We Got 99 Haters But Jay-Z Ain’t One

Jay-Z supports marriage equality and considers Obama’s recently completed gay marriage evolution a political plus. In fact, he thinks it was “the right thing to do.

What a man.

Yesterday was your average Monday until Jay-Z, credited in his interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow as a “Rapper/Philanthropist,” decided to wax philosophical about politics. Like most of Jay-Z’s words, they were perfect. 

Jay-Z is a long time friend of the Obama family, a White House VIP, and a personal musical favorite of the President himself. (Obama prefers Jay-Z over Kanye.) During his CNN interview he refused to talk about Mitt Romney and confessed to not knowing much about him. He decided, instead, to praise Obama’s decision to endorse gay marriage:

“I’ve always thought it as something that was still holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple…I think it’s the right thing to do, so whether it costs him votes or not – again, it’s not about votes. It’s about people. It’s the right thing to do as a human being.”

Coming from a man who describes himself as not “a huge fan” of our political system, that’s a huge compliment for Obama. But let’s focus on us. Jay-Z supports gay marriage, everyone. It is right there in print, on video, and across the Internet. Let us all rejoice by listening to The Black Album and looking at pictures of Blue Ivy Carter emotionally.

Jay-Z also talks the importance of business ethics and helping the less fortunate (a not-so-common perspective for a mogul), the current state of our economy and Obama’s stimulus, and the similarities between hip-hop and politics in his interview.

As an emerging rap starlet and former political hopeful myself, the news that Jay-Z supports progressive politics and the rights, equality, happiness, and forever humanity of gay people is second to everything in my life except Drake (let’s be real).

Let’s just hope Hov performs at the next A-Camp Talent Show.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

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  1. I would say most sane people prefer Jay-Z over Kanye – right down to how they make public announcements. I mean really, “It’s the right thing to do” vs. “I’ma let you finish”? Yeah.

    • Actually, I’ll have you know that Kanye voiced his support way back in 2005.

  2. Let’s be real, I look at pictures of any baby emotionally. Somehow my heart just camps out in my uterus around babies. Looks like it’ll have to move over and make room for all the gay feelings about to join it.

  3. Ya know, I’ll believe Jay-Z when he retracts his offensive lyrics and statements. I like him, and feel guilty about it half the time. Only slightly less so now. He needs to explain himself. Just ask him about his use of the word “faggot” in numerous songs. And backstage before going on to Chelsea’s show. There wasn’t a lot of ambivalence in his usage, either.

    You can’t just spout homophobia for years, and then say, really, “It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple…”

    Simple? Apparently not. Please, explain yourself and tell us you regret your past words, Jay-Z.

    • Agreed. This “support” would seem a little more authentic if he wasn’t frequently homophobic and misogynist in his lyrics.

    • Thank you! And not only for using “faggot” but also for constantly refering to women as “bitches”

  4. Joanne, I use the word nigga all day everyday, doesn’t mean I’m racist. Anyway…love Jay Z! Watch the Throne!

    • Well, you’re presumably black, and nigger in any variation is a word that was used to oppress black folks. It is for us to either choose to reclaim or not. You can use if you so choose. That doesn’t mean white people should be able to. Of course that doesn’t make YOU a racist. But it would a white person.

      And likewise, Jay-Z, as far as I know, isn’t gay. He shouldn’t ever be using the f-word. But I know gay people who do say “faggot” and I can’t tell them not to. It is for them to reclaim it. There are queer people who call themselves faggots, it doesn’t make them homophobic.

      Jay-Z should never let that word through his mouth and no excuses should be made for him.

      Also, homophobia doesn’t equal racism so your statement can’t really be projected onto this.

    • I’m just gonna go ahead and assume this is you in your avatar,yes? isn’t it different when you say it compared to e.g. a white person? cause I say homo all day everyday but I’m not quite sure how to feel about it when ‘non-homos’ use it.you know what I mean?
      if jay-z would be gay he should feel free to scream ‘fag’ from the rooftops…

    • It doesn’t mean you’re not, but especially when you’re in the public eye, it depends on two things: your position, and the context. Jay-Z is not gay. I’m not black. I would never, ever use the n word, and frankly, the way HE used the term faggot WAS homophobic, make no mistake.

      So, first of all, he doesn’t have permission, and g-d it, he should know better. He should know that he does not have permission to use that word, anymore than he’s got permission to use the word dyke when talking about women he doesn’t like. Because that’s how he used faggot.

      Second, yeah, he DID mean it as a put-down. Read the lyrics. Read what people have said he’s said about faggots. No homo. I want him to explain why he thinks 1) that’s okay, or 2) how he’s changed his mind.

      I wouldn’t dare judge you from this distance, I have no idea who you are. But I’m stunned that people would be willing to forgive a celebrity because of one day’s comments with the president, after years and years of homophobia.

