BULLSHIT ALERT

No, Everyone, It’s Not Okay To “Reclaim” The Word “Faggot”

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 1.53.18 PMIf there is one thing Tyler, The Creator will be remembered for, it’s his unapologetic and frequent use of the “f-word” in both casual conversation and his lyrics.

Aside from being a documented asshole and physically incapable of smiling in any photo, Tyler, The Creator and his pals from rap collective Odd Future are raging homophobes. He’s been on a crusade to “reclaim” the word “faggot” (even though he is not gay) since 2011, when it was reported that his eighteen-song sophomore album “Goblin” appropriated the word “faggot” to mean something derogatory an astonishing 213 times.

In an interview with HuffPo Live last week, Tyler and his crew get visibly agitated when the discussion begins again. Spoiler alert: He’s still hiding behind the same “take the power out of the word” nonsense he was two years ago — “I’m not  homophobic…’gay’ just means you’re stupid,” he says.

Tyler and the incredibly relaxed gentlemen to his left, a person I am told is called “Earl Sweatshirt”, lead the charge:

“What a crazy world it would be in which we were the evolved ones? What if we took the meaning away from a word?”

Because he also claims not to be offended by the racial slur “nigger,” Tyler is apparently an authority on telling people which words they’re allowed to be offended by:

“[Faggot] has nothing to do with someone being gay, it was just like, a word. Like find any 17-year-old kid who doesn’t use that word and like if you, like if there’s such, like people are like so gone from like, like they’re stuck in such a bubble.”

The problem at the root of this whole “reclaiming” business is simple: You’re not allowed to tell people what they are allowed to be offended by. You cannot call someone a “faggot” and impose your meaning of that word onto them — if that person is offended by the word, there is no amount of “reappropriation” that will make it acceptable. You have offended them, and whether you think their reaction is valid or “oversensitive” is irrelevant.

We’re not talking about a group of people who dislike the word “panties” here, we’re talking about an entire community that has suffered at the hands of bullies using homophobic epithets for centuries. Odd Future’s use of the word “faggot” is just as offensive as Harvey Fierstein using it to slight Johnny Weir, the same as the term “she-mail” is offensive to the trans community.

No, you’re not allowed to appropriate “faggot” to mean something positive. It’s not a positive word. The next time you call someone “faggot” in an endearing way, remember that it’s the last word LGBT victims all over the world heard moments before they were murdered.

Here’s an idea for the “evolved” species Mr. Sweatshirt speaks so highly of: Invent a new fucking word.