"I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want."
In fact, I could care less what the white trash rapper - bereft as he is of any real sense of racial identity - really thinks about the GBLT community. Maybe he's gay himself, maybe not. Maybe he's really been cool with it all along. It's totally irrelevant.
What matters is the damage he's done in the past - and present, because the garbage he's espoused hasn't gone away. It's held up as a cultural monument, a classic in pop culture history, and in hip-hop particularly.
And that's the tame stuff.
My friend Taylor Siluwé writes Eminem's lyrics off as "little juvenile, 'phobic mis-steps" and says "I never thought he was particularly homophobic."
I love Taylor and can understand his point of view: he welcomes the rehabilitation of someone who has form as an "enemy" of the gay community. MOC Blog echoes this, commenting, "The power of redemption serves to heal both the giver and the receiver."
But in his article at SGL Café, Taylor himself hits the nail on the head: "After all, he's a role model whether any of us want him to be or not."
The influence Eminem - and his ilk - exerts over young people cannot be underestimated. He is complicit in the deaths of each and every kid who's been taken by homophobic violence. How lovely that Eminem has chosen to say something slightly positive (and let's be clear, it is slight) about gay marriage. But has he renounced his lyrics? Is he doing anything concrete to make amends? His words are just words - for someone with so much blood on his hands, it's way too little, too late.
The stain he has left is indelible, and the damage irreparable. His legacy of hate is immeasurable, and the loss incalculable. This isn't hyperbole, it's fact that no amount of PR can gloss over.
I wonder - and so should you - what Jorge, Jason and Carl would be doing right now, had they not been slaughtered? And whilst you're thinking about that, ponder on this: does Eminem even know their names?
by KAOS on June 19, 2010