Toronto Blue Jays player suspended for writing “f-g” on his face during game

Good for the Blue Jays.

We wrote about this yesterday.

Though it doesn’t sound like Escobar entirely “gets it”:

Escobar insisted the word is often used within teams and by Latinos and “I didn’t see it as something bad at the time.”

“For us, it doesn’t have the significance to the way it’s being interpreted now,” he said. “It’s a word without a meaning.”

“I don’t have anything against homosexuals,” he said, adding he didn’t mean for the term to be “misinterpreted” by the gay community.

Misinterpreted?

I speak Spanish. I know how the word is used by Latinos. It’s the same way it’s used by Greeks. And the same way it’s used by Americans when they pronounce something to be “gay.” It’s a way of knock something or someone in a somewhat “light-hearted” way.

And there’s a reason that that word is used in many cultures as a put down. Because those cultures have contempt for gay people.

A Jewish friend was telling me that someone actually used the expression “to Jew down” with him recently. He was astonished, and called the guy on it. The guy didn’t quite get his concern.

A lot of people don’t get all of the subtleties of bigotry. And it can be subtle. It’s not always so obvious as a white guy calling a black guy the n-word. Sometimes it’s a candy company that thinks violence against gays is funny. Sometimes it’s a gay guy calling other gay guys bad parents.

But the root of it all is society’s subtle, and overt, messaging that being gay is bad. And the culture picks up on that, and Jay Leno keeps telling f-g jokes – because they’re funny – and Ron Howard starts putting using the word “gay” as a pejorative in his movies – because it’s funny.

People find all sorts of reasons to defend their use of bigoted language. Like this baseball player saying the word “f-g” in Spanish doesn’t even mean “gay.”

That’s because the bigotry is so pervasive and so accepted that it’s second-nature.

Yeah, well, not any more.

PS Apparently he’s now trotting out the defense that his hair stylist and home decorator are gay.  Seriously.

“My home decorator is gay, my hair stylist is gay and I have several friends that are gay. And they haven’t felt offended about the situation.”


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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