      He’ll have to do a little better than that. We’re not playing with arguing over Coke or Pepsi here, this is serious shit. He influences a hell of a lot of people, and he’s giving VERY mixed signals now.

  5. Ladies and gentlemen, put our hands together for the astonishing/H-to-the-izz-O/V-to-the-izz-A!
    For a rap artist to come out and vocally support as Jay has done is something pretty huge. I hope that those who listen to his music who were once against gay marriage or had homophobic tendencies take away at least a little part of the message he’s just given out. Just sayin’.

  6. Jay Z gets no cookies for this, and neither did Obama.

    I’d still vote for Obama just to keep the GOP out, and I don’t think he’s a terrible president but until some laws are put under way… No cookies.

    Not to mention, people keep treating marriage as if its our biggest issue when there needs to be more done to keep homophobia from affecting our safety, our job security, our financial security. Marriage is awesome but I could get my head bashed in for walking through Harlem or the Bronx with my fiancee and not even get it charged as a hate crime. Ya know?

    • I do realize that marriage could/should be a the first of a long list of policies that affirms our identities in the greater majority. However, if same-sex marriage is your *biggest* issue as an LBGT person, you are privileged, full-stop.

    • I generally agree with you, but it’s a little more complicated than that, I think. While violence and safety are a daily issue for a lot of queers, marriage confers over a THOUSAND rights to couple, and is what keeps their relationship, what they share, and their children “legitimate.” That’s at least as important to people on welfare as is to rich people.

      You reach a certain age, and you see people lose their families. Or their partner because they’re not from this country. That stuff has nothing to do with money.

      I’m not a big fan of marriage, and I think there are other things that *should* have priority, but unfortunately, marriage is the magic key to legitimacy, and until we divorce (if you will) those rights from marriage, it will continue to be something a lot of people needed yesterday.

      • Oh, no, make no mistake. I am engaged to my fiancee and it makes me LIVID that we even HAVE to argue for the thousand-some-odd rights that come along with marriage. And it makes me livid that it is even a state-to-state matter. I mean if we had kids and I carried them, for example, and we went into another state on a road trip, got into an accident, and she was seriously hurt, they could possibly deny our children access to her room at what could be her death bed. Several states wouldn’t recognize her as my spouse or the parent. And that shit is a PROBLEM.

        But but BUT, there are so many issues that affect our LIVES even before we get to that point and the LGBT mainstream seems to mostly care about/gun for marriage, only.

        Is all I’m saying.

        • I hear you. As a Canadian, I can tell you that achieving marriage rights hasn’t turned us into a queertopia just yet. Sometimes I feel like the mainstream has just taken a victory nap. Conservatives are still pushing against legislation that would help in schools, the workplace, housing, etc. The speed of progress makes me so impatient.

      • You’re right, now that gets cookies.
        (Okay not really, I don’t think anyone deserves a cookie for being a decent human being, lol.)

        But actual LAWS being put into place gets way more recognition from me than just SAYING some stuff, lol.

  7. Because of this I imagine Blue Ivy will be like Zoe Kravitz and take after her Auntie hipster Solange. Blue will be romantically fluid and if Beyonce ever protests (because Beyonce is a GCB), Blue will site her daddy. Lol.

  8. I’m not surprised especially since he said he will not use the word “bitch” anymore in his songs after having a daughter. Considering he also owns a NBA team this is a really good thing.

    • That was an internet myth. he actually came out and said he would be continuing to use the word bitch to describe women…yes, he felt the need to put paid to the nasty rumour that he would stop being a misogynist douche canoe.

      • I looked it up and you’re right he never said he would stop using it but I can’t find a quote from Jay-Z denouncing that rumor either.

  9. jay z loves us, you guys. he loves us. i’m having so many homoawesome feelings today.

  10. I don’t care if he calls women bitches, I don’t care if he calls black people niggers, I don’t even care if he calls gay people (like me) faggot because it would be so highly hypocritical to say that I’ve never done any of those things, it would be hypocritical for me to say that he does not deserve praise for supporting people in the LGBT community even if he has said negative things in the past. Words like telemarketer are used to oppress people, words like hick are used to oppress people, words like rich and poor and fat and pretty are used to oppress people and no that doesn’t make oppression right but really, at the end of the day, to have somebody with social currency the world over on television spreading the message that love is love and that what people do in their own homes is their business is a win for anyone, gay, straight, black or white, married or not. Even if it emancipates one person from ignorance toward LGBT persons then that’s awesome.

  11. we can sit here and point fingers at every little thing people say for DAYS. but in my opinion, i appreciate anyone who supports gay people. it doesn’t mean they are a saint, it means they SUPPORT THAT ONE THING. which is a step you guys.

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