Tuesday, November 23, 2010

IsThe HRC Bullying Willow Palin?

You may have heard about a recent outbreak of trash-talking on Facebook between Willow Palin and a young man who allegedly went to school where the Palins do, Tre. Tre was talking smack about Willow's mom after the premier of the TLC show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska." (Palin's show was the most watched premiere in TLC history, garnering 5 million viewers.) Willow took umbrage, and used a couple of homophobic slurs in her responses to him, calling him "gay," and the f-word (the 6 letter one, that is). Apparently, Bristol weighed in, too, though did not use similar language.


Bristol regained her composure, though, and wrote this:
[snip] "Willow and I shouldn't have reacted to negative comments about our family. We apologize. On a nicer note, thank you for supporting the great competition in Dancing With the Stars!"

Needless to say, this has raised a firestorm about Willow, and the Palins in general. The HRC has been one such organization to take aim at 16 year old Willow, though not everyone in the blogosphere is happy about that:
Some bloggers have said that as a minor, Willow should be off-limits. They also said the Palin cub was simply defending her "mama grizzly" in the inappropriate and misinformed style of a teenager.

"Willow Palin is a child, and she is not fair game," Tommy Christopher wrote at Mediaite. "Willow and her Facebook playmates weren't thinking about the rash of suicides related to anti-gay bullying, including young kids who were not, in fact, gay. They didn't create a world where gay equals unequal, they are a product of it." [snip]

Now you know I am not condoning anyone using that kind of language. Not even close. But, I do know that using those kinds of slurs are common with young people. That does not excuse it, but it is a reality, unfortunately. Heck, my own godson, who has TWO out lesbian godmothers, has been known to say things like, "that's so gay." He's not the only one - other friends of mine have used that phrase to me, but claim it isn't intended as an insult. Um, well, maybe not, but it is.

Anyway, that is all to say, Willow is 16. I said some pretty stupid stuff at 16, too, but I didn't have it writ large on a national level. Again, not excusing it in any way, shape, or form, but I do see how it can happen. And how it is NOT a reflection on the parents themselves.

Two prominent gay and lesbian conservatives are furious with HRC and their attacks on Willow Palin. In this Daily Caller article, "Bigotry: The Selective Outrage Of The Gay Left," Tammy Bruce and Christopher R. Barron go after HRC.

As an aside, you may recall that I was a long, long time member of the HRC - over 25 years - until they endorsed Obama over Hillary Clinton. They had just presented Clinton with a huge award for her work on behalf of the LGBT community, and they endorse the man with the virulently homophobic associates - Meeks and McClurkin come to mind - instead. Wow.

Anyway, back to the article, and the response from these two GOProud members:
For days now, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which holds itself out as the “largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization,” has shamefully used the issue of anti-gay bullying as part of a cheap political smear against former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. HRC, never shy about doing the bidding of the Democratic Party, issued a November 18th release blaring, “HRC to Sarah Palin: Two Days of Silence, Will You Speak Up?” Is this a release demanding Palin speak out about an issue of substance affecting gay people? No, this childish call-to-arms is about trash talk issued by a 16-year-old in a flame war on a social networking site.

The “controversy” surrounding inappropriate language used by the Palin daughters on Facebook shows again how selective the gay left is in expressing outrage over perceived “bigotry.”

Politicizing the serious issue of anti-gay bullying in order to score political points is morally reprehensible. Bristol apologized on behalf of herself and her younger sister — and that apology should be the end of the story, but it’s not because the real target of this faux outrage is Sarah Palin, a woman who represents an existential threat to both political machines.

No one is condoning the use of obscenities or derogatory terms, but no one who has seen the Facebook exchange in question can seriously claim this behavior had anything to do at all with “bullying.” It also has nothing to do with Willow Palin or the substance of what she wrote. Make no mistake; this is all about destroying Sarah Palin by friends of Obama and by any means necessary.

