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Macklemore Reacts to Suspension of Michigan Teacher for Playing His Pro-Equality Song 'Same Love' in Class


Yesterday Andrew reported on performing arts teacher Susan Johnson, suspended from South Lyon's Centennial Middle School in Michigan for letting a student play Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' pro-equality anthem "Same Love" in class.

JohnsonWrote Macklemore on his website:

I believe that Ms. Johnson getting suspended is completely out of line and unjust.  However, I think it’s important for moments like these to be exposed and for us to pay attention and respond.  This level of intolerance and fear is still very active in America, but at times is not completely visible. This incident is just one of tens of thousands that have happened across the country where schools have exposed a latent homophobia, preventing safe space for all young people to feel confident in being themselves. It’s clear that Ms. Johnson felt bullying and “gay bashing” were issues that needed to be addressed, and by doing so, was punished.

I wrote the song “Same Love,” not with the expectation that it would cure homophobia and lead to marriage equality across the US (although that’d be awesome).  It was written with the hope that it would facilitate dialogue and through those conversations understanding and empathy would emerge. This incident demonstrates how too often we are quick to silence conversations that must be had. Even if people disagree, there is far more potential for progress when people are vocal and honestly expressing their thoughts about gay rights.  When we are silent and avoid the issue, fear and hatred have a far greater life span.

It’s discouraging that a song about love and civil rights has led to a teacher getting suspended from her job.  But that’s where we are at. For those of us who get a pit in our stomach when reading a story like this, it just makes it abundantly clear there is far more work to be done.

The school is standing by its decision to suspend Johnson.

In related news, 'Jabari Presents' produced an excellent documentary about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis which he filmed as they shot their infamous "Thrift Shop" music video, and prepared for the release of "The Heist".

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. And as a POC, I assure you I wouldn't have gone on tour to shake the hands of the white people who opposed anti-miscegenation laws. I am not going to kid myself and pretend that they just "changed their minds" of their own volition and I am not going to single out a privileged demographic for having had basic human decency to understand what human rights are.

    Posted by: Lance | Dec 1, 2012 1:03:38 PM

  2. Lance, you're very funny.

    I'd love for you to share the link (URL) to your own page or blog where you show us all the incredible strong and empowered gay advocate that you apparently are.

    I'd love to see all the specific work that you're doing.

    I can show you what my two heterosexual parents are doing for the LGBT Community. Indeed, they've devoted their retirement years to lgbt activism and advocacy.

    allies and family, all in one.

    so, if you'd prefer they not do that anymore, let's see what you're offering to do to fill that void.

    URL, please, sugarpie.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 1, 2012 1:12:08 PM

  3. Here we go again with you Little Kiwi. I will have you know that I agreed with you from time to time on your liberal rhetoric. However, when you witness that your argumentation is failing and that you really have no basis at all you resort to "demand" people URLs to their "own" websites, as if every single person who posts on this website has a direct link to a profile with their faces, their address and pictures. I am very sorry, but not everyone craves for attention on this vast web of ours. Unlike you, that is.

    You are going to have to try harder next time and actually build up a rebuttal.

    Posted by: Lance | Dec 1, 2012 6:50:14 PM

  4. "I am sorry but where were these "straight allies" during sodomy laws? Oh yes, guess what, they were throwing gay people in jail and forcing chemical castration on them. We do not NEED heterosexual people to back us up.."

    That sounds like nothing more than the stamping feet of a cranky toddler. Grow the f*ck up and realize that without the support of straight allies, which has grown slowly over the years until it has just recently became the majority opinion, gay people would STILL be jailed and receiving quack "medical" treatments. As it is many gay people are still either being forced into or subjecting themselves to quack religious & psychological abuse.

    "I will look a gift horse any way I want."

    You left out, "So there!" and sticking out your tongue, the closing that every infantile rant needs.

    Posted by: Caliban | Dec 1, 2012 7:28:21 PM

  5. CALIBAN: Oh please continue with more of these ad hominem of yours.

    How about you realize that without ACTUAL GAY PEOPLE, NOTHING WOULD HAVE EVER EVEN STARTED. I am not going to THANK heterosexual people for possessing basic human decency, no matter how much you want to praise them and shower them with media platforms, books, films, CDs, etc. I am not going to thank people for not being racist and I am not going to thank people for not being misogynistic. They caught up, congratulations, but that is where it stops. Attention needs to be cast on bigots and not Gold-Star Allies (C).

    Posted by: Lance | Dec 1, 2012 8:00:06 PM

  6. Don't forget to hold your breath till you turn blue, Lance!

    I take that back. Maybe it was oxygen being cut off to your brain that caused you to believe that, realistically, rights for a tiny minority are possible without mainstream support in the first place!

    It would certainly explain a lot.

    Posted by: Caliban | Dec 1, 2012 8:21:54 PM

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