Tryangles owner thinks comparing Obama to a monkey is hilarious

Louisville rabble rouser (and 35th Senate district candidate) Curtis Morrison took this screengrab from the Facebook page of Mike Flatt, the owner of the Louisville gay bar Tryangles:

Morrison further captured Flatt’s defense of posting the picture in the comments — and why it’s really, really funny, and if you don’t think it’s funny you just don’t have a sense of humor — as he feels there is nothing racist about reinforcing a centuries-old idiotic tactic of white supremacists that compares people of African descent to primates. Yeah.

So if you are a minority group who is the target of bigoted, dehumanizing attacks, you might want to think about where you take your business in Louisville.

Let’s see if Flatt comes to his senses and stops making a repeated defense of why this is “funny” and starts making repeated and heartfelt apologies. If it isn’t already too late.


  1. Bedford the Great
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Hmm, liberals loved it when Bush was compared to a chimp, but their lord god and savior Obama is compared to one and it is whine, whine, whine.

  2. C2inKy
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Sensationalism and witch hunting reign supreme! Maybe people should look at Curt Morrison’s Facebook page and see the glee with which he posts how many website visits e has gotten after stirring a hornets nest. It says it all regarding his motivation.

    And incidentally, if you view his blog site, you see some very interesting info on it that could torpedo his Senate candidacy. I think he has forgotten that sometimes a spotlight will highlight areas one doesn’t want seen.

    Also the LEO needs to be very careful as to encouraging people to take their business elsewhere and demanding an apology for someone laughing/reposting at an inappropriate pic (that he didn’t even create). Especially when nothing is being said about the Obama same sex kiss picture floating about. It just cheapens the quality when a standard is applied in an uneven way solely for political gain.

    Hopefully Mr. Morrison will be banned from either of Mr Flatts establishments, as the self-proclaimed “rabble rouser” has shown he will cut anyone’s throat if he sees a chance to get his name out there.

  3. C2inKy
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    And don’t forget to mention the Mr. Flatt’s grand daughter is African American.

  4. Steve Magruder
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m not intervening in the squabble within the gay community but I do take exception to Bedford’s response above, as there is a clear difference in that case.

    Bush was compared to a monkey due to his perceived (ok, real) lack of intelligence and that many people think his head looks like a monkey’s head.

    As for Obama, it’s nothing short of racist. Or at least anyone comparing him to a monkey surely understands the racist overtones, or are insensitive to them.

    Avowed right-wingers like Bedford (I’m sure he sees this as a badge of honor) take special pleasure in exhibiting racial insensitivity because they will never appreciate what has been done to African Americans in our nation’s occasionally sordid history. From some of my own interactions with Bedford, he is a person who cares about history in many respects, but with respect to issues like this, he fails to faithfully acknowledge actual history, and instead seems to laugh at it. Bad form for an aspiring historian.

    If this is a “whine”, so be it. It’s really a critique of stupidity, of which racism is a key part. Racism is indefensible.

  5. Steve Magruder
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    The more I read about this, the more I see this as calling out racism (appropriate) extending into unwarranted vilification (inappropriate). Politicians we want to vote for should clearly be anti-racist, but this is a demonstration that doesn’t just make the point, but drives that point in with a knife. I admire Curt in many ways, but he should find a way to dial this down, while not backing down on talking about why he was so offended. I hope this can become a teaching moment for everyone. Racism, even in jokes, is indefensible, but we also have to give people room to make mistakes, apologize, and restore their own good name. Even if Curt hadn’t called out and vilified Flatt, Flatt should realize that any number of others could have because he arguably went public with a display of virulent racism, whether he meant it that way or not. Nobody in this squabble is innocent, but finding a middle ground of understanding can quickly put this incident in the past, and everyone can be friendly again. This is my hope.

  6. None Of your business
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    This is mere Political Trash for ones own political gain. Curt Morrison GROW UP!

  7. Khan
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Bedford, you are really such an idiot if you do not see what is wrong with this. Jesus.

