The Latest

Racism At Pride Idol

I just returned from Pride Idol and I am still furious. After several racist jokes in a row, mostly about Chinese people, the host Miss Kitty Litter had crossed the line. After every racist joke she asked, "Am I politically incorrect? I know I am." Her commentary included jokes about dry cleaning among Asians and telling a judge that she "liked the blacks." One of the first things she said to the black contestant was "I like your hands and feet." She also made fun of an Asian contestant for his American sounding name. One judge's joke included calling the black contestant a "smooth cup of hot chocolate." I started yelling "racist!" each time Miss Kitty Litter"explained" herself after each joke. Then when she was near me she offered me the microphone. I took the microphone and told her that if she couldn't be funny in 2007 without being racist she fucking sucked. Members of the audience were booing me, and one man loudly said "sit down you freak," to applause. But there were others who supported our outrage. My partner Wing and I demanded our money back, and it was immediately granted.I was in tears after I left the event because I was so angry, and so sad that everyone could sit and tolerate what was going on. I also felt a bit embarrassed for my enraged inarticulate rant. I can not recall a time when I have been this angry at an event, or even saw this much racism from a "comedian" firsthand. Please write to the Pride Committee, "special judges" the Boston Herald Track Girls Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa and Miss Kitty Litter and demand a public apology. Just because you are an outrageous drag queen who laughs about being "politically incorrect" does not mean you can get away with such blatant racism. On a happier note, we met for the first time a regular queertoday reader who walked out with us in support.

47 comments:

Trevor Wright said...

What a fucking nightmare.....

Why do we put up with this?

Brian Rainey said...

Mark,

It took a lot of courage to stand up. Too many times people allow offensive and racist things to be said without confronting them. You did part of the work that is necessary to undo racism.

ratherclever said...

Hey Marky,

Thanks for bringing this to my attention first off and secondly. How dare they. Miss Kitty Litter is always at RI Pride. I intend to bitch her out. Anyway, I hope that other people write as I am writing to the pride committee right now because the more people who speak up and take a stand the better. No matter how small the step forward.

-Char

Kaitlin said...

thanks mark for standing up and saying something. i am sorry you were the only one that did say something but hopefully you helped create space for others to do so. what an awful event!!

Anonymous said...

I was there. It wasn't as bad as he's making it out to be. While I will agree that a few of the things were over the top.

He was being booed because he was being an asshole. Everyone there knew who he was. I had even bet my friend $20 that by the time the night was over he was going to do something to disrupt the event.

He forgot to mention that he ripped the microphone out of Ms Kitty's hands and went on a rant. As far as my friends and I were concerned he pretty much attacked Ms Kitty.

Even if he disagreed with what was being said, which I already stated that some comments were a little much, there is a proper way of doing things. What he did was have a tantrum in the middle of a public event. His behavior is inexcusable. If he wants apologies from people--he needs to be one of those people giving them. He was out of line.

By the way...I was outside smoking when he left the building and he was laughing not crying.

Trevor Wright said...

What would you have done... ohh wait you didn't do anything...

I think mark was courageous for saying something.

Mark D. Snyder said...

If I was laughing, it was nervous overwealmed laughter. But I assure you I cried on our walk out of there. I wish I had been more calm, I really do, and I regret that my anger clouded the seriousness of the situation.

I did not rip the microphone, she offered it - and afterwards said "I gave him the microphone."

Anonymous said...

Mark,

Let me ask you a question...what exactly have you done for the community lately? Other than create conflict?

You seem to have a knack for showing up and having tantrums. If you have such an issue with the things that are going on why don't you get involved?

Oh wait I know...you like to hide behind your computer. When you actually get involved with something meaningful then please tell us all. Until then sit down and shut up.

I have a great deal of respect for those people that sit on the Pride Committee. I work in Back Bay and I see them in that room every Tuesday. I've even been by there at 10pm and found some of them still in that room. Those people are extremely committed to this community and they work their asses off. I only wish that I had the time to join and help more.

You need to stop calling attention to yourself this week because GUESS WHAT?! IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!!! It's about the entire GLBT community.

