Part 3: Straight Talk

By admin

fest tatthomophobia |,hōmə’fōbēə|
noun
an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.

First and foremost, I am a heterosexual black male who believes that strong family and love is the base for any effective revolution. Recently, I’ve been receiving criticism for what is viewed to be homophobic rhetoric.  Upon reading the definition of homophobia, I honestly don’t feel as though my speech has met those requirements.   I do not have an extreme aversion to people who live their lives opposite of what my belief system may be. This may sound a bit cliché, however that is one of the greatest things about living in America.

Specifically, in self-examining my diss record toward Charles Hamilton, I’ve ascertained that the bigger issue was not homophobia, but misogyny.  Where I come from on the south side of Chicago, one of the worst things you can call a man is a girl or anything that represents one. Gay, sissy, fag all represent feminine characteristics in men. From everything I know of Charles Hamilton, he is not homosexual; but the traits that he exhibited, that led to my lashing out at him were in my opinion feminine.

When I speak about the tight and pink clothing which is not just worn by Charles, but other male artists, this is also a style that doesn’t necessarily represent homosexuals but women. I can’t deny I was raised with an old school value system. Blue is for boys; pink is for girls. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot to answer for concerning my misogynistic statements over the last few years—and even the future ones in songs that have yet to hit the market. But what is most interesting is that in all of the correspondence I received, not one person brought this up as an issue.
Dr. King once said, “An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.” However, we see in myself, and every other rap artist the words nigga, baldheaded hoes, black bitch—we even have an old school jam, “Yo Mama’s on Crack Rock”. All of this goes uncontested by the mainstream. But the moment an artist says “You should do what we do/stack chips like Hebrews” (Jadakiss, All About the Benjamins) or “The white man gets paid off of all of that” (Kanye West, All Falls Down) the censor button is immediately pushed.

Yes. I called Charles Hamilton a faggot. Multiple times. At this point, there is no more beef. He did what he did, I said what I said, and he is acting appropriately by not responding.  As far as I know, his sexuality is not in question, just his personality and character.

Filed in: Commentary • Friday, February 6th, 2009

Comments

“I do not have an extreme aversion to people who live their lives opposite of what my belief system may be.”

How exactly does being gay exclude people from having a family and being in love? In the statement above, saying that gay people because they are gay are opposed to your belief system, that only makes sense if what you believe in is homophobia. Nobody chooses to be gay, it has nothing to do with beliefs.

If you are calling for a revolution of some kind you have to offer something better then the status quo, and if you coming from a place of ignorance were you think calling somebody a faggot is ok, then I don’t think you have the type of wisdom to know what is really better then what we already have.

Interesting considering the MJ mixtape. MJ was definitely not your typical, hyper-masculine male persona in style, character, mannerisms or appearance, & you seem to rightly have a lot of respect for him. Perhaps you should re-visit these seemingly too-definitive statements in light of this.

Whether you say it is about misogyny or homophobia, considering feminine characteristics to be negative is a problem in and of itself. Deviance from rigid and often paranoid restrictions placed on what is and isn’t normal or acceptable has long accompanied progressive thinking and artistic innovation. There is nothing wrong with being different; in fact, that’s how cultural progress is made.

Think.

You’re right about the root problem here being misogyny, but only because all homophobia is misogyny. Men acting like you think women act, men getting fucked like you think women are fucked, men speaking in what you think are feminine ways. Getting angry about this or denigrating it when you see it in somebody else is calling out the feminine traits that aren’t staying where YOU, a man, think they should. Even worse, as you pointed out, equating someone shitty with something you consider feminine is unreal.

I’m just saying, I think you’ve got a wise take on the specifics of this situation. I hope you’ll expand that perspective and realize that all gay-bashing and taunts of “faggot” (which is what people mean by homophobia, don’t be such a smart-ass) is actually woman-bashing.

 

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About

Che Smith is a revolutionary artist, writer, and activist. Popularly known as Rhymefest, the South Side Chicago native has been a trailblazer in music, television, and politics.