It’s Friday. You know what that means: it’s Queerty ReBUTTal time! Yay!!
It’s been a great week here at Queerty and you guys were especially vocal. There were a lot of great stories and accompanying comments, but we’d like to take a closer look at two particular posts – one from this week and one from a few weeks back.
Taken together, they raise some interesting questions about the nature of racism, homophobia and comedy, leading us to do something we’ve never done before…
Who could forget this week’s post Holy Shit! We Agree With GLAAD, in which we applauded the media watchfag’s coming out against Shirley Q. Liquor – Charles Knipp’s controversial blackface character. In that post, we described Liquor as:
…a “performer” who gets her kicks perpetuating stereotypes of inarticulate, irrational black women, particularly Reagan-era notions of the welfare mother.
Some of you applauded our applauding of GLAAD’s admonishing. Reader akaison wrote:
I am glad this issue is being addressed. The truth is racism does exist in the gay community. It needs to be dealt with as much as the homophobia that we saw coming out of Mr Washington. Both situations are not something to be used to justify further hatred, but are things that civil people who care for each other should agree are wrong.
It’s true: racism’s a huge problem in gay communities and, of course, everywhere. While that may be the case, many of you questions our motives. Reader Mike wondered: “Since when have you guys taken the moral high-ground on stuff like this?” To which our friend Jack E. Jett mused, “it does make one wonder if someone at queerty just got an invite to a pissy glaad dinner…” Rest assured, Jack, that’s not the case. And, if we were invited to a GLAAD dinner – which we don’t anticipate – we probably wouldn’t go. We think they’re lame.
No, we agreed with GLAAD because we sincerely do find the idea of a gay white man mocking black women to be pretty vile. But, then we read reader Joey’s remark:
Through your humorous language this site often “perpetuates ugly stereotypes that are offensive, hurtful and simply unacceptable.” Only because we realize the humor in the language is it not hurtful. So is your humorous depiction of gays as flippant bearers of disease at the height of moral depravity really THAT much different than Knipp’s humorous depiction of black women?
Hmm, while we’re not sure we’ve ever intimated that gays carry disease (which they do, now that we think about it), we understand where you’re coming from.
We were thinking about this issue earlier today, when we were posting Digging Up Donnie Davies. While certainly offensive, the character of Donnie Davies definitely makes us laugh. So, does that make reader Joseph’s comment’s valid? He writes:
You are a hypocrite about Shirley Q Liquor, who is one of the funniest PARODIES going today. She is as offensive as Lisa Lampenelli, Sarah Silverman or other comedians who are fully in control of the intentionally overdrawn characters they portray. Knipp has other characters, notably Betty Butterfield, a white, pill-popping alcoholic trying to find religion. Let’s hear you rant about that.
Yes, we are being hypocritical. While we can’t say that we endorse Knipp’s performance, we can understand why people would think it’s funny. So, why the knee jerk reaction? We think it’s precisely because racism’s such a big issue, that making light of it makes us excruciatingly uncomfortable. But, then again, we agree that Dave Chappelle’s white face makes us giggle. Is it because we’re white? Well, yes, but also because it almost seems right for black people to take the piss out of the crackers – a knee-slapping pay off after years of slavery and segregation.
There are no easy answers to this one, so we can’t really wrap this up in a pretty little bow. We can say, however, that we’re definitely going to keep thinking about the issues at hand and we think you should, too.
So, what we’re trying to say is that we take it back – we don’t give GLAAD our undying support on this one. But, we do thank them (and you) for making us see the white light.
PS: You’re all a bunch of faggoty ass faggots.