Have you and your protest group even registered for the march because I didn't see you on the list online. Oh wait you and your group are probably going to be one of those asshole groups that jumps into the parade without registering and paying the fee, aren't you? So because of you and groups like yours fees go up. That's what happened in New York. So I want to make sure that I thank you for the future increase in fees that the rest of us are going to have to pay.

-Boston Girl

Xochitl said...

First of all Ms. Kitty did willingly let go the microphone and then as Mark was walking out Ms. Kitty did express being proud of herself for allowing Mark to express himself and did admit to letting him have the mike. So Mark did not grab the microphone from anyone - It was offered.

And yes, Mark was emotional - but for good cause. The fact that this was a Pride event, an event that was inspired for reasons of justice makes it an *especially* inappropriate place for any race-related "jokes"; jokes that only serve to perpetuate racism and the dehumanization of people who are not of the dominant privileged group.

Seriously, the fact that people still think such jokes are acceptable is the most disturbing event of the night - not Mark's outrage. I am more embarrassed that he didn't get the support his outrage deserved.

Thanks Mark for standing up when others would not. May we all have the courage and rage that you did last night.

Trevor Wright said...

Boston Girl,
Get a fucking clue!!!

I don’t think you know what Mark does in the community. I’m not going to list the boards of directors ,the hundreds of hours of safe sex out reach, the political campaigns, lobbying he is involved in.

If there is one thing mark does not do is just sit behind his computer.

Xochitl said...

Ok, one more thing - in terms of "what exactly have you [Mark} done for the community lately?"

All I can offer is that we all have our own unique ways in which we play our part in the community - and these do not need to be the same in order to be valuable. I also appreciate the priceless and immeasurable work the Pride Committee does in order to pull off an amazing Pride week - a job that I know is year round.

Consciousness-raising is an invaluable job and it takes many forms. Mark's "creating conflict" is one way, an important and necessary one. Change always come through conflict - and it also requires that people play different roles. I am sure some people will raise-consciousness in more subtle ways, and that's great too.

But just because Mark's way is not somebody else's way - does not mean we should discredit it as if it's not for the good of the community.

Let's celebrate the different ways we participate with one another toward making a more just and safe world for all people - and let's continue to stay in conversation and dialogue with one another and not demonize one another...

Trevor Wright said...

well put.

Chris Mason said...

What has Mark done for the community lately? I can't believe that question is being asked on this blog.

Mark has raised issues in this community that many are afraid, or don't want to talk about. His commitment to broadening the scope of the queer movement is admirable.

At a time when most LGBT leaders only want to talk about marriage, Mark has lead discussions on issues of LGBT youth, trans rights, homelessness, war, and poverty.

Now ask yourself, "what exactly have I done for the community lately?"

Jacob Smith Yang said...

Below is our response addressed to the Pride Committee.

Dear Boston Pride Committee:

I am writing on my and MAP for Health’s behalf to complain about the reportedly racist content of the performance of Miss Kitty Litter at the Pride Idol event last night. We have heard complaints from several who attended, specifically about anti-Asian jokes that resurrect and reinforce stereotypes about Asian names, Asian dry-cleaning, etcetera—as well as questionable comments about African American contestants. In 2007 it is unbelievable and upsetting that such offensive material, which targets already marginalized communities, is presented under the official sanction of Boston Pride, especially in light of the recent, high-profile unacceptability of this kind of racist material from the likes of comedian Michael Richards and radio personality Don Imus. Action must be taken to assure this type of language does not occur.

I and MAP for Health have been honored to serve as Pride Marshals this year and have viewed our selection as a real shift towards increased visibility and acceptance within Boston’s LGBT community, which has not always been particularly welcoming or friendly towards non-whites. People sometimes ask me why more people of color don’t participate in Pride; this incident unfortunately partially answers their question. There is still much progress to be made. It is disappointing to have our marshalhood marred by last night’s hurtful racism. We aspire to and expect better for and from our LGBT community.

