Macklemore Responds To Teacher's Suspension For Playing Pro-Equality Song "Same Love" In Class

A Michigan teacher was suspended for playing Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" for her class.

Macklemore has responded to a Michigan teacher's suspension for playing his pro-marriage equality track "Same Love" in her class.

Susan Johnson, who teaches at Centennial Middle School in the South Lyon Community School District, played the song during a performing arts class at a student's request. Another student made a complaint and the principal and assistant superintendent subsequently suspended her for three days, two without pay. She was told that she should have asked for permission to play the song before she went through with it.

Macklemore took to his website to respond to the situation, which school officials refuse to dismiss. Read the full statement below.

I believe that Ms. Johnson getting suspended is completely out of line and unjust.  However, I think it’s important for moments like these to be exposed and for us to pay attention and respond.  This level of intolerance and fear is still very active in America, but at times is not completely visible. This incident is just one of tens of thousands that have happened across the country where schools have exposed a latent homophobia, preventing safe space for all young people to feel confident in being themselves. It’s clear that Ms. Johnson felt bullying and “gay bashing” were issues that needed to be addressed, and by doing so, was punished.

I wrote the song “Same Love,” not with the expectation that it would cure homophobia and lead to marriage equality across the US (although that’d be awesome).  It was written with the hope that it would facilitate dialogue and through those conversations understanding and empathy would emerge. This incident demonstrates how too often we are quick to silence conversations that must be had. Even if people disagree, there is far more potential for progress when people are vocal and honestly expressing their thoughts about gay rights.  When we are silent and avoid the issue, fear and hatred have a far greater life span.

It’s discouraging that a song about love and civil rights has led to a teacher getting suspended from her job.  But that’s where we are at. For those of us who get a pit in our stomach when reading a story like this, it just makes it abundantly clear there is far more work to be done.

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32 Comments

  • TaZzZ

    Not to say that racism and sexism don't still plague our school systems, but women and racial minorities are afforded far more protection than LGBT individuals at this moment in time. All I'm trying to get at is, Are you really that offended by the fact that your kid is being taught to love and respect everyone equally? I'm no Christian, but I went to Catholic school long enough to know Jesus would have felt the same way.

    • NONO

      This fool needs to understand that this country was not founded on White Supremacy. There is a bigger agenda..and don't be afraid to learn new things...even the 120 was new at one time....remember

    • Anonymous

      Man if you dont shut that bullshit up. White supremacy was and still is the foundation of this country. Understand the cipher and stop with the wisdom knowledge.

  • TaZzZ

    Props to the student who requested it, the teacher for putting her job on the line and Macklemore for standing behind his beliefs and his fans. Equality should never be a controversial issue, but every minority or out-group has had to face similar prejudice and hatred, this is just a stepping stone on the road to equal human rights for all. The song doesn't push any sort of agenda, it merely chronicles one man's experiences and thoughts. We have sex education, DARE, etc. before kids hit high school, so why not open the door for sexual orientation? Putting things out in the open and making kids think about issues that actually face them is the only way we can expect to achieve any sort of tolerance. Black children and girls had to integrate into the white, male-dominated academic arena at some time and now they are able to educate themselves like anyone else. The sooner we discuss the prejudice that exists, the easier it will be for LGBT children to realize their potential without fearing being bullied. There are millions who suffer everyday because our society hides from the reality of homophobia. If the cost of making the education system a safe place for everyone is making a few people uncomfortable, then they will have to deal with it just like they have to deal with learning about equal rights for women or minorities. No school system should protect those who condemn the message of equality for all of us.

    • NONO

      If you feel gays need a bigger voice than that's one thing...Whether that's a discussion for the classroom is another. The education program is government funded...So every rule in place in under their rule. My best advice....Find a better way to get the message to people...And please understand that the purpose of education has nothing to do with equality.

  • FuKKK MaKKKlemore

    The reason the teacher was suspended was due to her playing the music of an overrated redneck. Absolute trash.

