As I sat down to write, I realized this is my first post since the annual calendar rolled over, so, Happy New Year to all of you! I pray 2019 has started as you hoped and if not, that each day brings you closer to what you would like.
The space between my last post and this was necessary for me to successfully finish my Fall semester (I received four A’s), breathe, get through the holidays and start my final semester of THIS degree on January 2nd. I graduate in the Spring. However, I must interrupt my academic focus to address some bullshit I heard the other day that I cannot seem to stop thinking about. Hopefully after I write about it, I can be done with it.
Typically, I refrain, despite the encouragement to do otherwise, from engaging in the day-to-day shenanigans of our so-called celebrities. My reasons for opting-out are many, ranging from: it’s just too easy to it’s just too damned ridiculous! However, when I do encounter those moments that can be used to spark a beneficial conversation, what one may call ‘a teachable moment,’ I speak up. So, let’s address this…
I am sure you are aware of the controversy surrounding him, yes? If not, here it is in a nutshell: Hart got tapped to host the Oscars. Great. Black Man. Big Night. Then, as is the norm these days, anything and everything one says comes back to be held up to the judgmental light of scrutiny, celebrity or not. So, bigoted comments Hart made in the past regarding the LGBTQ community with specificity on how he would respond to his son if he were to be gay, resurfaced. Hart stepped down from hosting the evening and all social-media hell broke loose. Hart gave a lukewarm apology on social media citing his “growth as a man,” blah blah blah and ended up on Ellen. Ellen forgave his prior verbal ignorance and indiscretion, going so far as to encourage the Academy to reinstate him as the Oscars’ host. I guess, if the industry’s leading gay lady can forgive, everyone else should. I shook my head and kept it moving. Until I saw Hart on Good Morning America…
Michael Strahan interviewed Hart last week. The conversation was to center around two things: the controversy and Hart’s upcoming movie. He started with the controversy. And, it is here that I engaged and remain so. When asked how he (Hart) feels about what has transpired since his bigoted and ignorant comments had surfaced and what he would like to say now about them his response (and I will paraphrase, but you may trust the integrity of my doing so) was: “I am done talking about that. I have addressed it. I have apologized. And now I am moving on. It is done. I am done with it. That was yesterday’s news. I am now on today. If you accept my apology, great. If not, that is okay too. I am done talking about that.” Okay. He is done. But I have just begun!
Who the fuck does that ignorant, arrogant black man think he is?! “I am done with it”?! How does he get to be both the one who commits the offense and the one who decides it is time for the wound to be sutured shut?!? Rule number one of being an asshole: Yes, it is your right to be one. But it is NOT your right to tell the world how to react to your being one. What a pompous ass! Way to go showing your growth and contrition, Hart! Perhaps, also, your “apology” may have resonated more sincerely had it not included the word “if.” People, an apology must never include the word ‘if.’ “I’m sorry if I hurt you, I’m sorry if what I said made you feel badly.” Ahm… the only reason we are having this conversation, jackass, is that I have already pointed out that what you did or said did hurt. Where in that is the uncertainty that necessitates the use of an “if”?
So, Hart if’ed the LGBTQ community and then decided it was time everyone got over his callous and hateful statements. He was fed-up with it, so everyone should move on. He has “grown” and he has “learned” and now, “he is done with it.” What an absolutely fantastic world it would begin to be if we, the lesser arrogant, more sensible and sensitive human beings, would show Hart just how “done” we were with him by boycotting his shows and movies. But alas, like some of you have done with the likes of R. Kelly for years, you will continue to find a way to justify separating the inferior-man from their supposed-talent. Perhaps then, we are responsible for creating the arrogance in Hart that allows him to be “done” with his two-week half-assed attempt at contrition. Unlike yall however, I find nothing about him or this, funny.
Do not misunderstand my rejection of Hart with my inability to forgive. Let me be clear however: it is precisely so-called apologies like Hart’s and the subsequent bad or arrogant behavior that make forgiveness difficult. This post would not have happened had Hart responded to Strahan somewhat like this: “I continue to be ashamed of the comments I made in the past and the light in which it portrayed me. As a man who believes himself to have evolved from those moments, I hope it possible that that growth, through my subsequent behavior, will become evident. All I can do from this moment onward, is to continue to live the life that will eventually belie that prior ignorant man and in doing so, prove the sincerity of my apologies.” Not an “if” or arrogance in sight. Instead, contrition, humility, sincerity and purpose.
Now, I’m done.