We acknowledge that these remarks were made in character by a performer, and performers usually create their own content. However, the Pride Committee has and exercises significant control and authority to regulate and determine the content of Boston Pride celebrations in the name of making them accessible to all. We have been handed down prohibitions on content and nudity to preserve "family friendliness" of the parade. Surely it is at least as important and within your power to make Pride Week celebrations welcoming and accessible to LGBT community members of color by instituting a zero tolerance prohibition on racist language and hate speech.

We look forward to your response,


Jacob Smith Yang
Executive Director, MAP for Health

Tom said...

I need to add my two cents. I have noticed that one of the groups very commonly and unfortunately found "acceptable" to make fun of on a racist level is the Asians. I witnessed this at the drag show Forbidden Fruit, we see it on television and we even see it at Asian restaurants (where patrons often find it appropriate to mimic asian accents when ordering food).

I applaud Mark for pointing this out to the LGBT community in his way. It may appear to some that he "stepped over the line" in the way he did it, but activism is not always about writing letters.

I am glad he was outraged. As members of a community that gets shit thrown at it on a daily basis, we, the LGBT, should and must be super sensitive to other groups when we see or hear that same "shit" being thrown at them.

Good for you Mark, and thank you!

Oh and to "Boston Girl" enough of the anonymity. If you are going to have the guts to make statements like this and take a stand, then please have the guts to identify yourself. Blogs are too full of the anonymous who seem to be way too "full" of themselves.

Tom Lang at KnowThyNeighbor.org

ratherclever said...

Dear Pride Committee,

I would like for there to be a public apology from the Boston Herald
Track Girls Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa and Miss Kitty Litter for their
racist jokes and comments about Asians and other minority groups.

As an Asian American supporter and member of the GLBTQ community I am
deeply appalled and hurt that you would allow and condone such public
behavior. I hope that you do not just brush this issue off or put it
aside because in the year 2007 I would hope that we would have a
higher standard of entertainment and behavior for public figures in
our community. Drag queens make up a large constituency of visibility
for our community and it is because of this I hope that you will
recognize how hurtful and alienating this is to and for the community
and some of it's members. Entertainment should not be cruel or ill
intentioned but an event for all to enjoy.

A public apology isn't a lot to ask for in my opinion. Just like if
anyone said anything hurtful publicly about the GLBTQ community, I
know we would ask for an apology as well. So I ask you as a member of
our community and an Asian American not to condone the alientation of
other minority groups but to do the mature and right act by
recognizing the hurtful insensitive words and behavior from our peers.

Sincerely,
Charlotte Park

Anonymous said...

As I said earlier I do not condone what Ms Kitty said. I find it interesting though that no one is really ripping on the judges Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa--they were far harsher than Ms Kitty any day.

Also, most of you seem to have left this out--then again you probably left--Ms Kitty did apologize on stage. She also reported that the Pride Committee told her that she would not be back again. They don't have control over what a Drag Queen says on stage...look at what happened on last year's festival with Hedda Lettuce.

They tried to control her and look what happened...she got worse.

The sad part is as this weekend goes on with all of the wonderful festivities, most likely the only thing we're going to hear about is this silly little protest that you're all staging.

But I go back to the question I asked before...Is your protest group registering and paying the fee or are you just going to rip off the community so that we have to pay higher fees in the future?

-Boston Girl

Anonymous said...

Mark -

I was there with you last night. The comments made were wrong, mean, and clearly hateful with veil of using "humor." What you did took great courage no one who matters will say otherwise.

I looked for you outside of the event but I must have just missed you.

My one request for you in the future is: Do it again! Nothing wrong with what you said or how you said it and change doesn't happen when people stand in silence. Keep shaking us from our complacency!

J

eliz said...

boston girl--
i will speak to the ask.tell.act. fee question. the group is joining an anti-war coalition which did, in fact, pay to be in the parade.
so, as far as my understanding goes--and i will not be marching with ask.tell.act.--the answer is not as simple as paying or not paying. ask.tell.act. does not have any money as an organization, as it is an ad hoc coalition. at the same time, they are working within the structure via joining a paying group who, when paying, set up to be an umbrella organization.
i hope this clears some things up.

