What exactly was Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers fined $75,000 for after his post-match press conference on Saturday? In his speech, he used what is in my view the worst expletive of all – you know the one that Quentin Tarantino really likes and has been putting in his films for years without incurring any fines. He also used the phrase “no homo.” 1 The next day he issued the following apology:
“I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night. They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views. I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television. I apologize to those who I have offended, to our fans and to the Pacers’ organization. I sincerely have deep regret over my choice of words last night.”2
Now I must admit that prior to reading about his faux pas, I was not previously familiar with Mr Hibbert, so I hope that I’m not doing him a terrible injustice when I say that the language used in his recantation appears to me to be rather more articulate than the language he used in his press conference. Unless I am terribly mistaken, it looks to me as if Mr Hibbert has not only been told that he must recant, or else, but has even been given the form of words he must use in his recantation.
It is interesting that in his apology he uses the plural form for the most part, giving the impression that he is apologizing for his use of both the expletive and the “no homo” comment. However, the game is given away by the phrase “I used a slang term,” which is very much a reference to a singular, rather than a plural offence. So which slang term was this then? The expletive or the “no homo” comment?
Clearly the latter. Had he merely used Tarantino’s favourite swear word, the idea that he would have been fined $75,000 or anything at all is laughable. There is no doubt that the fine was purely and simply for the latter comment, and this is borne out by the fact that all reports into the incident have barely mentioned the use of the expletive but have all majored on his use of “homophobic” language.
I’ll come back to the implications of that in a moment, but first a slight diversion. It is a curious and ironic quirk that all those who use the words homophobe, homophobia and homophobic are technically guilty of being – well “homophobes,” to use their own terminology. Confused? Allow me to explain.
The word homophobia is of course made by the joining of the words homo and phobia. Phobia comes to us from the Greek and simply means a fear or hatred of something, but what of the first part of the compound: homo? Is it Greek or is it Latin?
The Latin homo of course means man, as in homo sapiens, but this would appear to render the word homophobia manfear or _manhat_e. That seems to be an odd condition to suffer from, doesn’t it? Is that what Roy Hibbert was accused of? Perhaps not, so let’s try again.
How about the Greek homo rather than Latin? This would make sense, given that the second part of the word – phobia – is from the Greek, but the problem with this is that the meaning of the Greek homo means the same, which renders the meaning of the word homophobia, “a fear or hatred of the same.” I’m not entirely sure, but I tend to think this is probably not the charge being levelled at the likes of Roy Hibbert, but rather that they fear or hate those who are different or other. However, this presents us with even more definitional difficulties, since the Greek for other is heteros, leaving us with the rather ironic consequence of rendering Roy Hibbert a heterophobe. Now that would be pretty funny, wouldn’t it?
So if it’s not the Latin or the Greek, what is it? The only other entry in my dictionary for the word homo states that it is “a derogatory term for a gay man.” This sounds a little more plausible, but there is a problem. If the “homo” in “homophobia” is a derogatory term for a gay man, then that would mean those accusing others of being homo-phobes would effectively be accusing them of fearing or hating “homos.” In other words, calling someone a homophobe is akin to saying that “you are a hater of homos.” But of course we can’t use the word homo, as this is apparently highly offensive. Those accusing others of being homophobes – haters of homos, that is – may therefore find themselves guilty of “homophobia” for using what they themselves say describe as a derogatory term.
Yes, yes, yes, I plead guilty to the charge of lexiconical hair-splitting. Yet, there is a point to it all. The word homophobia is bandied about by the LGBT lobby and their supporters with all the subtlety of an elephant in a library. Yet it is utterly meaningless. It has been contrived to serve just one purpose: to be used as a term of abuse in order to shame and silence anyone who disagrees with the agenda of the LGBT lobby.
Which brings us back to Roy Hibbert. He clearly has a foul mouth and I certainly have no interest in condoning the use of either his horrible expletive or his idiotic slang word. But a fine of $75,000? What is this all about?
The idea that he was fined and forced to recant for offending any actual people out there is risible – as if there are a bunch of people so thin skinned and offended that they needed him to publicly recant and pay a $75,000 in order to appease their oh-so-tender consciences. Tarantino, along with rappers, actors and hip-hoppers have been using offensive expletives and slang for decades without provoking any particular outrage in the media, let alone any fines.
No, Mr Hibbert was fined not for using a wicked expletive, nor even for using an idiotic slang word, but because he is a blasphemer. He offended the great god of the new theocracy – Tolerance & Diversity – and then found out that this particular god doesn’t tolerate dissent. It (for it is a gender neutral god) insists on being obeyed and so when a public figure offends, they must be fined and forced to recant so as to be held up as an example for all to see what happens to dissenters.
What techniques do the priests of the god Tolerance & Diversity use to extract their confessions? Medieval or modern? No idea, but next time you see Roy Hibbert on the basketball court, it might be worth checking out his thumbs!