Typically, we reserve Saturdays as the day to post articles written by our readers for our Saturday Submissions secton. When I read Clayton’s article, I knew I had to post it today, regardless of the day. Firstly, I was going to write about it myself so why duplicate. Secondly, I felt Clayton did a great job on it. He took a pretty similar stance as I was going to take but since he’s an American citizen it has more impact. Check it out and see how you feel on comments made by rapper T.I. Be sure to post your opinions at the end of the post. Without further ado, here is Clayton’s submitted post.
In the next issue of the magazine Vibe, set for release on December 6th, rapper T.I. shares his thoughts on homophobia and “against” homosexuality.
Man, I will say this, the funniest joke I ever heard Tracy 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.’
There are two things one wants to do after reading this: the first is to get all huffy about the joke and the second is to start throwing insults at T.I. for his drug sentence and probation violation. I’m not going to do either and I’m asking you to do the same. What you should do is look at the last three sentences…then destroy the two points he makes and that others, from Rick Santorum to Carrie Prejean, have made countless times before.
The free speech clause in The First Amendment to the United States Constitution says “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” I mean I hate to shout but sometimes that’s what it takes. CONGRESS. COOOONNNNGREEEEESSSSSS. This argument that it’s not American to denounce homophobes will become completely valid when GLAAD becomes a government agency but, until that time, this is just a fallacious argument. People have the right to say whatever they want. Totally, go ahead and say you’d stab your son if he were gay, that’s you exercising your right to free speech. But you know what? So are the people who say you’re an idiot and that you need to apologize (which Tracey Morgan eventually did).
That’s the whole point of the first amendment: that if there are two sides that disagree with each other they should each voice their opinions until such time as the truth of the matter emerges. I’m not saying that making stupid, unfunny, and wrong jokes violate the first amendment or that they’re un-American. I’m saying that it’s stupid, unfunny and wrong. T.I.’s trying to stop us from saying that. Who’s shutting who down?
It’s nice to pretend that everyone can get along with each other but that’s just not the case. The “it” that T.I. refers to in the last sentence is me (and I’m guessing there’s a pretty good chance it’s you to). I’m not going to have “peace” with someone who’s “against” me. By definition of the words “peace” and “against” that’s not going to happen. Don’t give in to false equivalency. Don’t respect disrespect and don’t tolerate intolerance. Sometimes someone’s right.
So yeah. That’s all I wanted to say. I hope that if this or some other idiot’s comments come up in conversation, friendly or otherwise, that you’ll think about these things instead of going for the purely emotional response or the cheap joke. Say things that they can’t dismiss. Convince them or make them fight the points of your argument. No offense to you Canadians but that really is the first amendment way and, Mr. T.I., the American Way!
Submitted By: Clayton K.
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