Anonymous said...

i think mark voicing how he felt was very important and i understand that it was somewhat of an "act of passion" but i must say-if that was my event and i had dedicated my time to organizing it-mark would have completely ruined it. having someone in an audience have an outburst like that is terrifying, embarassing, and hurtful to the organizer(s). now, i don't think he should have sat there in silence but the boston pride committee members were easy to identify. one (or some) of them should have been pulled aside and spoken to-maybe even yelled at-but not publicly sworn at on the microphone.

i also think that what he did last night would have had more of an impact if half the people there didn't know him as "the kid protesting pride". there was already a standard set for mark's behavior last night and in some people's eyes-he met it. if he was just some random person acting like that it would have been much more powerful. his boyfriend is asian, right? why didn't he say something? now THAT would have made an impact. definetly.
either way-freaking out on a microphone didn't help anyone last night. it made the performer look bad (which she didn't need much help with), it made the boston pride committee look bad and it made mark's group and mark look bad.
i guess everyone lost last night.

eliz said...

not much to say as i was not at the event, and definitely support people standing up to racism but cannot speak to what happened in particular, but i did want to reply to this:
his boyfriend is asian, right? why didn't he say something? now THAT would have made an impact. definetly.
it is not the responsibility of an asian person to respond to someone making anti-asian slurs. for a lot of reasons--like personal safety, either physical or emotional, things like this falling into a history of oppression for that person, tiredness, or just not wanting to again--people who are being actively disrespected on the basis of a non-privileged identity are not always able to respond in that situation. that is when other people are supposed to.
thats all. i think it is just dangerous to put that responsibility on people who are, in that moment, getting really personally attacked and affected.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you eliz-totally-i guess the point i was trying to make was, anyone BUT mark saying that last night would have had more of an impact because they were already expecting trouble from him-so it did not seem like to the pride committee that he was standing up for what he believed in but rather, he was causing a scene and being a jerk. honestly, i wish someone else had jumped up and said something because it would have generated a more serious recation from the crowd, the performers and the committee.

Kasey H. said...

There is NOTHING wrong with "ruining" a racist event, or making people who are saying racist things feel bad--don't they have to feel bad, if there is to be any impetus for change? If an event is racist, it has already been ruined, anyways. Mark was doing what anyone who recognizes something as racism is morally obligated to do--speak out about it.

Additionally, as a member of "Mark's group" (which of course is not his at all, but a coalition) I am proud to associate myself with someone who breaks out of the mold of complacency and silence that so many white people adopt in order to deal with (or even perpetuate) the racism still omnipresent in American, including GLBT, culture. We should all be so bold.

Kasey H. said...

Also, anonymous, since I didn't see the comment directly above mine, I have to add that if you "wish someone else" would have gotten up, YOU SHOULD HAVE. Had I been there, I might have, I don't know. But I wasn't. If you were, and if you care about the reputation of AskTellAct and QueerToday as much as you're suggesting, then I hope that concern, as well as your abhorrence of racism, would have compelled you to a similarly powerful action.

Wingy said...

Hi anonymous,

This is Mark's Asian boyfriend. In response to your suggestion that I should've said something, Eliz made a really good point that the victim of racist comments cannot just easily say something. How would you feel if someone makes a distasteful joke on your ethnicity and have most of the room laughing? It's one thing when the crowd is on your defense but to have the impression that everyone in the room was somewhat racist, saying something as an Asian person just seemed so hopeless.

I am proud of the fact that someone like Mark took action unlike 99.9% of the others in there. Shame on everyone who laughed along to the racist jokes. It's 2007 guys, it's not cool to be racist anymore. Get with the time.

Trim Freerey said...

Wow. Your article is so eye opening.

I never though humor without hatred was so inappropriate. You, sir, should slip and fall in a puddle of AIDS.

No, but really, I appreciate your taking a stand and weeping softly. I only wish your weeping was a a result of your one-titted mother dropping dead of breast cancer.

But now, thankfully... I now sincerely believe it is okay for a guy to say, “No” at the end of a date, and immediately resorting to an aluminum baseball bat was simply childish on my part.

