Tuesday, January 23, 2007
more on isaiah


So here is the statement that Isaiah Washington issued after ABC issued it's statement about 'taking this situation seriously'...Forced to own up and say something to save his job, possibly?
Here are his words:

"I apologize to T.R., my colleagues, the fans of the show and especially the lesbian and gay community for using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance. By repeating the word Monday night, I marred what should have been a perfect night for everyone who works on 'Grey's Anatomy.' I can neither defend nor explain my behavior. I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I've asked for help.

"I know the power of words, especially those that demean. I realize that by using one filled with disrespect I have hurt more than T.R. and my colleagues. With one word, I've hurt everyone who has struggled for the respect so many of us take for granted. I welcome the chance to meet with leaders of the gay and lesbian community to apologize in person and to talk about what I can do to heal the wounds I've opened.

"T.R.'s courage throughout this entire episode speaks to his tremendous character. I hold his talent, and T.R. as a person, in high esteem. I know a mere apology will not end this, and I intend to let my future actions prove my sincerity."

It is almost sickening in it's 'mea culpa' after his very strong denial that he had ever said anything like this at all.
Why am I going on about this?
Because I think this incident points up how so many people in our country think it is okay to use language like Mr. Washington did, when it comes to gay people....Somehow, that name calling of a gay person is not as awful as attacking other minorities....The Mel Gibson remarks about Jews; The Michael Richards remarks about Blacks; And now, Isaiah Washington's remarks about gays....

Reading elsewhere about this situation, a person who I respect a great deal had this very cogent thought and I repeat it here and that is the following: If the situation had been reversed and T.R. Knight had called Isaiah Washington the N-Word, (Forgive the euphemism), T.R. Knight would probably have been fired on the spot, back in October....but, this respected person went on to say, that it seems like a double standard in this case, and I agree. And maybe it's because so very many people in this country in their hearts, do not think it is 'okay' to be gay in the first place and have hatred in their heart, where gay people are concerned. And there are laws all over the place in our country that bear that out...and more laws contemplated, including one from our President who would like to write this prejudice into our constitution....

These are scary times we live in on so very many levels and the hatred that seems to be seething everywhere in so called decent people, scares the hell out of me! What will change that? The only thing that will ever change that is if we live our lives as Martin Luther King said we need to....
With love.

Here is a quotation from a speech that Martin Luther King gave in August of 1967 to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference...


"I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind's problems. And I'm going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn't popular to talk about it in some circles today. I'm not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love, I'm talking about a strong, demanding love. And I have seen too much hate. I've seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I've seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who has love has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality."

And he also said in another speech earlier that same year....

"Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that."

These words are just as meaningful today as they were 40 years ago....
I hope Isaiah Washington can find love in his heart, and Mel Gibson and Michael Richards, too, and anyone else he feels hatred in their hearts, and that that changes something in them because as Martin Luther King said...'hate is too great a burden to bear....'







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23 Comments:
had this to say:

Your right. Love is what we should have in our hearts. The lack of this nowadays is the root cause of many conflicts.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 4:07:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I don't know the details I'm afraid but from what you say his behaviour is reprehensible and I suspect his apology is more motivated by self interest than remorse.

I hate prejudice in any form and believe in equal rights for ALL regardless of colour, creed, sex, sexual orientation or any other thing that maks someone as being 'different'. Being different is what makes life interesting, the similarities bind us together as human beings. We are all people adn Martin Luther is so right about hating being so bad for the soul.

As you say, the worse thing is that the US Government is passing laws that condone this attitude and here in the UK it is only a scant year ago where same sex partners were granted their right to a civil partnership under law.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 4:44:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I don't watch much TV so I am guessing that somebody on that show said something deragatory against gays. However, I don't need to know what happened to know that what you have written here is important and well thought out.

You have said things that I have wanted to say but didn't seem to know how. I flash anger at the discrimination; and now I will remember what King said. I will remember what you have written.

