Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Views: My Apology to Charles Knipp for Gay America
by Jasmyne A. Cannick
2008-04-01

This article shared 5634 times since Tue Apr 1, 2008
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


At this year's State of the Black Union, Dick Gregory apologized to President Bill Clinton on behalf of Blacks for our role in allowing Clinton to believe that he was Black.

In that same spirit, I feel compelled to apologize to Charles Knipp on behalf of gays for allowing him to think that he's one of the Black women that he unsuccessfully tries to emulate. Knipp's latest cry for help involved superimposing my head on some other Black woman's naked body ( jasmynecannick.typepad.com/shirleyqliquor_defamation.jpg ) and then tactlessly posting it on his Web site for continuing to expose his constant mockery of the Black woman.

Knipp is a self-described 45-year-old, fat, gay white man who believes he's on a mission from God—a mission that involves mimicking Black women as his alter ego, Shirley Q. Liquor. Knipp describes Liquor as being 'a welfare mother with nineteen kids who guzzles malt liquor, and drives a Caddy.' ( See www.rollingstone.com/news/story/14474389/shirley_q_liquor_after_imus_a_black_face_comic_who_sings_12_days_of_kwanzaa . ) The character is a favorite among his core audience, whom Knipp describes as being 'gay men, their moms, and rednecks.'

And while Isaiah Washington was unable to escape the wrath of gay America, Knipp's blackface minstrel show continues to be rewarded by gay Americans to the tune of $90K annually.

Imus may have called Black women 'nappy-headed ho's,' but it's Knipp who routinely tries to bring that image to life onstage as Shirley Q. Liquor when she tries to recollect the names of her 'chirrun' with his skit 'Who Is My Baby Daddy? Cheeto, Orangello, Chlamydia, and Kmartina...'

I blame gay America, from the political leaders to the club owners, for turning a blind eye to Knipp's blatantly racist routines that in his words are performed mostly for 'gay men, their moms and rednecks.' We are the reason that his racist act continues to go nearly undetected on the race radar.

And no matter how I feel about gay America—in particular, white gay America—as a lesbian, a Black lesbian, by virtue of my sexual orientation, I am reluctantly tied to you as much as you are tied to me.

So I am just as much to blame for failing to help you understand that just because you usurp the Black civil rights movement's strategies and language and proudly display photos of your leaders with late civil rights icons on your Web sites, that doesn't mean that there aren't still very serious race issues still at play in gay America.

I should have told you that Black women continue to remain under attack in this country. And that it doesn't matter what our standing in corporate America, the White House, the media, who we're married to, what our sexual orientation is, how straight and long our hair is or how light our skin, we are still Black and we are still under attack. Hear me.

I should have sat your leaders down and explained that it is not okay for any white man, straight or gay, to perform in blackface and mock African-American names and holidays. I should have made you understand that many of the same gay nightclubs that book Knipp are owned by the same people that donate money to many of your gay civil rights groups. I should have connected the dots for you. My bad.

It was I who forgot to explain that while RuPaul is African-American, he's as disconnected from Black America as Ward Connerly. So when he defends Knipp's act, it should be taken with a grain of salt.

I should have introduced you to Angela Davis, bell hooks, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Sojourner Truth, Alice Walker, Ida Wells-Barnett and the plight of the Black woman. Then maybe you'd understand why Charles Knipp's act is so offensive to me as a Black woman. Then maybe you'd care.

Please forgive my shortsightedness. It won't happen again.

Blacks are so often referred to as being the conscience of America. I want you to know that from this day forward, gay America can count on this Black lesbian to be its conscience when it comes to your involuntary and voluntary racist ways.

As for Charles Knipp, some would say that you need therapy. But I say forget therapy, I'm going to tell you this for free.

I'm sorry that you weren't born one of the Black women that you so love to impersonate. I know how beautiful we are and how unfair it is that we are blessed with what your race often has to go out and pay for. But I say to you: Love the skin you're in. Most people in your situation settle for surrounding themselves with Black friends, marrying someone Black, moving into a Black neighborhood, listening to hip-hop, watching BET, eating Soul Food and voting for Barack Obama. Why don't you give it try and leave the act of being Black to those of us who are? We have enough confused Black folks out there without having to take on a confused 45-year-old, fat, gay white man who thinks he's Black.

