DEVELOPING STORY –
Update: There are contradicting dates on Shirley Q. Liquor’s Myspace.com profile and website. On one, February 11 is the date of the performance and on another February 18 is listed. I believe this is a ploy to confuse those that want to protest this performance and cancel the show. It doesn’t matter what the date. The show must be cancelled. Bottom line.
Here we go again.
Shirley Q. Liquor, a.k.a. Charles Knipp is scheduled to perform at a secret location on Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 8 pm. in West Hollywood, California.
I mentioned that the location is secret, as a matter of fact top secret, because Liquor is known to be protested and cancelled when he steps out of the South to perform his anti-Black routines.
Charles Knipp is a white man who performs racially offensive material in drag and blackface. He describes his character Shirley Q. Liquor as an “inarticulate black welfare mother with 19 children.” While in blackface as Liquor, Knipp speaks in Ebonics and makes comments like “axe your mamma how she durrin” and misuses words like “ignunt.”
Knipp’s white character, a woman named Betty Butterfield describes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a “colored preacher” during a video segment on the Lutheran Church.
The following was posted on November 10 on Knipp’s Myspace.com blog:
“My 1972 Cadillac busted down this afternoon on the way home from WalMark. We was stuck at a redlight download and it was a man in a turquaz Excalade behind me steady honking. I try and try to start that motor but it be DEAD. That man kept on honkin.”
“Finally, Watusi jumped out the car and went back and told that man "let’s trade places… why don’t you come up and help start the damn car, and I will sit back here and honk at yo dumb ass.”
In Knipp’s store on his website he sells among other things, an ornament for a Christmas tree for Kwanzaa that says, “Happy Kwanzaa to Your Mammanems.”
There’s an entire section of baby bibs with racially offensive and insensitive messages like “INMATE,” this is in rainbow colors, which as you know is often attributed to gays.
In an interview for the Wow Report, Knipp says, “To be honest, people of color who have seen my shows live or heard my CDs overwhelmingly tell me how much they enjoyed my accurate portrayal of a certain genre of the gritty, witty Southern women that they fondly remember, no matter what her race.”
THE HISTORY OF BLACK FACE
Blackface is a style of theatrical makeup that originated in the United States, used to affect the countenance of an iconic, racist American archetype – that of the darky or coon. Blackface also refers to a genre of musical and comedic theatrical presentation in which blackface makeup is worn. White blackface performers in the past used burnt cork and later greasepaint or shoe polish to blacken their skin and exaggerate their lips, often wearing woolly wigs, gloves, tails, or ragged clothes to complete the transformation.
By the mid-20th century, changing attitudes about race and racism effectively ended the prominence of blackface performance in the U.S. and elsewhere. However, it remains in relatively limited use as a theatrical device, mostly outside the U.S., and is more commonly used today as edgy social commentary or satire.
In 1993, comic Ted Danson appeared in blackface at a Friars Club roast. His offensive comments amused girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg (who wrote the shtick) but that was about all.
Even the Spike Lee film Bamboozled was widely criticized for portraying blackface as “funny”.
To me, worse than all of the above, is that Knipp’s is good friends with and supported by Rupaul. Rupaul!!!
So much so that Rupaul has tapped Knipp’s character Shirley Q. Liquor to narrate his new movie, “Starbooty,” which is created by and starring Rupaul!
"Critics who think that [Shirley Q. Liquor is] offensive are idiots," RuPaul told the Windy City Times in Chicago. "They need to trust their gut because if they went with their gut they would know that she is so not a racist. . . . Listen, I’ve been discriminated against by everybody in the world: gay people, black people, whatever. I know discrimination, I know racism, I know it very intimately. She’s not racist! And if she were, she wouldn’t be on the record."
Knipp’s character Liquor will also be featured on the new television series, Laugh Out, on the Logo Network. He says it’s “For literary types or people interested in comedy as a tool for healing racial divides.” Like a white man in drag in blackface is going to do wonders for our racial divides.
And if that wasn’t enough, Knipp’s is part of a book under the alias of Mrs. Liquor and her “art of ignunce” entitled "Black Like You", yeah as if he knows anything about being Black.
Knipp’s claims an interview with Betty and Shirley Q. will be featured soon in Rolling Stone Magazine.
OTHER SCHEDULED PERFORMANCES
Besides West Hollywood, Knipp’s, believe it or not, has been booked to perform in other cities including:
December 22, 2006
Backstreet Memphis TN
December 31, 2006
Lakeview Yacht Club
February 23, 2007
Chez Nightclub – Hartford CT
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS?
I could go on and on about Charles Knipp’s and his racist routine, but I won’t.
I simply want to know what we are going to do about it.
I have already reached out to the City of West Hollywood and can assure you that to my knowledge none of the City Council Members nor the Mayor support this performance. I have urged them to adopt a resolution sending a message to the business community in West Hollywood that these types of acts aren’t welcome in their city.
I urge you to do the same. Click here to send a message to the West Hollywood City Council urging them to adopt a resolution that sends a clear message that acts that racially offensive acts are not supported by the city.
City of West Hollywood
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Telephone: (323) 848-6400
The venue for the performance is being kept secret intentionally to avoid a cancellation. Word is that the venue will be announced online at www.circuitticket.com on the morning of Sunday, February 11, 2007 and not a day sooner.
Charles Knipp is represented by Divas and DJ’s, who also claims to represent American Idol stars Kimberly Locke and Frenchie Davis, singers Thelma Houston and Pepper Mashay, all African-American women with huge followings in the gay community.
And incidentally, Thelma Houston lives around the corner from me and we have a neighborhood meeting coming up and I am going to ask her how she feels about this as well.
And guess where they’re located, yep that’s right, West Hollywood.
Diva Central Inc.
7510 W. Sunset Blvd, Suite 1445
West Hollywood, CA 90046
I can tell you now that I am free on Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 8 p.m. and if this performance is not cancelled before then, there’s going to be one hell of a protest going on in West Hollywood that night.
Coming off of the Michael Richards incident, this is the last thing that Blacks, gay, whites and anyone else needs.
Race issues continue to plague our nation on so many fronts and people like Knipp just add fuel to the fire. Knipp is very popular down South, but this isn’t the South, this is Los Angeles, home to millions of African-Americans and other minorities.
The fact that this man has been able to make a living off of blackface in 2006 is a clear sign that there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?