Apparently everyone’s favorite King of the South, T.I. is not as sensitive to gay rights as some columnists would like. Fresh out of his latest stint in the pokey, Clifford Harris has done a recent interview in Vibe Magazine where he gets vaguely political by claiming that gays are too sensitive and should learn how to roll with the punches more. The most “offensive” quote is T.I. discussing his point further by referencing Tracy Morgan’s supposedly homophobic stand-up routine where he rants about gay folk.
“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 d***, you can take a joke.’ [Cracks up laughing.] That s*** was funny to me. And it’s kind of true.”
Look I’ll say right off the bat I don’t know how intimate T.I. is with taking anything (how long was he in prison again?). But, while the author of Nerve column goes off the rails a bit criticizing T.I. as a homophobic monster I’m a bit less hostile about it.
To be honest, Clifford’s opinion is pretty progressive given where a lot of rappers were just a few years ago. Back then, calling someone “faggot” was just a standard lyric and no one blinked.
More importantly, I think his views reflect the kind of annoyance and disconnect that many African Americans feel about how the homosexual struggle for equality has been compared to the African American struggle for equality. It is well known that the religious Black community is not all that fond of homosexuality and that rap music is one of the most consistent perpetrators of homophobic slurs expressed in popular culture.
At the same time the homosexual rights movement has been pretty lousy about including diverse voices, and really showed their true colors when LGBT organizations went off on African Americans when it looked like black voters might not support a gay marriage law in California back in 2008. When many African Americans see a slew of public service ads in the last few years against homophobia, or the manner in which the anti-bullying campaign has been strongly linked to violence against gay teens there is occasional side-eye. In large part because such an open and publicized battle against racism on a social (as opposed to legislative) level took much longer and faced much more resistance than the battle against homophobia seems to face today.
Arguing over who’s got it worse, or intra-political battles between oppressed groups is, generally a waste of time. Thus, it is in the interest of all minorities to support one another in the face of discrimination. However, expecting the support from all corners – let alone the King of the South – probably won’t work out too well.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.