It is time once again for the traditional inspection of the President’s long form birth certificate. This custom dates back to Einsenhower; when he was inaugurated in 1953, the American people naturally demanded that a copy of his birth certificate be printed in the newspaper and shown on television. People’s suspicions were founded on the premise that he was of German descent and on the fact that he simply “looked like a traitor to the American people.” They speculated on his religion, despite his claim to have practiced Christianity. His German roots simply could not escape public scrutiny. He finally put all fears to rest when he produced a copy of his birth announcement with his feet-prints on it accompanied by a birth certificate which confirmed the information found on the birth announcement, in addition to a photograph of himself as a newborn being foot-printed along with a stamped and sealed verification of his birth date and social security number, a blood sample and full medical records. As is the tradition, the President’s origins are constantly doubted and questioned by the opposing party.
Ford continued the legacy when his British heritage was found out; people demanded reassurance that he was, indeed, born in Omaha, Nebraska. He was forced to produce five witnesses who could confirm his identity, a petition proclaiming his innocence, his marriage certificate and living will, his full dental records and a court-ordered psychological evaluation. It was then that his political opponents pounced on his lack of transparency, pointing out that he’d never offered to provide his school records or his original driving permit and must therefore be hiding something. Ultimately, Ford was forced to comply with the demands of the people, and revealed the shocking truth: he got C’s in Biology.
Nothing pisses me off more than the use of the word “gay” or “fag” as an insult. “That movie is so gay,” is supposed to automatically indicate that it sucked (not that it had boy-on-boy/girl-on-girl action) or “You’re such a fag,” is supposed to indicate that said fag (as a male) is feminine (femininity being innately bad, of course) or stupid. Being that those of us who aren’t born white, heterosexual and male simultaneously are summarily dismissed due to our “minority status” at one point or another in life, it always grinds my gears when members of a heavily-oppressed minority bash another heavily-oppressed minority group. Like when a black guy uses the word “faggot.”
Unfortunately, this particular black guy, a famed celebrity, has lead a privileged life since his youth that may not have lent itself to much empathy. But he’s not alone. Individuals of all races and economic statuses gleefully take part in homophobic mud-slinging. Why? Because, for some reason, it’s still okay to say “faggot.” The N-word went out with the “politically correct” era of the 80’s and 90’s and it’s a pretty big deal when a high-profile personality uses it nowadays. But, in reality, it hasn’t been that long since it’s been dropped from the acceptable lexicon and – even today – in some shit-brained, ethnocentric circles, it’s perfectly tolerable (if not encouraged.) There’s always the lunatic fringe to contend with. And, of course, there are all of those in the middle who don’t use the word out loud, but mean it.
So here we are again, this time with the word “faggot” – or, as Kobe Bryant prefers to use the term, “fucking faggot.” We’re back at square one, and the word can be spat in any circumstance against anyone of any color or sexual persuasion. Straight or gay, you can be called a “faggot.” Black or white, you can be called a “faggot.” Anywhere but on public television, you can pretty much get away with using this heinous slur, but fortunately Kobe Bryant was dumb enough to get caught, and justice was (sort of) served. He was fined $100,000 and then he gave this apology:
“What I said (Tuesday) night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone.”
Riiiight. Kind of like when I accidentally call my brother a nigger because he’s beating me in a video game. Wait a second… that has never happened in my life. Why? Because I have respect for people of all races and would never use that word in my daily speech or at any time in my life (except to impactfully illustrate its caustic, abhorrent nature.) I don’t toss the N-word around at anyone because I respect black people. I don’t toss the word faggot around because I respect gay people. I don’t use the word “gay” as an insult, because it isn’t one, and it’s despicable to infer that it is.
However, allow me to make this perfectly clear: I am not equating the African-American experience with the GLBT experience. They are completely separate and different experiences and identities entirely with completely separate and different dynamics involved. BUT… is it too much to ask that us minorities band together against the establishment’s systemic, straight-white-male supremacy that prevails in our society?
Kobe. Mr. Bryant, sir. I know you attended Lower Merion High with all of the other well-to-dos and high-profilers. I realize that you’ve been living your celeb-tastic life as though you’re invincible, and the fine they made you pay was more like a trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru… but please examine your conscience and don’t blow this off as another scandal you shrugged off or another penalty you avoided. You’re a star and people – even grownups – look to you for validation and inspiration. You’re talented. You’re loved. So please… I’m begging you… STOP FUCKING IT UP.