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When a person is a Trending Topic on Twitter it usually means you have done something great or something really bad. Or you have just died. When I saw “Tracy Morgan” was trending my first thought was, “Oh no, is Tracy Morgan dead?” As it turns out, he is alive. But his career may be dead.

As I am sure most of you know by now Tracy Morgan is in the news because of an incredibly homophobic rant he gave at a stand up show. During that show he reportedly went on a homophobic rant and said that he would kill his son if he were gay. He was booed and many people walked out of the club.

He has been sharply criticized for his remarks and rightfully so. After the high profile cases of NBA players Kobe Bryant and Joakim Noah, Tracy Morgan should have known better.

But what fascinates me the most are Morgan’s defenders. Yes, there are people who are actually supporting what Tracy said. The first wave of people defending Tracy were saying that he is just speaking his mind. It’s his opinion and you can disagree with it if you want but you can’t be mad at him for having an opinion. And that got me thinking. Would it be okay if a white comedian got up on stage and said he would kill his daughter is she ever dated a black man? After all, it is his opinion and he’s just speaking his mind. And the answer is; of course it wouldn’t be okay. Any kind of bigotry and discrimination is not okay.

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Just think back a few days ago. Lupe Fiasco was villified for calling President Obama a terrorist. Wasn’t he just speaking his mind?

The next wave of defenders started blaming the gay community for being too sensitive and being unable to take a joke. And this is where things start to get a bit ugly.

I’ve heard people say that any “real” man would not want his son to be gay and Tracy is right. I would like to think that a real man would love and support his children no matter what. But that’s just me.

Someone said that the only people who are offended are gays and “undercover gays.” I guess he was insinuating that I am gay because I am offended.

There seems to be this undercurrent of homophobia in most of the defenders and that’s the part that worries me. The whole idea that it’s okay to slander gays because they don’t really matter is a frightening trend. It’s like they are going out of their way to dehumanize homosexuals.

When you try to dehumanize a group of people it makes it easier to attack them, verbally and physically. We have seen it throughout history. If you can dehumanize one group it justifies the harsh treatment they get because the average citizen won’t care.

That’s what I think is going on here and it has to stop. Discrimination is not something we are born with, it’s learned. And if it’s a learned behavior, then we can “unlearn” it.

Israel Soliz

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