Anonymous asked: Hi! Just wanted to say I just discovered your blog and have been going through it. (sorry if that sounds creepy lol) i really like it! i did notice you reblog some childish gambino stuff and i was just wondering if you were aware he's actually a pretty crappy person sometimes?? you can find a list of reasons on tumblr's "yourfavisproblematic" but i just wanted to let you know or see if you did know??
Bout to lose some followers here let’s go.
Yeah. I know. I know that Donald Glover has some shitty fucking opinions. I know he has said some unforgivable stuff. I know his music is misogynistic. I know he makes rape jokes. I know he uses the words “midget” and “faggot” and “retarded.” Trust me. I fucking know.
And you know what? I can recite word for word three of his albums. His stand up is among my all time favorites.
I’m not excusing shit he says. Not at all. By all accounts he should rank highly on the self-congratulatory list of Tumblr’s “Most Problematic Faves.” If I could sit down and talk to him — explain my positions on the matters listed above — I absolutely would. I would not hesitate to outline why I find his reasoning insufficient. And if he rejected my reasoning I would be pretty upset. I’m not denying any of that.
And, his music is incredibly important to me. Camp got me through a time in my life when I was so fucking angry I couldn’t stand it. Listening to his words, his infuriated diatribes, his shitty language, his downright misogynistic and offensive content, it was a sort of cathartic release for me. Sometimes the only thing that got me to class was playing his EP on loop to and from my community college campus.
Also, he’s a smart dude. Sometimes he says remarkably intelligent things. He has a unique perspective on things like racism and white privilege. I appreciate that perspective.
Despite Tumblr’s black and white belief system — that someone who says something awful has nothing of worth to contribute to any conversation ever — there is a significant grey area when it comes to, you know, people. Shockingly, people can be both problematic and pithy in regards to even social issues. People are not blog posts. You can’t reduce them to anything so simple as that. I have grown up — most of us have grown up — in a culture that perpetuates “problematic” behavior. My faves are problematic. Your faves are problematic. Everyone’s faves are fucking problematic.
Everything you love can be shitty if you see it from a different perspective. Everything. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t address that shittiness — we should. I’m just saying that no one is exempt. I hate yourfaveisproblematic. I hate it with every fiber of my being. Because it hides under the guise of education. It’s not about education. It’s about hurting people and taking things from them and showing them that their feelings aren’t important. “Oh you love this thing? Here’s what’s wrong with it.” It’s obnoxious. It’s reductive. It’s blatantly ignorant in terms of what the real fucking world is like.
I am problematic. Oh if yourfaveisproblematic made a list about me? Oh it would say some very shitty out of context things.
- Defends Donald Glover! (despite the fact that I’m not defending him)
- Likes Silence of The Lambs! (even though I know it’s shitty and trans exclusionary and am intending to write an academic paper about it.)
- Defends John Green! (100% true come at me)
- Wrote a review of Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides using the word “hermaphrodite.” (also true, until I changed it after realizing that “hermaphrodite” is no longer an acceptable term for intersex individuals which I wasn’t aware of because the book takes place in the seventies and uses the former)
- After originally coming out as bisexual jokingly called herself “half-gay” (also true, though I understand now how that can be offensive)
- fat shames! (myself. they literally listed John Green as fatshaming because he fatshamed himself. So this goes on the list.)
- Racist! (because when I was eleven and lived in my child bubble of white privilege I was confused by things like black history month and black entertainment television. Yes, I used to be one of those white people who didn’t understand why white people didn’t have channels and months. Until of course, it dawned on me, that we have all the channels. We have all the months. All the time.)
- Hums along to Iggy Azalea! (BECAUSE DAMMIT IT’S CATCHY AND I HATE IT. I-G-G-WHY)
I am not a perfect person. My past is littered with problematic debris. I am still learning. I still make mistakes. And sometimes myfaveisproblematic points out the genuinely shitty/racist/sexist/transphobic/homophobic shit that people do and say. And sometimes they stretch events beyond recognition and present innocent ignorance as hard-core hatred.
That’s not the case with Donald Glover. He really has said some nasty fucking things.
And it doesn’t change the fact that, inexplicably, I like his work. I love his music. A lot of the time I find his twitter rants and interview snippets to be clever and resonant.
And should I apologize for that? For a problematic human still remaining my fave? Maybe. I don’t know. Because the world is not a series of absolutes. It’s messy and dumb and complicated. It’s not so simple as a bulleted list of links. It’s just not.
I mean, as much as I hate tumblr’s tendency to treat people like monsters over minor issues, this is kind of a cop-out to me.
There’s a really, really big difference between enjoying a shitty person’s work and them “remaining your fave” despite being a shitty person.
For example, I like Chris Brown’s music. Always have. The shit is catchy. I imagine the same is true for Childish Gambino’s music for many people. But even though I secretly enjoy when his song comes on the radio or I illegally downloaded a song of his that I couldn’t get out of my head, it doesn’t justify praising him or giving him my money or views or concert attendance or “twitter followship” or reblogs or whatever. Because, in his eyes, that makes me a fan. And I would never give someone like Chris Brown that kind of satisfaction.
Obviously Donald Glover is not on the same level as Chris Brown when it comes to shittiness, but at the end of the day they’re both guilty of doing and saying incredibly shitty things that have essentially been forgotten or forgiven by their industry because they still have fans that value their talent over their character.
Like you said, Donald Glover is a smart guy. That makes it THAT MUCH WORSE that he still freely and unapologetically uses words like faggot, retarded, midget, bitches, etc. and perpetuates rape culture on a SEVERE level that goes far beyond “rape jokes.” Because he does not have the excuse of ignorance in that arena. He speaks at length about racism and how all black people are assumed criminals because of their race, and yet equates all Asian people with the Virginia Tech massacre? Equates Persian people with 9/11?
Sean Penn is an incredible actor and humanitarian. Woody Allen is an incredible director and storyteller. Adolf Hitler was a wonderful artist. Ted Bundy was “smart.”
Childish Gambino may not be “as bad” as those people, but at what point do we draw the line? I hate yourfaveisproblematic, but sometimes they have a point. People like this - who despite being “smart” or “funny” or “talented” say and do absolutely inexcusable things - do not deserve the level of consideration you’re giving Donald Glover. It sucks finding out someone you admire is a shitty person, but how can you be angry about ineffective activism while defending your right to openly support someone you know to be a racist, ableist, homophobic misogynist? Whose success in spite of those views only serves to cement the oppression that you yourself experience?
Danneel & Jensen Ackles x Austin, TX