Alabama Teacher Calls Gays 'an Abomination Against God', Allows 'Gorilla' Slur Against Michelle Obama: AUDIO
In Rogersville, Alabama, an investigation is underway after a student recorded Bob Grisham, the high school football coach also teaches psychology, spewing anti-gay slurs and condoning racist attacks on Michelle Obama in hisclassroom.
The investigation includes a 1-minute, 24-second audiotape of Grisham asking who knows who is behind the 600-calorie school lunch.
“Fat butt Michelle Obama,” he said. “Look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight.”
Male voices interject comments during the discussion, at one point referring to Michelle Obama as a “fat gorilla.”
Later in the tape, Grisham referred to the U.S. as going in the “wrong direction” and tells the students they can “get pissed off at me or not. You can go tell the principal, call the superintendent and tell her. I don’t believe in queers. I don’t like queers, I don’t hate them as a person, but what they do is wrong and an abomination against God.” The tape was reportedly recorded by a student Monday and took place on school campus during the school day.
Grisham told the TimesDaily on Wednesday afternoon he misspoke. “I misspoke in a debate-type situation,” he said. “I have no hatred toward anyone or any group. People that know my heart, they know that.”
Listen to Grisham's rant, AFTER THE JUMP...
BY NAVEEN KUMAR
In his grounded and witty solo show All The Rage, which opened Wednesday Off-Broadway at the Peter J. Sharp theatre, writer-performer Martin Moran charts out his investigative search for two things: his dormant inner rage and a decisive, satisfying path toward leading a meaningful life. Easy, right?
The first certainly seems like it should be easy work for Moran, whose 2005 memoir and play of the same name The Tricky Part, details his struggle toward recovery from the sexual abuse he experienced when he was seduced as a child by his camp counselor. How could he not be angry? As he recounts, it was a review of his memoir asking the same question that set him down this path.
Moran’s emotionally insightful writing and comfortable, easy delivery save the show from sliding into clichés that can be pitfalls of solo performance. Directed with economy and ingenuity by Seth Barrish (Sleepwalk With Me), Rage registers neither as a drawn out stand-up routine or self-indulgent navel-gazing, but an honest emotional narrative that’s both engaging and thought provoking.
Moran’s investigation takes shape as a sort of topographic mission, rather than chronologically. He begins anecdotes by pointing out places on a desk globe, sticking magnets on a blackboard-mounted New York City subway map, and occasionally projecting slides as visual aides.
Set in a sparsely rendered classroom of sorts (designed by Mark Wendand), it’s a circuitous lesson, not without its fair share of non-sequiturs. Yet, the threads Moran follows through his stories are emotional rather than logical. They lead from a curious confrontation with his stepmother after his father’s funeral to a tour of ‘The Cradle of Human Kind’ in South Africa, from trotting around the stage clacking together coconuts as Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Spamalot on Broadway to hiking with his stoic younger brother (who has enough bottled rage to fill them both) in the mountains of Colorado.
While Moran’s quick leaps in time and place can feel dizzying at times, his emotional through-line remains mostly clear. Moran’s touching account of his unlikely friendship with a Sudanese refugee seeking asylum in the US, for whom he serves as a French interpreter, becomes the show’s emotional anchor. Through his experience as a mouthpiece for an innocent man—tortured and indefinitely separated from his family, yet not bereft of hope or forgiveness—Moran develops a broader, more expansive perspective on his own emotional inquiry.
As a writer Moran excels at conjuring vivid visual detail and resonant truths with simple, slight turns of phrase. Such captivating moments come and go with ease, flowing one into the next as his story swiftly unfolds. If their culmination doesn’t quite lead to a neatly cohesive final resolution, it’s because life doesn’t work like that either. Progress comes in the accumulation of sudden, jarring flashes of insight, many of which Moran shares here.
All The Rage continues performances Off Broadway at the Peter J. Sharp Theatre through February 24th.
Recent theatre features...
Ben Rimalower Is Working Through His 'Patti Issues' At The Duplex: INTERVIEW
'Picnic' Starring Sebastian Stan Opens on Broadway: REVIEW
'The Other Place' Starring Laurie Metcalf Opens On Broadway: REVIEW
Rob Ashford Takes on 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof' on Broadway: INTERVIEW
Pulitzer Prize Winner 'Water By The Spoonful' Opens Off-Broadway: REVIEW
Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar.
Does he make it to Hollywood?
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
"You know, I think that in San Francisco, and being from the Bay Area myself, that's something that we really try to preach -- love and acceptance of everybody. And so I couldn't really even say anything negative to the young man. It's just one of those things where you have to live and you have to learn. And I said earlier on (a TV broadcast) -- in the words of Martin Luther King, you can't fight hate with hate. You have to fight hate with love. We've all made our mistakes, we've all been there and done certain things, and we've hurt people regardless if we meant to do it or not. But more than anything it's an opportunity to have a learning experience.
"I've preached since day one to my teammates that there's certain words you can't say. And when they're around me they know -- if B.A.'s around, you can't say 'gay' in a derogatory manner, you can't say the three-letter 'f' word. And I tell them, I go, you can't say those things. And if people hear you say those things, regardless if you mean them or not, they're going to fry you. And if it's in a public arena your whole reputation's going to be roasted for it.
So we've kind of seen it happen this time. So we just have to all learn from what happened, from this mistake. He apologized and hopefully he'll learn. And he's in the Bay Area, and it's really important there, it's pertinent there. So I think he's going to learn and he's going to grow to be a better person for it."
The AP adds to those remarks:
"I'd say 50 percent of the people (in the NFL) think like Culliver. I'd say 25 percent of the people think like me. And 25 percent of the people are religious. They don't necessarily agree with all the things I agree with, but they're accepting," Ayanbadejo said. "So it's a fight. It's an uphill battle."
And USA Today reports:
Ayanbadejo, who got into a public battle with a Maryland delegate over gay marriage in September, welcomed the discussion — to a point. He balked only when asked for his theory on why pro football locker rooms seem to be behind the rest of society in accepting gay lifestyles.
"Honestly, I have my opinions why but I really can't voice them now," he said. "I think it's something we'll have to talk about after the Super Bowl."
Because they're too controversial?
"Yeah, I mean, it's tough to be sitting here talking about equality, and naturally that's the most important thing but right here and now I'm focusing on the Super Bowl so it's kind of tough to be talking about equality and what not when we're here for a Super Bowl," Ayanbadejo said. "With this such a huge platform and being such a big game, I have to narrow my scopes and have real fine vision and know the importance of why I am here and I'm here because of the Super Bowl.
"Of course, if I can be a voice for equality, especially after this game, then I welcome everybody to sit down and get together after the game and we'll do a lot more for equality than just talking about it now at a sporting event."
Finallly, the SacBee adds:
Asked if he believes Culliver's comments represent a common feeling among NFL players, Ayanbadejo said: "Yeah, it's pretty normal. It's pretty normal behavior."
New Mexico lawmakers advanced a proposal that would allow voters to decide to legalize same-sex marriage, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports:
The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted 3-2 on Thursday in favor of a constitutional amendment allowing same-sex couples to be married. The committee's Republican members opposed the measure. The proposal must clear two other committees to reach the 70-member House for a vote. It also needs Senate approval before it could be placed on the 2014 general election ballot. The measure likely faces difficulty because the Legislature in the past has turned down proposals for domestic partnerships.
Jimmy Kimmel's weekly tribute to the FCC, AFTER THE JUMP...