Thursday, May 17, 2007

is Bobby Brown on crack? or are we all?

as i was wandering around the internet this morning (surprisingly enough, thousands of people are not trying to check out books on zoology today, so i have some free time on my hands at work), i discovered an interesting fact. apparently today is international day against homophobia. who knew? definitely not me. but now that i DO know, it seems like as appropriate a time as any to share some reflections on homophobia in the black community.

obviously this is something we'll have a lot more to say about as this blog continues, but to start us off, i wanted to share an email i got the other day that disturbed me. it was sent out over the ABHW list, and it was a clip of bobby brown being crazy on that 24 hours british show where apparently they lock you in a room with the host, Jamie Campbell, for 24 hours. i'm not completely "sure" how to put the video in here, and brittany is not awake yet for me to ask, so if this doesn't work out, sorry in advance. but here's the clip:

the full transcript, which i may or may not quote from depending on how i feel towards the end of this post, is available on towleroad.

anyways, aside from the fact that bobby brown is completely insane, here's what really bothered me about this:

people seem to find it hilarious. yeah its kiiinda funny how crazy he is, but when i watched this mainly i was horrified/frightened. i mean first off, jokes about prison rape aren't funny to begin with, so Campbell probably shoulda got slapped in the face once for that, but second of all, threatening to fuck another man up because you think he might possibly be gay is like, not really funny at all either. when i got this email, i expected people to reply being like, "dear lord he's crazy," but instead i got amusement. then i made the mistake of looking at some of the comments posted on youtube and on concrete loop. bad idea. the things people were saying were ridiculous. two themes in particular really rubbed me the wrong way.

1. about one million variations of "he must be hiding something." oh ok, so the problem here is not that bobby brown is wildly homophobic and advocating violence against gay people, the problem is that he must secretly be gay and that's funny because it makes him less of a man. great. way to take away a positive message.
2. another million variations of "i would have done that too" or "he did the right thing." the fact that so many people (and on concrete loop that usually translates to a lot of black people) think that the way he acted is in any way acceptable is horrifying to me.

so i mean, we'll talk about this more later i'm sure, but what i'm trying to say is basically what the fuck is wrong with the black community that anyone (albeit one of the craziest ones) would think it was ok to act that way on television, and that he could say something like this and be greeted with amusement rather than horror? it seems like for the amount of time we spend talking about the problems with portrayals of black male masculinity, we aren't trying very hard to change.


Brittany said...

Ok, so I'll admit- I totally didn't even like.. watch this when it went out on the lists before (or in e-mails to us?)- I didn't even attempt to look at it before you posted it in this blog. And yeah, I read what you had to say before I actually got around to writing it (which probably colored how I viewed it) but it still didn't seem that funny (or really funny at all, I didn't laugh) to me.

Mostly it's sad- especially that he's just making such a huge ass out of himself on television- and the tone isn't even humorous. Like yes there's generally some (at least latent) level of homophobia within the black community, but this was pretty out there.

Bobby B, Bobby B.. additionally he is looking real extra, extra rough.

kidbonita said...

he must be on something. and his actions and comments are 100% unacceptable for any person, no matter the color or gender. he scares me in this video. yikes.

Kameron said...

how'd you get this shit so snazzy?

kaya said...

brittany has mad skillz. ask about her.

Jersey Slugger said...

That Bobby Brown ish is problematic but that homophobia has the societal element (where, as one who grew up in homophobic society, Bobby develops homophobic views largely whether he wants to or not...kinda like racism with White people) and the individual element (where he becomes conscious of this acculturation in homophobia and becomes a conscious actor against it). The thing we have to do is counteract his upbringing, like that of the millions of U.S. residents who are homophobic, and figure out concrete, individual and systemic ways to destroy homophobia. Suggestions?