I cringe to write about this, but it’s necessary.
A rapper by the name of T.I. is pulling the “gays want to shut down everyone who disagrees with them” card.
T.I. said the following in an upcoming issue of Vibe magazine:
“Man, I will say this, the funniest joke I ever heard Tracy (Morgan) say during a stand-up was, ‘C’mon man, I think gay people are too sensitive. If you can take a dick, you can take a joke.’ [Cracks up laughing.] That shit was funny to me. And it’s kind of true.”
While T.I. makes clear that he supports anyone’s sexual preference, he then connects, in his opinion, a current oversensitivity among gay people with a consequential and ironic offense of the First Amendment.
“They’re like, ‘If you have an opinion against us, we’re gonna shut you down.’ … That’s not American. If you’re gay you should have the right to be gay in peace, and if you’re against it you should have the right to be against it in peace.’”
I cringe because I know what’s going to happen next. T.I. will be defended as some sort of savior of the First Amendment. Some black folks will rush to his defense. Meanwhile some gays will bring up the obvious fact that there would be less support of T.I.’s First Amendment defense if the comments were about African-Americans, but their tone may not be polite.
Now I like blue humor and I love what can be deemed as “politically incorrect” jokes. I secretly laugh over such things because they are partly funny and there is that naughty thrill of laughing at something you shouldn’t.
But there are limits and Tracy Morgan crossed those limits with his comedy routine, particularly the part about the act of violence he would commit on his son should the child turn out to be gay.
On the risk of being accused of “shutting anyone down,” allow me to speak plain.
That’s ain’t funny.
Or how about if I speak a bit more proper. I do not think it’s funny to make a joke about a gay child being the potential victim of violence should his parents discover his sexual orientation.
To many gay children, this is not a joke, but a reality. And it’s a reality in a lot of homes, including African-American homes.
T.I.’s claim that he believes “gays should live in peace” is weak in light of the fact that he thinks it’s hilarious to make fun of a real problem which in fact does prevent gays from living in peace. Gay children are often threatened with violence in their homes. Worse yet, many get thrown out in the streets where they are left to fend for themselves and become victims of bad behaviors and those who prey on the weak and innocent.
To put it succinctly, T.I. made a generalized comment which reveals his ignorance. But it does speak to the idea that there are some people out there who think that the gay community should sit and smile while anything is said about us.
For us to register any disagreement to vulgar, homophobic comments is tantamount to shutting someone down or interfering with their First Amendment rights.
Free speech does not mean you get shielded from the consequences of opening your mouth. If you say things about groups of people which are deemed offensive, you should expect some blow back.
Particularly when you are talking about children.