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T.I. Tells TMZ He Stands By His Comments About Being Able to Speak Against Gay People in Peace: VIDEO

Rapper T.I. called in to TMZ to talk about his recent comments in defense of Tracy Morgan to Vibe magazine, in which he said that celebrities should be allowed to speak out against gay people without fear of being shut down.

Ti_tmzSaid. T.I.: "“They’re like,‘If you have an opinion against us, we’re gonna shut you down.’ ... That’s not American. If you’re gay you should have the right to be gay in peace, and if you’re against it you should have the right to be against it in peace.’"

TMZ asked T.I. about the comments:

"I was quoted correctly, but I was taken out of context...I'm not saying that being gay is being un-American. What I was saying was to use whatever power or authority you have to shut people down because they don't agree with you that's not what America was built upon. The institution allows us, it affords us the right, to speak out peacefully and respectfully in opposition of any point or any topic that comes up...I'm not against gay marriage...but for the people who may have an opinion against it, then for the corporations to throw their weight around to shut them down, that's not fair."

He added: "It's about people who take themselves too seriously, any group. It's not just about gays, I think that African Americans groups sometimes take things a tad too seriously too...If you use the "n" word like Don Imus and say something that's completely derogatory and disrespectful, that's understandable. But if you just have an opinion on something that just happens to be related to the African American culture and it's in opposition, then they have no right to shut you down either."


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  1. T.I. says

    "If you use the "n" word like Don Imus and say something that's completely derogatory and disrespectful, that's understandable"

    First, Don Imus didn't use the "n word". He called a group of women college basketball players nappy headed hos.

    Now, tell me how Tracy Morgan saying he would KILL his child if he were gay is less offensive that Don Imus?

    Posted by: Tim NC | Nov 29, 2011 10:19:17 AM

  2. Why doesn't T.I. call out the black community on its homophobia, its poor response to HIV & AIDS?

    Posted by: Mark | Nov 29, 2011 10:25:08 AM

  3. Everyone struggles for relevance, that is the true job of a celebrity and that is what this moron is trying to do. People who already listen to his music are probably already down with the cultural based ignorant views on homosexuality so this whole thing doesnt matter much. The only thing it could do is reduce his marketability as a spokesperson...though I can't think of anything that he'd be shilling that I'd be likely to buy anyway. The only real collateral damage from this is how some young people might look up to him and allow him to reinforce their own cultural ignorance.

    Posted by: JWL | Nov 29, 2011 10:25:50 AM

  4. So, this Rapper T.I. person thinks saying you'd stab your gay child to death is speaking out respectfully and peacefully?

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Nov 29, 2011 10:26:39 AM

  5. While I'm all in favor of wielding the largest hammer possible when people start spouting homophobic comments, I don't COMPLETELY disagree with what this guy is saying. He's just defending free speech. And in that regard he's right.

    However, using as large a hammer as possible to figuratively beat the crap out of people that say homophobic (or racist) crap is ALSO free speech. I think he missed that part.

    Posted by: Cris | Nov 29, 2011 10:32:18 AM

  6. Amazing post! I like it.

    Posted by: paper writing | Nov 29, 2011 10:33:21 AM

  7. Looks like T.I's time in jail wasn't exactly fun lol

    Posted by: James | Nov 29, 2011 10:34:27 AM

  8. If you followed his logic, he supports the KKK saying whatever it wants to say about black people.

    I don't think he actually means that. I think he's trying to build a "free speech" smoke screen to obscure what sure as hell looks to me like homophobia.

    Posted by: K in VA | Nov 29, 2011 10:36:40 AM

  9. So it's OK to "shut people down" for using the "N-word"? It's just someone's opinion, right?

    Posted by: rayy | Nov 29, 2011 10:43:38 AM

  10. What this person fails to realize is that there are no legitimate "alternative or opposing viewpoints" to equal civil and human rights for gay and lesbian people. None whatsoever. All those who speak out as being "against homosexuality" are speaking from bigotry and prejudice that are so intertwined with their religious beliefs as to be almost indistinguishable. The fact that they don't enjoy being criticized for their hateful rhetoric does not make such criticism inappropriate or unfair.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Nov 29, 2011 10:44:35 AM

  11. Since he added his own group as an example of the same sort of over-sensitivity, I agree with him to an extent.

    It is a tricky issue because you don't want to give the majority license to abuse a minority.....but by the same token, when it gets to the point where you cannot say anything "negative" about a group's culture or an individual belonging to that group, you have gone too far as a society.....and that is actually counter-productive in a lot of ways because all that results is a lot of dishonesty of the sort that makes honest communication impossible between groups.

