Right now I'm going to talk about something that is either going to make a lot of people shake their heads in agreement or make a lot of people upset. But I feel it's something that I would like to talk about and address because it needs to be. I'm talking about Caitlyn Jenner winning the Arthur Ashe award at this years ESPY's.
I don't watch award shows at all, but it was impossible not to hear about her winning the award since it was all over ESPN the next day and all over my twitter feed that night and for the next few days. Now before I continue with what I'm about to say let me first say that I have no problem with him or her being transgender nor do I have a problem with the LGBT community.
As far as I'm concerned you have the right to be or date whoever it is that you want. I feel that as long as it doesn't bring harm to me, yourself, or anyone else in the world then do anything that it is that makes you happy. As far as same sex marriage, hell, I know heterosexual people who have been married and divorced multiple times. So if they can't get it right, who the heck are they to tell a homosexual person how they should do it? Why shouldn't you be able to?
If you are a law abiding citizen like anyone else then who cares. I definitely don't care because I have too many other things to worry about in my life such as bills, work, and school debt than to spend time worrying or anguishing over who you sleep with, who you want to date, or who or what you want to dress like. I suspect that's also why I don't care for or watch reality TV. Most of it is staged, it's not really reality or reality that relates to the common person for that matter.
It has nothing to do with real life issues. It's just garbage TV in my opinion. But I digress, let me get back to my original point. Actor and comedian DL Hughley stated that he didn't think Jenner deserved the award and neither do I. He stated that it should have been awarded to Lauren Hill, a young lady who played college basketball this year with the knowledge that she had brain cancer and that she would not survive.
I'm with Hughley in the fact that Ashe, or the award and what it stands for has nothing in common with Jenner. Arthur Ashe played a predominantly white sport, during a period where Jim Crow laws and attitudes were rampant. He faced racism in all aspects of his professional life and still became one of the greatest tennis players ever. To top it off, Ashe contracted AIDS from a blood tranfusion during a time period where acquiring AIDS was a sure death sentence, and he continued to carry himself with dignity and spread awareness about his condition.
As Hughley said, Caitlyn Jenner simply put on a dress. Now yes, Jenner's decision to convert himself into a woman because in his own words, he felt that's who he truly was, can be seen as a huge risk and big step. But we also have to acknowledge that for all the flak and troubles that the LGBT community still faces, that it isn't with the same amount of disdain as it would have been five to ten years ago.
I do acknowlege that in general we still have a long way to go to fully accept the LGBT community but it in no way shape or form is that the same as dealing with racism during the civil rights movement. Let me break it down for you, yes African Americans and the LGBT community have been and are still discriminated against. But during Jim Crow, you could be white and gay and still have the right to vote, you could still be served dinner in an actual restaurant and not be told to go into the alley to get your food.
You weren't made to drink from a different water fountain or sit at the back of the bus for being gay or transgender, but you did for being black.
The Ku Klux Klan didn't have gay folks in their cross hairs as their main target, but they did African Americans. There wasn't a war that went down as the bloodiest in history to keep homosexual folks under oppression as was the agenda of the Civil war to detriment of African Americans, and Jim Crow law and the Prison Industrial Complex weren't invented to suppress or oppress the LGBT community, but we live through that as African Americans.
So please, please, while I recognize there is a struggle for equality amongst the LGBT community to gain full acceptance in America, please don't short change or disrespect the fight for civil rights or equality fought by African Americans by trying to find a parallel or compare because they just aren't even close to the same and I believe I have illustrated that. The next thing I want to highlight is the pure hypocrisy of the media and or American Public when it comes to addressing Caitlyn Jenner. First and foremost I think she won the award and had to worry about the attention the transformation would bring, not because of what she did, but rather who she was.
No, I'm not talking about who he was in terms of being Bruce Jenner, I'm talking about who he was as far as being someone who participated in the Kardashian reality TV show. Most of America doesn't even recongnize him for being a former Olympian as the older generation does, most people associate him with the attention hungry, pop culture family that he married into or rather helped form. And we know how much America loves its reality tv.
Hell, there is a reality show for everything, even one called "Amish Mafia." Think about that for a second, that sounds like an oxymoron or something. Amish Mafia? Come on now! The hypocrisy that I'm referring to, is something else that Hughley pointed out.
The media was cracking jokes or making comments left and right about Serena Williams, possibly the greatest womens tennis player ever, saying she looks like or is built like a man. And all this during the same week the Jenner is lauded for being "beautiful," atleast by media standards.
Here is a woman at the top of her professional career, rewriting record books, who has conditioned herself to be at her physical peak and they are saying she looks like a man because she is dominating her sport and in shape.
She doesn't look like a man at all. She looks like the greatest female tennis player ever, who happens to be physically tuned to dominate her sport and they're making negative comments about her appearance. Jenner made physical changes through surgery to make himself look like the opposite sex physiologically and for no reason at all, except for the claim that it's who he feels he truly is. So we have Serena who hasn't altered her physiology at all and is being critisized by folks who are claiming she looks like a man and another who altered himself and put on a dress and people are saying he is courageous and beautiful.
Get the hell out of here with that mess! My B.S. meter shot through the roof upon hearing that. People ought to get a grip and be real about it all. He is no more beautiful than she is. Jenner is not on Serena Williams level, and what he did wasn't courageous in my opinion. All he did is decide to make a choice and live his life the way many other transgender people do in this country, which is the way they want and what feels most comfortable to them.
Mainstream media is only giving him credit and putting him on a pedestal because he is a reality tv star and our value system for what is couragous or important in this country revolves around what mainstream media dictates for those who aren't conscious individuals. So before we go around crowning false heroes and bringing down amazing people, let's get our priorities straight and recognize what our reasoning for that is. Is it a hidden agenda driven by the media? Have you been conditioned to form your opinion? Or is it "YOUR" opinion that developed from a purely organic stance?