Thank you very much.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 7:01:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, this is an excellent post, with things that NEED to be said. I happen to think that Isiah ought to be made to sit-out a number of episodes, much in the way that sports figures are put on leave after a bad fight, etc. Barring that, the participation of his character in the show ought to be lessened. He, of all people, as one of color, ought to know how hurtful epithets can be, and he should be punished in some way for it.

His apology smacks of insincerity and I believe he only said it because he has to save his butt.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 7:22:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I used that same Marin Luther King quote on my post in his honor.

http://its-a-raggedy-life.blogspot.com/2007/01/martin-luther-king-jr.html

I don't watch any television. I do not know who Isaiah Washington is. But in reading this I am in agreement with you.
The Kramer episode made the news and I watched the video on my computer and I was really upset after watching that!
People in the media should be using the power of words to make things better. It sure seems like a lot of them are making things worse.
Thank you for sharing this with us.

Have a wonderful day!
*^_^
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 8:35:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, I couldn't agree with you more. I'm highly dissapponted in Mr. Washington. I really, really liked him up to this point. Now I just feel very sorry for him. T.R. Knight, on the other hand, is great. I saw him on Ellen last week and he was very eloquent in his discussion of what had occurred. As Ellen now calls him, he is "McYummy"!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 8:43:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

T.R. Knight really has been nothing but classy throughout all of this. I've been reading a lot of different posts all over the internet about this situation and some of the commenters have noted that he made a "mistake" and that he should be "forgiven" and that people say things "in the heat of the moment". Which is a good point that I might buy into if he hadn't been such an idiot and compounded his "mistake" by repeating that word when denying he said it. And by the way, not only is he a bigot, he's a liar since he is denying that he said it in the first place when he apparently did. I don't know what the best course of action is in this situation, but it's a really sad situation for a talented person to have gotten themselves into. I wonder if his career will ever recover. There are just certain words that should not ever be said. And saying them is not a "mistake", it's derogatory, disparaging and hateful.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 10:47:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Well... as usual... I'm clueless... I missed out on what Issaiah Washington SAID... thought I can imagine. But I agree that prejudice is prejudice and it doesn't matter who it's coming out against - it needs to be put away! This is AMERICA - land of the FREE ... home of the brave... We are ALL FREE to make our choices ... OR to BE who we ARE. In one respect I disagree with MLK Jr. -- I don't believe we have to LOVE everyone... we should live our lives with love in our heart though... But we do have to TOLERATE everyone. Everyone deserves tolerance! White, black, Asian, Phillipino, Straigt, Gay, Handicapped, or mentally slow... Pick your prejudice... there are too many of them out there -- and we all just need to ACCEPT other people - and their differences -- ALL THE TIME! The world is full of different people. That's the way God made it. That's the way it's SUPPOSED to be. And how BORING would it be if we were all the same? THAT would be awful! (and which SAME should we all be???) Tolerance people. Acceptance. You don't HAVE to like it. But ya DO have to DO it!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 11:26:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, thanks for the visit. Yes, I do call them the "funnies" and I loved them then and still do! It is the first thing I look for in the papers.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 12:14:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

The world is a better place if people like him doesnt exist. I mean people like him should learn tolerance and such. Anyway, as what viamarie said love is all we need.

I am thinking about you actually to write for the magazine about Hollywood and stuff since it is your turf. I will be very honoured if you will say yes.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 1:58:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Lyn M.
had this to say:

I heard a well known television sitcom star say this in an interview about the episode:
"IT'S JUST A WORD, LET IT GO"
Not so my friend...words can hurt more than a knife wound and they take so much longer to heal, if ever.
I don't know how Mr Washington can take away the sting of that word and it seems to me he'll have to live with it forever.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 2:15:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have a hard time with this issue also. I don't like insulting terms but worse has been what 'straight' Americans have been doing to 'gay' Americans by denying them marriage. Religion is used as an excuse but it's a feeble one and very hard to stomach especially when my state, Oregon, which used to seem to respect the rights of individuals, joined the herd to ban gay marriage. I only hope the day will come when that is undone as whatever sex someone loves, they should have the right to be legally joined together for a life-- if that is what they want. The words that people call each other to feel superior are bad enough but the actions are even worse when they discriminate unfairly.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 2:55:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have gay and lesbian friends...while I don't agree with all of their choices, I would never call them names or put them down.
My friends all know what I believe, and they all know that I love them, no matter how they choose to live their lives.
I hope that somehow others can learn to love, despite their differences.