  8. Khan
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Just an open letter to all of you who are now damning the person who brought this to light…Those of us who are gay know what it’s like to be treated as though we are less than. Our president is a man of color. To look at a picture in which he is depicted as a monkey and find it funny????? It is very difficult to realize you are gay and have to deal with all that comes with it. You deal with hate, abuse, and the feeling that you are not the citizen you know you are. You would think that we would understand bigotry. Apparently you don’t. For every step we take forward, people like you send us three steps back. Those of you who think it’s funny, and the owner of that bar should be deeply ashamed. You are not the people you should be. My partner and I are gay, but you do not represent us. Shame on you.

  9. Jolson
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I find it odd that all minorities, Women, blondes, gays, lesbians, people of certain ethnic backgrounds, christians, muslims, mormans, liberals, conservatives, U.K. fans, U of L fans have all ,and many times, been on the receiving end of jokes, and rarely receive the kind of attention when a person says or does something people consider racist. How many of you condemning Mike Flatt for his post have told a blond joke? or a gay joke? or a joke making fun religion?
    And if you say thats different you miss the point. Yes, racism has a long, dark history in this country, but when you single one group out saying we need to be more sensitive to the history behind how they were treated, it belittles and demeans other groups of people you have also been persecuted and made to feel “less than human”.Being overly sensitive to racist humor is not going to change the past. We should all stop trying to apologize for the past and think more about the present and the future. Was his post in bad taste? yes. And he has apologized for it. What more can he do to fix it. What more do people want from this man?

  10. Steve Magruder
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Jolson: “when you single one group out saying we need to be more sensitive to the history behind how they were treated, it belittles and demeans other groups of people you have also been persecuted and made to feel ‘less than human’”

    The problem with saying this is that nobody is singling one group out (unless all you see is this episode with blinders on) — all bigotry and demeaning of others is subject to be calling out, and should be. And the idea that raising this issue belittles and demeans others almost seems to suggest we should just let people off the hook in instances like this. It also suggests that anyone offended by this wouldn’t be offended by others being joked about in a vile way. No group should be put down in this manner. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    There are no excuses and no possible defense for this kind of behavior. Period.

    Jolson: “We should all stop trying to apologize for the past”

    That’s the problem: Thinking it’s all in the past, when we see this episode happen _today_. And to pretend that African Americans still don’t face a good deal of racism, especially the institutional sort, really demonstrates an insensitivity. It’s in the present, and it needs to be stamped out today and as long as it occurs.

  11. the people
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    @Bedford the great and C2inky
    Take a min and think about it. It is black history month, when Bush was thought of as a monkey. Was he being held by what was seen as a black racists? No so yes he was wrong in every way. I guess if you don’t see he was wrong and didn’t think guess your racists to. He definitely should apologize for for it and next time think before you act. If it would have just been a pic of him and a monkey like the Bush pics. It wouldn’t been so bad. But why this month and a pic of a monkey with a white guy like that with those words? Now ask yourself that?

  12. Jolson
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Does not change the fact that people get more offended and outraged by black, racist humor than any other form of bigotry. I cite the photoshopped “gay kiss” photo of our President. Did not hear the cry foul from the gay community as loudly as when a person posts something comparing black americans to a primate. All people should be as vocal about any form of bigotry and narrow- mindedness. I do not know you personally Steve, but I have seen your posts over the years on many websites. I truly respect your opinion, but all minorities should be defended as vigorously as our black community in this day and age. No minority should be held up as being more deserving of the defensive side of this truly bad situation. I feel that Mr. Morrison and his defenders are pouring gasoline of an already burning out of control fire, and it does appear to many, not just myself, it has been done out of political gain on his behalf.

  13. Shanitha Lockhart Mitchell
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care what color his granddaughter is the comments and the photo just let’s me know that there’s still to much ignorance and racism going on in America. No form of racism should be tolerated & if u have a problem with someone because they’re different shame on u. And u need to deal with whatever hatred that u have inside of u on your own and leave the rest of us out of it. Thank u..

