There’s been a lot of going back and forth on recent events surrounding comments made by a reality TV star. This is my take on it…which, as everyone is so quick to point out, I have a right to express. What a wonderful nation we live in!
I look at it this way. Replace the words he actually said with different, but similar in that they are based on someone’s opinion. Mick. Guido. Chink. The N-Word. Cracker. Jew. Feel differently now?
Maybe those are too harsh. Let’s try these instead. Stupid. Fat. Ugly. Queer. Slut. Retard. Now are you a little outraged? I was, and I still am. I don’t believe the debate is about freedom of speech, as so many are quick to point out. It’s about human decency. It’s about having an opinion, but doing so respectfully. We have policies in our workplace that prevent bullying. We stand up for a our children when they are called names. We try to instill in them respect for others and hopefully discipline them when they are unkind to others.
For those of you who think who cares what one hillbilly from the South says?? Try this: Duck Dynasty has 14 million viewers. GQ has almost a million subscribers. Add the millions of viewers that have seen the story on the news, countless more who saw it on social media, the subscribers to online newspapers and magazines and you start to see the scope and impact that his negative words have.
Was A & E out of line in suspending him? In my opinion, which I will again reiterate, I am allowed to have, no. We are living in a society that criticizes people for differences. For A & E to allow him to remain on TV after his disparaging remarks would have said to the public that it’s okay to be hateful. Is he allowed to his opinion and beliefs? He sure is. I don’t condone the way he went about expressing it. We all have human will and the blessing of Freedom of Speech, which ensures we can express an opinion. But it doesn’t give us the right to be hateful assholes.