We Need to Stop Fighting About Duck Dynasty

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.

Duck1

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.

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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.

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Wait, what?

Yeah.

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?”

Whoops.

*********

*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?

About Ty DeLyte

Madame DeLyte has suffered a grave disappointment - YET AGAIN - and still believes that freedom, beauty, and truth are what's valuable, rather than vulgar cash. He'd add love to that list - but, well, what can he say about love?
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7 Responses to We Need to Stop Fighting About Duck Dynasty

  1. On days like today I wish I lived in a culture who didn’t harp on the minutiae of celebrity gossip and nitpick about who-said-what. People watch a show about backwoods hunters in one of the most socially conservative regions in the nation and are surprised to hear things like this come out of their mouths?
    Mike and I were discussing this just this morning. We have a lot of socially conservative friends/family, and so this is stuff we hear more frequently than we’d care to. I’ve come to see that people who are used to having privilege will fight when they perceive it’s taken away, and it’s sooooo tiresome always having to gently point out that no, nobody’s trying to take away their rights, people are just trying to level the playing field. To them, it’s just the norm, and any equalization seems “unfair.” Etc., etc., ad nauseam.
    Sigh. Maybe I’m just tired. And cranky. And world-weary.
    Thanks for opening up the discussion. I hope other people have more useful, less ramble-y things to say.

  2. Natalie? Thank you! And thank Mike, too. Maybe I’m just grateful to hear someone else say that this fight isn’t worth having.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am a radical queer; I will get in people’s faces, I will stand up for my tribe (well, one of my many tribes) against all comers in cases where I wouldn’t stand up for myself. I get angry. But this fella’s interview details are positively *moderate* compared to a lot of things out there that actually need attention.

    I know you get it – you’ve said as much. Thanks for responding, Nat – both sides are ignoring me as that weird dude with a nuanced opinion. If I didn’t already love you, I would now. Cheers, doll. Maybe world-weariness is catching on.

  3. I have a saying I use in these situations and I think iit was voltare who said “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend you’re right to say it with my life”….. that does not excuse anything

  4. Andrea says:

    I wonder if your tolerance has anything to do with growing up side by side with folks that are like the folks from Duck Dynasty. It’s easy for people that have lived in the suburbs or city to forget the gaping culture difference and dismiss them as simply “less than”, rather than a product of their circumstances.

    I forget sometimes that open minded for some folk is NOT punching QUILTBAG folk in the face, rather just insulting us under their breath. :/

    • I really don’t know that I’d call my position tolerance so much as weariness and frustration. For example, while this asinine fight goes on, Uganda passed life imprisonment as the default punishment for homosexuality, and no one’s really noticed, or mentioned. Nope – more Duck Drama.

      I absolutely think homophobes need to be shamed, but his remarks were less violent, less disgusting than most I’ve heard in person. I’m really not calling him open-minded, but compared to others out there? He’s nonviolent and a non-issue – a red herring and a distraction. That’s all.

      And yes, I’ve been in situations where not getting punched in the face counts as open-minded, and yes, that’s disgusting. But is it a surprise?

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