Tuesday, March 13, 2007

When Smart People Do Stupid Things, Part XXC

So, I’m a waffler. Sue me. But I kept thinking that someone would jump on a soapbox and scream at the top of his or her lungs about how wrong-headed this item is.

On March 2nd, the NAACP gave out their Image Awards.

One of those went to Isaiah Washington of Grey’s Anatomy. The very same Isaiah Washington who was recently in rehab for his “faggot” addiction. OOOOO-Kay?!?!?

Granted, it was an acting award. But I can’t believe that a group that has fought for equality for so long would honor an individual who has been so vilified for his bigotry. The website for the NAACP Image Awards opens with a little Flash presentation that says, in part, “Tradition. Liberty. The Ideals of Civil and Human Rights.” Hmmm.

The site also says, “Presented annually, the NAACP Image Awards is the nation’s premier event celebrating the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice.” Bravo to that.

And then the kicker, “Ideas and images create the belief systems that control our individual and societal actions. When it comes to forming ideas, reinforcing stereotypes, establishing norms and shaping our thinking nothing affects us more than the images and concepts delivered into our lives on a daily basis by television and film.” Couldn’t agree more. But if Rosie O’Donnell called someone a “nigger” she’d be fired. And properly vilified. And cast out. NOT rewarded for being a good Gay role model.

I can guarantee you that no Gay and Lesbian organization would EVER give an award to someone who had used the “n-word” in the same fashion that Mr. Washington did. As the African-American community is well aware, pejoratives such as these have no place in contemporary society. I actually wish they weren’t even used in the co-opted sense.

The NAACP owes the Gay and Lesbian community an apology. And they should retract Mr. Washington’s accolade. You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth. You can’t decry hate and award it at the same time. You just can’t.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I harken back to the music awards of some years ago when Michael Jackson recieved some award for his video adventures and that also was an image award. There were pictures of people who had won this award in the past and the first thing that came out of his mouth was "It looks awfully white around here" I wonder if a white guy had come out and said "it looks awfully black around here", how long he wouldve been in rehab. Some of our double standards are more glaring than others. I am still paid half of what a man would make for my job, gay, black, white, straight, seems owning a penis has it's own double standards.