by Lavern Merriweather
There is a PSA starring two stars from the FOX show “Glee” Jane Lynch and Lauren Potter, who has Down’s syndrome, that really irks the shit out of me. For those of you who have never seen it, in the commercial several people ranging from an elderly white male, an Asian woman and a young black male each name their respective slurs. They state that if it’s not acceptable to call them such names, then it’s not okay to call Ms. Potter, or anyone who has her condition, a ‘retard’.
That’s not the part that pisses me off, however. I find that word to be crass, offensive, and dumb. And whoever uses that word on her or any person that happens to be mentally retarded should get a solid punch to the throat. What bothers me the most about that public service announcement is the black male. How typical that the white males who run Madison Ave. prefer to live under that never ending delusion that EVERY black person on this Earth is a fucking man. Isn’t that itself a form of discrimination?
But they don’t have time to think about that while they are trying oh so desperately to protect a white girl’s feelings. Even though the main group of people who do use that rotten word are those who look just like them. What I also don’t like is the idea that being a black person in America is some kind of default for all bigotry and prejudices.
I have said it before and I will say it again, being black and being gay is NOT the same fucking thing! They never have been and they never will be any more than being mentally retarded, overweight, short, elderly, blind, a paraplegic, etc. I have not one time in my whole four decades on this planet ever heard of someone being lynched because they were under 5 feet tall or because they tipped the scales past 250 pounds.
See, the bigots of the world don’t give a shit about such petty details. All they care about is that they have a Negro that they want to string up!
My biggest problem with the commercial though is Lynch herself. She comes across to me as a typical liberal phony, over privileged white woman who decries any type of discrimination while freely engaging in it herself.
I have noticed that the majority of magazine covers featuring the cast members from “Glee” only showcase not just the white stars, but the ones who aren’t in a wheelchair, playing lesbians or are considered ‘retarded’.
Ms. Lynch seems to have no qualms that her co-star Ms. Potter is not at any time allowed to be photographed as an integral part of the show. In fact I didn’t even know that she was actually ON the show. Granted, I don’t watch it all that much, but when I did, she was hardly ever on the screen.
I would also like to know if Ms. Lynch is that quick to talk shit if she ever feels the writers aren’t being quite as socially enlightened as she to not ever make Ms. Potter the butt of a comical story line. I would like to believe that she practices what she preaches, but I ain’t holding out that much hope.
I have seen far too many examples of white folks who say one thing then do the exact opposite like the ones who claim to hate anti-Semitism as they continue to slobber over a shitbag like Mel Gibson. Or the ones who bitched like crazy about the lyrics from a controversial Michael Jackson song where he uses the word ‘kike’, yet happily sit back and completely ignore director Quentin Tarantino’s use and abuse of the n-word. And if that’s not bad enough those same pricks will try to defend him by calling it artistic license. Artistic license my ASS! These same dumb shits also glorify shock jock pigs like Howard Stern and Don Imus all while pretending to just despise bigotry.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t celebrate racism one minute, then condemn it the next. Just like you can’t pretend as if being black equals being any other marginalized group. Well, if that’s the case, then I want to see more white gay people, more elderly people, and white people who are mentally retarded have to suffer the same indignities. The same goes for anyone who is below 5’2. They all have to drink from separate water fountains, use different toilets, be followed every time they walk into a store by security, not allowed to live in certain neighborhoods, go to certain schools, be denied housing, transportation, medical care, voting rights, and damn near every basic human amenity that the dominant culture takes for granted all the fucking time.
The problem is those very people who say “it’s the same” would never do that, because that shit sucks! It sucks to be treated from birth that you are less than any other person on the planet, that your skin is wrong or your hair, your features, your weight and how you talk hell every- thing about you because you don’t fit some narrative. And God forbid you ever lose sight of that little factoid and actually begin to like yourself or have a positive opinion. Because someone is just waiting in the wings to tell you that you are fooling yourself, and sometimes those people look just like you too.
They also wouldn’t do it because then, their little theory would get put to the real test, and they would find out what complete and utter bullshit their way of thinking truly is.
I have no ill will towards Ms. Potter herself. Like I said, I abhor the word ‘retard’, especially when it’s being used as an insult. And I know that she wasn’t the one behind creating that self-righteous commercial. But, to try and make asinine similarities between being black and all the fucked up baggage that goes with it and being what she is, is something that I flat out refuse to do, especially when I am well aware of the fact that the ones who say it would not want to spend one day hell one hour walking in my shoes.
Say what you will about the r-word or the f-word. However, when you are born with privilege and I’m not, don’t expect me to rally the flag when you make stupid, arrogant comparisons. I’m trying to be your ally, so don’t piss me off enough that I feel like going the other way.