The rapper and the 'defamation' police

Posted: Mar 19, 2004 12:00 AM

It's pretty funny to watch liberals when their political correctness gets twisted in several different directions. One example is the cultural phenomenon of thug rappers. Liberals really don't want to take them on, especially if they become commercially successful titans of cool.

Take the thug rapper known as "50 Cent," whose music glorifies sex, drugs and getting shot, which he knows something about, having survived a nine-bullet fusillade in 2000 in his previous career as a crack and heroin dealer. Despite that streak of vicious and violent drug dealing, he's a spokesman for Reebok tennis shoes. It was laughable watching Reebok hand out its "International Human Rights Award" -- for peaceful change through nonviolent means -- while company flacks spun furiously to suggest its endorsement deal with 50 Cent was somehow consistent with that spirit. "Our support of human rights actually does match up against our support of 50 Cent's right to express himself," Reebok proclaimed. I have no idea what that meant.

From there, it only gets stranger. In an interview published in the April edition of Playboy, 50 Cent boasted: "I don't like gay people around me, because I'm not comfortable with what their thoughts are. I'm not prejudiced. I just don't go with gay people and kick it. We don't have that much in common. I'd rather hang out with a straight dude. But women who like women, that's cool." Later in the interview, he changed his mind on the P-word: "It's OK to write that I'm prejudiced. This is as honest as I could possibly be with you ... We refer to gay people as faggots, as homos. It could be disrespectful, but that's the facts."

The rapper also uses words like "faggot" in his songs, including the big hit "In Da Club." But since he's seen as uber-cool (or maybe because he typically disdains gay males but not gay females), the usually hypersensitive Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) could only muster a milquetoast response.

In a press statement, GLAAD expressed "concern" since it "believes that it can be dangerous to use words like 'faggot' and 'homo' when talking about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community." That will clearly make the thug-rapper think twice, huh?

In true P.C. fashion, GLAAD trotted out their "People of Color Media Manager," a lady named C. Riley Snorton, to offer an olive branch to the thug: "We applaud his honesty in talking about the murder of his bisexual mother and appreciate his acknowledgment that he is not comfortable with gay people," said Ms. Snorton. "We know that confronting homophobia can indeed be uncomfortable. But honesty is always the first step in overcoming the desire to judge those who are different than us and in overcoming prejudice."

Snorton even strangely invited the rapper to party with her at GLAAD's annual media awards, so he can "get to know the LGBT community, and we are fully confident that in doing so he will find that he has more in common with us than he thinks."

Just as NOW couldn't get really outraged at charges that Bill Clinton may have raped a woman, so, too, can GLAAD not get its "homophobia" outrage going when the offender is not some uptight religious conservative.

Reporter Susan Jones of noticed that GLAAD didn't exactly offer equally tender treatment for talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who didn't pepper her talk shows with words like "faggot." (The "hateful" words she used were "deviant" and "disorder.") But Dr. Laura was not a hero to aspiring gangsters and MTV addicts, so GLAAD waged war on her for years, even claiming victory for destroying her attempt at a TV talk show. When it flopped, they declared, "GLAAD hopes the cancellation of 'Dr. Laura' will make media corporations think twice about giving a platform to someone who promotes derision and exclusion. Such decisions will never go unchallenged."

But if the "defamation" police aim to ruin any media corporation who "promotes derision and exclusion," why go soft on 50 Cent and Interscope Records? There's more here than worries about "people of color media managing." The group no doubt believes that this gangster isn't exactly a Ph.D. and could be educated into the proper progressive talking (or rapping) points. His only obstacle is his unrefined street machismo, not his nonexistent moral beliefs.

GLAAD's war on "defamation" isn't really about nasty words. The gay left is not as concerned about curbing street slang as they are in advancing cultural indoctrination. Dr. Laura represents the most serious threat to their policing ideology: opposition to their anything-goes sexuality based on intellect rather than attitude, morality rather than popularity, the Word of God rather than just the word on the street. That's why she's more of a thug to that crowd than Mr. 50 Cent.