A song with racist lyrics does not make the singer racist. A joke with a homophobic punch line does not make the comedian a homophobe. A novel with misogynistic themes does not make the writer a misogynist.
I separate artists from their art, and unless there is hate or ignorance in their hearts, I always give artists a pass. I honestly don’t know what’s in Tyler the Creator’s heart, and quite frankly, I don’t care. I’ve listened to his music, and while I’ll give a nod to his nascent lyrical abilities, his shit ain’t for me.
It’s those taunts in particular that ensure lots of people will never be able to feel entirely included here. There’s been plenty of discussion of the moral dimensions of that fact. Here’s another dimension to consider, though: Doesn’t that just kind of suck, that this group would turn out a lot of fantastic music that unnecessarily dis-includes a big chunk of listeners? That there would be these terrific tracks and vital energy you might want to share in and share with others—except that sharing in it involves leaping this pointless exclusionary hurdle that doesn’t just leave out people you care about, but actively assaults their sensibilities? [...] But this stuff isn’t just needling sensibilities; it’s throwing up a significant roadblock that divides me from people I don’t want to be divided from. Leave aside morals: It bums me out that I can love so much about a few of these tracks, but wouldn’t put them on a mixtape for a lot of people I care about. It bothers me on the same small level it bothered me when my family toured a men-only monastery in Ethiopia and had to leave my mom standing outside for 10 minutes.
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