I think from now on I will tell a guy I have AIDS, instead of just splooging inside of him and yelling, “Tag, you’re it!” I also feel that I should get a part time job instead of making extra cash selling my mother’s period panties on the Internet @smells_like_a_cadaver.com.

Today the keyword for me is humility. A man who can admit his mistakes is a mature man indeed. To demonstrate, I would like to end our time together with a few apologies. To my neighbors, for doing things while baby sitting your children which have been misconstrued. To my ex-girlfriend, for putting itching powder on your tampons and making out with your dad at that Fourth of July party. To my roommate Jim, for making you dream about onions by dangling my testicles over your nose while you sleep and to my grandmother, for grabbing you by the shoulders and screaming, “CUNT”, every time you ask me for your medicine. The most important apology of all is to you, the public, for writing this response in the first place. Eat my ass and God bless

trim said...

Next time you stand up in the middle of an event, I hope it's to step off a ledge with a noose around your neck; at least that way we can all applaud as your mouth finally exhales something useful instead of this drivel/ diarrheatic evacuations you subject us all to here.

Cheers.

eliz said...

wow. wishing death on people whose politics you don't agree with seems really hateful to me. people attack queers with radical politics for tearing communities apart all the time, but this is one of the most awful things i have read. i want to make a public statement to all queers that even if i don't agree with your politics (bitch, i am talking to you!) i still do not want you to die. i want more people fighting for liberation, but that does not mean ever wishing such hate and venom on someone else.

Trim said...

hi eliz,

thanks for the comments! i wish death on people for much less than that. it reminds me of this time i was dating an alcoholics anonymous guy. i used to give him beer and fuck him while he cried.

seriously -- the hate and contention you read in my posts is basically an expression (in raw disgust) of the crap being written here.

he uses passive agressive tactics and stands up at events.

i, however, would enjoy a large woman of questionable gender showing him the business end of a glass-shard strap-on.

Anonymous said...

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=81629742

we know

Anonymous said...

also timmy on manhunt

Trevor Wright said...

i did a little digging and i think that is him. you can see his quote on Miss Kitty's myspace about mark. so it all adds up

Anonymous said...

I am disgusted at the facist and violent racist people posting. SHAME ON YOU!
I am not from Boston, but as a reader from Vancouver Canada, and as a witness or target of racist queers in Victoria and Vancouver, I am appalled by the violent and facist comments on this blog and on stage being made by white queers in Boston.

I want to really highlight that as queer people of colour our "Community" is not singular and includes our relationship to our bloodlines and experience with racism ON TOP OF HOMOPHOBIA and TRANPHOBIA and the list goes on cause there is NO one Community that we belong to, some (actually many) of us are poor, live with dis/Abilities, AIDS and otehr illnesses, and too many of us have been affected by violence from white people and colonial states. SO FUCK YOU RACIST WHITE QUEERS. and a HUGE HUGE amount of support and solidarity with Wingy and his supportive partner Mike - I am sickened by the hatred and violence directed at you and am in great respect of your courage and determination to assert your rights and experiences.
Also, many groups don't participate in PRIDE tradmarked events and other events dominated mostly racists because we are excluded, silenced, and insulted (please refer to all the hatred comments above) and our WHOLE selves (including our ethicities are not respected)
AGAIN, i never sware at people BUT FUCK YOU RACIST ASSHOLES and SHAME on you for purpetuating the violence of your ancestors.
with strength and justice, setareh (i'm not going to hide behind a psuedoname)

Anonymous said...

I mean Mark - apologies for getting your name wrong. be well, setareh

Trim said...

(1) anonymous: do you?
(2) anoynmous: am i?
(3) trevor: is it?

congratulations?

Anonymous said...

(4) anonymous: i'm not all for racism, you silly goose! kitty has the right to say what she feels entertaining. you don't have the right not to be offended by it. get up, leave, and move on. i don't condone, oppose or otherwise care that the author is white, gay, asian, straight, etc. i care that the vocal minority ruins the fun for everyone. ho-hum

Trevor Wright said...