  14. Pam Newman
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    What he said is incredibly insensitive, and what makes it worse is that all marginalized people should be supporting each other, rather than poking fun.

    White folks chiming in to support racist behavior is exhausting.

  15. Help Me Understand
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Please, help me understand this “racism” thing…

    Why do we tolerate a “black history month”, a “black entertainment channel”, a “congressional black caucus”, the “national association for the advancement of colored people”, etc, if our goal is the elimination of segregation and separation?

    Will someone please put forth an answer, besides the incredibly simplistic “because everything else is white”, as to why certain races are allowed to self-segregate without question?

    The fluidity of the “rules” is what undermines the entire cry of “racism”. Criticize Obama = racist, not an admonition of his policies (racism must be the underlying drive behind anyone who doesn’t see the greatness of Obama). Question why there is no “white history month” or “white entertainment television” = racist, not pointing out the very obvious double-standard. Point out that as a percentage of population of a particular race, certain races have ridiculously higher high school drop out rates, crime rates, and children born to unwed mothers with absentee fathers = racist, not citing readily-identifiable factual statistics (the must be an underlying racist tone from anyone who believes measured, analytical fact). In other words, question the politically and socially sensitive issues and their many times factual statistical evidence = racist, not actually questioning these sensitive issues.

    For me, that word has lost all meaning, destroyed by an over-use by self-serving politicians, journalists, educators, “community activists” and the like, attempting to belittle, berate, break down, vilify, isolate, and oppress others. Simply put, doing the exact same thing that they claim that they are identifying with their incessant claims of “racism”.

  16. Steve Magruder
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Help Me Understand, about all I can say is active racism is found throughout a lot of your remarks, in the form of insensitivity and perceptual problems with regards to statistics.

    In short, there’s no helping or explaining to a person who finds themselves so disgusted by efforts to right wrongs.

  17. JOB
    Posted February 6, 2012 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Anyone that wants to know how dirty this politician is needs to really check this blog out below @ Metro Expressions. The candidate running for the 35th district seante seat actually LIKED a facebook comment on his own Facebook page that enorsed violence toward a local TV weatherman.

  18. Tanya
    Posted February 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Thw whait community are not the arbiter of how black people should feel or respond to a racist incident. Your suggestions and lack of respect for the decisions we make are unwarranted, unsolicited and based on your lack of sensitivity around racial issues. Racism is alive and well in 2012, but I guess when you have white privilege we can overlook the feelings of the African American community huh?

  19. John C.
    Posted February 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I Think that it is STUPID that it even made it this far in the press! its nothing new & people need a sense of humor. & This Is Coming From A BLACK MAN, Lighten Up & Laugh. Get Your Head Out Of Your A@@’ & Learn To Stop Being So Serious For Christ Sakes!

  20. Tanya
    Posted February 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    @John C

    Whats so funny about the pic? The cartoon post would only appeal to or be funny to a racist. There is nothing funny about Reagan babysitting any president. There is no humor in that at all. It was uniquely created to appeal to racist. Nothing else funny about it whatsoever.

  21. peace
    Posted February 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I would like to inform the community that Mr Morrison and the kentuckiana Gay Black Pride council are planning a protest that will block traffic on Preston street between Market & Jefferson on Friday @ 6pm. This area is already congested due to the bridge closure. The public should not tolerate or allow this to happen at this time of day. Please for the sake of the community and drivers contact the local transportation office or the mayors office and demand this protest stopped at that time of day.

  22. Apple At Cha
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Posted on the Metro Expressions Blogsite:

    Matthew: 18:15 Moreover, if thy brother
    shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault
    between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee,
    Thou hast gained thy brother.

