Speaking of Shaz Oye...

Speaking of Shaz Oye, this article appeared in the Irish Voice a few weeks back. We realize that it's a bit late in blog-time, but it's never to late to call out bigotry, right? Of Shaz, Mike Farragher wrote:

A BLACK lesbian Irish activist who shaves her head. Uh-huh. Yeah,right. I thought the same thing as you while I prepared to meet Shaz Oye before her gig at Asbury Park's the Saint.

Would she challenge me to an arm wrestle, or brand me a clueless Yank cracker for still hoping that Michael Bloomberg enters the race and saves us from our lame presidential alternatives?

Nothing could be further from the truth. In person, this delightful folk sensation has a warm flannel personality and a smile that lights up the room.

Okay, where should we start?

While we applaud the fact that the Irish Voice is covering more issues pertaining to the Irish/Irish American LGBT community lately, the"humor" in the opening of this article is unacceptable....yet very predictable. Writing (and capitalizing) A BLACK lesbian Irish activist who shaves her head appeals to the assumed inner bigot of Irish Voice readers and reflects their attitudes about people of color, lesbians, and those do not conform to gender norms. Oh, and those uppity activists, that are often people of color, women, queers, and gender non-conformers that are driven to be activists because our lives are reduced to jokes and jabs (and far worse) by the Mike Farraghers of the world.

Farragher then stresses that in person Shaz was nothing like his bigoted, stereotypical assumptions. Great......so now the New York Irish community can take a deep breath and go buy Shaz's CD or see her in concert because she might actually be a decent person & artist? This was an otherwise nice article about an Irish artist that is so worthy of attention, but using humor that depends on racism, sexism, and homophobia to succeed says so much more about Mike Farragher & the people that would share his thoughts than it does those being made fun of.

Why does the New York Irish American community wear its bigotry like a badge of pride and honor?