I didn’t think that on a random Sunday afternoon, I would have to sit down and come up with a piece that details to ADULTS– primarily those over at The New York Times who think being gay is inherently humorous (Girl I guess…) — why saying that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are gay for each other is not only in poor taste, but is also virulently homophobic, but alas.
Here I am.
But believe it or not, there’s actually more to this than just the homophobia. Sure, it’s bad to call Trump gay for Putin…mostly because you are literally attributing his evil nature and debauchery to homosexuality and thus you are basically saying that gay people are inherently evil. You have no evidence of this so-called “gayness” whatsoever, but it becomes your catch-all for calling Trump bad, as if we’re all back in grade school before folx had to slap you upside the head and tell you that what you’re spewing out of your “progressive” asshole is not politically correct at all.
This is what we call progressive homophobia. Yeah, you’re not calling folx f*ggots through your keyboard in the comments of the cesspool known as YouTube, but this long-ass coded joke of yours is not better. In some ways, it’s worse. Because you don’t even have the cojones to say you hate gay people–or don’t care for their humanity–to their faces.
But again, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The reason I’m really interested in parsing the latent and progressive homophobia behind this joke is because of how Whiteness (that is White people and White progressives as well–bloop), will twist and turn language in the name of avoiding the obvious.
Case in point, White outlets always dance around saying the word “racist.” They will never call something that has been done or said–even allegedly, like any proper journalist would note–“racist” (but they know how to call something misogynist or sexist though…which has always tickled me). Instead, they will call it “racially-charged”–like what Roseanne said or whatever the fuck the former TV president of Paramount said in a phone meeting where other Black people were present. Or “racially-tinged.” Or racially-painted. Or chocolate-dipped racism. Chocolate-covered racism. Or racism sprinkles. Or stir-fried racism.
Okay, so I made up like the last…three or four of those roundabout ways to say racism, but you get me.
The point is? White people don’t like to call out other white people on anything–but definitely not racism. This is mostly because calling someone else on it, means that they would have to (potentially) call it out in themselves. Among family. Among friends. They’d rather not for a variety of other reasons, but mainly White fragility. So instead, they employ coded language, like what I have described above. OR…in the case of Trump? Well, instead of calling him a raging, ugly-ass White supremacist who is Putin’s puppet or lackey (which would all be accurate and SURPRISE, not homophobic)…they would rather call him gay. For specifically Putin.
To be clear, somehow, it’s more “progressive” to call him gay than to literally call him a cartoonishly evil White supremacist. Because, somehow, being a super racist is too strong an allegation, but being super gay for the Kremlin is not.
I wrote about this before, but this coded cowardice that is employed in order to avoid calling a spade a spade under White supremacy is quite frankly madness. But in the case of Trump, it does give us a peek at the lines that even self-proclaimed progressives are willing to draw (or not draw) when it comes to “resisting” open hate and straight-up bigotry.
Which is telling. It’s all extremely telling.
And frankly? Not progressive at all.
Which is why it’s important to ceaselessly and continuously call it out each and every time it happens. Even if it comes from right wing bigots like, say, Breitbart. And even if it comes from self-proclaimed liberal knights — like The New York Times.