MR. GARRISON… HOW YOU EXPECT

MR. GARRISON… HOW YOU EXPECT TO UNDERSTAND THE HOMOSEXUAL UNDERWORLD?: No, this post has nothing to do with last week’s gerbil-based “South Park” episode, but rather I am quoting Kevin Bacon’s Willy O’Keefe (from “JFK”) in reference to Garrison Hearst, the San Francisco 49ers running back who stated in an interview last month that “I don’t want no faggot on my team.” The comments were apparently in response to a question about Esera Tuaolo, the former Vikings lineman who came out of the closet earlier this season.
A spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign criticized Hearst’s comments, saying that “if he were a player in the Deep South, I’d understand it, but he plays in San Francisco.” While I agree that Hearst’s comment was wrong and that he needed to apologize, the HRC’s statement has quite a few things wrong with it as well: it’s prejudicial towards Southern people; it promotes the same “you be tolerant of me but I’ll never be tolerant of you” logic that was lampooned in that same aforementioned “South Park” episode, and it’s ignorant of the facts, most notably that Garrison Hearst is in fact from the Deep South, and played his college ball at the University of Georgia. What, did she think he was a decendant of the William Randolph Hearsts?
Hearst’s statement is also indicative of another new trend: people named “Garrison” saying exceptionally stupid things. Whether it’s Garrison Hearst gay-bashing, Garrison Keillor accusing Norm Coleman of adultry and murder, or “South Park”‘s Mr. Garrison trying to get fired for being gay, there’s something about that name that seems to be bringing out the worst in public people. Thankfully former Brandeis politics professor Garrison Nelson seems to have kept his cool; Jim Garrison would’ve likely had something outrageous to say on the 39th anniversary of JFK’s death, but he died a few years ago.

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