It’s always an interesting time when politics and pop culture mix. We saw it during the Duck Dynasty/Phil Robertson controversy back in December and when Bill Nye debated Ken Ham in February. But, of course, the most recent story that’s developed has been Donald Sterling’s incredibly racist comments.
And, as expected, most Republicans have come out and condemned his remarks as incredibly ignorant and insensitive – which they are.
Though I can’t help but notice the total hypocrisy between their condemnation of Sterling, yet overwhelming support for Robertson. Take Sterling’s comments, change “black” to “gay” and would Republicans find them offensive? After all, while racism is still a very real issue in our society, can’t it be argued that homosexuals are facing some of the same struggles African-Americans did decades ago in their fight for equal rights? Let’s not forget that often religion was used to support segregation and bans on interracial marriage, much in the same way conservatives try to use religion to discriminate against homosexuals and deny them their rights.
Phil Robertson compared homosexuality to bestiality and compared homosexuals to terrorists. But when he said these comments, and ended up getting a (very) brief suspension from A&E, conservatives flocked to his side to defend his rights to “freedom of speech.” Though his suspension had nothing to do with his First Amendment rights. Just as Donald Sterling is free to feel however he wants toward African-Americans, Robertson can feel however he wants toward homosexuals. In neither case can they be prosecuted by the federal or their local governments for their comments. But that doesn’t mean either of them has the right to say these things without facing some type of repercussions for what they said.
But why isn’t Sarah Palin speaking out in defense of Donald Sterling? Why aren’t conservative pundits spending numerous hours on prime time television or the morning radio waves defending his “right to free speech”?
Oh, I know why – because it’s still acceptable to a decent percentage of our population to show such ignorance toward homosexuals, but it’s not quite “politically correct” anymore when it comes to racism. Unless of course you own an NFL football team, then it’s perfectly fine.
At the core of this, it’s basically the exact same situation we saw during the Phil Robertson controversy. A public figure saying derogatory comments toward a specific group of people, and how society will/should respond to them.
I can’t see how someone can defend Phil Robertson but condemn Donald Sterling. They’re two men in the public eye, working for entities that are greater than they are (Phil Robertson for A&E, Donald Sterling for the NBA), who both said completely ignorant and disgusting things about a specific group of people.
And they’ll ultimately have/had to face the consequences for what they’ve said (though Phil Robertson’s suspension was an absolute joke, but the decline in Duck Dynasty’s ratings might be the real consequence for his ignorance).
When these conservatives who rushed to Phil Robertson’s defense when he made disgusting remarks about homosexuals are now bashing Sterling for his comments, all they’re doing is showing off their blatant hypocrisy. Hate and ignorance is hate and ignorance no matter what specific group of people it targets.
But I still can’t help but wonder, if you replace “black” with “homosexual,” would Republicans be bashing Sterling? Or would they be rushing to his defense?