Fantasia’s False Equivalency

Her anti-gay Instagram rant made one thing clear: Celebrities should avoid social media sermons.

Singer Fantasia Barrino (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images Entertainment)
Singer Fantasia Barrino (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images Entertainment)

But apparently the bloggers didn’t listen, because on Thursday Barrino had more to say on Instagram, albeit not as politely this time. “NOW IM ANGRY!! MY WHOLE TEAM IS GAY, MY MANAGER IS GAY, MIDDLE FINGER UP TO THOSE WHO SEAK [sic] TO DESTROY ME.” She went on to explain that the first Instagram outburst was meant for “those who sit back and try to judge” her. She never meant to throw the gay community (or marijuana smokers, who’ve stayed pretty silent on the subject thus far) under the bus.

What’s really sad? I sort of get her point.

Fantasia’s life, as Lifetime so eloquently put it in 2006, is not a fairy tale. The winner of American Idol’s third season has been put through the wringer these past few years, with a publicly tumultuous relationship with a married man, a failed suicide attempt and an aborted pregnancy that should have been no one’s business but her own. I’m certain the singer experienced no shortage of judging, not the least of which from her own bathroom mirror.

And if the Bible is to be believed — or, more accurately, manipulated to support certain beliefs — then many things are indeed sinful and worth being stoned over, including gay marriage and pot smoking. Still with me?

Thus, Barrino might have been trying to suss out why this mob of invisible “haters” are judging her for perhaps having children out of wedlock, dating a married man, etc. The only problem with her logic is that there are plenty of pot-smoking gay people who might not have made the same choices Barrino has made on their own moral grounds. Drawing a straight line from sexuality and recreational-drug use to extramarital affairs is a bit of a stretch for some people. But tomato, to-MAH-to.

Regardless of whether Barrino’s life is as highly scrutinized as she claims or whether having a gay manager makes one’s daft statements about gays any less potentially offensive, Instagram is hardly a pulpit. The sermons that come down from that mount are probably better left unsaid or, at the very least, spell-checked.

Helena Andrews is a contributing editor at The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter.