Why Dan Savage Shouldnâ€™t Use Hate Speech Against Gay Republicans
I’ve got a post up at In Our Words today! Here’s a preview.
A few weeks ago, an organization of conservative LGBT folks and their allies called GOProud endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Surprise, surprise: a conservative group endorsing a conservative presidential nominee.
Dan Savage, however, was apparently irritated enough by this to comment on it. He tweeted, â€śThe GOPâ€™s house f*****s grab their ankles, right on cueâ€¦â€ť with a link to the story, followed by the word â€śpathetic.â€ť Except that he didnâ€™t use the asterisks.
One could hardly design a more controversial and, in my view, offensive message. First of all, the phrase â€śhouse f*****sâ€ť is a blatant allusion to another offensive term, one laden with historical meaning: â€śhouse Negrosâ€ť (or â€śn*****sâ€ť). In the antebellum South, slaves were divided between those who worked in the fields and those who worked in the plantation ownerâ€™s house. The house slaves were typically lighter-skinned and received better clothing and food, and the type of work they did was less physically taxing than that of the field slaves.
A century later, Malcolm X characterized the â€śhouse Negroâ€ť as a slave who is more likely than a â€śfield Negroâ€ť to supportâ€”at least tacitlyâ€”the institution of slavery, because it has afforded him or her an easier life than it did to the field slave. Similarly, he described African Americans who wanted to quietly live and work among whites as â€śhouse Negros,â€ť and himself and his fellow activists as â€śfield Negros.â€ť
[...]This is the complex and painful analogyâ€”which I have probably oversimplified hereâ€”that Savage has, for some unknown reason, chosen to invoke. To him, LGBT folks who support conservative politicians are like â€śhouse Negrosâ€ť because they are willing to support a power structure that others (rightfully) consider oppressive.
Filed under: social justice Tagged: bullying, dan savage, history, it gets better, language, lgbt, malcolm x, politics, race, racism, republicans, sex, sexuality, slavery