Ethical Quote Of The Day: Tyler Perry

“Stand in the middle, because that’s where healing happens.That’s where conversation happens. That’s where change happens. It happens in the middle So anyone who wants to meet me in the middle, to refuse hate, to refuse blanket judgment, and to help lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one is for you, too.”

—Tyler Perry, African-American playwright, screenwriter, producer, director and actor, in his acceptance speech for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at last night’s Academy Awards

Perry was one of the few attendees at last night’s Oscars who could make such a contrarian speech without looking like a hypocrite. He has always been defiantly politically incorrect in his plays and screenplays, which critics frequently attack on the grounds that he employs negative black stereotypes. (What Perry has proved is that African -Americans can laugh at themselves, at least as long as the satirist is the right skin-shade.) He is also extraordinarily wealthy and powerful within the industry, and doesn’t have to signal his virtue to anyone. At another point in his speech, Perry said,

“It is my hope that all of us would teach our kids … just refuse hate. Don’t hate anybody. I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican, or because they are Black, or white, or LGBTQ. I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer. I refuse to hate someone because they are Asian. I would hope that we refuse hate.”

Of course, Perry knew that he was speaking to an audience that has been fueled by hate for years, in a nation where the prevailing political party and the news media deliberately fostered hate toward men, whites, conservatives, police, and the elected President of the United States. His speech also contrasted with several intentionally hateful anti-police messages from other award-winners, such as “Two Distant Strangers” directors Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe who won an Oscar for Best Live-Action Short. Free said in part,

5 thoughts on “Ethical Quote Of The Day: Tyler Perry

  1. I will admit that personally one of the most difficult things to do is to will the good for those I dislike and disagree with. It is very easy to hate, to wish harm on someone, especially if you think that person is causing great harm. It is a challenge, for example, to pray for the good of President Biden, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, et al, even when hedging that prayer with vagueness and “what you, Lord, know is best for them”. Part of it, I believe, is personal pride, which wants to be vindicated. If I disagree with the President’s policies, I want them to fail so that I can claim to be right, and show that he was wrong. And that’s unfortunately at the expense of everyone that such policies would hurt.

    So how do we combat hate? The typical remedy I’ve heard from multiple sources is that we pray for those we consider to be enemies. If we pray for them, for their success and wellbeing, we defeat pride and envy and eventually find ourselves centered back in the reality that we can actually disagree with someone and still desire good for them.

  2. I’m not particularly religious, however I agree that hate and resentment have no place in America based on the color of their skin, sexual orientation, or occupation unless that is being an habitual criminal. Maybe there is something to hating the sin but loving (or at least being indifferent to) the sinner.

  3. “I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican, or because they are Black, or white, or LGBTQ. I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer. I refuse to hate someone because they are Asian.” (bold/italic mine)

    Only one uncapitalized demographic in the written text? Curious, that.

    • To be fair, he SPOKE those words, and I highly doubt he used some kind of deliberate vocal intonation to signal that THIS word should be capitalized and some OTHER word should not.

      Whoever wrote the transcript is the culprit, not Perry.


  4. Free’s despicable characterization made it sound as if the police roam the streets looking for Americans to kill, which is what Black Lives Matter propaganda wants the public to believe.

    And yet, these same police are supposed to enforce “common sense”, “sensible” gun legislation in an even-handed manner…

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