Dear Steve Harvey, Nah Bruh! Being Gay Matters! [VIDEO]
With the media frenzy surrounding the attack on Empire actor, Jussie Smollett, many celebrities have come to Smollett's defense. Post after post has popped up all over social media in support of Smollett and in seeking justice for what many - all except Chicago PD - are calling a hate crime. Just in case you've been taking an under rock siesta, here's the deal...
Smollett was walking home after landing in Chicago from New York and stopped for a subway sandwich to alleviate, I'm sure, the taste of barely satisfying airline food. While on his way home, two men in black (no puns here) attacked Jussie, poured what many sources are saying was bleach on him, put a noose around his neck, and apparently fractured his rib. According to ABC News, Smollett says he was on the phone with his manager Brandon Z. Moore at the time of the attack. Moore says he heard the men say:
"This is MAGA Country!"
This is in addition to other racial slurs Moore testified that he heard over the phone. According to other sources like Revolt TV, Smollett received a threatening letter cut from various magazine letters that stated,
"You will die Black fag."
Here's where things get a little muddy for this fem gay boy right here! Many people feel like it's a publicity stunt; that all that is being alleged is an elaborate way to bring focus to the issues dealing with the LGBTQ+ community and further gaslighting the violence and chaos that 45 seems to ignite. Others are simply in shock that such a beloved figure in TV right now could be the victim of such a horrific act and want nothing more than for justice to be served on behalf of Smollett.
Comedian, actor, TV host, and radio personality, Steve Harvey, took to IG and expressed his support of Jussie Smollett. And before I get into what has me pressed down and shaken together - much like Yara Shaidi's edges (that woman's baby hairs be LAIDT!), I'll let you guys take a listen:
Now, let me be very clear. I'm well aware of the sentiment and intention of what Steve is saying. I know that at the core of his post he is simply calling to arms our community to rally around Smollett and those like Smollett who have experienced such a trauma. However, my "spidey senses" start tingling when the Black societal uncle that many of you have given free reign to "speak for us all" makes the statement, "...this ain't about sexual preference or nothing...." I'm sorry, WHET?! Part of the issue I have - as a feminine gay man of color - with my heterosexual men of color is this idea that when an atrocity such as this occurs we are to disregard a portion of what - as a whole - makes this a hate crime!
Smollett is a Black man. Truth! Smollett is also gay. Also truth! How can we address this heinous act without addressing BOTH the reasons this man was attacked to begin with. When straight people dismiss the side of this event that deals with homosexuality not only are you diminishing the severity of the situation but you are also diminishing a portion of who the victim is. You become no better than the attackers who look to make America great again by "cleansing" the land of that which they are uncomfortable with and/or don't wish to understand.
The utter disrespect and ridiculousness is the same; much like when a member of the Mounts of Caucus tells a POC that they "don't see color."
**Flips hair and gives sickening side-eye**
I KNOW you see color because when the light is red, you stop and when it's green, you go. To tell a person that you don't see their color is to tell them that you do not see them. You do not acknowledge the fullness and the beauty of all that makes that person who and what they are. Ergo, you can not talk about a hate crime in which the victim is called a "faggot" and told that the "Black fag" is going to die and say this isn't about sexual preference. No, Mr. Harvey, IT IS!!!
The Black Gay Man - as a figure - is one of the most hated, feared, misunderstood, discarded, attacked, loathed, beautiful, multi-faceted, resilient, strong, surviving creatures on the planet! Not only does a Black Gay Man have to navigate this world facing the abhorrent nature of racism but they must also endure the ignorance and shared violent rage that is Homo-Hatefulness. They navigate a world, in which, not only are they targeted for who they are on the outside but who they are on the inside as well.
Our heterosexual brothers and sisters - of color specifically - have to stop discarding the component of gayness that surrounds not only Smollett's story but the story of many others like him. It is ok to stand with your "brother" Mr. Harvey, not only as a Black man who was brutalized but as a GAY Black man who was brutalized. It doesn't take away from your manhood nor does it take away from Jussie's Blackness for you to acknowledge that, in fact, it DOES have to do with sexual preference! AND it also has to do with his ethnicity. It has to do with a despicable human being who - though having the right to feel and believe differently - thought their beliefs and views were superior and was justification enough to enact violence on another person.
I'm tired of giving the proverbial pats on the back for heterosexual men who want to stand publicly with their Black (Gay) brother but then turn around and - even haphazardly - say this is about more than just sexual preference. It could very well be, but acknowledge the portion that IS about sexual preference! DO NOT DIMINISH US! Do not pick and choose the parts of this incredible traumatic experience that matter. His Blackness matters and his gayness matters. Defend him - and those like him - as a whole, not just the portion you can see in yourself. So be down with that Mr. Harvey!
Feature Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons License
Inlay Photo Courtesy of Dominick D's Flickr Page - Creative Commons License
Inlay Post - Courtesy of Steve Harvey's Instagram Page
The Hollywood Reporter: Trump on Attack of 'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett: "That I Can Tell You Is Horrible"