In my opinion we live in a patriarchal society that encourages hetero-normative behaviours and attitudes like that of Lord Jamar. As a queer woman of color I experience the ale’s of ‘white privilege’ daily. I totally agree with Lord Jamar’s point about ‘white privilege’ and the fear of being extinguished at the expense of that privilege is terrifying. A system that must start with ‘white people’ accepting that such privilege exists in order to deconstruct it. It’s like when ‘white people’ proclaim something as fact, it is often more socially valued in the case Macklemore; being thrust into view as a respected hip hop artist when black men created the very foundation on where he stands, and often not being honored for that (KRS-1 one of the greatest artists of all time never receiving a Grammy is an example of this). However, I do feel that his view point highlight’s a much different issue for me, and that being that homosexuality has no place in hip hop? This is troubling for me having grown up at the height of hip hop culture. I feel like if not Macklemore, then who will begin conversations about homosexuality’s rightful place in hip hop?
We are persuaded to believe that human sexuality is trapped, not only within the dichotomy of male and female genders, but within the subtext of hetero-normality. I don’t know Lord Jamar, but I’m all to familiar with view points like his. I’m aware that while my opinions don’t make them fact, neither does his. I’ve found his view on this disheartening because contrary to popular belief “being black and male is a privilege (often at the expense of femininity). Female hip hop artists have struggled to be respected as contributing members to this art form. Lord Jamar’s opinion is dis-empowering not only to me, but within hip hop, and a mainstream communities. As I compare and contrast “abilities” of masculine vs. feminine, this suggestion of “weakness” being associated with “gay” are defeatist and inaccurate. I’m interested in understanding how one begins deconstructing the influence of homophobic stereotypes like these? When will homosexual stigma stop running deep in the social practices of both mainstream and grassroots rap and hip hop? When will masculinity stop being a prerequisite to privilege? Privilege often happens at the expense of others. His opinion not only devalues, but supports systems of oppression and violence towards homosexual communities systematically marginalized by capitalism. -Gracie