Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hate Group Prays for George Michael's Death

On November 21st, George Michael was forced to cancel is tour due to pneumonia. He is currently hospitalized in Vienna.  The morning of his hospitalization, I received notification from several of my friends, because I have been a fan of his since I was 10 years old. I often refer to him as my George. When I am feeling down, I listen to his music to give me an uplift, and when I want to celebrate I listen to his music.  In many ways, it is fair to say that George Michael has provided the soundtrack to my life. Left to my own devices its not uncommon for me to play the video of his 25 live tour as I work away and sing off key to my hearts content.  In short, I suppose you could say that when it comes to this man I am a fan poodle.

Today I was sent an email regarding a hate group that is wishing death on him.

GodsWordIsLaw is a new hate group to me.  In many ways because George is blessed with great class privilege the degree to which he experiences homophobia is certainly mitigated but as this series of tweets proves, there is no shelter that can stop someone from outright hatred. 

There are not words strong enough to condemn what this group has said.  George, like every other person walking the planet has issues, but he certainly has never done anything to merit this kind of response.  All that he has done is be true enough to himself to love publicly, and provided us with good music that is absolutely timeless, yet all this hate group can see before them is a gay man.  Despite the fact that bigots continually claim that GLBT people are to sensitive when it comes to homophobia, I fail to see how anyone straight or gay could read these tweets and not be absolutely horrified by them.  This group is literally wishing death on someone. You don't wish death on people that you see as human.

I am trying very hard at this point to be coherent, but I suspect that I am failing.  I have not the words to express my absolute disgust.  Even if this group only has one follower, this tweet must be condemned. We already know that there is an ongoing genocide in which GLBT people are the victims, that is currently unrecognized socially and so remaining silent when someone is actively calling for the death a gay man, would be to condone genocide. To readers of this blog, this probably seems like a natural idea but as the tweets above show, there are some who are so enamored of their privilege, that all they have in their hearts is hatred.

Reading these tweets once again reminded me of the distinction between hate speech and free speech.  Speech like this is not consequence free, it exists only to target a member of a historically oppressed group for the purpose of eradicating their humanity.  I believe that socially we should all be able to agree that calling for the death of someone based on their identity is beyond the pale.   When marginalized people complain about speech they are often told that they are being too sensitive, as T. I did this week; however, it is important to note that while this example is extreme, it is the everyday acts of "othering" that lead to groups feeling that they have the moral right to call for the death of someone.


It is a small step from hate speech to action as we have seen time and time again in human history. There is a reason that holocaust denial is illegal in Germany.  In light of the fact that George has already had a family member die due to the inability to live with homophobia, I think that the Panayiotou family has already paid a steep price so that many may live in privilege.  How long are we going to allow such hate to go unchallenged.  If these tweets don't assert that GLBT rights need to become a social priority and that GLBT rights are civil rights then nothing ever will.



"My Mother Had A Brother"

My mother had a brother
They say that I was born on the day that he died
Someone to cling to, she said
When all the noises and the shame came calling

My mother had a brother
I thought I knew them all, I thought I knew
But she lied
I said, "Show me his face again, tell me again why he died"

She said he couldn't wait for the things that I've seen
She said he wasn't strong enough, he never dared to dream a life like mine

My mother had a brother
Over-sensitive and kind
Seems it all became too much for him..
It seems he took his own life
Mum, I can't imagine the joy and pain in equal measure
Tears in the dirt, and all over your newborn treasure

I guess he had to wait until my momma had me
I guess he couldn't wait another moment to be free
In endless sky.....

But mama will you tell him from your boy
The times they changed
I guess the world was getting warmer
And we got stronger
Mother will you tell him about my joy
I live each day for him
The sun came out, yeah, and I'm just breathing it in

[breathing...]

My mother had a brother
Same desire, different time
Seems the empty spaces tortured him
Until he took his own life

I don't know why I waited so long for love
I just don't know what I was thinking of..
All that wasted time

But mama will you tell him from your boy
The times they changed
I guess the world was getting warmer
While we got stronger
Mother will you tell him about my joy
I live each day with him
Your son came out, yeah,
And I'm still breathing it in

And I swear now that freedom is here
I'm gonna taste it all for you boy
I'm bad to the bone, I'm just a little torn
I'm making so much love

So those of us who have nothing to fear
We've got to make damn sure that it was worth it
I'm bad to the bone, I'm just a little stoned
I'm making so much love

I was a prisoner, but he saved me
Broke into my dreams and said, "Who cares?"
I was a prisoner, so disgrace me
I'm glad to be home
And I don't believe they care.
 

It's just sad that things have not changed since that day in 1963 when George was born and his uncle Colin committed suicide.  Keep breathing it in George, there are those who love and support you, for exactly who you are.