Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Byrd Bennett
[ Click above to embiggen: Some of the promotional material for website www.BradleyThomasComic.com, which was wiped clean of all content on the morning of Friday 5/31/13 after our initial reporting on “The Case of the Stripping School Teacher” was published ]
A sixth grade teacher in a Chicago Public School classroom has been identified as a moonlighting stand-up comic who mocks his black students’ names, intelligence, and home life in degrading “comedy routines” staged in the city’s LGBTQAI community…where gay Chicago men have a longstanding habit of making racist, “ghetto” jokes at the expense of black people…but are never called-out on it because gays are a protected and favored class in our national media; a gay public school teacher ridiculing and degrading his black students for the amusement of gay audiences thus pits two of the institutional Left’s primary demographic groups against one another in as politically-incorrect terms as possible. Chicago’s now faced with the rare spectacle of wondering whom the media will side with on this one: the black children being mocked or the gay comic who degrades them on stage?
Bradley Thomas Balof, a gay, white, male teacher at Joseph Stockton Elementary School on the North Side of Chicago continues to perform his standup routine at venues like Zanies in Old Town, with troupes such as OutLoud Chicago, and in appearances at Sidetrack the Video Bar in Boystown (where Balof also serves as the bar’s master-of-ceremonies (MC) for special events and regularly dances nearly-nude as an in-house erotic entertainer).
Balof’s “comedy stylings” at Sidetrack and other gay venues include:
* Mocking the names of his black students, particularly the females, as “Shaquisha”, “Loquisha”, “”Shaniqua” , “Bon’Qui Qui”, and other variations of same that are disturbingly popular “jokes” amongst many gay men in Chicago
* Informing his audiences that he’s a public school teacher in Chicago who is exasperated by the lack of learning ability of his black students…and then detailing their academic struggles on stage in a “my students are so funny, they think 2 plus 2 is 5″ kind of way; other “jokes” in this vein involved the children not knowing what various sexual or other adult terms meant and then having “funny” responses to Balof about them
* Affecting a “ghetto accent” and taking on “ghetto black mannerisms” while telling “jokes” about the black people he claims to encounter during his teaching day
* Ridiculing black parents, especially the mothers, for the poor school performance of their kids
* Maligning black women as welfare queens and linking their reproductive frequency to the lackluster academic performance of their children
* Presenting himself on stage as a sainted martyr for having to “put up with black kids all day at work”
Balof regularly performs these “jokes” as the master-of-ceremonies (MC) for high-profile events held at Sidetrack the Video Bar, which is owned by prominent Chicago gay activists Art Johnston and Jose Pepin “Pepe” “Pep” Pena (who are also the principle fundraisers and founders for/of the lobbying organization Equality Illinois). Johnston and Pena are regularly present for Balof’s comedy routines and laugh along with the rest of the gay audience as Balof mocks black people unrelentingly. This is especially disturbing, since Johnston and Pena take the stage at these same events to promote Equality Illinois’ purported mission of achieving “equality for everyone in Illinois”…but then they laugh uproariously when one of their employees lambasts the culture and intelligence of black Chicago children and their parents.
I have personally and repeatedly complained to both Johnston and Pena about the offensive nature of the “comedy” performed at Sidetrack, with Pena in particular telling me in his thick accent that he didn’t care about complaints and that he “thinks this is funny”…and so Sidetrack will keep doing what it’s been doing, with Pena’s personal approval, regardless of how awful some of these “jokes” truly are.
Sidetrack the Video Bar films all of its special events MC-ed by Balof and stores these recordings digitally in its VJ/sound booth above its Main Bar room at 3349 N. Halsted in Boystown; as of Friday 5/31/13, it appears an investigation now has been launched by the Chicago Public Schools administration to obtain copies of all these videos for review, as Sidetrack has never made these performances by Balof available on its website or YouTube. There is an entire video production facility in-house and on-site at Sidetrack, with three or four dedicated staff members in charge of filming, editing, and archiving every event that happens in the bar.
[ Click PLAY above: as of this writing, this commercial for “Laugh Track” found on YouTube is the only film from the events available; while it does not show the racist jokes about public school students that are so offensive and only offers a taste of what “Laugh Track” was all about, it does prove that these shows were filmed by Sidetrack using the bar’s video production facilities. You can see screens to the sides of the comics where they’re being projected while they work the microphone; a Sidetrack camera operator was filming them so it could be broadcast on the screens and those performances were then captured digitally and archived in the Sidetrack VJ/sound booth ]
From the summer of 2010 through the spring of 2011, Balof and fellow comic Adam Guerino additionally staged the “Laugh Track” live comedy shows held at Sidetrack on Thursday nights; these featured standup comedy performances by Balof where he used his life as a public school teacher in majority-minority Joseph Stockton Elementary as the basis for his performance sets. Another Sidetrack co-owner, Chuck Hyde, was quoted in November of 2010 saying these “Laugh Track” shows had “been growing rapidly…We know that there’s a whole lot of talent in our community that doesn’t always get to showcase, so this just seemed like a natural fit” for Sidetrack the Video Bar. Another interview with Guerino revealed that he, Hyde, and Balof had conceived the idea for “Laugh Track” together and were the principle driving forces of the weekly events.
These “Laugh Track” shows were heavily promoted by owners Johnston, Pena, and Hyde with lavish posters and ads in all of the city’s gay entertainment publications. By all accounts, they were extremely well-attended and brought a lot of business into the bar on what was otherwise a slow night of the week. But, the consistently degrading nature of the material aimed at black people and children quickly soured audiences and “Laugh Track” was canceled unceremoniously in 2011…with most references to it disappeared down the “memory hole”. After hoping the ill will and hurt feelings that initial year of performances caused had been forgotten, Sidetrack attempted to resurrect “Laugh Track” again in the spring of 2012…but it was not restored as regularly featured entertainment in the bar. Balof, however, continued his racist comedy stylings at Sidetrack whenever he took the mic as an MC of special events and still performs at Zanies and other venues whenever they will have him…making fun of the black students in his sixth grade class wherever he can plug in a microphone.
Balof’s official performance biography describes him under his stage name “Bradley Thomas” as:
Bradley Thomas (www.bradleythomascomic.com) is a comedian, Activist, Teacher, Drag Queen, Leatherman, Bartender, Actor, Model, Bottom. Bradley Thomas does it all. Whether for his weekly show Laugh Track at Sidetrack, Night of 100 Drag Queens, International Mister Leather, or other performances Bradley has been performing as a comedian and emcee for over a decade. His quick wit, and sardonic view help him create stand-up performances that are both relevant and irreverent. Bradley does not shy away from incorporating equality, sexuality, and social justice into his art. Of course, he is quickest to laugh at himself, if you dont beat him to the punch. If laughter is medicine, Bradley hopes his audiences OD every night.
A “bottom”, as listed in the bio above, is a reference to Balof’s preferred position during anal sex (in which he elects to be the receptive partner); this is the first time I’ve ever seen a comedian list personal information such as this in a program bio…and one that his sixth grade students could easily find online in an internet search, no less.
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