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Tracy Morgan’s Gay Bashing Rant

Comedian Tracy Morgan has come under fire lately because of some homophobic remarks he made during his live comedy show in Tennessee about a week ago. The first half of this blog is taken from a post written by a man named Kevin Rogers who was in attendance at the show and was deeply offended by Mr. Morgan’s hate speech. The second part of this blog is my response to all of this. And the last part is a small update on everything that has happened since this incident first began.

Kevin Rogers Post:

So tonight was the night, Tracy Morgan in the hallowed halls of the Ryman Auditorium.  The show was your typical hysterical dick, cum and pussy humor… I have to say it was hilarious and well worth at least 40% of the $86 we spent per ticket to see him. I figured at some point the gay jokes would fly and I’m well prepared for a good ribbing of straight gay humor.  I have very thick skin when it comes to humor; I can dish and I can take. What I can’t take is when Mr. Morgan took it upon himself to mention about how he feels all this gay shit was crazy and that women are a gift from God and that “Born this Way” is bullshit, gay is a choice, and the reason he knows this is exactly because “God don’t make no mistakes” (referring to God not making someone gay cause that would be a mistake).  He said that there is no way a woman could love and have sexual desire for another woman, that’s just a woman pretending because she hates a fucking man.  He took time to visit the bullshit of this bullying stuff and informed us that the gays needed to quit being pussies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying. He mentioned that gay was something kids learn from the media and programming, and that bullied kids should just bust some ass and beat those other little fuckers that bully them, not whine about it.  He said if his son that was gay he better come home and talk to him like a man and not [he mimicked a gay, high pitched voice] or he would pull out a knife and stab that little N (one word I refuse to use) to death. He mentioned that Barack Obama needed to man up and quit being all down with this just because he has a wife and two daughters. All of this being followed by thunderous cheer and “You go Tracys”.  Tracy then said he didn’t fucking care if he pissed off some gays, because if they can take a fucking dick up their ass… they can take a fucking joke.  The sad thing is that none of this rant was a joke.  His entire demeanor changed during that portion of the night.  He was truly filled with some hate towards us.

MY RESPONSE:

Kevin Rogers story was SHOCKING to me.  Out of all the stories I read about this incident, none of them actually quoted anything that Tracy Morgan said.  So because of this, I felt like maybe it was something small that got blown up by the press.  But after reading this, I do not see how any journalist could write an honest and truthful piece about this without letting the reader know exactly what was said.  His actual words were far beyond anything I had imagined.  This has totally changed my opinion of Tracy Morgan.  I was fan, but now I’ll never watch or listen to anything he puts out ever again.  What he said can’t be brushed over with an apology.  His apology means nothing to me because I know it will only be about him trying to save his career.  He’s a sad little hate filled man, and I hope people will see him for what he is and stop supporting anything that he is a part of.  Why would anyone want to support someone like this?  I hope that gay rights organizations are not trying to solicit any kind of public apology from him.  It would be insulting.  Someone that says the kind of things he said doesn’t change the way they think overnight, or go to some weekend siminar and magically become a changed man.  That kind of ignorance and hatred comes from a very deep dark and disturbed place, and any proclamations of change should be met with extreme skepticism.  As long as he’s on 30 Rock, I’ll NEVER watch that show EVER again.  The sad part of it all was the reaction Tracy got from the audience.  A large majority of them were cheering him on during his homophobic rant.  To me that’s a confirmation of the long and treacherous road ahead we have yet to travel to reach total equality for our community.

STORY UPDATE AND TRACY’S “APOLOGY”:

Morgan has agreed to go to Nashville with GLAAD to protest the state’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill, according to E! Online. He spoke to E!’s Marc Malkin about his regrets over his rant, emphasizing his belief that all children should be loved, regardless of sexuality.  “I know how bad bullying can hurt,” Morgan said. “I was bullied when I was a kid. I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean it. I never want to use my comedy to hurt anyone. My family knew what it was like to feel different. My brother was disabled and I lost my father to AIDS in 1987…. Parents should support and love their kids no matter what. Gay people deserve the same right to be happy in this country as everyone else. Our laws should support that.”  In an interview with Russell Simmons at Global Grind, Morgan apologized again for his verbal tirade that sparked national outrage, swore off his hate speech and came out for marriage equality.  “Of all the sicknesses, there is probably none more abusive than homophobia. My heart is committed to giving everyone the same rights that I deserve for myself,” Morgan said. “I don’t care if you love the same sex as long as you have the ability to love someone I am deeply sorry for the comments I made. What I am most sad about is the comments I made about kids and bullying.”

