From today’s interview with The Jacksons in The Guardian:
When the inquiry leads to groupies, Jermaine inadvertently says something offensive. “We love women. We’re not faggots.” Marlon corrects him: “We’re not gay.” Jermaine responds: “Faggots, gay. Whatever you call it.”
“There’s nothing wrong with it,” decides Marlon. “I have gay friends.”
Jermaine Jackson was quite happy taking the money of “faggots, gays, whatever”, wasn’t he? I think his brother’s quick intervention might’ve been a genuine attempt to police Jermaine’s homophobia but it was expressed in front of a journalist, so there was no possibility of the damage being undone. People waited years when Michael was alive for these now old men to tour; in 2013, I could happily go the rest of my life without them showing their faces again.
I am always saddened when men like Jermaine open their mouths and offend my community with hateful words. They were alive in the US at the time of segregation and open hostility towards black people and, frankly, if Jermaine is too thick to recognise that words like ‘n***ger’ and ‘c**n’ are no different in the degree of dehumanisation they reveal and legitimise to words like ‘faggot’, there’s no hope for him.
Mind, note how we must asterisk those words of hatred towards black people even when deploying them to highlight how wrong they are. We are not yet at a stage anywhere in the world, even in Europe, where we would type ‘f***ot’ for fear of comments being removed by moderators. It is progress that racism is largely so very taboo we cannot even reference the words of oppression in full; it is a sign that we still have mountains to climb when universal horror is not expressed over anti-gay language.
Racism, sexism, homophobia and other bigotries share the same fundamentally rotten core: a fear of the other, which leads to dehumanising language and physical violence. When one group of people with experience of prejudice cannot recognise that all prejudice is wrong but instead openly turn the generalised weapons of hate used against them onto other groups, it frustrates me.
The irony is, there are more black people, gay people, women, transsexuals, poor and disabled in the world than there are white, privileged, heterosexual men. And yet we still allow that tiny minority to rule over and infect us with violence and hateful words because we are largely divided and turn on each other. Without absolute unity of purpose, we make fragmented, piecemeal progress. Two steps forward—hello, Jermaine—two steps back.
Way to go, Mister. I guess, being rich, you think you’re a member of the dominator culture rather than one of its victims but there are thugs in the world who still see you as less-than because of the colour of your skin. If you don’t like that—and why the heck would you?–why do you think it’s acceptable to diss people like me for loving members of our own sex?
And there was nothing ‘inadvertent’ about Jermaine’s outburst. You don’t accidentally express homophobic language.