Kevin Hart: Homophobia Deserves No Apology?

I’m sure by now, most people are aware of the Kevin Hart “Oscar Scandal.” If you haven’t, I would suggest reviewing this article “Kevin Hart Steps Down as Oscars Host After Criticism Over Homophobic Tweets” by NY Times author Jacey Fortin. I recently decided to rejoin the social media world, and to my surprise, Twitter has managed to obtain most of my attention out of SnapChat, and Instagram. It only seemed right that not even weeks after making my account (I haven’t even reached 500 tweets yet) that I manage to get into a “Twitter Battle” unexpectedly.

Here are the tweets by Kevin Hart that sparked the fire:

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Me being my curious self, I didn’t initially comment on any tweet, despite seeing very highly offensive language and a theme that had a blatant disregard to, in my opinion, to a community that has been notoriously called a “fag***” or anything under the sun that is HIV/AIDS and/or relating to it. I honestly did not mind the fag*** part. I mean, not to say that it is a choice word to use, but for me, after hearing it literally for over two decades now and being called one for just as long: the word just doesn’t have any power on me, over me, and quite frankly, is a poor indication of the ability to creatively insult someone. Or as “us gays” love to say: READ!

However, after seeing so much disregard, and seeing this tweet, I felt compelled to say something:

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I tried to screen capture the SEVERAL responses I got, but after DAYS of going back and forth, the individuals (yes, there just always has to be a team of heterosexual men to take down ONE gay) deleted their tweets. However, after my initial aforementioned tweet, I was called everything under the sun: a homo, demon, I needed to be cleansed, I have psychiatric problems…. etc. Ironically, none of them wanted to address the issue at hand, which I will get to in a few. After further investigation, I found that ALL of the tweets that were in response to mine were from: Heterosexual Nigerian men. Let’s just say, I got even more triggered.

You see, for decades, I, and several other black gay men, have been verbally and/or physically assaulted by heterosexual black men. I would call them counterparts, but the adjective just doesn’t seem fitting considering the majority opinion from them; including peer to Kevin Hart, comedian D.L. Hughley. I found it very vexing and exasperating that so many black men (gay and straight) agree with Kevin’s stance to not apologize for his tweets. Which honestly, is the issue for me. So let’s get RIGHT TO IT.

The issue that I have is that for as long as I can remember, my parents have always taught me that I needed to be educated. Not just for the sake of being educated but that Caucasians expect me to be, uneducated. It also just so happens that I love (and am good) in the realm of science. Personally, the fact that a black man, who he himself said “I am 40, those tweets were from 10 years ago and I have grown and shouldn’t have to apologize” is using HIV/AIDS, something that has killed millions of black people, even in the subsequent 10 years Kevin so graciously decided to point out to invalidate his inability to see the impact of his tweet,  and had the audacity to disguise it as a “joke.” As a black person, I not only find NOTHING humorous about anyone dying, especially in my community, and particularly from a disease that has ripped apart so many black lives, across the GLOBE.

Let’s do a quick fact check shall we (Feel free to pause the images to truly absorb the information):

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  • As of 2017, the global number of people living with HIV is 36.9 [31.1−43.9] million, compared to 27.4 million [23.1–32.6 million] in 2000, indicating a continued transmission of HIV despite reductions in incidence, and the benefits of significantly expanded access to antiretroviral, which have helped to reduce the number of people dying from HIV-related causes (Global Health Observatory (GHO) data)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa remains most severely affected, with 1 in every 25 adults (4.1%) living with HIV and accounting for over two-thirds of the people living with HIV worldwide.
  • Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world and one of the highest rates of new infection in sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Although HIV prevalence among adults is much less (2.8%) than other sub-Saharan African countries such as South Africa (18.8%) and Zambia (11.5%), the size of Nigeria’s population means 3.1 million people were living with HIV in 2017. (HIV AND AIDS IN NIGERIA)
  • Unprotected heterosexual sex accounts for 80% of new HIV infections in Nigeria, with the majority of remaining HIV infections occurring in key affected populations such as sex workers. (HIV AND AIDS IN NIGERIA)
    • I specifically wanted to indicate this because there seems to be a common misconception that HIV/AIDS is a homosexual disease.

I ask you this, seriously, black, white, other, but SPECIFICALLY Black/African people: are these statistics humorous to you? They certainly are not to me, hence why I got in such a “Twitter Battle” debating the REAL topic at hand. A lot of the Nigerians in which I was going back and fourth with, could only insult ME but failed to realize the magnitude of the climate in which they live in. One, even went on to say “If I do get AIDS, it’s going to be from a pu$$y not ass like you f@g.”

I leave you with this: I can honestly careless what anyone calls me. I’m VERY secure with myself and it takes a LOT these days, particularly with words, to really break me down. I find it very saddening that (A) there is a blatant ignorance regarding HIV/AIDS among black individuals, particularly Nigerians, {or shall I say based off of the tweets I seen} (B) black people, including Kevin Hart and others like him, would rather joke about HIV/AIDS, instead of disseminating information to assist others, specifically their own community that happens to be the most affected by the disease (C) there is still a prominent amount of  black heterosexuals that have a blatant disregard to and for black homosexuals and will do ANYTHING they can to express such, even if that means overlooking the FACTS that blacks account for the highest demographic group, globally, for HIV/AIDS infection.

Additionally, for the gay and bisexual Americans that feel nothing was wrong with Kevin Hart’s tweets: I leave you with this:

  • Blacks/African Americans account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those who have ever received an AIDS diagnosis, compared to other races/ethnicities.
  • HIV diagnoses among African American gay and bisexual men aged 25 to 34 increased 30%.

In conclusion, we, as a community, have to do better, and become more knowledgable so that we do not have to continue to experience this devastation. Kevin Hart stated that his tweets were ten years ago, as if that means anything to me, because ten years ago, HIV/AIDS was still dismantling the black community, specifically, the black gay and bisexual communities. I frankly do not care how you feel about homosexuals, that’s your business, but I urge you to do your research before you decide to open your mouth in a negative manner. I also urge you,  if you’re black/African-American and specifically Nigerian, that you stop thinking HIV/AIDS is a joke or anything to hurl in a negative way towards someone; it’s not. For that reason, in my opinion, that is why Kevin Hart got cancelled from the Oscars. Deservingly so.

  • Alex N. Wanderland

 

P.S. If your rebuttal (like some of the Nigerians decided to state) is that “Kevin Hart talks about his own son,” you failed to miss the point. Is Kevin Hart saying his son looks like an “AIDS billboard?” Rather Kevin Hart doesn’t want his son to be gay or not, that is between Kevin Hart and HIS son. If he wants to risk his son growing up to resent him, that’s on him. Furthermore, I also challenge such a rebuttal to say; do you know how many gay children get killed just for being or suspected of being gay? That in and of itself is nothing to joke about. Just read this article that was written in June 2018:

Man charged with killing boy, 10, who reportedly came out as gay