Tonight I went to a Padres vs. San Francisco game and while the game itself was very eventful, even more eventful was the dispute that came about after the guy sitting in front of me semi-shouted out, “Go Home Homos!” in response to some Giants fans chanting “Let’s Go Giants.”
The dispute started just after the go-home-homos guy’s friend was yelling out “STEROIDS!… BALCO!…etc.” extremely loudly at Barry Bonds about 15 times and caused a guy next to me to quite aggressively tell him to stop the yelling. Well then the steroid-yelling guy stated his rights and mentioned that thing about living in a free country and all. Well, I took this opportunity to tell the go-home-homo guy that I found what he said to be much worse and that it was offensive. He said “Sorry, if I offended you” and I said he probably offended more people than myself. So after the 2 other guys got finished everything simmered down and the guy who told the steroid-yelling guy to stop left.
A while later the two guys go on and on about how everybody around us, shouting anything at all, should just shut up. This was meant sarcastically of course. Eventually, I remarked (which I probably could/should have refrained from) that I think it was more the way he were yelling and the repetitiveness of it that ticked the guy off. –I was REALLY annoyed too but I’d have probably never said anything.– Well, he took the repetitive thing and ran. “The guy with the popcorn is repetitive. He should shut up.”, “The people over there are repetitive. They should shut up.”
We somehow got talking again and I mentioned that the only reason I got into it was that I took offense to the “Go Home Homos!” remark. During the little discussion about whether “homo” is offensive, the go-home-homos guy brings up some guy’s name that I’m not familiar with and repeats, “You don’t know who so-and-so is?” disbelievingly a couple times. I tell him I may not know the guy because I’ve been outside the country for much of my life. He asks me, “where I was?” and I reply, “Berlin.”
He rares back with his eyes widened, as if he’s gotten me now, and blurts out something to the effect off, “Germans fucking burn people over there!” Taken aback I tell him that Germans, including my wife, would take offense to that, being that we were on the subject of offensiveness. He then said something to the effect of “Your wife burned 6 million people in gas chambers.”
At this point I took out my still/video camera which actually helped to intensify the encounter because I simply had to get this stupidity recorded. The steroid-yelling guy says he doesn’t want to be filmed and I tell him he’s in public and I have the rights in this country as he had taught us earlier. He then precedes to tell me to “Go back to Germany and kill some people.” and then insult my wife, which I was later told by our self-appointed mediator, was an attempt to start a fight. Being that I haven’t been around aggressive people in at least decade I didn’t detect this intention. Looking back at the video it was very much an attempt to start a fight. I later explained to them that a fight with me would be the other guy hitting me, me falling and me being hurt.
It basically goes on and on in circles with the “mediator” talking about how I started it (which could be true if you think people shouldn’t object when people say blatantly offensive things) and that the go-home-homos guy was only responding back to an insult by the Giants fans. Our “mediator” claimed that an opposing team rooting for their visiting team in a home stadium is an insult to the home-tea fans. Therefore, insults such as “Go Giants”, “Let’s Go Giants”, “Come on Giants” warrants counter insults such as “Go Home Homos!”
Basically, the three were against me and our “mediator”, who wasn’t there when the “Homo!” comment was made by the way, got the others to apologize and then demanded that I do the same. I didn’t, due to the fact that they were suggesting I apologize for objecting to the “Go Home Homo!” comment. I should have apologized for taking out the video camera, though. I wasn’t thinking about that at the time because it had long been turned off. The camera was a little much and if you guys are reading this, I do apologize for that. And no, I’m not putting it on the net.
I guess the question is if one should even say anything when someone says such things. I think one should. The way I judge it; if you can’t say it to someone’s face, it’s a pretty good sign its insulting and offensive. When this is based on race, sexual orientation, religion or similar it becomes a societal issue. That’s my justification anyway.
One of their arguments was that “homo” is the equivalent to “black”. Of course, I dare say you’d here anyone call out “Go Home Blacks” without hearing some objections. This is explained well here.
True, gay people aren’t widely hated. But fear of a way of life that is foreign to a large part of this country plays a huge role. A lack of understanding prevents empathy, which is why homo doesn’t have the same taboo attached to it as “wop,” “kike” or “chink.”
As an aside, I found it very odd that during the steroid-yelling guys attempts to make me a fighting man, his tactic was to ask me if I liked to suck cock, take it up the ass and so forth. I seems to me that being that the whole point of me saying anything in the first place was to fight homophobia in my own little way, that that wouldn’t be very effective. Doesn’t the fact that such “insults” are used to make “real men” fighting mad show how ingrained homophobia is?
These guys are basically good guys and I know that. I heard quite a few things about George Bush I would agree with, for example. My one insult was that I called the guy an asshole after the “Wife burning Jews” comment and the other guy too, I think, after his insults. The justification of this I’ll leave as an exercise to the reader. Everything got really heated, extremely stupid things were said and my bringing out the camera probably made things worse.
I’ll end by listing things we agreed on:
- The Padres should’ve won.
- Bush is an asshole.
- Germans gassed ~10mill people.
- Barry Bonds juiced.
- Food is way too expensive at the ball park.
- We probably don’t want to encounter each other again.
- There are homosexuals in San Francisco.
By the way, The Padres lost in the 13th inning. Bummer.