Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Casual hate speech all over the place

And we have another round of hate speech

Baseball players Ian Kroll, Gordon Beckahm and American Football player Desean Jackson have all put their homophobia hats on and let the bigotry spill forth. What, was it Homophobia Week in sport or something? Oh wait, it's kind of pretty common in sports

In entertainment, of course, we've already mentioned Tracy Morgan and his many many defenders, as well as many musicians and comedians who think homophobia is so funny also newly joined by comedian Jo Koy/. Such entertainment staples are joined by Chris Brown (not that we expect much from him) throwing out more homophobia. And Katy Perry, who never fails to put my teeth on edge. The singer of that stinking Ur so Gay song has now decided to add some transphobia to the mix

In many ways I find speech like this one of the two worst kinds (the worst kind I think is hate speech coming from authorities – whether legal, religious or political – because of the influence and devastating influence they have as well as the huge statement it makes about GBLT people not being part of society). Of course there is worse out there – but we expect worse from the hate groups, the Family Research Council and Christian Voice and NOM and the Traditional values Coalition and the rest of them. Hate groups gonna hate.

But hate speech like this? Just casual dehumanising from famous people – casual dehumanising not from agenda driven hate groups but just from people just from popular culture – has a special kind of pain. It speaks of the casual disgust and contempt embedded in society's culture. It's not “active hate” or a concerted campaign to hurt us – it's just a constant, embedded rejection. It's a pervasive cultural loathing and I think it's beyond damaging.

I approach any and all media – from the news to books about dragons and elves – with a wariness of the bomb disposal squad approaching a left-over cardboard box. And there's a reason for it – because this, this constant casual hate, is everywhere – and the barrage of it, all these slurs and contempt and dehumanisation all the damn time is erosive. It wears you down, wears down your energy, your strength, your worth, your value and your safety.

So, I say again. Enough. Never mind your PR or your edginess or your self-serving apologies or your It Gets Better vids – just stop. You're old enough and daft enough to know better