Gentle Reader, we all need to sit down and talk.
This Duck Dynasty thing? It’s making us all look like jerks.
A socially conservative redneck said some awful, hateful, shit? Okay? And that was wrong of him, even if it wasn’t surprising, even if he backed it up with his religious beliefs. However, this is America, and even if it makes him into a jerk, it’s his right to say that. This is not news.
It’s also A&E’s right to
fire his ass send him away indefinitely, even if it doesn’t ultimately make a difference, whether or not any organizations leaned on them to do so. That doesn’t infringe on his freedom of speech, and it doesn’t really reflect on the company. A star makes “controversial” remarks? This is standard practice. This isn’t news.
I’m sure we’ve seen the rabid fighting far and wide, across social media, across all our favorite news sites and stations, across the vast panoply of the Internet. Alas; this, also, isn’t news.
By focusing on fights like this, my QUILTBAG friends and Allies, by focusing on minutiae – we’re giving those social conservatives, the least persecuted people in the country, ammunition. We’re lending weight to their claims of our intolerance – wait, hear me out.
You know how we want to be allowed to be ourselves, how we’ve had to fight for it? How we had to keep throwing ourselves in their faces until we won tolerance, then acceptance, then ( fingers crossed) compassion? I’m not saying we need to pander to these social conservatives, or allow them to target us with actual attacks, physical or verbal, but we need to allow them room to exist, even if they’re wrong-minded and hateful.
If we want something newsworthy? We need to focus our efforts and outrage on something that matters, like ENDA, or changing the immigration laws so that binational families aren’t ripped apart, not fly into a rage over an established buffoon on TV. To make this the focus of our ire, especially when the fella is being as “open-minded*” as he’s trying to be? Well, it makes us seem like jerks. Even – especially – since we’re right.
Conservatives! I hope you stuck around while I was sticking up for you, because you guys are being entitled jerks and yes I know you’ve heard it before but you are not being marginalized, persecuted, or discriminated against. Seriously. I understand thinking that “traditional values” or even, gasp, Christianity itself, are being attacked – especially when battles like this one, or the Chick-fil-a thing, take center spotlight on the nation’s stage. However, no one’s beating you up for holding hands with your husband or wife, or going around rounding you guys up, or anything of the sort. All anyone’s asking from you is for you to share the country with people who aren’t exactly like you, and maybe for you to stop saying
hateful homophobic or racist or sexist shit mean things in public.
This whole thing is basically about lessons you’re supposed to learn in kindergarten, guys. Just because someone doesn’t look/act/believe/love the way or ways that you do, doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve the same rights and freedoms you enjoy. That doesn’t diminish you – you don’t have to give up your values, your beliefs, or anything at all – you simply stop worrying about the neighbors. Whoa.
The other lesson? Well, isn’t it an old, traditional, adage that “if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all?”
*Yeah, I called him open-minded, but I used quotation marks. His direct quote about leaving the judging to God? Well, it shows he’s trying. He said some offensive stuff, but he’s making an effort. Probably because he’s being made to, but still?
Also, a bonus question, if you’re still here – why is hardly anyone bringing up his racial remarks? Seriously, why not?