Morgan also noted his support for gays serving in the military — an issue solved by the recent repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and then insisted he believed in gay marriage, too. “I believe everyone deserves the right to be happy and marry who they want too; gay, white, black, male or female. Let me know where the rally’s at Russ. I’m there!” Morgan promised.  The words came as he works to make amends, not only with his public, but his friends, too. Tina Fey, his “30 Rock” co-star and executive producer slammed his comments but noted that she believed Morgan was a loving person.  “It doesn’t line up with the Tracy Morgan I know, who is not a hateful man and is generally much too sleepy and self-centered to ever hurt another person,” Fey said in a statement.  Another co-star, Cheyenne Jackson, said that he was “disgusted” by what Morgan had said.

Was Tracy’s apology sincere?  Is he serious about making amends?  Does he understand how hurtful and dangerous his gay bashing tirade was?  I wish I had the answer to those questions, but only time will tell. When I began to write this blog, I kept thinking about something Mya Angelou said in an interview with Oprah.  It seemed to fit this situation perfectly, and I’ve found it to be true in my life as well.  This very wise woman said “When someone shows you who they are, believe them”.JULY 4 2011 UPDATE

To view free streaming episodes of 30 Rock or Saturday NIght Live, visit the links below.
30 Rock seasons 1 through 5:
http://www.tv-links.eu/tv-shows/30-Rock_10/
Saturday NIght Live seasons 1 through 36:
http://www.tv-links.eu/tv-shows/Saturday-night-live_12110/

College Basketball Slavery

While flipping through channels the other night trying to find something good to watch, I came upon a very interesting story on PBS’s news-magazine show “Frontline”.  It’s kind of like “Dateline” on NBC, but 10 times better, and not controlled by a multi-national major conglomerate who’s only agenda is to make as much money as possible by churning out the same substandard regurgitated thinly veiled crap with new packaging accompanied with a vaguely familiar title designed to trick the viewer into watching at least long enough to see a few commercials so they can sell you more crap that you do not need and show you expensive stuff that you can not afford, and just when you’re starting to feel depressed about all this, a precisely timed commercial for a new antidepressant medication comes on and seems to have a cure for something you did not have until you started watching tv a half hour ago… but I digress. lol
So, I’m watching this news story on “Frontline” about the NCAA college basketball organization and how much money they make off of the basketball players, but pay them noting in return.  I’m not a big sports fan at all, so everything they mentioned in this broadcast was completely new to me.  After watching it, I was in total shock at how screwed up this organization is, and amazed at how corrupt the people that run it are.  Here’s a few key points they discussed in the broadcast.  The NCAA alone rakes in BILLIONS each year by selling the broadcast rights of their games to television networks, plus signing huge commercial endorsement deals, plus ticket sells plus licensing their brand and the players names to sell merchandise, and god knows what else.  This all adds up to BILLIONS!  Yes, you heard me right, BILLIONS (believe it or not, that isn’t a typo).  The coaches get huge salaries (most receive upwards of 2 million a year).  The people on the board get huge salaries… and that goes for almost everyone that holds a high position in the organization.  All of this money is being generated because of the players… and they get paid ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Appalling isn’t it?  The NCAA treats their players like slaves or indentured servants.  I couldn’t believe the level of exploitation that goes on in college basketball.  A crass but fitting analogy would have Mark Emmeret (the president of the NCAA) playing the role of a pimp, and the NCAA college basketball players in the role of his prostitutes…  Actually, Mr Emmeret treats the players worse than prostitutes because pimps would at least let their hoes keep some of the money they make.  The players give these teams their all and work very hard to play each game to the best of their ability.  A future in the NBA isn’t promised to these guys.  They could easily get injured in a game, and their career as a pro athlete would be over before it even began.  I also learned from watching this that the players are required to sign a ridiculous contract that gives the NCAA the right to use their names and images in perpetuity for whatever purpose they choose, and keep 100% of any revenue that it generates.  For example, they created a video game with EA Sports that used players as characters in the game.  Some of the players they used had already made it in the NBA, and some of them weren’t lucky enough to transition into professional sports after college.  But because of the contract they signed in college, the NCAA didn’t have to share any profits with any of the players at all.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg with these guys.  There was another situation described in the news report that caught my attention.  It’s arguably the most appalling part of it all.  The NCAA does not offer free tickets to the families of the players.   These tickets can be quite expensive…  so if a player comes from a low-income household, the only way their parents can watch them play is on tv.  How despicable is that?  The investigative reporter exposed a number of situations that were extremely exploitative and designed to put huge sums of cash into everyone’s pockets, except the players.
After watching the program in its entirety, I began to think about how long this has been common practice in the NCAA.  This has been going on for decades, so why haven’t I seen this discussed on the news before.  Why haven’t I read about this in the paper anywhere, or seen it questioned in any magazines?  Why is “Frontline” the first news show to do a complete in-depth investigation into this?  Then the answer hit me, and it made perfect sense.  Frontline is a PBS news show.  It’s not owned by any corporation.  They do not generate revenue to pay for operating costs by selling commercial time slots to advertisers.  Because of this, they aren’t beholden to any corporate pressure, or higher-ups with hidden self-serving agendas, like ALL of the other tv networks and news programs.  College basketball brings in a ton of money to whatever tv network they choose to license the broadcast rights to.  This gives the NCAA the power to kill any story that shows them in a negative light.  It’s stories like this one that shows us the importance of a network like PBS (LONG LIVE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS).  It’s time for the NCAA to set aside their greed, and get rid of their policies that exploit and use their athletes.
Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.
If you’d like to watch the full news story, follow this link: http://to.pbs.org/h7Ya7w
Here’s an update: Apparently the NCAA President Mark Emmeret, who was interviewed in the story, saw how awful and greedy him and his organization looked on the broadcast, so he released a statement saying that he has changed his position on not paying student athletes. He didn’t give any specific information on what policies he’s actively seeking to change, but he said that the idea of compensating student-athletes should be considered. Vague, I know, but it’s a start headed in the right direction.
(http://to.pbs.org/gpJ2a7 link to the short clip displayed above).

