Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bring Out the Sacrifice

Tracy Morgan messed up.

He made some deplorable comments that a large group of people found offensive. He made those comments in public and thought they were funny. After being notified of his error, Morgan issued a serious apology, taking responsibility for his actions, asking for forgiveness and pledging to never let his offense happen again.

Tracy Morgan is still being attacked.

Now, some might argue that just because Morgan apologizes does not mean he is entitled to forgiveness. They might note that his comments about homosexuals were so horrible that he must be punished and he cannot be allowed to escape with a slap on the wrist. Some might even express support for his fellow cast members and Hollywood stars who have condemned him and his comments.

Those people interest me.

As a black man, I can fully understand their anger and frustration. It's painful when someone makes hateful remarks about a group that  you are a part of, and it only serves to reinforce feelings of alienation and fear. It is difficult to find forgiveness for those who wrong us, even when their pleas are sincere.

But, while I can understand hurt feelings and anger, I struggle to deal with double standards. I struggle to understand how Tina Fey can say she was "disgusted" by Morgan's actions when her 30 Rock television show traffics in the same sort of puerile and hurtful commentary.

I understand people asking if Morgan should be fired and censured, but where are the people who support him? Mel Gibson became a pariah for making anti-Semetic comments, and his rant about a raping "pack of niggers" only made things worse. Yet both comments provoked friends and associates to speak up and claim that Gibson was not a racist and he did not hate Jews.. Where are the people clearly saying that Tracy Morgan is not a homophobe?

Morgan has been sacrificed and demonized in a way that interests me. His comments, while ridiculous, were not that unusual. Jokes have long been made about "beating" the gay out of children and the like. Those jokes may be tasteless, but they have frequently been allowed and ignored.

It seems like people are clearly saying that bullying homosexuals will not be allowed, just as there is a pushback against accurately and honestly discussing racial animus. Nobody wants to label anyone a racist, but they are fine and dandy with calling them a homophobe. Everybody can see into the hearts of those who make racist statements, but those who make anti-gay comments are the scum of the Earth based on their actions.

It appears that the country has forgotten that it is entirely possible for more than one injustice to occur and be dealt with. Or, maybe folks are just tired of hearing how often they fail black folks.

They've found a new bogeyman. And he looks a lot like the old bogeyman.



p said...

Where are the people clearly saying that Tracy Morgan is not a homophobe?

"The violent imagery of Tracy's rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community," she said. "It also doesn't line up with the Tracy Morgan I know, who is not a hateful man and is generally much too sleepy and self-centered to ever hurt another person."


Darth Whitey said...

I agree that it is over-the-top, but what makes it different is that gays are persecuted in this country, openly hated and denounced as abominations by a very large percentage of the population. There have been (recent!) cases of people who beat gays to near-death getting off scot-free because of "gay panic", i.e. the perpertrators felt under assault by the evil ghey's presence or perceived advances.

It will be at least 50 years before we have a gay president, man or woman (although gay women are looked upon with less contempt.) Probably longer for an atheist.

Anyway, the reason it's different too, is that not a person in America would publicly be "allowed" to defend such calls to violence against black people or jews, but you have preachers and republicans who have no problem nodding their heads openly to this.

Blackgirlinmaine said...

Big Man, I agree with you. Yes, what he said was bad but he apologized, let's move on. Others have said things equally if not more offensive and have been allowed to apologize and move on. Sadly this might be the end of his career.

lifelearner said...

We all know there is a double standard, a double consciousness. If a white person does it, there is grace, but if a person of color does the same exact thing, there is nothing but contempt. Come on Tracy didn't your parents teach you that ;-) I guess fame can cloud one's judgment at times.

Shady_Grady said...

I have only caught 30 Rock in passing a few times but my understanding is that Tracy Morgan plays a shifty, cunning but not too smart, lazy, sex crazed black man who is the object of bemused contempt by his co-workers. IOW a new age coon. Is this the case?

Big Man said...

Thanks P.
Although that was backhanded support if I've ever seen it.

Big Man said...


