The Saga Continues…Shirely Q. Liqour!


D Best Of…The Saga Continues…. Shirley Q. Liqour!

Archive 2002 

The Saga Continues…. Shirley Q. Liqour! Wat B Wrong Wit Dem White Folks?!
By Nevin Jefferson
Has Gay Urban White Bread America gone racist? In the olden days White families gathered around the radio to listen to Amos & Andy. They also listened to Rochester refer to Jack Benny as “Mr. Benny” and “Boss” as the slap-stick comedy with shades of Vaudeville tickling the white funny bone. In the right here and right now moment Gay Whites are gathering around their PC and listening to Shirley Q. Liquor. They also gather around their television set where they watch the videos purchased on the Website Shirley liquor.com and CafeShops.com. Shirley Q. Liquor is the Female Impersonation act of Chuck Knipp, a gay white man who performs in blackface breaking taboo in the persona of stereotypes about Black women. This character speaks Pidgin English, spends her days waiting for government checks to arrive in the mail, and has babies galore whom she doesn’t have a clue to who are the fathers of them. Some of her chilins are named after venereal diseases. It’s Aunt Jemima off the box! When you logon to one of the websites you’ll hear; “Hello, baby! How you durrin? Welcome to my boutique of ignunce…please do not shoplift while you is up in here!” Amused or appalled? Does this make the Gay Whites who partake in this entertainment racist? They’re more embarrassed behind it than anything else. Some keep it a secret because they know that their Black friends would be livid beyond belief. These are the same ones who’ll tell their Black friends if asked about this that they never heard of Shirley Q. Liquor. They’re the first to tell you that this offends them while having the Website on their favorites. Others take it for the sick humor and get a kick out of it knowing that this doesn’t make them racist. Especially if one of their Black friends introduced them to racy racist humor that’s on the racial borderline. A nice Italian boy was the first to tell me about this and he found nothing wrong with his finding it hysterical and hilarious as hell! The person who’s evening featured this as a party favor hails from Mississippi. The person is Black and displays some of the mannerisms and characteristics as Shirley Q. Liquor. Other White friends of mine confided in me that it’s a hoot and they don’t think less of themselves for liking it. Straight White women told me about the parties they attended where they listened or watched the videos. They truly believe that they didn’t betray their Black sisters by rolling in laughter. When told about this stereotype that’s center stage in the spotlight I replied; “The NAACP and every other Black group is going to picket your house!” They also asked me if this made them racist? I told them; “Yep, most definitely! You ougtha be ashamed of yourself.” At the same time I knew that the minute that word of this got into the Black community all hell would break loose. It Did! Today is the day where strong Black women rule and have arose from the stereotypes, barriers, and doors that were closed to them. We have Oprah and Halle Berry as positive role models proving that a Black woman can make it in this world. Shirley Q. Liquor is a slap in the face to Black women who had to overcome these stereotypes. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force joined The New York ad-hoc coalition, Audre Lorde Project, African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change, Fierce!!, New York State Black Gay Network, New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, People of Color in Crisis, and Unity Fellowship Church of Christ. More groups are forming Nationwide in an effort to close down this act. The Help End Shirley Q. Liquor’s Gay Exploitation of Racism, Sexism & Poverty for Profit campaign is in full force. The NGLTF contacted CafeShops.com and asked that they immediately remove all Shirley Q. Liquor products from their Website. Groups who are truly offended and pissed beyond belief are condemning the racist drag performance. Is Chuck Knipp a racist? Does he perform this act at Klan Rallies and Annual Picnics? Where did he get the concept for this act? Has he been nominated for Racist of the Year? He performed this act across the South before bringing it to a gay bar in New York where groups banned together and protested. Police closed down the bar and threatened the protesters with arrest in an effort to make them disburse. Drag Queens rely on the shock factor in an effort to get known and draw a following. Drag Queens go all out for an act with sick, twisted, vulgar humor hidden behind makeup and a gown. I strongly suggest that Chuck Knipp do his act in pink face to symbolize that its gay humor without offending anyone. The damage is already done and he’s being ran out of town on a rail…inserted! I have relatives who are the split image of Shirley Q. Liquor and growing up in poverty I came across women with the Old South mentality. I wasn’t offended by them! My 86 year old Aunt talks like Shirley and is just as funny in the things that she says and the truth of humor behind it. I’m not offended by her nor do I look down at her. She refers to children as “chaps”, girls as “gals”, and uses the phrase; “I ain’t studding them!” My Great Grandmother was born into Slavery and was the walking stereotype of Black women past. I got used to the dialect and had no problem understanding what was being said to me. True, they were a throw back to negative images, but at the same time they stressed for me to be better than they were. They reminded me that I had the freedom to do what they were denied doing and to take full advantage of it by becoming somebody and having something of my own. Was I ashamed of them? No! I took them seriously in the knowledge that they shared with me and strived to be the better example that they wanted of me. I found them to be great story tellers of the past with all the hopes of a better tomorrow for all of their children. I don’t take Shirley Q. Liquor seriously because its an act! Not the best of acts for this day and age, but hey we all have to earn our income.
© Nevin Jefferson, All Rights Reserved
Archive 2002
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