Why The Nene Backlash?

I’m a huge fan of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Nene is the whole reason I watch the show. I think she’s the most relateable out of all the cast members and definitely the most likable. That’s why  I’m so shocked at the recent backlash that she’s been getting from recent press and from different internet blogs. People love to build celebrities up only to tear them down at the first sight of blood.  Nene is going through a rough period of transition, and it’s so very apparent that she’s still settling into this new phase in her life.  Everyone goes through periods like this.  The only difference is, she’s in the public eye, and every minor misstep is broadcast and picked apart by the world.  I have something I’d like everyone who has wrote mean nasty things about Nene to do.  Think about the hardest most trying period in your life.  Think about all the things you’ve said out of anger.  Think about all the fights you’ve had with your friends and the people you love.  Now think what if all of those things were broadcast on tv, talked about in interviews, discussed in magazines, wrote about in blogs, etc.  If you’re being totally honest with yourself, then I’m sure it’s not a pretty picture.  God knows I’ve said and done some horrible things over the 31 years I’ve been on this earth, and I can’t imagine how it would feel to offer all of those things up for public consumption.  Sure Nene chose to be on a reality tv show, but that does not mean she deserves the kind of nasty backlash that she’s been getting over the last few months.  Fame can be a double edge sword.  When the show first started, she saw the good side of fame and quickly became the “break-out star”.  People fell in love with Nene because she spoke her mind, she always kept it real, and she didn’t let ANYONE disrespect her or her family. Nene exuded this charming boisterous charismatic charm that made everyone want to watch her.  It was no secret that she was the star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” from day one.  Now that the show is a huge success and Nene has tons of other tv and film offers, the shows producers decided to portray a less “likeable” version of Nene this season (3).  It’s so very clear that this is a calculated power move by Bravo to try and regain control.  It’s a dirty tactic that is so very common in Hollywood.  But we need to remember there’s a REAL person with REAL feelings behind all the drama that surrounds Nene.  She projects such a strong willed “sure-of-herself” type personality, and I think people forget that she has feelings.  So they feel free to say horribly nasty things about her.  The anonymity provided by internet blogs and message boards have created and nurtured a whole sub-culture of callous disgusting awful insecure people that get off on destroying those who are successful (I call them “HOOPS” Hating On Other People’s Success).  There are waaaaaay too many “HOOPS” on the internet these days.  Nene is a beautiful strong talented intelligent kind-hearted honest and proud African-American woman.  When did everyone get so jaded?  When did everyone decide that honesty is a character flaw?  And when are we going to learn that negativity is just as toxic on the internet as it is in our everyday lives?  You may be able to hide your name on a comment post, but karma knows exactly who you are, and exactly where to find you.  

