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I'm not laughing at this blackface drag act

I have to agree with Jasmyne on this one: Charles Knipp, who performs as Shirley Q. Liquor (an “inarticulate black welfare mother with 19 children”, complete with Ebonics), is offensive. I guess RuPaul (who I think is fab), would regard me as an idiot for holding this opinion, according to this article on WOW Report.

“Critics who think that [Shirley Q. Liquor is] offensive are idiots,” RuPaul told the Windy City Times in Chicago. “They need to trust their gut because if they went with their gut they would know that she is so not a racist. . . . Listen, I’ve been discriminated against by everybody in the world: gay people, black people, whatever. I know discrimination, I know racism, I know it very intimately. She’s not racist! And if she were, she wouldn’t be on the record.”

Maybe there are some folks out there who think a white guy in drag egging on a tired stereotype of black women is funny, but as a southern black woman dealing with way too many racist, ignorant fools out there, floating this out there as entertainment (by black or white performers) is not helpful, to say the least. Here are some of Knipp’s fans — does this say anything about the appeal?

I have no desire to see a “performance” of Shirley Q. Liquor onstage after listening to this garbage, after the flip.

Get a taste of the act’s content from Knipp’s blog:

“My 1972 Cadillac busted down this afternoon on the way home from WalMark. We was stuck at a redlight download and it was a man in a turquaz Excalade behind me steady honking. I try and try to start that motor but it be DEAD. That man kept on honkin.”

“Finally, Watusi jumped out the car and went back and told that man “let’s trade places… why don’t you come up and help start the damn car, and I will sit back here and honk at yo dumb ass.”

Believe it or not, Shirley Q. Liquor is going to perform in West Hollywood during Black Pride Month.

More details are at Jasmyne‘s pad, who says:

Coming off of the Michael Richards incident, this is the last thing that Blacks, gay, whites and anyone else needs.

Race issues continue to plague our nation on so many fronts and people like Knipp just add fuel to the fire.  Knipp is very popular down South, but this isn’t the South, this is Los Angeles, home to millions of African-Americans and other minorities.

The fact that this man has been able to make a living off of blackface in 2006 is a clear sign that there’s still a lot of work to be done.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding