Chuck Knipp

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Chuck Knipp (born 1961) is a Texan- American Canadian (dual citizenship) alleged comedian best known for his alter egos heard on radio such as the characters 'Shirley Q. Liquor,' 'North Dakota Marge', 'Delbert Peveto' and 'Betty Butterfield'. Knipp also does radio vocal impersonations of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Al Gore, Barbara Jordan, H. Ross Perot, Presidents Nixon, Ford, Bush and Clinton and Canadian Prime Ministers Mulroney and Crétien. He is known for radio advertisements in Southeast Texas.

Lesser known works are his assortment of characters in an imaginary transexual-drag show, a continuing web-based series, [1]featuring Emcees Sissy St James and Mrs. Valerie Valingimes.

Knipp is active in the Libertarian Party and was nominated as its candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000 for Texas, District 2.

Knipp is a 1979 graduate of West Orange-Stark High School in Orange, Texas and graduate of Lamar University. He is a Registered Nurse by profession, a Buddhist and member of Universalist Friends (a Quaker group).

Support[edit]

  • The entertainer RuPaul has long been a fan and supporter of Knipp. "Critics who think that Shirley Q. Liquor is offensive are idiots. Listen, I've been discriminated against by everybody in the world: gay people, black people, whatever. I know discrimination, I know racism, I know it very intimately. She's not racist, and if she were, she wouldn't be on my new CD."[2] In his blog, RuPaul adds: "I am very sensitive to issues of racism, sexism and discrimination. I am a gay black man, who started my career as a professional transvestite in Georgia, twenty years ago."[3]
  • The Boston Phoenix journalist Dan Kennedy awarded Boston government official Jerome Smith the dubious Muzzle Award for his part in the cancellation of Knipp's scheduled performance in Boston in 2004.[4]
  • The writer David Holthouse, the anti-racist investigator for the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, stated that "Knipp is in no way a white supremacist" and that Knipp "invites the audience to sympathize with a single Black mother". An in-depth article was printed in the June, 2007, edition of Rolling Stone magazine.
  • The New York Blade criticized GLAAD for condemning Knipp, stating, "We commend GLAAD for condemning racism, but we question whether the organization’s goal is best attained by joining this particular fight."[5]
  • John Strausbaugh, the author of Blackface, Whiteface, Insult & Imitation in American Popular Culture, explores Liquor's act in his book.
  • Syndicated radio host Michael Berry, also a native of Orange Texas plays frequent clips and often live phone interviews with Knipp's characters.

Knipp concedes that his performances can make people uncomfortable because "we all are used to treating African Americans as if their skin colour is a disease" and that black people are "more than intelligent enough to discern the nuance" of his performances. He has also said that "many people thought that Harriet Beecher-Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was and still is perceived as racist, despite being the probable artistic genesis of emotional support against slavery in the 19th century."

Criticism[edit]

There have been a number of articles in the media that have taken issue with Knipp and the character.

  • To Knipp's declaration that Liquor "was created in celebration of, not to downgrade, black women",[6] Jasmyne Cannick countered in her blog: "...it is not possible for Charles Knipp, a white man, to help heal years of mistreatment and racism at the hands of his people by putting on a wig, speaking Ebonics, and in blackface...There is nothing remotely uplifting about Knipp’s act and I wish people would stop defending his character with the tired argument that he’s trying to heal the nation. The only thing Knipp is trying to heal is the hole in his pocket by filling it with all of the money he makes off of degrading Black people."[7]
  • The BET.com writer Jennifer Daniels wrote, "I have [no] intention of slinking off into some corner while some PSUEDO-bigot paints his face black and gets rich off spewing hurtful and embarrassing stereotypes about Black women...Knipp is free to celebrate Black women his way. That is certainly his right. But I have a right to publicly critique said celebration and encourage others not to participate., as Commode Scientists."[8] Daniels offered Knipp an interview with a now defunct BET online site "to set the record straight" about his Shirley Q. Liquor character, but Knipp declined to participate, preferring an in-depth article by Rolling Stone magazine.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Transy Radio -{"http://www.mmmhellooo.com/2008/08/transsexual-rad.html"}
  2. ^ southerndecadence.net
  3. ^ RuPaul. "These Folks Is Just Plain Ignunt!" (blog entry) 3 November 2002
  4. ^ Kennedy, Dan. "The sixth annual Muzzle Awards", The Boston Phoenix, 10 July 2003
  5. ^ GLAAD’s New Act, The New York Blade Online, 23 February 2007
  6. ^ "Shirley Q. Liquor Does Southern Decadence", Southern Decadence
  7. ^ Cannick, Jasmyne. "Shirley Q. Liquor Update: A Response to the Blade Editorial "GLAAD's New Act" (blog entry), 23 February 2007
  8. ^ Daniels, Jennifer. "The Racist Sting of Shirley Q.", Black Entertainment Television, 22 January 2007

External links[edit]