That's partially correct, although it's been revealed that some of it is an act since he's devoted to his wife and kids but needs to maintain a certain persona.
However, he is presented as a very large infant.

Big Man said...

From what I've seen, people beat and kill black for no reason all the time...

They're called "cops."

KRStyle said...

So, was his whole comedy routine focused solely on gays?

Darth Whitey said...

Ha ha good point big man.

I'm a big fan of this site, I've donated to them as well:


Big Man said...


No, just a segment of it.

Darth Whitey said...

His malignment of gays is a recurring theme for him.

I watched an HBO stand-up special of his where he was talking about gays being too sensitive to jokes and he said this:

"If you can take a dick then you can take a joke."

The lady dost protest too much!

Anonymous said...

Tell it BIG MAN!! I am so SICK of the hypocrisy of white people in the media. These are the very SAME folks who giggle and wink at the hateful,shameful,sexist,racist,demented,perverted ramblings of sleazy dirty old slimeball Howard Stern. Quentiin Tarantino uses the n-word like NO tomorrow yet he has never ONCE taken flack for it. The gay and white community especially celebrities like Ellen have given a free pass to Eminem for a decade but now they want to cry foul?! Tina Fey is a fool and self-righteous hypocrite SNL besides being complete dreck is one of the most wretched sexist,racist shows she had no problem with that. There are COUNTLESS white comedians and shock jocks who use racism and sexism as a punch line while everyone looks the other way. And on top of that the gay and white community said absolutely nothing about the a$$holes screaming the n-word after Prop 8 passed. If we are going to attack Tracy then we need to attack ugly,unfunny,stupid,worthless b**ches like Lisa,Sarah,and Kathy freedom of speech my A##!!

Anonymous said...

@Darth whitey
For your info MANY people support Mel Gibson and Howard Stern and Ursula from the Little Mermaid Lisa Lampanelli. White people have been getting away with saying vile s**t for YEARS all under the disguise of 'comedy'. Just recently some pissant on Fake Noise made a nasty comment Obama having 'homeys at the hizzouse'. So it AIN'T over not by a longshot.

Darth Whitey said...

Why must we turn this into a competition for the distinction of being the most aggrieved minority? Indignation at Mr. Morgan's remarks do not imply that black folks are not the victims of horror.

Renee said...

Not only did Tina Fey defend him in her statement, he has also been supported by Chris Rock, Roland Martin and Louis C.K. You don't need to worry they are circling the wagons and protecting him, though he does not deserve it.

Big Man said...

I wouldn't count Tina Fey's comment as a defense, but I can see Chris Rock and Louis C.K.

Justa Notha said...

First of all, I'd like to say that I've been enjoying your blog--that post about "big dummies"--genius and spot on!

Tracy Morgan said in his comedy routine that if his son was gay he would stab him. Then when he apologized, his apology was along the lines of: "I'm sorry that you were offended" Over time, as that was not considered good enough, he refined his apology to something more palatable, and MIGHT actually be educating himself on why what he said was wrong--unless that's just PR spin.

I find the response to his comments to be pretty par for the course: remember George from Seinfeld? What's he doing now? Oh wait--he dropped the N-bomb on stage and killed his career. I think Mel's should have ended too.

I hate pissing matches that get into "who's more oppressed." we should be joining together to fight oppression--not tearing eachother down.
At the same time, there is a qualitative difference between being black and being gay: if you're black, you grow up knowing that even if white society is oppressing you, at least you have a community of people who share your oppression and can teach you how to navigate the world.

When you're gay, you grow up knowing that if you "talk to your dad like a sissy" he'll stab you in the gut.

I'm not saying that I think Tracy Morgan's career should necessarily be over, but the conversation that I'd like to see come out of it isn't: white people can get away with bigotry, why can't black people? I'd like to see people talking about changing their attitude so children don't have to live in fear of pain and rejection from the very people who are supposed to love and protect them. Homophobia is a huge problem in the Black community. You think it's hard being black in America? Try being black and gay! (Black, gay and female? That's the trifecta!)

Raving Black Lunatic