    • NONO

      I agree with the fact that his music has no value over others...If someone wants to stick up for him, than they should also approve of Nas' Black Zombies being played in classrooms, or any other message.... All messages have the same validity, you either let them all in, or find another space to give the message. His song or music doesn't deserve any special attention.

    • TaZzZ

      I didn't know rednecks were so passionate about gay rights... At least dude has something to say

  • MMG Uncut

    lmao. crackers keep losing

  • Anonymous

    so very true. Macklemore is a real MC bringing forth issues that need to be discussed as he said.

  • Anonymous

    So if she played a queen song would she get suspended? Come on get the fuck over it.

  • asher1985

    i love macklemore because the dude just makes awesome music. having said that, the song in question i didn't care for, i think he's a little confused by the issue because of his uncles being gay or whatever, but we all have our opinions. buuuut the teacher definitely got what was coming to her, its one thing if she wants to blast it in her car, but playing it for students in a classroom setting? she was begging for a pink slip

    • clara

      How can you even say "as a Christian" ?? Sorry to tell you but not all Christian think as you do (an that is for the best). Only God can judge people and let me guess...yeah you're not God so just respect and shut up thanks. And thus this is a song about tolerance and that is a student who asked so...

    • Haha

      I wasn't going to listen to the song, but seeing as you, a judgemental, evil Christian, disapproves of it, I will definitely be checking it out and recommending everyone else does so. Christians: being judgemental and self righteous enough to convince people to leave their faith, and outright avoid it, for thousands of years. Keep up the work guys!! Few hundred years, no one will be a part of your faith if you keep it up!

    • Anonymous

      Don't mean to be a dick, but if gay people are wrong, then why did god make them that way?

    • Anonymous

      You are going to hell for judgeing people!

    • asher1985

      i hope you become a Christian too because otherwise you will be going to hell when you die, and it won't be pleasant

    • Anonymous

      you christians are the worst...smh

    • asher1985

      yes i did, as a Christian I'm offended by the song, and i would have made the same complaint as would people ive gone to church with. and if you read between the lines, she's getting fired...shes suspended without pay. which means they're conducting a formal investigation so they can fire her, with any government job thats standard procedure.

    • Gonzo

      Did you read the article? It was played at a student's request, and some other kid got "offended". Suspending a teacher because some dumbass little homophobe got butthurt is absolutely ridiculous.

  • Picturesque

    Best article I've ever read in this godforsaken website.

  • ayee

    fighting the good fight, respect to macklemore and the teach

  • ATLLLLLLLLLOVE

    Macklemore is such a G!!! Aside from being a GREAT rapper, he has a message. Imagine if EMINEM was actually a good person, if Em didn't talk about Devil worship, and evil shit, he could do such great things! HIPHOP is originally about using your voice for change. GOOD ON YOU MAC!! Respect

    • Anonymous

      this just shows how people dont know anything about hip hop... in the 1980s with NWA dropping their first albums, hip hop changed. it used to be about positivity, but they brought the violent and what we call "gangsta rap" to it. however they did portray the TRUTH with songs like fuck the police and how blacks were still very much not equal. their hasnt been much positivity in hip hop, because its more about the struggles that we and the artists face. we want to relate to their songs an what theyre saying. positivity doesnt really matter anymore

    • @DJmetalgear

      if u wanna hear the gospel.. or good messages, go to church. or listen to DMX.. he's always praisin the lord, and then getting arrested for grand theft auto. shut up.

    • Anonymous

      Well said brother! Eminem "Love the way you Lie" had some messages, but not the ones you say. Eminem has had FAR more evil/satanic songs than any rapper except LIL WAYNE, JAY Z and KANYE.

    • Anonymous

      pretty sure love the way you lie was about abusive relationships, which happens allll the time in america. just throwing that out there. Music is also a way of release and its also for entertainment. There are lanes for everyone. If a message is what youre looking for, there are plenty of artists out there that provide it. All you have to do is go look and stop waiting on the radio to tell you who the next big artist is

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