My message to Mrs Nene is keep doing you, and your fans will continue to love you unconditionally.  Don’t let all the negativity get you down.  You’re destined for greatness beyond anything you can imagine.  RHOA is just a stepping stone.  All of the hardships are just preparing you for the next level.  Even-though you’re getting bad press right now, they are doing you a favor by keeping you in the public eye.  So let the haters hate… at least they know your name.

For more info on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, check out this fan site I created.  You can also post comments and view full episodes in our video section. http://www.sociallyurban.com/the_real_housewives_of_atlanta.html

THIS IS FUNNY AS HELL

Funny or Die’s Presidential Reunion from Will Ferrell

Funny or Die’s Presidential Reunion from Will Ferrell, Chevy Chase, Ron Howard, Jim Carrey, Fred Armisen, Darrell Hammond, Dan Aykroyd, Maya Rudolph, Dana Carvey, FOD Team, Jake, and Antonio Scarlata – Video

Illicit: The Dark Trade

As most of you already know, I love to watch documentaries. Mostly documentaries dealing with something political, criminal, or world history related. Last night I couldn’t sleep (like always), and so I decided to look for something to watch online. I have netflix, and a couple of other sites that I like to use to find movies and television shows that might be interesting. So after about 10 minutes of searching, I found this documentary about the business of illegal trade (aka illegal knockoffs) and it’s effects on the global market, tilted “Illicit: The Dark Trade”. The description of it’s content peaked my interest, so I decided to watch it. I was thinking it was going to be about how different designers and companies track down knockoffs and what they are doing to prevent this illegal enterprise from growing even larger. When most people hear the word “knockoff” they immediately think of fake Gucci bags, rip off Ed Hardy t-shirts, phony Versace sunglasses, counterfeit D&G jeans, etc. etc. etc. But to my surprise, that aspect of illicit trade is minuscule compared to the big picture. I understand why different labels and designers want to do whatever they can to end this illegal practice, on the basis that it infringes upon their brand, and allows others to steal and profit from their ideas and their hard work. I totally get that. . . but I find it really hard to feel sympathetic for them when they are a multi million dollar company who over inflates their prices, and then they want to lock up your corner hustle/barbershop hook up guy who has next to nothing in his bank account, living in the projects, and he’s only selling this knock off stuff to feed his family and pay the rent. And if you really think about it, the people who buy this designer knock off stuff, are people who can’t afford “the real thing” anyway. So it would be stupid for a designer to think that the corner hustle man is taking away some of their business or stealing some of their customers. That argument is absurd, ignorant, and down right ludicrous. From my perspective, I think the whole “high-end” haute couture fashion industry are victims of their own making (and I use the word “victim” very very lightly). When it comes to marketing and promoting their clothes, and building a strong recognizable brand, they are the absolute best at it. Too good for their own good. These companies were among the first to recognize and exploit the power of the media, and the importance of name recognition. When they blanket an area with an explosion of ads, knowing that the average family income of that area is below $25,000, and the cost of their cheapest handbag is $8,000 , you have to wonder why are they doing this. They bombard magazines and television with ads that makes the consumer think that they are nothing unless they can have that designer bag. So eventually the consumer starts to see the bag as a status symbol, and part of their self worth. These companies know exactly how to use and manipulate consumers. They feed off of people’s insecurities, in exchange for millions in profits that pad these fat cats wallets and contribute to their lavish and extravagant lifestyles. Everyone wants the “American Dream”, and they have convinced a large portion of Americans that the American Dream is for sell. And that’s why I have no sympathy for designers, when it comes to buying and selling knock-offs of their products. I mean, just think about that 12 year old boy out there somewhere, living in the projects, with a single mother, and very little money for anything other than the basic necessities. He watches TV and sees the rappers and movie stars flashing all kinds of expensive stuff, their big diamonds, and constantly referencing different designer names. They look like they are the happiest most fortunate people he’s ever seen. And he goes to school and see his classmates with the latest $150 sneakers and shirts and pants with visible designer logos, and he’s wearing old hand-me-downs from his older brother. All of this gradually eats away at his self esteem. So when he becomes an adult, he connects happiness and self worth with having expensive material things. There are a lot of young girls and boys that are going through similar situations right now, all over this country. If they are too poor to buy those Versace sunglasses, they go out and get the next best thing, a knock-off.
This blog entry is a lot longer than I expected, so I’m going to have to write the second half half sometime tonight or tomorrow. Just wait and see how it all ties together. I break down the documentary and explain what caught my attention and got me fired up enough to blog about it. I will also post a link to the documentary so you can watch it free streaming right on your desktop.

TO BE CONTINUED:

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