Shirley Q. Liquor Celebrates Racism and Gets (Gay) Applause
White gay men talk a good game about how much they love strong Black women like Tina Turner, Mary J. Blige and Janet Jackson. But when it really comes down to it white gay men consider the lives of Black women spectacle to entertain themselves with and in the case of the white man in blackface known as Shirley Q. Liquor to denigrate, humiliate and profit from. Shirley Q. Liquor is in the words of the self-described “forty-five-year-old, fat, gay white man” who created the character “a welfare mother with nineteen kids who guzzles malt liquor, and drives a Caddy.”
I had not thought much about Shirley Q. Liquor until blogger/activist Jasmyne Cannick brought him to my attention with her post My Apologies to Black Women for Gay America and Charles Knipp. Knipp is the “forty-five-year-old, fat, gay white man” who created Shirley Q. Liquor. He likes to justify his “comedy” by saying that his performances are about “lancing the boil of institutionized racism.” I guess that’s why he gave Shirley Q. Liquor nineteen kids with names like Cheeto, Orangello, Chlamydia, and Kmartina. Because performing a character in blackface based on Ronald Reagan’s grotesque image of a “welfare queen” and having her name her kids after STDs is really how to break down racist stereotypes and prejudices.
I have never been under the illusion that white GLBT people had nearly as much respect for racial and ethnic diversity as they claim. Just look at virtually any non-people of color specific gay media and you would think with all of the snow that we had descended into a permanent ice age. But, the fact that this kind of obviously racist drivel is celebrated by white gays even as they get in a hissy fit over the white gay teens on As the World Turns not being able to kiss makes my stomach churn.
Where is the kind outrage that white gays expressed justifiably expressed over Donnie McClurkin’s appearance at a Obama campaign event over Charles Knipp’s exploitative and offensive performances?
Jasmyne has more, much more on Shirley Q. Liquor and her white gay following.