    It is better if a member of the minority group criticizes that culture themselves--as Bill Cosby has done, for example--but it should not be totally off-limits for a non-member to do should depend on the context and on whether the criticism is constructive or is just a form of hate.....

    Posted by: Rick | Nov 29, 2011 10:48:38 AM

  12. Rap is a lazy and over-rated musical genre. There I said it. Don't shut me down.

    Posted by: Tintin Malfoy | Nov 29, 2011 11:02:13 AM

  13. mean like if people said that they just don't think black people should be allowed to be Free and that whites shouldn't have to serve them or seat them in restaurants if they dont' want to?

    dear TI, you're just making yourself look like an even bigger idiot.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 29, 2011 11:03:09 AM

  14. Just another stupid rapper, fulfilling the stereotype that they're all morons.

    Posted by: Stan | Nov 29, 2011 11:03:45 AM

  15. Those people make no sense.

    Posted by: Bud | Nov 29, 2011 11:05:29 AM

  16. What can anyone expect from a former drug dealing, high school dropout who was discovered and now has a little money and too much time on his hands?

    Posted by: Jon Mitchell | Nov 29, 2011 11:06:47 AM

  17. @Milkman You said: "there are no legitimate "alternative or opposing viewpoints" to equal civil and human rights for gay and lesbian people. None whatsoever"

    I agree with that, but people can find aspects of a group's culture disagreeable, even if they concede that the members of that group should not be denied the basic rights of citizenship. For example, I hate rap music and find it extremely annoying when someone tries to impose it on others in a public or semi-public space......but that does not mean that I think African-Americans should be disallowed the right to vote.

    Likewise, someone can believe that firing someone from their job just because of their sexual orientation should be the same time that they find the effeminacy of so many gay men and their iconization of women (the "diva" phenomenon) repulsive and incomprehensible.

    The distinction is an important one.

    Posted by: Rick | Nov 29, 2011 11:07:05 AM

  18. Respectfully and peacefully T.I. should be stabbed to death.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 29, 2011 11:07:43 AM

  19. Does T.I. stand for Tiny Intellect?

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 29, 2011 11:17:49 AM

  20. I think we need to start using the 'N'-word positively also, just like rapper use the "F"-word.

    Posted by: chuck | Nov 29, 2011 11:25:05 AM

  21. shut him down.

    Posted by: Jacques Rosas | Nov 29, 2011 11:29:34 AM

  22. Ignoring Rick as usual, what Milkman said is 100% on point. Homophobia isn't valid. There isn't a valid argument against being for marriage equality. Being against our humanity. Being against our sexual orientation. It's fundamentally wrong, and therefore, calling it for what it is, which is bigotry and discrimination, is the way to expose this train of thought for the negative thing it is. Not doing so is a disservice because it allows this hate to bubble under the surface unchecked.

    People like T.I., maybe not hateful, but are definitely ignorant on these issues as a whole. Criticism isn't "shutting down" free speech. If you choose to say something that society deems unpalatable, there are consequences. Not all opinions are equal.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 29, 2011 11:30:37 AM

  23. Rick,

    That's not what TI was talking about. He's not talking about being irked by behavior. He's talking about being "against" someone's actual identity and existence.

    That's the distinction that deserves to be highlighted.

    And let's not be too hard on the sissies. They had the balls to fight back at Stonewall when the "straight acting" among us were still cowering in our closets.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Nov 29, 2011 11:55:53 AM

  24. He has a good point. Don't be stupid, people.

    Posted by: Jack | Nov 29, 2011 11:56:04 AM

  25. Ugh. No wonder the African continent can't even feed itself! This guy's a regular Constitutional scholar, lol!

    Posted by: Dan Cobbb | Nov 29, 2011 11:59:40 AM

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