Kendra

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 4:14:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I don't keep up with this stuff and don't even know who these people are. It does sound like he's probably trying to save his butt now, but he should never have said what he said in the first place! I agree with what MLK said about love. He is right on the money!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 4:36:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I think sometimes people open there mouths without waking the brains up first. I hope that everyone can forgive those who are ignorant of their wrong choices and words. Then again I do know people who have the "foot in mouth" disease*giggles*.
Have a good night!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 9:37:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I didn’t follow this issue, but I hate prejudice in any form!
Significant post, Naomi!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 4:36:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Well bummer.. i left a comment here when comments were at zero! I guess Blogspot ate it lol..

the latest was that some leader said that he thought Isaiah was sincere in his apology but his actions would read louder then his words.. not sure how that will go..

I adore T R Knight ..he made "George" my favorite character on the show.. though I still wish he had kept his "unruley hair" style lol

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 7:20:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Very well said, Naomi and I agree with all of it.
Like so many other things these past few years, gay rights have been stomped on to the point that actors like Washington feel they have the RIGHT to say whatever they choose...no matter how derogatory and prejudice.
What it all boils down to, in my opinion, is our "freedoms." Freedom to live our life as we choose. Hence...my post the other day on smoking. Which I'm planning to post a rebuttal to the comments this Sunday.
I have a hard time understanding why most people focus MORE on the thing they disagree with...gay rights, smoking, etc....than the REAL problem. Loss of a human beings right of freedom.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 2:32:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Well, I read every one of these comments, and all but one gave me a sense of great hope for the future.

I didn't hear about the T.R. Knight issue back in October; and just heard about it all because of the 2nd incident at the Golden Globes. The fact that I didn't even hear about it underscores what you said about if the word were on the other foot, EVERYONE would have heard about it (ie, Michael Richards, Mel Gibson), and someone would have gotten fired.

What makes the incident doubly reprehensible is that by using that word, Isaiah OUTED T.R., would can sometimes be devastating to careers.

It's reality. America considers gay people to be second-class citizens. And some religions think god is petty and has human foibles (anger, prejudice, etc).

But I was really impressed with Ellen, and with T. R. and the media for finally getting behind the issue. It's an ugly ugly word. I have gay friends who tired to "take back" this word by using it. But it will never feel okay to me personally.

The world is in growing pains, for sure.

Great post, Naomi.
~S :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 2:39:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Definitely seems like a double standard in this situation.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 4:04:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Some of my best friends are gay. I didn't realize how much the word hurt them but it does. I didn't even myself shamefully think it was a big deal....so I made myself forget the word. There are some words that I honestly just try to remove from my brain because even though they've been thrown around on TV or socially for years, they do indeed hurt people, and I would never want to do that to anywone.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 5:32:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

MLK, what a wise and beautiful man. I don't think a lot of people appreciate just how special MLK was or what it cost in courage to stand up as he did and become a lightning rod for all that hatred. I agree that hatred begets hatred and I too am sickened at where we find ourselves in this world today. It can easily overwhelm a person if you examine all the world's ills. I often have to put blinders on and just focus on the mess before me in my own community and work toward bettering my little piece of the world. Hopefully if enough of us do this, the love will spread. As for Washington's comment, his apology speach matched too closely to the statement ABC issued previously for me to believe it was from him personally, much less heartfelt. It always amazes me when people who have likely been targets of prejudice themselves, then go on to be prejudice against someone else. That disconnect is hard to reckon.

Friday, January 26, 2007 at 5:49:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

It's amazing that MLK's words are so right on, even for today's world. I totally agree that we've never recovered from those assassinations. I do worry about Barack Obama running for president for this very reason. He's got the same drive & charisma to make our country a better place & that's a big threat to the powers that be.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 12:15:00 PM PST 

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