Irene Monroe

Recent Articles

Matthew Shepard and Trayvon Martin: bigotry knows no boundaries



The nation is once again divided along the fault line of race. In a perceived 2013 post-racial society, William Faulkner’s prophetic quote of the last century — ”The past is never dead. It’s not even past” — has come back to haunt us in this century. Faulkner’s quote haunts us because of the recent verdict of the George Zimmerman trial. The story, as you well know by now, of how George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman of a Florida community, was acquitted of all charges — murder and manslaughter — related to Trayvon Martin. Continue Reading →

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Tom Joyner’s homophobic message to Black community is sad but no surprise



On May 1, Jason Collins, the 7’-0” center for the Washington Wizards and a former Boston Celtic, came out. His statement — “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m Black. And I’m gay” — made the cover story for the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated. On May 2, three Morehouse College basketball athletes were accused of raping an 18-year-old Spelman College student. Continue Reading →

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Another tackle in the world of homophobic sports



Another former professional athlete came out last month — 6’-7” Jamaican-born NFL offensive tackle Kwame Harris. With news of LGBT equality in the news daily, one may wonder why this is news at all. But it is. The world of sports is quickly becoming the last closet, where gays and lesbians hide their sexual orientation. In a homophobic testosterone-driven sport like American football, Harris concealment is understandable. Continue Reading →

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MSR web exclusive: AP’s discouraging ‘homophobia’ is discouraging

Newspaper style manual picks the wrong word to tell media not to use

The editors at the Associated Press Stylebook have announced that they are “discouraging” use of the word “homophobia.” The AP Stylebook is the widely used guide that media use to standardize terms and general usage. Why should the LGBTQ community be in a kerfuffle about it? Because the editors made their decision without consultation with the nation’s leading LGBTQ organizations, leaders, activists and newspapers. That is a problem. Continue Reading →

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Dis-membering Stonewall

LGBTQ mainstream White-washes people of color out of historical 1969 rebellion

“By institutionalizing memory, resisting the onset of oblivion, recalling the memory of tragedy that for long years remained hidden or unrecognized and by assigning its proper place in the human conscience, we respond to our duty to remember.”

— UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura


Friday, June 27, 1969 was the last day of school that year. And with school out, my middle-school cronies and I looked forward to a summer reprieve from rioting against Italian, Irish and Jewish public school kids for being bussed into their neighborhoods. However, the summer months in Brooklyn’s African American enclaves only escalated rioting between New York’s finest — the New York Police Department — and us. During this tumultuous decade of Black rage and White police raids, knee-jerk responses to each other’s slights easily set the stage for a conflagration, creating both instantaneous and momentary fighting alliances in these Black communities — across gangs, class, age, ethnicity and sexual orientations — against police brutality. That night of June 27 started out no differently than any hot and humid summer Friday night in my neighborhood. Continue Reading →

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In South Africa, lesbians are terrorized with ‘corrective’ rape







To hear of human rights abuses of Uganda’s LGBTQ population is not new, sadly. Gay activist David Kato was the father of the Uganda’s LGBTQ rights movement. To many of his fellow countrymen, Kato was a dead man walking once his homosexuality became public. The country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, dubbed the “Kill the Gays Bill,” criminalizes same-sex relations. And depending on which category your homosexual behavior is classified as  —  “aggravated homosexual” or “the offense of homosexuality” — you’ll either received the death penalty or, if you’re lucky, life imprisonment. Continue Reading →

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The Hunger Games’ young racist fans



There’s a frenzy surrounding the blockbuster film and book The Hunger Games. But the fan attention around the movie has taken a decidedly different turn from the fervor the book caused. The schism originates from the difference between reading — where one’s visual images of characters can be both personal and individual — and watching — where the film’s visual images of characters are a literal representation. The film script follows the book closely and some of fans are apoplectic. The result is a tweeting tsunami of racist comments focusing on the presence of the few main Black characters in the film. Continue Reading →

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It’s what — and not who — killed Whitney Houston



A new allegation has surfaced that pop superstar Whitney Houston was murdered. Legal television commentator Nancy Grace ignited a firestorm of criticism speculating Houston’s death might have been a homicide. “I’d like to know who was around her, who, if anyone gave her drugs, following alcohol and drugs, and who let her slip, or pushed her, underneath that water,” Grace told CNN. On Feb. 11 Houston was found dead in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton Hotel room on the eve of the Grammy Awards. Continue Reading →

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Is Cleo Manago the most dangerous Black gay man? Outspoken visionary works to unite Black men while rejecting White LGBTQ politics



Cleo Manago is despised by some in the LGBTQ community. Descriptors like “homo demagogue,” contrarian, separatist, and anti-White are just a few that can be expressed in polite company. However, to a nationwide community of same-gender loving (SGL), bisexual, transgender and progressive heterosexual African American men, Manago is the man! He is seen as a visionary, game changer and “social architect” focusing on advocating for and healing a group of men that continues to be maligned and marginalized — brothers. ”Without an understanding of the deep hurt that Black men have around issues of masculinity and their role as a man, you can’t hope to eliminate anti-homosexual sentiment in Black men. Continue Reading →

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