Black folks love them some Hulk Hogan – or at least they did up until this past Friday, before news of the WWE star’s racist n-word-filled tirade hit the internet. And while Hogan has, rightfully, been stripped of every achievement he ever worked for during the past 40 years of his career as a result of his words, oddly there are some among us who are stepping up to defend the self-proclaimed “racist.”
Perhaps those defenders agree with the sentiment that “we’re all a little racist,” which is probably the least offensive statement Hogan could be heard saying on the sex tape that’s currently at the center of a $100 million lawsuit the pro-wrestler filed against Gawker Media for invasion of privacy. In a joint investigation, Radar Online and The National Enquirer uncovered the details of the disturbing rant Hogan went on when he accused his daughter, Brooke, of sleeping with “a black guy” and it went a little something like this:
“She is making some real bad decisions now. My daughter Brooke jumped sides on me. I spent $2-3 million on her music career, I’ve done everything like a jackass for her. The one option Brooke had, Brooke’s career besides me, is [to] sell beach records.”
In discussing some “black billionaire guy” who it seems offered to fund Brooke’s music career, “The Hulk” continued:
“I don’t know if Brooke was fucking the black guy’s son. I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, fucking niggers. But then when it comes to nice people and shit, and whatever.”
Perhaps a better caveat would’ve been nice, rich people and shit, as he went on to say:
“I mean, I’d rather if she was going to fuck some nigger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall nigger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!
“I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking nigger.”
No, we’re not all a little racist, just you boo. Actually Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, is clearly a lot a bit racist and a hard-headed one at that. Despite the WWE terminating his contract and removing his accomplishments from their website, the 12-time World Champion still doesn’t get it. While on Friday he told People magazine there was “no excuse” for his actions and that “This not who I am,” Monday morning he was singing a different tune on Twitter, retweeting a controversial statement from user @Wolfsheadonline who said:
“Bi-racial President Obama uses N word, is applauded and keep his job. @HulkHogan uses N word, is vilified and loses his job.”
And while one would think the different contexts in which the n-word was used in these situations would be obvious, at least to all people of color, there’s always one – or in this case two – who are ready to come to the defense of racists like Hogan. First up is Dennis Rodman who, on Twitter, called on Scottie Pippen, Mike Tyson, Magic Johnson, and Shaq to support Hogan who he says is “most certainly not a racist” and who doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. Then Hawaiian-Mexican American MMA fighter Tito Ortiz declared Hulk Hogan “a real America (sic) & far from a racist,” adding that “Trying 2smear his name is embarrassing.We stand behind U #HulkHogan”
Umm, am I missing something?
This Hulk Hogan situation is Donald Sterling all over again. Same script, different characters, except Hogan actually fesses up to the root of his anger over his daughter possibly sleeping with a black man: he’s a racist. Tito, Dennis, the rest of y’all people of color out there sending tweets of support: What is there to defend?
Being “racist to a point” is still racist and I’d encourage Dennis to reexamine that remark Hogan made about an “8-foot-tall nigger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!” and realize, sir, you are the prototype (in my Andre 3000 voice).
I always find myself confused in situations like this when black folks rush to the aid of white people who, number one, don’t need our help, and, number two, don’t deserve it. Remember a few years ago when every famous Black man came out the woodwork to assure us it was OK for Gwyneth Paltrow to talk about being “niggas in Paris for real”? I get wanting to defend a friend, but when you’re wrong you’re wrong. And on top of all this, it’s time out for both black and white people to keep acting as though they don’t understand the obvious issue with white people not only using the n-word, but wanting to use the n-word and what that desire and use means.
I think there’s a case for separating one’s personal bad habits, from their professional achievements, if being a racist can be considered a bad habit. But in no situation is it ever okay to laud someone as an American hero when they’re so unabashedly against what this country supposedly stands for. Don’t worry, the ironic accuracy of Hogan being called “a real American,” particularly in this time of heightened anti-Black sentiment, is not lost on me. But what is lost is people’s ability to detach their love for a fictitious character from the character of the man behind it. You can still appreciate the athlete in the ring without excusing the bigot outside of it. With everything going on in this country right now, it’s simply not the time to be handing out get out of racist jail free cards.