This past week has been filled with ignorance, with homophobia and racial stupidity being at the forefront of the conversation. The two biggest stories to explode in the blogosphere have been the controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, and a little Public Relations Executive for IAC named Justine Sacco.
By now I am sure everyone has heard about what Phil Robertson said and many may disagree about whether A&E was right in letting him go. However, we must acknowledge the type of people who seem to be supporting him. Phil surely espoused some ignorant comments in his interview with GQ Magazine, but perhaps his more blatant showing of ignorance arose when he made it seem as if blacks were running around happy as can be in the pre-Civil-Rights era South. As a 23- year- old whose dad grew up a black man in the South during the 1950s and 1960s, I know that Phil has a gigantic misunderstanding of black people and culture. Putting Phil’s comments aside, the Twitter war that broke out was probably even more troubling.
Fox News included me in an article on Phil a couple of days ago. They took a screen shot of a tweet I had written, criticizing those who were mad at A&E and I said that they don’t have to give anyone a show. The vile, egregious, ignorant tweets that came pouring in at me were disturbing. I have taken a screen shot and included some of them here:
These tweets are clearly filled with intolerance and ignorance when it comes to gays, but also when it comes to the Constitution and freedom of speech. The hatred for gays is obvious, but let’s be clear, Phil Robertson was not denied any freedom of speech. The Untied States Constitution says “Congress shall make no law…”, last time I checked, A&E is a television company and not the Congress.
These conservatives who are so adamantly supportive of Phil, usually love Capitalism. Except this time, when an ignorant white man is fired, capitalism is a sham!!!! A&E as a company, made an executive decision to let go of someone who they don’t see as fit for their network anymore. I wish having a television show was a guarantee in the Constitution, because I want a show!!! Gosh.
How about we all just calm down. Phil is not in prison (as some people are for speaking their mind in other countries) and he is still wealthy. I suggest these people who are so very angry at A&E direct their angers and passions towards something else like ending poverty or cancer or something.
Now moving along, this next shocker in ignorant news just happened yesterday. A Public Relations Executive for IAC (the company responsible for social sites like Match.com and OkCupid to name a few) tweeted this on December 20:
Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!
Yes, that really happened. The ignorance in this one tweet is astonishing. First, how in the world could a PR person tweet something so outlandishly stupid? Harboring these ignorant thoughts is one thing, but publicly putting them out there on a massive social networking site like Twitter, is incredibly dumb. Also, we need to look at what Justine actually said. As if everyone who goes to Africa just randomly “catches” AIDS. Also, she is implying that white people cannot get AIDS? Somehow, her glorious white skin will protect her at all cost! Well sorry Justine, unfortunately AIDS knows no racial, economic, gender, or other boundaries; any individual can get this terrible disease.
Now of course AIDS is a major problem on the continent of Africa. I am glad that Twitter and others used this opportunity to not simply bash Justine, but turn this incident into something good. A website was created, with Justine’s name, that actually donates money for AIDS relief in Africa. Not everything on Twitter yesterday was so noble. The hashtag #HasJustineLanded was the number one trending topic for the entire night. Google was even tracking her flight information from London to Capetown!!!! Everyone was talking about Justine and anxiously awaiting her arrival in Africa.
Before Justine had even landed, we got word that IAC had removed her from their contact list on their web site. Looks like she was fired! For a PR person to publicly insult an entire continent and people soon before boarding a flight to that same continent, may go down as one of the dumbest moves of all time. I don’t support poverty though, so I wish Justine look in her future job endeavors because it looks like she will need it.
This week has surely been eventful. The rampant ignorance has caused me great grief, but while the #JustineHasLanded hashtag may seem funny and trivial at first glance, it actually provided me with some hope as I was struggling to stay awake last night. Hope seeing that the majority of us realized the extreme ignorance and racial insensitivity of what Justine Sacco had tweeted. Maybe we are not all as ignorant as those Phil supporters who tweeted me the above comments! GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Edited/Published by: SB