It’s been an interesting week. The Divine Miss M won her school spelling bee, for which we are very proud, and have now descended into the
hell mire of studying for the Regional Bee. Also, Jodi’s birthday was yesterday. Her main gift was a surprise birthday lunch with the friends she’s made here in the past year. It was perfect, they were awesome and we are so lucky to have met the people we’ve met in this community. And hey, New Mexico Supreme Court, way to add the icing to her proverbial cake!
But none of that will be the main focus here. I hesitate to write a blog post about some issue literally everyone in the world is throwing a fit about but once it’s necessary to explain to my child what bestiality is and why any person would reference her parents in such a way, it seems I lose all restraint and rationality. I am, however, self-aware enough not to post anything too quickly so that I might avoid a full on rant. I don’t want to be as hate-filled as those who speak against me and sometimes that means taking a few days to count to 100 many, many times.
I’m not going to reiterate what Mr. Duck Dynasty said about homosexuals because why. Actually, I’m going to refer to this blog who said everything I think about it far more eloquently than I can this time. Go read that now.
Here, I am going to cover two things: 1). my observations on people’s reactions and 2). how I’m startled by the fact no-one is more upset about what this man said about race because honestly, it’s more concerning than what he said about us.*
On the first topic, social media is a funny thing. Facebook shows what memes and posts your friends have ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ and of course, people post their own thoughts. I try very, very hard to respect people’s opinions, though I may not agree with them. That’s usually not even a struggle for me. This week, however, I have to admit after reading the interview at the heart of this controversy, I’ve been thrown a few times by people who post their support for him or like some meme that portrays him as a victim. I don’t know if it’s right on my part but I’m having a hard time reconciling someone supporting me who also supports a man who thinks I am defined by the kind of sex I have or who thinks my marriage is a gateway to bestiality, whatever
the f*ck that means. *deep breath, count to 100* I make a massive effort to allow people to be uncomfortable with our family but still be respectful to us. I don’t demand all or nothing. Indeed, I don’t think I ask much outside of being treated respectfully. I truly believe all the advocating in the world won’t open a closed mind as much as just being around gay people and their families and seeing that we’re just normal, every day people who love and laugh and fall down and get up and hurt and try harder and fail and succeed just like everyone else. That can’t be accomplished if we only associate with people who fully support us.
Keeping that in mind, I’ve still been dismayed when I’ve seen close friends ‘like’ memes that say “We need more families like Phil and [whatever his wife’s name is]” or are all about “Save Phil”. Really? Even if, and it’s a big if, even if you’re okay with his talk about us, I’m flabbergasted by anyone who would support him after what he said on the topic of race. This brings me to my second topic. Giving people the benefit of the doubt, in case they haven’t read it (and didn’t follow my instructions about reading the other blog), it’s this:
I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
As the blogger stated, “Comparing black people to white trash is cringey, but suggesting that black people were happier during segregation? That because Phil never heard a black person publicly complain BACK IN THE ERA OF LYNCHING means that they must have been satisfied with the state of things? … Not to mention, the subtext of his remarks is that black people nowadays are entitled, unGodly, discontented welfare recipients. So when I see people as “standing with Phil” based on their Christian values, I really have to ask . . . how does an apologist for our country’s ugly Jim Crow legacy represent Christian values?”
I can see reading it and not having much reaction but I don’t understand how some of the people I know can not only not be bothered, but feel strongly enough to actively work to ‘save’ him (I’m including clicking a ‘like’ button as actively working) after he said that black people were happier during Jim Crow and didn’t complain about white people because they weren’t on welfare then – because you know, all blacks dislike whites and not only are all blacks on welfare but also, no whites are. (and if you automatically think ill of people who use welfare, then you already have issues and I’m not feeling charitable enough to not note that).
I get angry, of course, if I think very long about what he said about families like mine but I don’t think long on it and mostly I just don’t care. However, I get downright disheartened when I read what he said about us in conjunction with what he said about race and then see people feeling that his Christian beliefs are being attacked. Though, who knows, maybe they’re right since goodness knows the Bible was used for centuries to justify slavery.
In the end, whatever happens with him happens and I can’t find it in me to care. However, in spite of my usual effort to not do this, people’s opinions and reactions have inherently affected how I see them. I think The Master said it best, “When you pop out of bed and begin a save Phil campaign then maybe we aren’t as compatible as I thought.”