You Tolerate Hate Speech When You Think the Haters Ain’t Talking to You

By Steppin’ Razor

  1. “…shout out to all the ‘trannies (which is a derogatory term for transgender people)’ out there…” This epithet was used more than once.
  2. “This might sound messed up but I don’t care… she dyin’…”
  3. “There should be some kind of repercussions for that (a transgender person having sex with someone without telling that person they are transgender)… until then, Ima have my own repercussions.”
  4. “…I said that if one did that to me, and they didn’t tell me, Ima be so mad I’m probably gonna want to kill them…”

These are all things that comedian Lil Duval said during an interview on “The Breakfast Club” radio show of a hypothetical posed to him by DJ Envy. The scenario contemplated if he dated and had sex with a transgender person before she revealed to him that she was transgender. Deliberation time: 0.00.

He said that raggedy mess with his mouth, and not just his mind, in a world full of human beings.

Now according to the video of the interview, there were times where hosts Angela Yee, Charlemagne tha God and DJ Envy tried to reel in his advocacy of real violence as a result of a hypothetical. But Lil Duval didn’t take the hint.

But they didn’t go far enough to defend the humanity of transgender persons, especially Janet Mock, a transgender activist, author and advocate who was a guest on the show the week prior, who they used as a prop to generate that conversation.

For the record, transgender human beings are much more than just sex. Our assumptions and misgivings may seem real to us, but they are not based in reality. Hate to break it to us, but those hypothetical random sexual encounters supposedly perpetrated by transgender persons are far more a product of the willfully ignorant American collective imagination than they are anecdotes of actual occurrences. They don’t at all define this group, many of whom are Black and Brown, that too many people believe are salaciously attempting to force themselves on fourth tier comedians, fragile men in various stages of hygiene crisis, and school age children.

And yes, many transgender persons are Black and Brown, particularly those who are consistently victims of abuse and violence.

In the real world, you can’t just go around saying you “would” or “would like to” or “probably would” do harm to people and not expect some kind of reaction.

If you had a sister, and someone used a national medium to publicly threaten harm against your sister, how would you feel? What would you do? It doesn’t matter why she was threatened. But you wouldn’t like that, her friends wouldn’t like it, and people that identify with her wouldn’t like it. Well, it goes without saying you’re not the only one who feels this way.

And if I heard someone say on national radio, “Mane, I’d probably wanna kill (enter your name) sister…” I’d have a REAL problem with that too.

A friend condensed it for me. Many people are tolerant of hate speech because it isn’t directed toward them. They allow it, and declare it’s not a big deal, because “they’re not talking to me.”

But that’s part of the reason the world is the way it is now. Some of us lack empathy, not recognizing that our same kind of different can be subject to subjugation at any given time. For real though… How does it look Black folk persecuting OTHER Black folk ‘cuz they don’t look like the Black folk were used to? Where ‘dey do that at? Apparently, all over.

But this is the same lack of empathy that demoralized Black and Brown skin, enslaved a continent, and colonized most Brown people around the world. So it’s our choice to be like the oppressor, or be a different kind of different.

Oh! and while we’re on the subject of transphobia/homophobia… Several conscious folk have attempted to intentionally misinterpret this term by suggesting “I’m not AFRAID of gay or transgender people.” While we’re clear that the phoneme “-phobia” is defined as “fear,” the “fear” in these situations is better characterized as “anger toward,” “anxiety of,” “resentment about,” “misunderstanding concerning,” “lack of empathy for” and/or “opposition against,” in this case, people who love others of the same gender or trans persons.

So let’s kill the little fragile straw man so we can understand each other. Peace.

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