I am not going to engage in this any more.

This just shows the true problem in our communities.

Trim said...

in closing, as i don't plan frequenting this anymore... i hope you can all see the point behind my filth-ridden posts.

believe me, i cringe when i write this - but in actuality, i have no intentions or desires for any ill to befall anyone.

take your anger you felt towards me for the filth that i compiled and spewed forth. now, flip that around.

life without context sure is drab, silly, and pointless. words without context are equally inane. i somehow doubt that kitty, who has "given till it hurts" and then some for her community, has something against asians.

she makes fun of queers, obese folks, skinny folks, people of all walks of live equally.

just because you have some agenda doesn't take away the humor of the situation. her words were without barbs. if you can't take some old fashioned humor and need everything to be safe and sanitized... well, i just can't wait to see some stand up comedy acts in 10 years time, when commenting on the SPF content of sunscreen might be risque.

don imus saying "nappy headed hos" ring a bell? ditch your own agenda; get a referral for the removal of the large blunt object up your behind and please do us all a favor and spare us your irrelevant comments, you doddering ol' goose you.

maanav said...

reading all this, i have to mention the greatest irony of all of this -- the majority of the criticism has been posted by by people who are choosing to remain "anonymous." further the level of hate and violent imagery is reminiscent of homophobes. hate is hate -- you are hating Mark for standing up for justice. perhaps it irritates you because a part of your conscience wishes you had the courage to do the same yourself.

the behavior you are showing is the exact same behavior everyone that has stopped the evolution of human social behavior: racists in the south to "uppity black folk" that thought they had the right to speak out on injustice, women who felt they deserved equal opportunity as men, lgbtq folk that were tired of hiding their true selves.

Look at yourself and ask this vile, hate-mongering jerk is truly who you are. I've only known Mark for a short while and he's one of the few white people I've known that's courageous enough to challenge other white people. He is an asset not only to the queer community, but also to the social justice movement.

People that spew hate clearly do not understand their own history. If you enjoy freedom from persecution in your daily life, pay respect to the trailblazers.

Grow the fuck up and do what's right. There's way to much shit going on in the world and we need leadership -- not this senseless crap. It's really easy to talk shit from the sidelines. If you're going to post hateful words -- and if you believe in what you say -- have the courage to at least let your name be seen.

James said...

It is possible to be funny, risque, over the top and yet be clever enough not to make racist comments. There are plenty of comedians out there who do that. YOu can joke about race and racism without spreading more racism. Miss Kitty Litter's comments were as old and washed-up as her wig.

Fire Crotch said...

So, I for one having watched everyone throw down here...would like to ask everyone posting in this "dialogue" for lack of a more appropriate word as it certainly is not under the heading of "sharing" to do something:

Take a couple steps or chair rolls back from your computer screen and take a deep breath. I find it really helpful to every once in awhile, separate myself from the commenting that happens on blogs of people who are both (a) important to me and (b) with whom I don't always agree.

Now for something with a little substance.
The "jokes" as it were or hate speech above is plagiarized. Google: "To my ex-girlfriend, for putting itching powder on your tampons" returns as its top item, Jim Norton's writings,a comic featured on HBO among other notable places. Not Tim or Trim or whoever.

I read the "jokes" and was like "hmm, that's offensive, but somewhat familiar..." and yes, it is Jim Norton also associated with Opie and Anthony the radio show.

First off, if you going to plagiarize, its better to go with someone more obscure.

Secondly, I think there is a time when comedy shows us where the line is: this is done by comedians who like Norton and could be extended to comedians we queers claim as our own like Margaret Cho. Some of the issues he presents in his skits or rants is frightenly racist--however, arguably it reflects back to us the beliefs, actions and justifications of hate, bigotry and violence in our society. It's not him, its us. We also know when we're going to hear him and can make an individual choice whether to attend or listen. A comedian of this style who takes on this character is not going to suddenly appear at a drag show. I can turn him off radio or switch the channel, because I am pretty sickened by his character. The Pride Idol is a captive audience who came to have fun, watch a competition and feel good about being there. That's something I think every attendee is entitled to when they walk and pay for a ticket and its clear that it wasn't so.

