A few weeks ago, Nicole, my fellow Idol Chatter-er, blogged about the premiere of “The Real World Denver.” Specifically, she wrote about the clash between housemates Stephen and Davis, both Christians. Davis announced he was gay and criticized Stephen’s anti-homosexuality stance, arguing that God didn’t hate gay people. Davis said that being gay wasn’t a choice but simply the way that he was born. He asked the African-American Stephen: “What if I told you that being black was wrong?”
Unfortunately, Davis’ rhetorical strategy no longer looks so good. On last night’s episode, all the housemates went out drinking. An incredibly intoxicated Davis got into an argument with roommate Tyrie (who is also black) and used “the n-word” in a tirade of insults. Stephen pointed out that “This man is gay, this man says he’s a Christian, but he just called us by the n-word, which is the same trigger word that started this whole night.”
Tyrie, understandably, was furious, as were the rest of the housemates and the show’s production staff, who stepped in to settle the situation. The producers put Davis in a hotel for the night after he announced to his housemates: “I’m going home tomorrow because some n***** wants to kill me.” The next morning, a repentant Davis channeled Mel Gibson, saying that he wasn’t racist–he just had a problem with alcohol and needed to get help.
Are racial epithets a fad now? First Michael Richards uses the n-word, and then Andy Dick. Now the word is favored by B-list reality show stars. In fact, Davis wasn’t the only one making ethnic slurs on last night’s show. A Denver bartender used the word against Stephen while the cast was out boozing it up. Though the incident was not shown on MTV (possibly for legal reasons), there were scenes of the cast members talking about it.
Tyrie forgave Davis and seemed to believe that his roommate’s apology was genuine. Stephen, though, got the last word: “Davis really might be racist, and I think the best thing for him to do is for him to be around people who are black or from other cultures who maybe can teach him exactly his stereotypes and his bigotry are not okay. I think Davis is a good man, and I also think Davis and I can learn from each other.” Considering how many reasons Stephen had to be furious, I found him remarkably principled. Compassion? Tolerance? A willingness to understand? That sounds pretty Christian to me.