The irony here is stunning. The adults who run HRC are participating in a morally-reprehensible organized political hatchet job on a teenager all in the name of defending the victims of bigotry. [snip}

Can the case be made that the HRC is itself engaging in bullying against a child? And if so, it seems the motive is likely political:
[snip] The nature of the attacks on Palin reveals much about what motivates her critics. HRC’s press releases are ripe with misogynistic attacks on the Governor. HRC refers to the Governor as a “reality TV show star” — a transparent attempt to diminish Palin’s almost 20 years in politics. In a November 17th release, Joe Solmonese, the man at the helm of HRC, made a thinly veiled accusation that the Facebook exchange somehow showed Palin failed as a mother — “Anti-gay language by teenagers often starts at home…” [snip]

The authors discuss how that is not quite accurate - as I noted above, it is unfortunately far too common in our schools to use this kind of language. Sad, but true, even among those who should know better.

Bruce and Barron then target the Gay Left for their silence in regard to the homophobic, misogynistic tenets of radicalized Islam:
[snip] Last June, when President Obama delivered his much ballyhooed speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, he made no mention of the treatment of gays and lesbians living under Muslim regimes — even though in Egypt, the country where Mr. Obama spoke, gays have been subject to arrest and imprisonment for simply being gay. The reaction from the gay left? Nothing. No outrage, no harshly worded statements, and certainly no around-the-clock vigil waiting for an apology.

Last September, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bravely took to the floor of the United Nations and criticized the treatment of gay people in Iran. After speaking with such moral clarity about the need to protect gay people from violence and death, if you expected praise from the gay left you would be wrong. Indeed, the powers that be at HRC pretended like Netanyahu’s speech never even happened.

The behavior of the gay left, and in particular HRC, is shameless and disgusting. Governor Palin certainly does not owe anyone associated with HRC an apology; indeed it is HRC who should apologize. They should apologize to Governor Palin for their vicious and unfounded smear, to the real victims of anti-gay bullying who they have cheaply exploited, and to gay people world-wide for the blind eye they have turned to the barbaric treatment of gays by radical Islamic regimes. (Click HERE to read the rest.)

Interesting comparison, is it not? How is it that the Left now thinks its cool to support radical (not moderate) Islam that treats women as worse than chattel, and gays even worse than that, yet take on a teenager for some crap she wrote on Facebook. One could argue their priorities are a bit skewed.

Again, by no means do I condone the language used by Willow on Facebook. The level of bullying occurring in our schools is troubling, indeed, whether those children being bullied are gay or not. The outcome is the same.

Bristol Palin has apologized for her sister's comments. They were out of line. But are her comments worthy of the ire of an entire organization, one that is going after a teenager? Is the HRC minimizing the very real, and troubling, number of suicides by gay teens by their demand? Are they targeting not Willow, but her mother? Will being told something is "so gay" ever be seen as POSITIVE? Perhaps that is for what we should be striving instead of being so upset when someone uses it in that kind of context (hey, I can hope, can't I?)?

Maybe instead of the HRC focusing on some Facebook exchange between the daughter of a prominent Republican, they could push Obama to do more than give lip service to the LGBT community. Focus on repealing DADT. Focus on obtaining the same federal benefits for the LGBT community that the rest of the citizenry in this country enjoy. Push Obama to stop praising countries who treat their gay citizenry like criminals without mentioning same. You know, stuff like that.

And we need to do more sensitivity training in our schools - all of them. Our children need to know that this kind of name-calling is hurtful, regardless if the child is gay or not. It needs to stop. Adults need to stop using that kind of language, too (in a derogatory manner, that is). We need to teach our children that bullying is wrong no matter what. Period.

So, how about you. What do you think about this whole situation?


Amarissa said...

Great post, Rabble Rouser! Agree with you 100%.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Thanks, Amarissa! I appreciate it!

SFIndie said...

I certainly don't condone the language used by Willow, and as you said, Rev, it's unfortunate that derogatory language seems to be commonplace amongst our young people today. (Wouldn't something like this be a great "teachable moment" for the schools AND parents?)

And, for crying out loud, Willow is 16 years old. From what I understand, the back and forth continued for awhile before Willow got upset and started using the inappropriate language. They're teenagers, folks, teenagers. Teenagers do stupid things. That's their job. Willow and Tre, both teenagers, being stupid.

I saw Gov. Palin on Hannity last night, and she said she did sit down with Willow and talk to her about what had happened and the inappropriateness of Willow's actions. She said she explained to Willow that there will always be negative stuff about the family, and she needs to just let it roll off her back.

