As you are aware, a bunch of members of the lgbt and Black GT communities were quite upset with Macklemore after hearing some news about his performance yesterday at the Grammys. We got even more grossed out after we actually saw the rushed, uber-stunt of a performance.

I wish that I could say that I felt relief in my anger after discussing/venting about it on GT, a place where I expect a certain intelligent discussion but I cannot say that. A lot of people had great things to say, but I simply can't believe how many people felt it appropriate to come in and defend him. I woke up this morning with some doozies in my inbox and now you all get to hear about it since I am saddened by it. A sampling of the defenses:

1) "I misinterpreted everyone's critiques of this one ally as an attack on all allies and I am angry about that. You are scaring away allies and the lgbt movement needs allies. I don't know why a guy can't just write a song." (often this defense is used by other allies - it's the "I'm X and I'm nothing like you say" defense, see 'white feminism' and all the women who will instantly jump in to remind you that they are not like that and would you please stop generalizing. It's just that in this case, no one was generalizing in the first place. People are just looking for something to take personally.)


No one is critiquing all allies wholesale here. I don't know how you read 'Macklemore' and somehow substituted 'all allies' in your mind, but no one ever said that. Allies should definitely be held to account when they are given huge audiences to speak. I can't abide all this 'oh but he's trying' stuff. Try harder. He has all the resources he could ever need to do this right if he desired.

2) "Same love is such a simple message and that's why it works. A lot of people in small towns and rural areas don't understand the issues and boiling it down into such a simple message in such a great song has helped many turn to our side. We need the message to be simplistic so that small town folks can understand it and hear it."

This is a really backhanded elitist attack on 'small town folks' - you should have just said 'stupid hicks' so we know what you are really saying here. Call me crazy, but I have more faith in small town folks intelligence than that. More so, frankly 'same love' sounds suspiciously close to 'we're just like you' which is a very pro-assimilation message and therefore is a line which is actually seen as damaging to a lot of us in the lgbt umbrella rather than being a positive message.


3) "It's not his fault that the mainstream media is supremely homophobic and chose him because of it. He didn't ask to be the face of the movement, the media put him there."

For one, he absolutely asked to be put there, he created an entire song about it while he was coming off his 'Thrift Shop' success*. For two, if he is so into lgbt rights, why has he not signal boosted when given the audience by the mainstream media? That is the whole point of signal boosting - knowing the media chose you because they are homophobic/racist and using that platform to educate them about their own homophobia and racism/share the audience with the group you are fighting for/with. That is the whole point.

4) "The media chose him in the first place because he is popular, if they chose a less popular artist because they were lgbt, they would have to explain why this person didn't have mainstream success. They would have to explain why straight people prefer other straight people before every show."

I gotta say this one is a bit rarer although possibly the worst. In the various threads I have talked about this over the last year, I've only got this or some variation on it a few times, but it's a good one, no? I simply can't believe someone would argue against teaching straight people about systemic homophobia. If Macklemore found just one lgbt rapper and promoted him/her at even one major performance and explained why we had never heard about him/her before this - I mean fuck isn't that exactly what activism is trying to achieve? Personally, if he did this even one time I would be happy to write glowing praise of the event.

I just don't understand frankly how that argument is a negative consequence and not an example of 'The Best Thing Ever'.

Putting all that aside though? When a bunch of minorities are complaining about their oppression on a post created specifically for that purpose, gtfo with your apologetic comments. Argue for Mackemore in threads where people are inviting discussion - not places that minorities have created for the sole purpose of venting their frustrations. It's insulting and hurtful.


*It has been brought to my attention that Macklemore created this song before Thrift Shop. Fair enough. I think the main point still stands though - he created and promoted the song, he asked to be put in the position he is in.