Thursday, December 19, 2013

What the duck?

I have never watched Duck Dynasty, apart from catching the commercials for a few seconds as I changed channels.  I thought it was amusing that guys like "that" were so popular, but I kind of chalked it up to the train wreck mentality that seems to have taken over popular television.  I thought it was a little weird when I saw Duck Dynasty pj's in the kids' department, but again, whatever.  I didn't pay much attention.

I figured they were harmless.

After the brouhaha that has erupted over the remarks that Phil Robertson (yeah, I had no idea who that was, either) made in an interview, A&E suspended him.  Read or watch his remarks here.

While his musings are hateful and repugnant, I am less offended by them then by the cries from his supporters saying that his First Amendment rights were violated.  Um, what?  I am no Constitutional expert, but I am pretty sure there is nothing in the First Amendment that says you can say whatever you want in an interview without being fired by the television station you work for.  I could be wrong.

A&E is perfectly within their rights to suspend him over things he says if they feel that they reflect poorly on their station.  Maybe they should have given more thought to their programming ahead of time, but that is neither here nor there.  You can get fired from ANY job if you publicly say something potentially damaging to your employer.

And guess what, America?  Being a homophobe DOES reflect poorly and it DOES damage A&E's reputation with a majority of their audience.  Most people don't tolerate hate speech very well.

Even more offensive are the supporters saying how Godly he is for his views; how sad that he is being persecuted for following the teachings of the Bible.  

Again, what!?!?

How, pray tell, is it "Godly" to spew hate?  As with the Constitution, I am no expert in translating the Bible, but I do know that there is enough conflicting jibberish wisdom in there to contradict any notion that "God hates fags" (to use a catchy phrase from one of the Westboro Baptist Churches favorite signs).

I logged into Twitter just before starting this post and typed in Phil Robertson, which was trending.  Since then, about thirty minutes ago, there have been 352 tweets (and counting) with his name in them.  Shockingly, and to my point of view, scarily, many of these SUPPORT him.  Some are just in support of his right to say whatever he wants, which I would also agree with, but many are just to the right of seriously coo coo crazy.

Unsurprisingly, Sarah Palin has come out here to defend him, blasting A&E for their "attack on his First Amendment rights".  Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz also tweeted about it.  Yawn.
I mean, these guys need to pander to the scary to get votes, so I take what they say with a grain of salt.

It's the tweets by the "regular" people that really scare me;  the ones that think this is all a conspiracy to distract from Obamacare.  The ones that are trying to make a martyr out of this grizzled duck hunter for his racist and homophobic views are terrifying.  "He's being persecuted for being godly" shouts one.  "Thank you for standing up for your beliefs" says another.


I will support anyone's right to say whatever it is they want, but (and this is a BIG BUT) if you are spreading hate, you'd better be ready to take the heat.  I don't tolerate speech that could potentially cause harm to anyone and I will let you know it.  If a company like A&E feels your words could damage them in any way, of course it is in their rights to stop giving you a platform.  In taking away the ignorant soapbox that this guy found for himself, A&E is sticking up for tolerance, that is all.  

I can only hope that the immediate and loud voice that the LGBT community used to shut him down will join those that come to the aid of individuals with intellectual disabilities.  People with developmental delays seem to be the last stand for hate speech.  I have your backs, now please have mine and my kid's.  If you won't tolerate it for yourself, or your community, PLEASE don't tolerate it for others. 

798 tweets (and counting)

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