Thursday, February 15, 2007

Streams of Hate

Independent Gay Forum - Taboo Topic?

Like Stephen Miller, the author of the post linked above, I hate to bring this up. But the man has a point when he says "Through drips and drabs of celebrity hate-speak, most recently Isaiah Washington and, now, former Miami NBA star Tim Hardaway, we are beginning to come to terms with an unspeakable topic: that open expressions of gay hatred are far more acceptable in the African-American community than among whites."

I mean, did you hear what Tim Hardaway said? I used to enjoy his screwball-style shots and cheer for his scrappy style of play, but come on:
Well, you know, I hate gay people....I let it be known I don't like gay people. I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. It shouldn't be in the world, in the United States, I don't like it....I don't condone it. If people got problems with that, I'm sorry. I'm saying I can't stand being around that person, knowing that they sleep with somebody of the same sex.
I'm glad Tim feels free enough to say these things--that's the great thing about our country. But I'm also glad that the NBA, which is anything but a free country, is pushing him away, and that ABC finally seems to have acknowledged that Washington's invective toward his coworker was unacceptable. If nothing else, remarks like these create a hostile work environment from which gay actors and athletes, like anyone else, have a right to be free.

In the long run, I hope that seeing and hearing these folks spout off and sound so stupid doing so makes others think about the words being said and the irrational hatred they represent. We can't change what Hardaway and Washington and others have said. But their words can be used as agents for the very changes their speakers would oppose.

No comments: