exacerbates a problem more than good intentions.
Ellen DeGeneres’s had no idea the Pandora Box hers opened
trying to revive talks for comedian Kevin Hart to host the Oscars.
Ellen invited Kevin Hart to her show, she provided a broader platform
for Hart to explain his non-apology for previous public homophobic
statements as an aggrieved victim. DeGeneres, however, didn’t
take into account the outcome of her good intentions: she cannot
speak for the entire LGBTQ community, and she cannot fully understand
the ongoing struggle the black LGBTQ community has with
self-proclaimed evolved brothers like Kevin Hart.
need to speak up for the young black kids in the LGBTQ community,”
Don Lemon stated on CNN in response to the Hart controversy. "I'm
saying these issues need to be addressed. Because [LGBTQ youth] need
to know that they have value and it’s OK to be who they are. We
have to stop low-key co-signing homophobia. It’s not cool. We
won’t tolerate jokes that do otherwise.”
2011 CNN’s Don Lemon penned a memoir, titled “Transparent”
and came out of the closet. Lemon knows first hand the sting,
embarrassment, debasement and violence that comes from the Kevin
Harts in our communities.
if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll
house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice
‘stop that’s gay.’” Hart shared as parenting
advice during a stand-up routine how he had advised his 3-year-old
son having a “gay moment”:
quite different for an African-American male,” Lemon told Joy
Behar on her then HLN show. “It’s about the worst thing
you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a
man; you have to be masculine.”
are very few safe places for GBTQ brothers of African descent to
safely acknowledging their sexuality as well as to openly engage the
subject of their sexualities. Black GBTQ sexualities within African
American culture are perceived to further threaten not only black
male heterosexuality, but also the ontology of blackness itself.
the community’s expression of its intolerance of LGBTQ people
is easily seen along gender lines. For example, sisters mouth off
about us while brothers get both — verbally and physically --
violent with us.
son “better talk to me like a man and not in a gay voice or
I’ll pull out a knife and stab that little n-word to death,”
Morgan told his audience at the Ryman Auditorium in 2011.
however, is standing her ground in supporting Hart’s heartless
apology. Hart is, too.
the Wednesday morning segment of “Good Morning America,”
Michael Strahan, however, interviewed Hart concerning the
addressed it and said all I can possibly say. I’ve done all I
can do. Don’t know what you’re looking for. I’m
over it. Shouldn’t have to prove who I am.”
Hart’s now a crossover phenom, he still plays mostly to a black
audience. And, I hope the young LGBTQ sisters and brothers who fell
in love with Hart in the blockbuster hit “Jumanji: Welcome to
the Jungle” witnessed Hart’s defensiveness.
pushed Hart further on his response by asking, “How have you
over it!! I’ve said it many times. If you don’t see it.
It’s you. I have nothing else to do or prove.”
I will continue to argue that the African American community doesn’t
have a patent on homophobia, it does, however, have a problem with
it. As one who has purportedly evolved on LGBTQ issues, Hart
squandered his elevated profile to educate the public how his
evolution came about. Instead, Hart has become a cause célèbre
by flipping the switch as an aggrieved victim of attacks on his
career rather than confronting the homophobe he purports not to be.
glad Hart has a friend in Ellen. And, I know Ellen wants to save her
friend and save the Oscars. But, Black LGBTQ Lives Matter, too!
Perhaps over time, both will look back at this moment anew. At
present, both, are co-actors to an ongoing problem in black
communities - a problem we are still unevolved about and not
completely woke to the deleterious effects of homophobia on its LGBTQ
not only defends Hart’s stance, she also absolves him.
have grown, you have apologized, you are apologizing again right now.
You've done it. Don’t let those people win — host the
also sees herself as a peacemaker rather than an interloper. And,
Ellen doesn’t realize she unleashed a monster -that have but
for a minute publicly been dormant -in the simple gesture of reviving
resumption of Oscar host talk. And, the monster, is not Kevin Hart.
It’s black homophobia.