    After a public call from Metro Expressions for a community positive blog, this verse came to mind. While I am not one to often admit letting the Bible shape my idea of morality, let alone quote its scripture, the past few day’s events have made this verse seem entirely appropriate ( I admit that after reading a religious blog, I have paraphrased a few tips from them and hope they approve). If a person has offended you, the Bible makes no attempt to hide the steps that should be taken. They are easy to follow, but just as easily forgotten in a knee-jerk moment of anger. Regardless of religious affiliation or belief, the above are words to live by.

    Much has been written over the past few days that have permanently damaged the LGBT community in Louisville. However, there is much to be learned from this situation. First, mistakes happen. It is inevitable that every person is going to offend by someone, at some point in their life. Second, the way in which offended party handles the offense can mean the difference between resolution and total community meltdown.

    Suppose an offense is made, and the offended party makes their displeasure public. Regardless of whether the offenders were to seek forgiveness, the problem isn’t solved. Those who observed the public grievance display now will automatically start to have differing opinions about both the offending party and the offended. By spreading an accusation publicly, one has unknowingly (or knowingly in some cases) begun a consensus against the offending party – and often against themselves. This is entirely damaging to the community at large because it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to restore either person back in the community, as well as fragments the community further. Additionally, in this internet age of tweets, reposts, and tumblrs, the effect of a publicly airing a grievance can snowball, causing the reputation damage to both parties to reverberate forever.

    It has also been repeatedly stated that prejudice in any form cannot be tolerated and suggested that the only way to confront perceived displays of racism or prejudice is public humiliation. I do not believe this to be in accordance with the above outlined words of Jesus. The real objective in solving a grievance should be reconciliation. The complete objective should be restoration and personal growth of the offender. However, this objective can easily be lost in a blur of revenge in which the aggrieved seeks justice and retribution. By publicly airing one’s grievance, a behemoth machine of public opinion is triggered that corners the accused party – placing them in a trapped position wherein a fight or flight mechanism will naturally kick in. Furthermore, in being truly race-neutral, the offending party’s race should not be a factor in whether they are approached publicly or privately – because assuming that a person cannot learn and seek forgiveness solely because they are white also displays pre-conceived ideas of racial norms that should be avoided in handling these types of matters. Jesus’ directions didn’t distinguish races – and neither should we.

    It is apparent that the solution to problems such as these is a two-way street. Both the offender and the offended play a vital role in the final outcome. No one is less important or guiltier than the other. No one is less responsible or more excused in their actions. If we really want to build a community, we have to practice that simple principle and the rest will fall into place.

    Now, what can be done to start letting the healing process begin? These are just my opinion, but we all know what people say about “opinions”, so I may as well share mine. First, the offended parties should allow things to cool down before trying to tend to the wounds inflicted. Heart rates should calm, and tempers should cool. Knee-jerk reactions are universally bad. People have the natural desire to snap and attack, ask questions later. We are all guilty of it. Our first instinct is usually the wrong way to handle things given that they are driven by pure emotion. If we really want to fix things or remedy the cause of an offense, matters can’t be handled out of raw emotion. Nonetheless, it CAN feel good to lash out and speak one’s peace, but it is never fixes things.

    The next thing that can be done is a public display of good faith reconciliation on the part of the offended and acceptance of their role in both exacerbating and resolving the matter. After taking a grievance public, the only way to do damage control on the part of the aggrieved is to engage their “support base.” Those that have rallied behind the aggrieved party will, in fact, take their cue from the offended to let things cool down. With protective instincts of one’s friends and allies engaged, the offended should recognize their crucial role in calming their “allies” in order to allow the repairing process begin.

    Finally, after letting matters cool, but not letting them be forgotten. The aggrieved should follow the above outlined bible verse to handle the matter privately. Furthermore, one should remember to only handle their own personal grievances against the individual, not the grievances of a group – as once a group mentality has replaced the individual persona, a blurring of motives can take place which can further fragment the community, exacerbating the damage done.

    Do I believe that these wounds are going to destroy our LGBT community? No. But I do believe it is well within the aggrieved party’s power to determine how deep and numerous the scars are. Let’s all practice a little adult restraint.

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