She also brought up the fact that while kids of other politicians seem to be off limits - including the Obama children - the Palin kids have been fair game. Which is just wrong. Can you imagine telling your teenager that she has to get used to being trashed and taking it???

But it sure has made strong kids. I'm impressed with the way Bristol has handled all the negative press about DWTS.

People are so afraid of Sarah Palin. It's just amazing. And in that fear, they have to try to destroy kids. Talk about bullying... it's the grown-ups bullying the teenager. Guess we know where the young people learn that behavior from, don't we?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Rev!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, SF -

YES, it was a "teachable" moment. What is wrong with HRC, though, that they are going after this kid? Absolutely, the kids should be off-limits, and as you noted, they ARE - for everyone beside the Palins. What is UP with that?

Btw, there was a great article in The Daily Beast abt the "Palin Paranoia." Here's the link: Palin Paranoia. I think you will find it interesting.

Anywho - yes, this most likely was the result of a bunch of back-and-forth between these kids, but yes, kids say and do stupid things ALL the time. I am glad to hear that Sarah sat her down and gave her a talking-to, though. Good for her. Hey, if nothing else, maybe the next time Willow starts to cal someone a slur, she will think twice abt it.

You got that right abt the kids being strong. I have been very impressed with the way Bristol has conducted herself. She is not a performer, yet she IS athletic, and has worked hard to get where she is. I have seen some bias with the judges - including last night - and I think that's why a lot of people have voted for her. They think she is being held to a different standard, and think it is unfair.

Great comment, SF - spot on. And yes, we do see from whom these kids learn this behavior. No doubt abt it.

Have a great Thanksgiving, too!

SFIndie said...

Great article, Rev, thanks for the link. I think he's right on with why so many are afraid of Palin.

I never watched DWTS until this season, with Bristol. No, she's not a great dancer, but wow, she has certainly come a long way since the beginning! And I think she's every bit as good as Kyle, who the judges rave over (personally, I like Bristol better) and whose mistakes they give little credence to. There is indeed a distinct bias with the judges. And yes, that's why I've voted for her every week!

I'm spending Thanksgiving with my Obama-loving, Palin-hating family. Can I keep my mouth shut? Or will I pull a Willow and say things I shouldn't? I'll just keep stuffing my face with food and thinking, Montserrat. Montserrat. Montserrat.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

ROTFLMAO - what a BRILLIANT idea! Just keep eating that turkey and dressing, SF!

I KNOW, right? Like last night, they said all of these things Kyle did wrong, then gave him 10s!! I thought 10s were for perfection! His freestyle was NOT a great dance. They kept saying it was "good entertainment" - sure, it was. It was fun. But it was not great dancing.

Then Carrie Ann and Bruno essentially admitted they were incapable of distinguishing between Bristol and freakin' Liza Minnelli, for pete's sake. Pathetic.

And no, Bristol isn't as good as Jennifer Gray, but let's be real - Jennifer has had FAR more practice at dancing than Bristol ever did, and is an ACTRESS - of course she can "perform." That's her JOB!

So, yeah - I agree that they have been biased against her. It is really annoying to see it. And when you have Carrie Ann slobbering all over Kyle, talking abt how she has such a crush on him, how can anyone take her scoring seriously?? These are PROFESSIONALS? Uh, yeah, no.

And here's the other thing - other winners have not been the best dancers. Emmit Smith? Apollo Anton Ohno? No way. I've seen their dances, and saw Ohno this season. No freakin' WAY was he the best dancer. But for some reason, THAT'S okay. Whatever. Such bias.

It is remarkable to see how freaked out people are by Palin. Have you seen what she accomplished in her time as governor? It was remarkable. And she left office because all of those frivolous lawsuits by Dems - the very same ones who berate her for leaving office - were costing the state MILLIONS of dollars, and tons of time by her staff. She left to spare the state. If she had stayed, you know damn well they would have claimed she was damaging the state by staying. Typical. Just typical.

Anyway - check out some of her accomplishments (and this does not include signing a bill into law granting same sex employees of the state the same benefits as everyone else). I bet most of these folks who have such a ratchet response to her (because the MSM told them to) have NO idea what she did for her state. There's a reason she was the most popular governor in the country.