You’ve heard it before …
Black don’t crack
Black don’t do atheism
Black don’t do gay
Whatever it is we do or don’t do we certainly do gay. And a lot of it too. And the more out gay black public figures there are hopefully the less homophobic our “race” will be, the less ‘on the downlow’ our people will be and the less we’ll hear of: ‘It’s not our culture, it’s a white people thing.” which is just so … gay. 🙂
We owe it to the next generation to evolve in a more progressive fashion than the last one if we don’t want them left behind in the darkness of ignorance and blind prejudice.
The latest “freedom of speech” battleground is the Duck Dynasty / Phil Robertson and Justine Sacco brouhaha. Should people be allowed to say whatever it is they want?
There’s a good reason why rhetoric was a key discipline in ancient Rome. Talk of “freedom of speech” and “rights” always come down to where we set boundaries since no society permits “absolutes”: freedom of speech or “rights”. If the Prime Minister of Britain calls all Scots “dogs” and that’s his personal view can we prove that would get in the way of his job? But most sensible people would find it unwise and unacceptable. Yet no doubt some folks will say something akin to this in private. But who cares about their private party views.
The reason why we fret so much about what people say in public is the naivety and gullibility of a large class of people to run with not just “offensive” but “dangerous” views. If views are merely “offensive” then people should get a life. But when views are dangerous then they inspire a large number of people to justify actions that are incompatible with social progress: equal rights and considerations for women, LGBT, ethnic minorities etc. [Cases in point: Russia’s hardening conservatism; Africa/Caribbean where people are emboldened to call for gay lynchings; here in the West where some think women who are raped must have been asking for it).
If the overwhelming populace were rational and sensible and not easily corrupted then yes, “freedom of speech” to everyone to say whatever they want, knowing fully well that the ill effects will be close to zero. Unfortunately we don’t live in that world. l agree with some people that one might expect a redneck to say the most outrageous things about blacks and gays. But then again last night I watched for the first time Paul Mooney an American black comedian who thinks Jesus was black. Some of what he said about white people was uncomfortable (even offensive?) and true. Some of what he said was offensive and complete bull. There were people in the audience nodding as if he was a prophet. But how many people listen to him? If he was the president of a country or a very prominent figure with the ability to influence a large number of people: whoa! I would think the man should be called to account.
The case of Justine Sacco. If she holds these views (and especially as a white person born in South Africa) is she likely to employ black people of any distinction in any job better than a servile one? That surely will get in the way of her working effectively for an “equal opportunities” employer.
“For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the basic values of the company,” so said Guido Barilla, chairman of Italian pasta maker Barilla in a radio interview. “I would not [feature gay families in advertisements], but not out of a lack of respect for homosexuals who have the right to do what they want without bothering others… [but] I don’t see things like they do and I think the family that we speak to is a classic family.”
And if gay consumers don’t like it? “Eat another brand of pasta,” he said.
Ha! Not sure if he felt so strongly about homosexuals that he just had to blurt this out on national radio or if he was somehow led into this shocking pronouncement. You would think that as chairman of the world’s “largest pasta maker” he’d have more tact. After all, I bet his pasta is the besta in the Vatican. Or should that “is the best” be past-a tense.
Stephen Fry’s new documentary on BBC about Homophobia is looking good. Just watched Episode 1 and my thoughts.
- Stephen’s tears are never far behind. The man cries too easy.
- Simon Lokodo, the Ugandan minister of Ethics and Integrity sitting in his oversized leather chair looked like the typical African big man: very fat and very stupid. The man’s a former catholic priest who says it’s ok if women get raped – at least it’s the ‘right way’. Duh!! What a baboon.
- Dennis Wamala, the young Ugandan who runs the HIV testing clinic: wow! brave.
No, it can’t be … but it’s unnatural … so it says in the Bible … the (fucking) Pope objects …. it’s a disgusting Western practice … not part of our (choose one: Black, Russian) customs … children are at risk for christ’s sake … it’s the end of civilisation … but god hates fags.
