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Beating a Kentucky paper to the punch, the San Francisco Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco’s gay newspaper has gotten Charles Knipp to respond to the controversy surrounding the cancellation of three of his blackface minstrel shows.

In a statement sent to the B.A.R. via email Knipp is quoted as saying:

“I have been so burned by the media lately … Jesus. I wish I could send you my actual responses compared to what they’ve printed.  I don’t mind critics because I’m not scared of controversy.  I’m so glad black and white folk, especially the gay community, are finally getting the REAL discussion started. I’m glad to be the ‘boogeyman’ if Americans of various races will finally speak TRUTH to each other. This politically correct shit has done nothing but silence the conversation that black and white Americans have needed to have for WAY too long now.”

While I think a conversation on race is long overdue, Knipp is wrong is his assertion that blackface is the way in which to get it started. How do pictures of Knipp dressed in blackface labeled as the Queen of Dixie helps or his blatant disrespect for the African American holiday Kwanzaa and Black women and children.

Also reported, GLAAD said it became involved in the issue after being contacted by community members. Marc McCarthy, senior director of communications, told the B.A.R. that the timing was right during the recent "cultural discussion about anti-gay prejudice" that began with the incidents involving actor Isaiah Washington, celebrity Paris Hilton, and the Snickers ad campaign.

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