By L’lerrét Jazelle Ailith
White privilege reared its ugly head at the Grammys on Sunday. It was no surprise that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won many accolades, including Best Rap/Hip Hop album, even though he and many others knew that that award did not belong to him.
Macklemore even sent a text to Kendrick Lamar after the awards apologizing for “robbing” him. The Seattle native posted the private message for the world to see and to garner even more sympathy points on top of the ones he has already acquired by exploiting the gay community.
His song “Same Love” has been dubbed an LGBT anthem, but Macklemore himself identifies as straight. Gay artists themselves have been speaking on issues such as gay marriage for years but they’ve been silenced or ignored. Apparently supporting the gay cause is profitable as long as you aren’t actually gay.
During the Grammys, he performed “Same Love” on stage and had many same-sex couples’ marriages officiated. Call me a cynic but I was not here for it. That is the biggest scheme of empathy-garnering that I have ever seen in my life. Macklemore is riding the wave until it can’t be ridden any longer by forcing this marriage agenda down our throats as if it’s the breaking point for the gay movement.
The thing that annoys me the most about “allies” is the fact that they expect cookies for their support. Macklemore got his cookies—in a variety of flavors! He got the coins. He got the endorsements. He got the Grammys. He even got the white heterosexual support. But I refuse to praise this man for “supporting” my community as he profits off his vocalization, be it valid or not. That’s outright exploitation of our community and I am not here for it.
Let’s also get into the fact that through this “advertisement,” he is forcing this heteronormative marriage agenda on us like that is the biggest thing that gays have to worry about—not health disparities or job discrimination but marriage.
No, thanks. I’ll pass.
L’lerrét Jazelle Ailith is a 20-year-old queer woman of trans* experience. She attends Xavier University of Louisiana and is majoring in Biology with a minor in Women’s Studies. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, L’lerrét has grown to appreciate the importance of fostering community and now dedicates herself to movements that eliminate barriers for marginalized people.