I have always enjoyed the ability to just say what came to my mind. Before I knew it was an American right, it just felt like a God given talent. I mean of course I had to learn how to watch the things that came out my mouth, because it could hurt the feelings of others, and frankly I live my life by the “do unto others” credo. Because of that life stance, I understand the importance of watching what you say. However, I do not believe that life should be spent walking on eggs shells and not exerting your right to say your peace. I mean, we all know the quote, “opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one”. It’s true, and not all are necessarily right or wrong, but they are shaped based on our surroundings growing up, what we were taught, or what we have independently studied. I love to have a vigorous meeting of the minds with people, because sometimes it helps me understand where they come from and vice versa.But the questions remains, Well, what about 'freedom of speech'? With such thoughts flowing, you will hear things that you do not like and you do not agree with. At that point people may begin to throw out words such as ‘racism’, ‘sexist’, or ‘bigots’. It seems as though when you don’t agree with people they tend to assassinate your character by labeling you these things, when at the end of the day you are only sharing your core beliefs. I’m not excusing those people who are using hurtful terms to degrade people or prevent others from living their lives. A few celebrities, such as Michael Richards’ and Isaiah Washington’s faux pas’ come into mind.
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Let me set the record first, before I go on. I do not think people should belittle or prevent anyone from excelling in life, based on their lifestyle, their choices, or their racial background. I also do not believe that people should be scorned based on their beliefs and ideas.
Just recently after being removed from suspension, ‘Duck Dynasty’ has aired it's 5th season amidst Robertson’s controversial interview with GQ. I’ve read it. Let me say as a black woman (because that’s how these sentences always start) I didn’t take offense to it. I was confused as to what kind of black people was he working with. From my understanding I thought blacks didn’t like the Jim Crow era, but hey ‘yolo’! He gave the writer (who I believe was a bit of a jerk) his honest opinion, which was created based upon his surroundings. Not his rule of thumb, but on how he perceived his world. Based on his logic, the media has crucified him. You would have thought he was holding a KKK meeting with the interviewer based on the entire backlash. Here is a list of things that Phil DID NOT SAY, but apparently everyone but me, HEARD:
- Black people don’t like rights
- Black people were a better race prior to Jim Crow
- Gays are horrible people who should be shot and killed upon sight
- Gays are 1/3 of a human
Extreme ways to get my point across? Yes! But if you read all the backlash articles, this is what you would have thought he said. Even though Phil’s remarks probably made some people wince, I do not believe it warranted suspension from his job, or even consideration of firing him from his job. I mean, he is a white, Christian male that hunts and has a ZZ Top beard: What did you think he was going to say? What did you think his beliefs were? The fact that he didn't come and say that he "doesn't mind n*ggas" was a shock to me! I would believe he would say the N-word over Paula Deen. (Note: Although you have freedom of speech, the normal intent shouldn't include the usage of hate words)
I saw someone say that he compared being homosexual to bestiality. Well, if you read the article you would also notice that it was in the same comparison as sleeping around with multiple people. But none of America's whores came out to protest. He follows the bible, and yes the bible says a sin is a sin. People harped on the less than perfect parts of the interview and missed his whole outlook, which came down to this simple, yet backwoods sentence:
“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”
Love is the point of it all.
Just as he is entitled to not infringe upon your rights, he is allowed to have his. You do not need to agree. That is your right. How can one say don’t persecute people based on their life decisions but yet turn around and persecute others on based on a difference in beliefs? You cannot claim victim when it’s convenient and bully when you want to. I’m not here to say who is right and who is wrong. It’s not my job. But, and there is always a but, if someone does not follow your liberal/conservative beliefs, it does not make them wrong, stupid, or a type of ism. What it means is that we have an opportunity to support freedom of speech and learn different views on different subjects. But no one sees it like that. People are stuck in their ways. Welcome to American, a great place to live only if you believe what I believe.