of the “apology”: "I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville," Morgan said in a statement. "I'm not a hateful person and don't condone any kind of violence against others," Morgan said in a statement. "While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context." Reports of the tirade began to circulate when Kevin Rogers -- a gay man in attendance at last Friday's Ryman show - took to his Facebook page to condemn the comic in a post titled "WHY I NO LONGER 'LIKE' TRACY MORGAN." According to Rogers, Morgan went off on homosexuals in a big way, saying, "Gays need to quit being p**sies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying."

Don’t know about the rest of y’all, but bullying in any context, particularly when the victim of said bullying is either a kiddo perceived as being GLBT, or a kiddo of colour being called ugly names, is NOT insignificant. In point of fact, there have been a lot of suicides of GLBT youth whose proximate cause was bullying, from the 12 year old Texas boy to the college student whose sexual encounter was filmed by his roomie and put on the Internet. Columnist Dan Savage started the It Gets Better project as a response to the bullying, and as a way to get the message out to troubled teens that "it gets better." Personal videos poured in, and are still pouring in, and the issue of bullying (not just of LGBT teens, but of all teens) took center stage.

Tracey Morgan obviously has a big problem with that. It’s very unfortunate that this is not the first time Morgan has been accused of homophobia. In comedy shows in the past, he has referred to being gay as a "choice," and he reiterated that thought in Nashville. According to Rogers' Facebook post, Morgan said that "(Lady Gaga's) 'Born this Way' is bulls**t, gay is a choice, and the reason he knows this is exactly because 'God don't make no mistakes' (referring to God not making someone gay cause that would be a mistake)."

Morgan himself seemed to anticipate that his words would have repercussions, so he went ahead and lashed out at his critics during the show. "I don't "f***ing care if I piss off some gays, because if they can take a f***ing d**k up their ass... they can take a f***ing joke," he said. The nuanced fact that some gays are actually women appears to be lost on Mr. Morgan. He also said that “people laughed at his remarks”. I’d like to know who they were, and if the laughter was real or just the noises of a bunch of extremely embarrassed and uncomfortable folks.

Know why the man “apologized”? GLAAD got after him. The public got after him. He got a lot more criticism than he bargained for, and why? Because he’s black, and to bigots like him, being black and a “comedian” gives him an automatic pass to be as vicious and vile as he (or she) pleases, with no repercussions. At least, that’s what Roland Martin of CNN says ( Among other things, Mr. Martin, who I always thought had at least a modicum of common sense, defended Tracy Morgan – and defended a lot more comics for their atrocious routines, including George Carlin. Carlin’s explanation of the N word has made me cringe from the first time that I heard it. Chris Rock, Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac, the late Robin Harris all do/did routines that make me and a lot of other folks cringe as well. I’ll ad George Lopez to that list as well for his rants. I find Steve Harvey’s routing about Willie Turner to be particularly offensive, since it not only plays to but reinforces the stereotype that a black man will go postal when he’s fired and threaten everything and everybody in sight.

It’s been my experience that the African-American culture is very homophobic. The few openly gay black men that I know lead very lonely and dangerous lives. The few openly gay black women lead very lonely and extremely dangerous lives. They are subject to be beaten at any time. They are subject to be raped at any time. They are subject to being murdered because of their sexual orientation at any time. WHO would choose this if they HAD a choice? I'll tell you who: NOBODY.
Oh, and Mr. Martin? I’ve never laughed at any of the following: any jokes that are sexist, homophobic, ageist, obese or racist, said by comedians of all shapes, sizes, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual orientations. I don’t even like blonde jokes, because they are demeaning. I don’t find that sort of self-hatred to be cute, amusing, fun or funny. I never have. I never will. Guess that makes me a humourless person.

Better that than a bigot.


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