Tracy Morgan Talks to Russell Simmons About "The Incident"

Tracy Morgan spoke to hip-hop record producer and strong LGBT ally Russel Simmons in this interview here.

Russell:  Having fought for decades for the gay community in their struggle to be treated fairly and with dignity, I think you know you crossed the line.  However, I know you…I know you very well.  And I know that deep down inside there is no hate in your heart.

Tracy:  Of all the sicknesses, there is probably none more abusive than homophobia. My heart is committed to giving everyone the same rights that I deserve for myself. I don't care if you love the same sex as long as you have the ability to love someone. Also, you should have the right no matter who you are to protect and serve our country. I am deeply sorry for the comments I made. What I am most sad about is the comments I made about kids and bullying.  I would never want any young person to think that I wasn't on their side and if any young person thinks they can bully a young gay kid, come see me at 30 Rock.  On the corner, I would be happy to meet you.  Or Brooklyn if you can't make it into Manhattan.

Morgan says sometimes he says “some really stupid shit.” Simmons references the initiative to pass marriage equality in New York state, which is looking optimistic, lots of good news at AmericaBlog. Morgan responses:

Thanks Russ for the support. I believe everyone deserves the right to be happy and marry who they want too; gay, white, black, male or female. Let me know where the rally's at Russ. I'm there!…GO KNICKS!

Honestly, I can read this interview without cynicism and consider that Morgan may have learned a valuable lesson from this experience, and may feel he made a terrible mistake.

CNN's Roland Martin? Apparently not. He's still stuck on defending Morgan, and has a second piece up doing so. Some people don't know when to put the shovel down.

But, there are rumors circulating that Morgan will respond to the gay orgs call that he do more than just say he's sorry.

We are fast winning allies over, like Louis J. Marinelli, Ken Mehlman, and even Harold Ford just cut a marriage equality support video. I more than anyone can understand the skepticism to think their motives are suspect and they are not to be trusted. Believe me, I do. It's a valid way to feel.

But I also think, it would behoove us to endeavor to be gracious, and afford them the benefit of the doubt. It is very hard to say “I'm sorry.” We don't want people to think our community greets mea culpas with venom.

Under these circumstance, I do hope we provide face that says, “Come on, join the equality party! Glad to have you! We're not all hateful like those crazy fundies!” Besides forgiveness is one of the foundations of Christianity. Wouldn't it just be something if we were better at it than the “real Christians?”

Such an attitude is more than spiritually uplifting, it's strategic politics. It will make it easier for more people to change their minds if they know they'll be greeted warmly.

UPDATE: GLAAD has announce Tracy Morgan will be taking steps to learn from this experience.

Tracy will be taking us up on our offer to sit down with people who have been hurt by anti-gay rejection and violence, to meet them face-to-face, and to learn their stories. He committed to meet in New York City later this week with LGBT youth who have been hurt or left homeless by parental rejection, as well as families who have lost children to anti-gay violence. Included will be Elke Kennedy, the founder of Sean’s Last Wish. Elke’s son Sean was killed by anti-gay violence in 2007 at the age of 20 in South Carolina, when another man called him a f*ggot and punched him so hard it broke his facial bones and separated his brain from his brain stem.

Good for Tracy. Listen to Russell, listen to Tina, listen to Chris Rock and Wanda Sykes. You're surrounded by some good people with good heads on their shoulders. Learn from them.

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