No, He doesn’t. People do. It’s self-evident that some Thing that does not exist cannot hate. But people can. Hatred is where ignorance meets prejudice. There are a lot of people who while demanding “rights” for themselves are very quick to deny it to others on the most fickle and stupid grounds like those mentioned in the preceding paragraph. It’s especially frustrating when it comes from Black people. With all the discrimination we’ve suffered too many of “our people” have their heads buried in ignorance and prejudice and a stupendous inability to see beyond conservative narrow mindedness. We have gone straight from the embrace of voodoo into the bosoms of fanatical Christian and Islamic religious bigotry.
Freedom is not the right to govern one’s own country. Let’s be frank here, African and Black Caribbean nations have been independent for a long time and what a glorious record of self-governance they have. Freedom however is a mind thing: the unshackling of superstition and convention and the putting on of courage: the courage to question and to form one’s opinions and then conduct one’s affairs based on careful observation and contemplation rather than simply folding into the consensus. This doesn’t mean an end result where everybody is accepting of homosexuality. It’s impossible to create a world where we all think alike – evolution won’t allow it. But it will mean far fewer people keen to lynch others (or think it’s OK to do so); far more people empathetic with their neighbour and a world that is less stressful and certainly more enjoyable and productive.
So yes, there may be a black US president; and black slavery may be a distant memory; and black people might be able to sit on the bus when whites are around but “free, free at last” we certainly are not. At least not yet. And until we are free, in our minds and in our thinking, we are likely to remain at the bottom of the pile, where we have historically been found.
The British conservative government, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, is pretty much like conservative governments anywhere. A thousand words of puff about being tough on public waste while leaving intact tax loopholes for rich friends. And by all accounts the British government in its latest budget is determined to make us swallow an austerity pill. Yes, we know one can’t borrow one’s way out of crushing debt but we sure can inflate our way out of it.
The second item on the agenda of conservative governments is war/crime/war/crime … it’s all the same to them: war without (war) and war within (crime). George Bush epitomised this in recent memory along with the jokers who run Iraq and North Korea; all cut from the same cloth. Youth crime is a big issue here in Britain especially given last year’s riots. So one Police Commissioner, Mrs Ann Barnes, decided to appoint a youth police commissioner to help Kent police tackle youth crime. The new youth czarina is Paris Brown, she’s 17 and earns 15,000 pounds for providing invaluable insight and advice on wily young Britons. This is what our youth police commissioner has got to say on Twitter.
‘I really wanna make a batch of hash brownies.’ (Drugs)
‘Been drinking since half 1 and riding baby walkers down the hall at work oh my god i have the best job ever haha!!’
‘i want to f****** cut everyone around me.’
‘F****** hell why are the people from Direct Pizza so difficult to talk too!! IT IS CALLED ENGLISH. LEARN IT.’
About the male actors in a reality show: ‘Everyone looks like a f****** fag.’
On violence: ‘I don’t condone violence but im so pleased that my brother thumped the fat little ****.’
And my favourite tweet is about herself: ‘im either really fun, friendly and inclusive when im drunk or im an anti social, racist, sexist, embarrassing a****** often its the latter.’
OK,OK I hear she’s only 17. Mmmm, sorry cuts no ice with me. There are people in history who did amazing things by age 17 and dare I say some people today even in Britain. Heck, it was only two weeks ago that an enterprising 17 year old sold an app to Yahoo! that reportedly made him a millionaire (link). If at seventeen one is as clueless and stupid as Paris Brown then one has no business being a police commissioner. If the police condone this behaviour and allow it to stand then what kind of demented society are we building? Isn’t that just saying to kids, “hey, be racist, be homophobic, be a bully and we’ll pay you for it!”?
Ms Brown’s boss, the ridiculously naive 67 year old Ann Barnes and Kent Police Commissioner has fended her appointee: ‘There is no way I would think of removing her from her post and I am sure Paris will learn from this mistake and be able to move forward to making a success of the role like I know she will.’ That is insane. Ann Barnes is only out to protect herself and not look like a fool for appointing someone whose anti-social rants were known even before she was appointed.
The only person who’s made a mistake is Mrs Barnes. She should either sack the teenage twerp or resign herself so someone else can.