Michelle Shocked, now there’s an apt name.
I had heard about the controversy over singer Michelle Shocked’s comments at a recent concert in San Francisco, no less, but I kind of wanted to hear her comments, for, real before deciding. Especially when I saw her apology earlier today, which she claimed she’s not anti-gay, and her comments were misunderstood, she was referring to how others think:
And to those fans who are disappointed by what they’ve heard or think I said, I’m very sorry: I don’t always express myself as clearly as I should. But don’t believe everything you read on facebook or twitter. My view of homosexualtiy has changed not one iota. I judge not. And my statement equating repeal of Prop 8 with the coming of the End Times was neither literal nor ironic: it was a description of how some folks – not me – feel about gay marriage.
Well, I just listened to the audio (below), and Michelle Shocked’s apology is slightly off-kilter. She didn’t sound like she was speaking on behalf of others. She seemed to clearly be saying what she thinks. The audience was ticked, and she certainly didn’t try to explain what she meant – she didn’t explain that she was simply quoting religious right crazies. It was pretty clear that these were her own views.
Transcript of Michelle Shocked’s anti-gay comments
John Becker took the time to write out some of the transcript of her comments:
Michelle Shocked: So it’s not too late. You can jump into this Jesus gang anytime you want. But, um, I was in a prayer meeting yesterday, and you’ve gotta appreciate how scared, how scared folks on that side of the equation are. I mean, from their vantage point — and I really shouldn’t say ‘their,’ because it’s mine, too — we are nearly at the end of time. And from our vantage point, we’re gonna be, uhhh, I think maybe Chinese water torture is gonna be the means, the method — once Prop 8 gets, uh, instated, and once, um, preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the homosexuals, I’m pretty sure that that will be the signal for Jesus to come on back….
Folks wonder about my sexuality, but denying being gay is like saying I never beat my husband. My sexuality is not at issue. What is being questioned is my support for the LGBT community, and that has never wavered. Music and activism have always been part of my work and my journey, which I hope and intend to continue. I’d like to say this was a publicity stunt, but I’m really not that clever, and I’m definitely not that cynical.
But I am damn sorry. If I could repeat the evening, I would make a clearer distinction between a set of beliefs I abhor, and my human sympathy for the folks who hold them. I say this not because I want to look better. I have no wish to hide my faults, and – clearly – I couldn’t if I tried.
Hmm. Hard to tell what part of that was misunderstood.
Listen for yourself. The relevant parts are at 4:37 and 7:40. Though there are other. I do think that her comment about someone tweeting, was meant to be ironic – she was saying “now people are going to misunderstand me.” So I can accept that that line isn’t fairly ascribed to her. But the rest of what Michelle Shocked said, yeah – they’re her words.
It’s a bit weird. Because her apology was so, seemingly, from the heart – it really is an awfully good apology. Is it possible she had no idea what she was saying that evening? Perhaps not quite herself, due to a little booze or something else? It’s hard to reconcile that rather sincere apology with what she said.