Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Ain't Mad At Cha

Many in the LGBT community are up in arms at The View. Ever since D.L. Hugley appeared on the show and he and Sherri Shepard went on a rampage about how downlow men are spreading the HIV virus among black women (see the clip here), there have been petitions, rants and demands aimed at the show. Everyone seems to want The View to apoligize for the misinformation that was shared that day. Since an apology or a retraction has yet to happen, GLAAD has taken it upon themselves to place a full page ad in Variety magazine demanding to have a conversation about the information that was shared that day.

Is it just me, or are there others that could give a rat's ass about what Sherri and D.L. had to say on the show. I mean really, these two individuals are comediennes. They are there for entertainment purposes only. Come on, Sherri has proven time and time again that she is not the smartest person on the planet. This was the lady that thought the world was flat. And though I do honestly think D.L. is a very smart guy, he is not an expert in the field of HIV.

The View is a show that has a group of people that share their opinions. They are not (nor have they ever been) experts in any specific area they're discussing. If the HIV discussion were being conducted by doctors or health care professionals and they shared information that was this misguided, then maybe I would have a reason to be upset. But I can not get angry over a couple of comics that just spoke what they believed.

And lets take a look at this belief that they have. They believe that downlow men are causing the rapid and disproportionate spread of HIV among straight Black women. They identified down low men as Black men that have wives and girlfriends but they are secretly sleeping with men also. The only real problem I have with this conversation is that this talk track would have you believe that Black men are the only ones capable of doing this. Truth is this behaviour is common among men of all ages, races, nationalities and religions. And while it has not been concluded that the down low phenomenon is the cause of the rise in HIV transmission, I'm sorry but it still plays an important part in the equation.

Do I think The View should apologize? No I don't. This is not the first time these individuals have spoken without being completely accurate with infomation. And trust me this won't be the last time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Whoopi Defends Mel Gibson?

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some Whoopi Goldberg. Always have. Always will. I have a steadily growing hatred for Mr. Mel Gibson. I've heard for years that he was homophobic. My disapproval for him started then. My disapproval escalated to severe dislike with his anti-semetic rambling that happened several years ago. My dislike has now evolved into down right hatred towards this disrespectful, egotistical, down right nasty man. My current hatred stems from the conversation he recently had with his girlfriend where he repeatedly calls her a bitch and informs her it will be her own fault if she is "raped by a bunch of niggas" because of her provocative clothing. You can hear the conversation here.

As you listen to the conversation it is obvious that he is once again drunk off his ass. But I'm sorry, drunk off your ass still does not give you permission to speak and behave in a manner that is homophobic, racist or antisemetic. And I'm sorry but just because you do this when you're drunk you don't have the liberty to "take it back" once you sober up and realize what an ass you've made of yourself.

I think my feelings towards Mel will be unwavering for quite some time. He will not be easing over to my good side in the near future. And though I know my refusal to support him won't shatter his multi-million dollar empire [I'll be the first to admit the man is Hollywood gold] maybe if more people join in on the boycott he will learn that there are consequences to his stupidity.

But this post is really not about Mel Gibson. It's actually about my girl Whoopi Goldberg. Recently on The View Whoopi stated that Mel is a good friend of hers and she can speak to the fact that he is not racist. She adds, "an asshole - yes. But he's not racist. I've had him over at my house with my kids."

I've no doubt that Whoopi and Mel are good friends. However, it is still possible for friends of African-Americans to be racist. It is even possible for friends of gay folks to be homophobic. I know Whoopi felt obligated to stand up for the man that she has invited into her home when the coversation on The View shifted to his recent idiodic outburst. And I really don't fault her for the position she took. But I do question her for it. I know people that I am very comfortable with and would even use the label "friend" to describe them. But I have suspicion about how these individuals feel about the African-American population in general. These individuals may greet, smile and generally play nice with me, but that still may not change their perception of black folks. For some reason I think they see me as an exception to the norm. I tend to give everybody the benefit of the doubt. Until you act out and confirm your ignorance, I can only treat you as you treat me.

But here is the deal - once you confirm your stupidity or your ignorance, then I need to call you on it. My "friends" treat me well and I have much love and respect for them. And I'm not sure I will remove the label friend on a one time act of ignorance. I can inform them of what they did, how I perceived it and how it made me feel. They then have the option to learn from and change or continue to stay the same. Everyone can evolve and become better people.

We've seen with Mel's behavior that he is going to wallow in his place of ignorance. I don't see any effort to become a better person. Some of my friends may see me as an exception to norm and I feel this may be how Mel sees Whoopi. But truth is there is no exception to the norm. There is actually no norm. Bottom line is this - hatred towards most of my community is hatred towards me and all of my community. Mel may be friends with Whoopi. But Mel is a racist.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Man Ga-ga?

So would you wear this?

Friday, July 9, 2010

E Lynn Harris: Invisible Life & Lessons Learned

A couple of days ago I pulled Invisible Life off the shelf. I read this book in college (almost twenty years ago). Wow, it just doesn't seem that long ago that I was first introduced to this author that changed my life. I've said this before, prior to reading E. Lynn Harris I didn't know that it was possible to be black, gay and out. I thought only two out of the three were possible.

As I read it again these many years later I was reminded as to why I was struck so hard by this same-gender loving narrative. I came out while in college. So I was reading Invisible Life as a person that had only recently started to get comfortable with his sexuality. Harris touched on so many points that seemed to be directed specifically at me. In this book I witnessed someone write eloquently about living as a black, gay man.

As a product of the rural South I thought there were things I HAD to do as a part of being an adult. Growing up I received all those messages about heterosexual marriage and masculinity. In my mind I thought I would have to pursue this life, even if it meant lying to my wife, lying to my family and friends, and lying to myself.

Invisible Life forced a paradigm shift in my life. As I read this story about a lawyer torn between a relationship with the person that would make him happy (the man in his life) and the person that would make his life look good (the woman in his life), I reflected on the many lessons I learned from this novel.

Lesson 1 - First and foremost, it is important to live an authentic and honest life. Living a life that makes everyone else happy (but you're living a lie) is not fair to you or to those around you.

Lessson 2 - You really can't judge a book by it's cover. Many of the most masculine men on the planet can be same-gender loving. And some of the most effiminate of men can be straight.

Lesson 3 - HIV has no friends. Everyone and I mean everyone can catch it.

Lesson 4 - It is possible for black gay men to be successful and give back to both communities they are apart of.

Lesson 5 - Love is a powerful thing.

Lesson 6 - What you don't know CAN hurt you.

Lesson 7 - With faith, family and friends you can get through anything.

Lesson 8 - Haters are a part of life. People will hate you for your intellect, for the car you drive, for the clothes you wear or for the person you love.

Lesson 9 - You may never really know what a person is going though (no matter how close they are to you).

Lesson 10 - God loves me just as I am.

When I got the news that E. Lynn Harris had died I was stunned. I really didn't know how to react. I've read every single novel he's written. I know many men and women that were influenced by his books. I'm grateful that I had to opportunity to meet him and share with him how his words impacted my life. He was/ is an inspiration for men and women everywhere. I hope I'm living a life that would make him proud.