A debate can go one of two ways: wonderfully impactful or a painful waste of everyone’s time. Whenever the former happens, it’s usually due to the fact that people on both sides can respect the other person’s stance and where it stems from. It can get even better when those with opposing views can be bothered to dip his or her pinky toes outside of their respective bubbles. I feel like this should go without saying, but again, folks on Al Gore’s Internet remind me every single day that even the most simplest idea needs constant repeating.
So while I appreciate the passion behind Bradley Stern’s piece “Same Love: On Madonna, the Gay Community and Why That Macklemore Performance Mattered,” I want to spray it with Raid max Bug Barrier all the same. Stern’s essential grip is that he feels as if some gay people on social media were being too snarky if not too petty to see the bigger picture of Macklemore’s Grammy performance of “Same Love.” Perhaps Stern’s time is limited as he appears too busy to try and figure out why some folks refuse to shut up and think like him.
Stern writes: “I would encourage writers, YouTubers and Twitter personalities to step outside their reactionary bubble and recognize the greater good: Stop tearing down the people who are waging the same battle, whatever you suppose their true intentions actually are. Madonna? Macklemore? Please. These aren’t our real enemies.”
He goes on to say: “The real enemies are the homophobic politicians and world leaders committed to outlawing LGBT ‘propaganda.’ There are real, horrifying events happening every single day in the world — and if you truly believe the biggest problem is that a straight White man ‘using us’ for record sales by publicly supporting LGBT equality on a nationally televised awards show in front of a tearstained audience, then you’re not genuinely fighting the same fight.”
This essay is so White, I imagine he had to slather it with sunscreen before letting the ideas out his brain.
I will say that the most entertaining part of Stern’s Father Knows Best-themed musing is when he gets to the part in which he decides to offer a “history lesson” that is drenched in vanilla and devoid of a circular view.
Yes, Madonna was a pro-gay rights advocate promoted HIV/AIDS awareness long before it happened, but by that same token, this is also the culture vulture who got “inspiration” from Black and Latino gay men on the ball scene and went on to make millions while many of those very people died penniless and still largely marginalized. Oh, and keeping up with the “history lesson,” while HIV/AIDS awareness has done wonders with respect to saving so many gay men from certain death, there are very recent reports that prove how much of those efforts weren’t directly aimed at gay men of color.
Bottom line, though, is that Stern is operating from the space that suggests allies are above reproach because us gays just ought to be happy some heterosexuals are profiting off of the hurdles homosexuals face in our lives.
It reminded me of a tweet that was sent to Saeed Jones, the LGBT editor over at Buzzfeed over the weekend.
Read the rest at EBONY.