At 30, Jasmyne Cannick is a critic and commentator based in Los Angeles who writes about the worlds of pop culture, race, class, sexuality, and politics as it relates to the African-American community. She can be reached at www.jasmynecannick.com or www.myspace.com/jasmynecannick.


This article shared 5634 times since Tue Apr 1, 2008
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Meditation on the killing of journalists 2024-04-11
- Trigger warning: I am a journalist and I read newspapers. I've been reading newspapers since I first learned to read. Newspapers were a lively part of the daily life in my family. I even wrote letters ...


Gay News

VIEWS Mike Johnson: The smiling face of Christian tyranny 2024-02-14
- Mike Johnson wants to rewrite the constitution to make the United States a Christian nation. James Michael Johnson, Republican from Louisiana's Fourth District, is the 56th speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He was ...


Gay News

VIEWS Parents, not legislators, should be making decisions about medical options for children 2024-02-06
By Jeffery M. Leving - No matter the medical issue, when it comes to kids, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said something last December that every lawmaker in the country should realize when it comes to medical decisions for children. "Were House ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Sundance items, Green Day, 'Wednesday,' Queerties, 'The Wiz' 2024-01-26
- At the Sundance Film Festival, Jodie Foster told Variety that the $1.4-billion success of Barbie helps confirm that Hollywood no longer views women directors as too much of a risk. She said, "With a big success ...


Gay News

VIEWS Is the Pope Catholic? Francis faces opposition in steps toward LGBTQ+ inclusivity 2024-01-02
- The recent change in Vatican policy allowing priests to bless same-gender couples has provoked an unprecedented backlash against Pope Francis and his openness to LGBTQ+ people—a backlash that some fear might devolve into a schism in ...


Gay News

Bring Chicago Home: Guess who's saying no again 2023-12-04
Commentary by Bob Palmer and Mark Swartz - Chicago is ushering in an era of change with a new progressive mayor with a vision to invest in communities long ignored and a significant increase in like-minded city council members. We are excited to see ...


Gay News

Pope Francis's community of transwomen 2023-11-28
- It's a rare opportunity to meet the pope. It's even rarer if you're a transgender Catholic. However, on Nov. 19, in Torvaianica, Italy, a community of transwomen, many of them sex workers, were welcomed and seated ...


Gay News

Banning the Banning of Books: Illinois and California lead the way 2023-10-26
- In June, at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation banning book bans in Illinois public libraries. This legislation, initiated by Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, passed the Illinois House and ...


Gay News

OPINION Renewing state's Invest in Kids program is investing in anti-LGBTQ+ hate 2023-10-23
- In February 2020, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield warned transgender students in the Diocese's educational system that they "may be expelled from the school" if they live their lives authentically. Lansing Christian School ...


Gay News

Gilbert Baker Foundation reacts to death of shop owner who flew the rainbow flag 2023-08-29
--From a press release - In response to the murder of Laura Ann Carleton over flying the Rainbow flag in her shop in California, the Gilbert Baker Foundation released the statement below. Facebook refused to post the statement as it did not "...meet their standards." ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT U.S. higher education under siege; freedom of inquiry and speech at risk 2023-07-03
- The Covid pandemic threw a harsh spotlight on higher education in America, exposing forces eating away at the foundations of college and university learning, calling into question the traditional purposes of such education in our post-modern, ...


Gay News

Guest essay by Florida mom Nicole Pejovich: What's Happening to Florida's Public Schools? 2023-06-19
Related video below - A queer Florida parent answers questions about recent laws, how Floridians are coping, and how you can help Books pulled from school library shelves by the dozens. All evidence of inclusivity stripped from classrooms. The politically ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT For divorced parents, transgender children's health can present tricky dilemmas 2023-06-12
- Over the last few months, issues impacting individuals who identify as transgender and non-binary are getting a lot of attention in the media and among some politicians. Sadly, because it's become a political issue; a lot ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT War in the 21st Century: mercenaries, private military companies, private armies 2023-05-20
- In 2022, $407 billion of the Pentagon budget—representing half of that year's funding —were obligated to private contractors, of which a significant number were Private Military Companies (PMCs) involved in ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Telling the world about my mental health disorders 2023-05-04
- Over the years, coming out as a lesbian hasn't been that hard for me—because I was always too busy hiding something else. Confessing queerness can be a breeze compared to revealing mental illness. But I decline ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.