Black Lesbian Journo Not Down With Gay Media’s Washington Attacks

There’s no shortage of opinions about homophobe “It” boy, Isaiah Washington. While certainly there have been a number of articles, op-eds and general rants penned by white gay men, less attention has been given to opinions within gay black communities. Thus, we’d like to take a little second to ponder a Louisiana Weekly piece by a black lesbian named Jasmyne Cannick.

Over the past few weeks, Cannick’s railed against gay white media, insisting that even though Washington should be reprimanded for his now legendary faggot-flinging, some journalists and activists have been too quick to jump on the Down with Washington band wagon. She writes:

[The protest] reminds of 1876 in the Deep South, when a White woman would scream rape at the hands of a Black man, and that Black man was then dragged out of his home into the middle of the night and beaten and lynched by an angry White mob without any proof or evidence, just the word of his accuser. It was another case of guilty until proven innocent.

…The gay mafia’s wheels were in motion and they smelled meat, dark meat. And whether Isaiah apologized or not, it was all down hill for him anyway.

It seems to us that she’s got a point – to a degree. Yes, people were quick to judge Washington, vilifying him to the nth degree. But, would we have been so ready to blast a white man? We don’t know about other media outlets, but we certainly would have.

Cannick goes on to say that gay media’s been relatively silent on the case of a one Charles Knipp: a white man who dresses up as a black woman named “Shirley Q” and has organized an entire minstrel show around negative stereotypes of black women.

Knipp’s characterizations of Black woman played out on stage in city after city are ones that portray Black women as being on welfare, living in the projects, illiterate, sexually promiscuous mothers who don’t know who their children’s fathers are, alcoholics, and drug addicts …The gay mafia has said nothing about Knipp, but do you want to know why? Because they’re the ones responsible for selling out his shows as he tours around the country.

Knipp doesn’t bring his shows to the people he’s degrading. No, he books his shows in White gay Mecca’s like L.A.’s West Hollywood, New York’s Chelsea District, San Francisco’s Castro District.

So let me get this straight, no pun intended, it’s not ok for the Black guy to use the f-word, but it is ok for the White gay guy to dress up in blackface and perform parodies that mock Blacks.

Actually, we had never heard of Knipp until Cannick’s column and rest assured, Ms. C, we think it’s pretty gross.

In response to Cannick’s criticism, Knipps assistant wrote her this note, which she’s posted on her blog:

You are absolutely PITIFUL! There’s always someone stirring the pot, and I’m sure glad it’s you this time…. I’m Shirley Q’s personal assistant. The fans and myself find it HYSTERICALLY funny all the time you put into this nonsense, when there are bigger issues to be faced (War, Terrorism, Unemployment, Homelessness). And isn’t it also funny that Chuck Knipp doesn’t solicit his act? PEOPLE BOOK HIM FAR IN ADVANCE, and the fans request his performances. I’m sure we’d all like to retire and not work any longer (you being the exception here with your nonsense).



Hmm, bigger problems? Racism’s a pretty big problem, we think. It’s so big, in fact, that we think you could successfully argue racism plays a role in all of those other “issues”.

As for the people who find Knipp’s act “hysterical” – you should really know better. What would you say if Washington dressed up as a white fag and did a little routine. Nothing good, we’re sure.