Nevertheless, my last point is that comedy and eroticization of people of color through the racialized objectification of others' bodies lacks any complexity or social commentary that could EVER possibly redeem it. It is NOT a humorous attempt to face Boston with the worst of itself, it's just the WORST of Boston.

These comments, disguised by their erotic nature as fun, do not have the same flavor as direct hate speech, but they too assault us with how insidious and truly painful racism in the queer community is. Pride is a time to "come home," but home is not always safe. We (the white queers) ask people of color to either sit back and let the neighborhood turn on them or speak up for themselves as our teachers. When do they get to have fun? When do queers of color get to come home? The answer: when we proactively work to make a Pride Week that is safe and speaks to their varied experiences.

We have our work cut out for us, so let's not spend our precious time and energy on a knock-off.

in faith, fire crotch.

Trevor Wright said...

That was amazing, thank you fire crotch ;)

Anonymous said...

Alot is being said about the Asian comments. Has anyone heard from the contestant that it was direct to? NO, you know why? He is not putting any energy into it. He did not ACCEPT it as an insult. He was there to have a good time and to do his best in the competition. I was about 4 feet away from Ms. Kitty Litter when I heard a heart felt apology to Mathew Jet. An insult is only an insult when it is ACCEPTED as an insult. If you do not accept it as an insult, then you have defused all of it power. Let's put our focus and energy into a happy and safe Pride Week. If you focus on, and accept these statements as racist, then that is exactly what you will get more of, from this comedian. If you accept it as comedy (as it was intended and also voice your opinion to the comedian and/or the Boston Pride staff in a more professional manner, then I believe we can all benefit. I hope everyone can have a great Pride Week. Congratulations to all 11 finalists.
P.S. What is the wheelchard next to the word verification for? IS this a sign for help, is this disrespectful to people that are confined to a wheelchair?

Wingy said...

Hi anonymous,

1. You make the assumption that only the person that an insult was directed to is the only person that can dictate whether something was offensive or not. That logic does not make sense.
2. "An insult is only an insult when it is ACCEPTED as an insult. If you do not accept it as an insult, then you have defused all of it power."
Again this logic does not make sense. An insult is meant to put someone down. Sure, some people can brush off some racial put-downs, some can laugh it off but it is still a racial put-down in front of a mass audience. To just remain silent when faced with racial put-downs only maintains its power.
3."Let's put our focus and energy into a happy and safe Pride Week."
Yes I agree with you. Pride should be inclusive too though and everyone should have the same right to a happy pride week without being reminded of the unchallenged racism within the gay community.
4."If you focus on, and accept these statements as racist, then that is exactly what you will get more of, from this comedian. If you accept it as comedy (as it was intended and also voice your opinion to the comedian and/or the Boston Pride staff in a more professional manner, then I believe we can all benefit."
I highly doubt that this "comedian" will continue making racist statements after that night's event. I might be wrong...I do agree, however, that we should voice our opinion but seriously, this community has a lot to work on and sometimes it takes more than just a polite tone to make that change happen.

Happy pride!

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you that I am greatly troubled over what I have been reading in this blog.

First, let me talk about MY involvement in the community. I have served on NUMEROUS boards and committees - both appointed AND elected. I have worked on outreach in the GAY and STR8 community. I have worked on more campaigns than I care to remember and I also have run for public office myself.

That being said, I would like to point out that I consider myself to be a successful gay business man who has a strong faith in God, Country and all people.

Furthermore, I have friends, collegues and supporters that range from asian to african american and every nationality in between. From male to female from gay to str8 and from young to old.

I have known Miss Kitty Litter for almost 5 years now. I consider her among my friends and a fellow supporter of GBLT issues around New England. Miss Kitty works NONSTOP and without pay in many cases for a wide range of charities and organizations. Her work is real and genuine and anyone who takes more than 30 minutes to get to know her might know that ...

