Below is an excerpt from hip hop writer Jimi Izrael’s tangent on the LIFEBeat (the music industry’s AIDS organization) campaign that caused the cancellation of their Reggae Gold Jumpoff Concert that was to feature homophobic reggae artists Beenie Man and TOK.
I spoke with Jimi prior to him writing the article and already knew his head was stuck in a warped sense of reality. Simply put, he felt like the "gay" community was dead wrong for speaking out against the LIFEBeat concert. I disagree. I tried to point out to him that we were Black, but he wasn’t try to hear any of that and it’s evident in his recent article.
Not only does the article miss the point, but Jimi is so ill informed that it’s almost laughable.
To quote Jimi, "They think they are borrowing pages from the civil rights playbook, and they are. All the wrong pages. It’s gotten to the point where gays pull the “gay card” out of thin air and create a problem under the guise of advocating for change."
See to Jimi, you can’t be Black and gay, if you’re gay, you’re just gay. So me, as a Black lesbian, I have no right to look towards the civil rights movement for inspiration, because I am gay.
But the other thing I noticed is that Jimi seems to be smitten with Keith Boykin, calling him the gay Al Sharpton.
In his rant, Jimi says, "Clearly, Keith Boykin is becoming the gay Al Sharpton, pulling homophobia out of a ham sandwich, whether it is there or not."
Jimi seems to feel that as gays, not Blacks, that we are to engrossed in this homophobia thing and Keith is our ring leader.
But I will give Jimi credit. When he got over to me, he got it right.
"I reached out to Jasmyne Cannick, one of the people behind the whole LifeBeat debacle, and she made herself available for a quote. I called her, and we proceeded to argue, Gloria and James Evans-style. It was useless conversation. In the end, we agreed to disagree, and that’s all you can ask from civil discourse, sometimes: just an impasse. Like, that old African proverb: Fuck it. It is possible to have different solutions to the same problem."
Jimi suffers from the "some of my best friends are Black syndrome." He thinks because he deejayed in a few gay bars that he’s the all knowing authority on what gay is and what gays should be doing.
Wrong. He’s just another brother stuck in his own cloud of homophobia using the Internet to get let his anger go.
But alas, read the column for yourself and tell me what you think about Mr. Israel’s ranting and raving.