I’m upset. Despite my multiple listening sessions, I missed a single word uttered by Eminem on his latest album. It’s a hate word said deliberately out of spite. I love Marshall Mathers. I can’t listen to his music anymore. I can’t support him as an artist any longer. RIP. I’m an ally to the LGBTQIA community. It’s a lifelong commitment I take very seriously. I’m sad and disappointed by his decision.
More so by how he responded when called out for it. When I was a child, I used this word flippantly without knowing what it meant. I’m relieved my parents helped me understand. I’m still ashamed of this because I now fully grok how words can cut so profoundly, people end their lives. There are hate words that whenever uttered expose a bigot. No matter how enraged you are with a person, these hate words are off limits.
I’m hypersensitive to the word, nigger. Thousands of closet racists have outed themselves by using it in anger as a weapon. The word Eminem used is no different. Both are words that evoke terror, anguish, and pain that never goes away. They inform us the person who spews it doesn’t view the target as a human being. It often causes a physiological reaction: fight or flight.
Sometimes, the target of these hate words will lash out violently as if they’re fighting for their life. Haters rarely see it coming, and are usually shocked by the intensity of the reaction. In some situations, it’s not even voluntary; such as when being targeted by multiple haters at the same time. I have PTSD, so in my case, I may freeze, or react instantly, or react in a delayed manner after freezing when attacked. I’m also an Army veteran, which means my reaction could easily be lethal.
Lots of Americans carry knives and guns (much to my disgust.) I hope I’m clear in relating how spewing hate words can get you killed. There are no excuses. Attacking anyone for who and what they are is always wrong. Nobody gets to choose their body or mind. Most of us try to build a joyful life with the body and mind we are born with and spend years growing and developing into decent adults. Some opt for suicide because they can’t cope with being hated, attacked, and abused for things with which they have no control. Children are especially vulnerable because they have little experience or coping skills.
I know of children as young as nine who committed suicide after being harassed by haters. I consider it murder. I don’t understand why anyone would want to inflict such horrific pain on any human, (especially a child,) for any reason. Nobody can change their sexuality, neurotype, race, body type, etc. There’s no such thing as conversion therapy; It’s torture, just as it would be to strip off the pigmentation layers of my skin.
Hate is evil. It’s ugly. Frequently it’s fear and ignorance based. It’s not a quality of a decent human being. Hate is a vile defect. I hope Marshall Mathers exorcises his willful hatred. I also hope nobody who hears it is too vulnerable and hurt to carry the pain he amplified with his privilege. I know for a fact Eminem had fans who are members of the LGBTQIA community.
I hope Eminem chooses to become a sincere ally to the community, instead of a cruel inflictor of devastating pain. It’s never too late to grow and become a decent person. The same privilege that allowed him to commit this crime can also be used to apologize as well as help others learn and grow. Until he does, he’s dead to me.