Ignorance, my friend, is prevalent everywhere. In every fiber of the daily grind, in every corner of the globe. If you don’t think it is – my friend, you gotta wake up and smell the coffee. Regardless of how you feel and of how prevalent you feel ignorance is in this world and in this time, it exists and for the near future, is here to stay. When we talk of ignorance, we generally are talking of racial and/or ethnic discrimination – especially here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. But the other prevalent ignorance that is out there is the attitude and prejudice towards homosexual people. Let me say this, I do not agree with homosexuality and do think that it is wrong – but if two people choose to live their lives in that manner, then that is for them to decide and, ultimately, for God to judge – not us. This topic has come to mind because of comments made by former NBA-Player Tim Hardaway (he of the killer crossover) yesterday. He came on a Miami radio show and blatantly said, word for word, “I hate gay people” (click the quote to hear his actual comments). He was responding to John Amaechi, a former NBA player who last week came out (no pun intended) and announced that he is gay – and coincidentally enough, also announced that he is coming out (once again – bad choice of words) with a tell-all book about the life of a gay player in the NBA.
One thing I hate above all is ignorance. If you feel a certain way because of certain beliefs (ardent religious beliefs), then I understand and respect your viewpoint. What I don’t understand is the vehement hatred towards homosexual people shared by so many people – even in these modern, supposedly more open-minded times. I am not saying that you have to agree with what they do or think that it is right – but do not belittle the gay community. Do not degrade them or look down upon them as if you or anyone else is better than any member of that community. Like I said before, that is not for us to decide. What I am wondering is how he will be received in the black community. The black community has a unfortunate, albeit true history of lacking tolerance when it comes to homosexuality. Being a black, gay male is nearly an impossible thing to be publicly – you will be ridiculed and misunderstood by many of your own community. If you aren’t accepted by those of your very same community and/or ethnicity, then does it even matter if the rest of the world accepts you??
The thing that bothers me the most is that people want to play the morality card when arguing against something, but then tossing that very card out the window when relevant to their own personal issues. Be consistent and fair – that is all I ask. There is a colossal difference between disagreeing with something respectfully and disagreeing with something disrespectfully. I hope that everyone can be mindful of others’ lifestyle and choices. Some people are concerned that Amaechi coincided his announcement with the release of his book – so the question begs, did he “come out” just so he could sell more books?? Truth be told, he probably did, but I am not in an uproar or anything like that like other people are. He capitalized on a moment. I cannot blame him for that. I just hope that he stays steadfast in his campaign to raise the awareness of the American people of homosexuals and to alleviate the ignorant perspective and narrow-minded mindset that has caused thousands of gays to live in obscurity and fear.
I am not gay and I do think that homosexuality is wrong, but I can be an intelligent, educated, and open-minded person when discussing the matter. I do not hold a person’s sexuality against them or try to belittle them or degrade them because of that. I just hope that we can come to a point as people where we can alleviate and eventually, eradicate this prevalent ignorance.