So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know about the controversy surrounding the Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling. Honestly, I hadn’t planned on commenting on this at all, because why on earth would I give any more attention to an obvious racist? However, something just occurred to me a few minutes ago, and I thought I’d share it.
Again, by now, everyone should know about the media firestorm which took place a few months ago regarding A&E’s Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson, and the ignorant homophobic remarks that he’d made under the guise of Christian beliefs. If you remember that, then you should remember that the LGBT community didn’t take too kindly to the interview. But, of course, when we spoke out about it, the homophobes came out of the inbred woodwork in droves, accusing us of infringing upon Robertson’s God-given, constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of speech. Many of them even threatened a boycott of A&E, who had suspended Robertson for a few episodes of the show as punishment. Again, the over-used argument of the network trying to stifle his right to free speech was thrown around as carelessly as a deflated soccer ball.
Uh, no! No one was taking away Robertson’s free speech. He was still free to be a raging homophobic asshole, and free to make his backwards hillbilly comments, just not on a public forum where he violated the viewpoint and tarnished the reputation of the network under which he was contractually bonded.
Flash-forward a few months, and we now have a new scandal of discriminatory and offensive remarks. Let’s take a minute to compare the two situations, shall we? Both instances revolved around disgusting comments made by a rich, influential straight white male. Both instances offended millions of people, with a particular emphasis on a minority group. Both instances prompted a demand for swift and appropriate retribution.
How about we now decide to contrast the two situations? One of those instances occurred in private, with the remarks publicly leaked without the offender’s knowledge, while the other was freely made to an international publication. One of those instances blatantly insulted and degraded their despised target while the other offended but did not overtly insult. Please note that I am not trying to trivialise what Donald Sterling said, but I am just pointing out facts. He doesn’t actually outright insult black people (though he could have since he thought his remarks were being said in confidence); the real offense comes in the form of his vile refusal to have his girlfriend be seen in public with black people, whether on social media or at his games.
The most important difference in the two situations, I think, is that there seems to be a global desire to have Donald Sterling punished. Indeed, in very many cases, it appears that people are desperate to give off the impression that they’re backing the move in an attempt to not be pegged as racist. Even actual racist idiots, who no doubt agree with every word that escaped Sterling’s lips, aren’t brave or stupid enough to come forward because they are well aware of the backlash which would ensue. HOWEVER, when it was Phil Robertson in the spotlight, the homophobes were more than happy to spew their vitriolic bullshit. Even worse, news outlets were more than accommodating in supplying them with a platform to air their views. So can someone please explain to me why Donald Sterling is now the spawn of Satan and no one is defending his freedom of speech (again, for comments made in private), while Phil Robertson was the greatest victimised martyr being burned at the stake by the gay agenda?
Tell me, can people still be justified in claiming that the LGBT community wants “special” rights? If people who blatantly spread hatred and discrimination towards us are not held as accountable as those who spread hatred and discrimination towards other minority groups, have we even achieved equal rights, to now be seeking “special” ones? Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia… every form of discrimination and hatred is as disgusting as the others and we need to stop acting like they’re not.