Miss Kitty is an educated individual who uses humor to engage audiences - she is a true Shock Jock Drag Queen - people know that this is how she is and quite frankly, people expect it. She spent her early years in comedy and she is a born comedian. One thing that I admire most about Kitty is that she NEVER discriminates - she is an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY comedian. No one, herself and her closest friends included, are exempt from her humor. In this day and age of people being so hyper sensative about being PC, I think we need to take a step back and really look at the WHOLE picture. There are people out there - very mean, biggoted, evil people out there - that mean every word of what they say ... Kitty is NOT one of those people. So everyone should lighten up and take her comments for what they are meant to be - harmless "teasing" and let us unite to fight the real evil that exists in our world.

And just as a point of reference, one of Miss Kitty's closest and dearest friends happens to be this years Miss Gay RI 2007 - Miss Asia ... who happens to be ... you guess it ... ASIAN!!!

Anonymous said...

Miss Kity Litter said some racist things when trying to be funny. She offended some people. She apologized. She probly does a lot of good work. Let's move on now.

carlos said...

Something I noticed while reading through all the comments on this topic, that rather disturbed me: At least two of you referred to whites as "the more privelaged" race/ethnicity and all others as the "less priveleged."

Is this not in and of itself racist and promoting reverse racism? And not one of you caught or responded to this little fact.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I am a 28 year old, bisexual white male of full Portuguese descent. I grew up in the projects where we were one of two white families. My mother scrubbed rectory floors and sewed holes in the underwear of priests to put my sister and I through catholic school where we were constantly disciminated against for being poor.

I went to high school in South Providence where whites were the minority. This was never an isssue for me as I was used to being the minority, until this one black girl came to our school and refused to call me by name, instead dubbing me "damn whitey." One day I finally snapped back at her, "Look bitch, I'm Portuguese, 100%, and my father's forefathers had nothing to do with the civil war, in fact we have black in our culture through Cape Verdi, as well as Hispanic through Brazil. From this point on, you will refer to me by name unless you want me to start referring to you in an equally derogatory manner over your skin pigmentation."

I got full scholarships to college. Why? Not because of my color or lack thereof, but because I busted my ass for 12 years to get it. I read a lot. I went to all classes with near perfect attendence year after year. I studied, I did extra credit, went to summer school every year by choice, and I tutored fellow classmates who didn't grasp things being taught as well as I did.

And yes, I quit college after my first year, having become one of those intellectual snobs who felt the honors classes at RIC the government paid to put me through were "beneath me" and nothing more than a recap of the last 12 years, therefore a total waste of my time and state funds.

Since then, as one would imagine, I had nothing but shit, dead-end jobs barely over minimum wage. Currently I have been stuck unemployed and living at home with my father. Every day is a struggle. There isn't always food. There's never enough gas. And so on.

How in the hell does this make me the more priveleged race? It's comments and assumptions like that that keep race an issue. Where's the voice speaking up for me in my pasty pallor? I find that most people who cry racism are far better off than me, financially and so on. You have better jobs, better pay, plenty of food, better cars, etc. Not to mention opportunities in school and work available only to your ethnicity.

Step up to the millenium people and put the past behind you. Look around, it sucks for almost all of us in these times. We are in a recession, layoffs abound, war rages on denting our economy even more, and it doesn't matter if you're black, white, spanish, or asian. Period. At this point we are simply a struggling AMERICA, one and all.

If we were still so rascist as a society than how is it a black man currently stands the biggest chance of leading our nation next?

The fastest way to stop racism is to stop turning everything into a racist issue, and especially stop assuming any one race is somehow more priveleged than the others. I know just as many white families on welfare and food assistance as I do families of every other race out there.

Open your eyes and focus your energies on the issues that do still exist today--war; the environment; dispelling stereotypes by your actions, not by staging a coup over someone who said things you didn't like.

Do what you will with what I have said, and think what you will think, but at least if you are bringing up race look at it from all sides and not from outdated perceptions that rarely actually apply in today's times, especially in places like Boston and Providence where race truly is not an issue.

You want to see true modern racism? Move to the deep south and then you'll see the difference between an off color comment and people that would murder you for having skin that is of color.