Greetings! In lieu of making a post about cheap gift giving (I'm sure we're all aware of the tricks), I'm going to blog something you can read to your conservative relatives around the dinner table this Christmas. It's a bit long, so you could read it aloud on your train ride as well.
Ignorant, horrible people saying ignorant horrible things isn't anything new. There's no shortage of people in the world who think homosexuality is a sin, interracial marriage is wrong, and The Donnas aren't a talented band. These people are obviously wrong. I've never seen "Duck Dynasty" in my life, as it doesn't pertain to any facet of my life, and I generally don't care when people I've never met say hateful things. So why is this latest "controversy" getting me so riled up?
I'm fortunate enough that in my day to day life, as well as my social media life, that I don't have homophobic forces/influences surrounding me. All of my friends and family have never once given me static for for my orientation, so when bigots spout off, it rolls off my back. I have a great support system. This is a luxury that many people do not have. People who hear things like what Phil Robertson says on a daily basis. People who's deaths are extensions of those words.
So aside from the obvious, why is this particular instance getting to me? It's the reaction.
What's different in this instance of celebrity foot-in-mouth?
Alec Baldwin called a paparazzi "faggot" and got fired from his show.
Paula Deen admitted to once using the "N" word in the past, and we burned her at the stake.
Paula Deen. She not only immediately lost her job, but her major sponsorships, endorsement deals, partnerships, her career. Her name is synonymous with racist. Wither or not she actually is, is irrelevant to this blog. Fact is, she said something crude and horrible, and paid the price for it.
What price is Phil Robertson facing?
First off, don't even bother claiming he's being persecuted for his religious beliefs. And PLEASE spare us the "persecuted Christian white man" spiel. How, exactly, is he being persecuted? His show wasn't cancelled. In fact, he wasn't even fired. A&E has placed him on an "indefinite hiatus", which in Hollywood terms probably means "keep the cameras off him til this blows over". His biggest sponsor, Under Armour has followed suit, saying that though they don't agree with him, they'll keep him on payroll anyways. Does anyone really, truly think his audience will stop watching the show, buying the duck calls and whatever other merchandise?
But he apologized you guys! Kind of. His family's also come out to support him with the same sort of "He'd never hurt anyone! He's just following the Bible!" nonsense. Contrary to popular evidence, these people aren't stupid. What apologies like that mean, usually translates to is:"Please, gay people! Please don't tell your straight friends not to watch our show!"
The companies who are still supporting this kind of hate speech are making their messages loud and clear: "Well, we may not agree with what he's saying, but there's money to be made here! Anyone can say anything if they're popular enough!" To them, and anyone else who uses the "free speech means you can say anything you want without any repercussions whatsoever! But I'm not homophobic! I watch Ellen!" I say this (click for full effect):
And then with the thousands and thousands of people backing him up...it reminds me of a schoolyard scenario. Picture it.
Someone on the playground starts spouting off on a hate filled diatribe on gay people, directly to, or in earshot of openly gay students. When those kids look around, sure they have supporters, but there is a large, vocal group shouting "Let him speak! It's just his opinion! Why are you getting mad, it's free speech!" Then the teachers say "Well, he's definitely being pulled from recess for a little while, but why should we punish him further? He's popular! By the way, don't be a bully! Being mean is wrong! Except you, Phil. You're exempt.
Sigh. I'm going to make out with my boyfriend.
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