Culture, Musings

Robin Roberts’ Coming Out Is So Bravissimo!

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.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jack-mirkinson/why-robin-roberts-coming-_b_4518423.html

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Culture, Musings

Justine Sacco & Phil Robertson

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.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10534561/Justine-Sacco-fired-after-Hope-I-dont-get-Aids-tweet.html

Culture, Musings

Why The Vatican May Have To Change Its Pasta Brand

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“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.

Culture, Musings, Politics

Stephen Fry Is Out There

Stephen Fry’s new documentary on BBC about Homophobia is looking good. Just watched Episode 1 and my thoughts.

  1. Stephen’s tears are never far behind. The man cries too easy.
  2. 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.
  3. Dennis Wamala, the young Ugandan who runs the HIV testing clinic: wow! brave.