By Terrell Whitby
DeSean Jackson's recent foray into talk radio has created a mini firestorm during this age of football darkness known as the NFL lockout. During a June 30 appearance on the All Out Show with Rude Jude and Lord Sear; DeSean Jackson was greeted by a caller from Tennessee who challenged Jackson's manhood with a question that made reference to Jackson's penis being knocked in the dirt. Mainstream media instantaneously labeled DeSean’s response as a Homophobic slur. The tentacles of liberalism were raised and the seeds to paint another African American athlete as some homophobic hate spewing jock were sown. A careful examination of this issue must be had. DeSean's comments were not were not well thought out, politically correct nor laced with any hatred. Having danced the unfortunate dance that Kobe Bryant danced several months ago DeSean Jackson's hip hop inspired bravado must be understood by those who live outside of the ambiance of the inner city.
Historically the term faggot began somewhere in the 1300's in an European culture blackened with witch and heretic bigotry. The term faggot or fagot, meaning bundle of sticks, appears around 1300 in English. It almost certainly came from Old French, possibly going back to Greek phakelos. These were bundles of sticks were mainly used for fires, it's not surprising that the term came to mean burning sticks. In medieval times there was a malodorous business where heretics were burned at the stake. In the inquisition of Europe, when witches were being burned, among those sought out for burning were gay people. They were required to gather the very "bundles of sticks" (the real meaning of a faggot) with which they would be burnt. When the faggots (sticks) were running out, gay men were thrown on the fire to keep it going for the witches. The first known published use of the word faggot or fag to refer to a male homosexual appeared in 1914 in the U.S. It referred to a homosexual ball where the men were dressed in drag and called them "fagots (sissies)." Ernest Hemingway, in The Sun Also Rises (1926), included the line, "You're a hell of a good guy, and I'm fonder of you than anybody on earth. I couldn't tell you that in New York. It'd mean I was a faggot." A 1921 cite says, "Androgynes [are] known as 'fairies,' 'fags,' or 'brownies.' We dealing with the true definition of the word faggot in its proper context there is no denying that it is a word that should never be promulgated. It is a word that is rich in terror and fear which haunts the eyes and ears of those who are desecrated by its use.
Desean Jackson is hip hop a living blur of dazzling speed, swag and gridiron grandiloquence whose personality exudes every element necessary to survive in the urban cadres christened as the "hood"," ghetto" or "inner city." It is here that souls soaked in poverty lean on a culture that is steeped in being strong and masculine. It is here that boys learn manhood in its barest terms from strangers, peers and minds that fully embrace the true tenets and truisms of " Thug Life". Here to be weak is to be victimized. The laws are simple life's a bitch and then you die and get rich or die trying. The effeminate qualities exuded by SOME male homosexuals in this world are the silver bullet to the werewolf or the wooden stake drove through the heart of Edward Cullen for these young African American males. The proper context of the word faggot is like the mythical city of Lemuria lost in the consciousness of these superbly blessed athletes who lived by psalms of 4.3 forties, 6'7 free styles and 360 degree between the legs dunks. The ramifications of bundle stick etymology and its inherent Inquisition inspired terror has gone lost somewhere between the halls of Long Beach Polytechnic High School and the sprawling campus of the University of California Berkley. It must be noted that in this setting and perspective the word faggot means to be soft or lacking the necessary essential needed to survive this hostile world. When this word is said from the mouths of those that have known terror, persecution and injustice for four hundred plus years it is said without malice or disrespect. it is said free of hatred but not uncomfortable ness. Desean Jackson on July 9, 2011 clearly stated, "I have made a mistake and would like to make it clear that words I used meant no disrespect to the Gay and Lesbian community. "Intolerance is unacceptable and I apologize to anyone I have offended." There has to be an understanding and a sensitivity afforded to the Gay and Lesbian community as well as to the community that help shaped the perspective which allowed DeSean Jackson to utter those hurtful terms in the first place. Aren't you ready for some football?
The Straight Dope