Come On People! It’s Basic Cause And Effect

If I have to see one more thing about the Duck Dynasty Dude, I’m going to punch someone in the head. Does anyone else feel the same way? I mean, I’ve never seen the Duck Dynasty show, never even heard the name Phil Robertson until last week, but now, it’s blowing up in the news, and my facebook wall is divided into the Pro Ducks and the Fuck a Ducks.

This post really isn’t about the duck guy at all, but really, just a quick comparison. Phil Robertson says shit that his employer (A & E) doesn’t like and gets fired from his job. People are all outraged, screaming about the 1st amendment. Much of what I’m seeing is “he should be able to say how he feels about something without losing his (reality tv) job.”

The interesting thing is that I just ran across the “tweet heard around the world”. Have you seen that? Some chick posted “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” on twitter the other day. Holy shit did people get pissed off!

People were tweeting about her insensitivity and how offensive it was. I saw some of those exact same comments about Phil Robertson too. Just like Ducky Phil, she got fired from her job because her employer didn’t want to be associated in any way with her words or views.

The funny thing though is, no one is screaming that her 1st amendment rights need to be protected. People aren’t flooding facebook and the entire internet with support pages for her or saying we should boycott the company that fired her. What gives?

Either all statements and opinions, asinine or not, should be protected by the 1st amendment or they shouldn’t. How can you yell “1st amendment protection” when it’s something you agree with, and not yell for that very same protection if it’s something that offends you? But we aren’t hearing it for Twitter Girl, are we?

The truth is, both of these people had their 1st amendment rights protected. Both were able to say what they wanted. Neither of them landed their asses in jail. Both are free, because in this country people are allowed to say whatever they want to say.

Somewhere along the line, we’ve forgotten there are consequences for our actions. My kid throws a fit, he goes to his room. You speed, you may get a ticket. You tell your boss to “fuck off”, you may or may not be fired. If you work for a company that supports the LGBT community and you speak out against it, what would be a logical recourse? It’s not rocket science here, it’s basic cause and effect.

The bottom line is this: the first amendment protects your right to free speech. For good or bad, you are allowed to say any kind of bull shit you want. Luckily, I am too. But, the 1st amendment is not a shield to hide behind. There are still consequences for your statements. Employers, co-workers, friends, family, and often times even strangers will judge you and respond to you based on what you said.
speech has consequences

34 Thoughts on “Come On People! It’s Basic Cause And Effect

  1. My only beef with the whole DD thing is, why didn’t A&E expect it? They are professing Christians. They do NOT hide it. Especially Phil. Their faith is all over the show. So why are they (A&E) surprised?

  2. Rhonda, once again you have nailed it! Yesterday I was particularly struck by Sarah Palin talking about “liberal haters” and was struck by the irony of that notion, as it is the conservatives like Duck Dude, as well as Justine Sacco who are spewing hatred, not the people objecting to their racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic etc. diatribes.
    For better or worse we all enjoy freedom of speech, and as Bob Dylan said ‘we all gotta serve somebody” and if they don’t like what we’re saying, they have the right to stop paying us! No one has threatened anyone’s right to speak!

    • Thanks Nancy. It’s just crazy that many people see duck dude as an “attack on the first amendment” while twitter girl “should have been fired.” How are people not seeing that it’s the exact same thing, less than a week apart???

  3. You said exactly what I told my kids. You are protected under the 1st Amendment to say what you want to say, but it’s not always in your best interest to do so.
    THANK you for not going into the shitstorm of right or wrong with what Phil said or what he was even talking about. Most people who are spouting their shit (from both sides) haven’t even read the full interview (as is typical for sensationalized media).

    • You’re right! Usually it’s in your best interest to keep your mouth shut. As for not going into what Phil said, I’m sure everyone has already made up their minds if they agree, disagree, or just don’t care. My personal opinion on what he said is totally irrelevant for this post :)

  4. I say that A&E is stupid, because now they have no show. And I’m sure it brings the network a ridiculous amount of money.
    Who cares what he thinks of gay people? It’s a common scenario. Gay people, black people, different religions, and other “groups” of people all cry about their rights. We want the same rights as everyone else. We don’t want to be seen as different. Blah Blah Blah. And then they make special groups for themselves.
    Don’t single yourselves out if you don’t want to be different. Don’t expect the world to coddle you, and you won’t have these problems. Example: I’m blonde. Am I starting a pro-rights movement for blonde people against “how many blondes does it take to change a light bulb” jokes? Because I’ve heard them my entire life. And sometimes they’re hurtful.
    Of course not. That would be ridiculous. Everyone gets made fun of or singled out for something. Hair, body type, sexual orientation, skin color, what kind of car you drive, whether or not you live in a trailer, etc. Again, who cares.
    The world is never going to be equal if someone is always crying about how they deserve special treatment because they’re different.
    “Freedom of speech”, isn’t actually freedom at all. If you can fire someone because you don’t agree with what they say, that’s not freedom. That’s a power trip. And it’s not cool.

    • Stephanie, I understand the point you’re making there. However, I disagree that “freedom of speech isn’t actually freedom at all.” It is freedom to be able to state your opinion without fear of going to jail, like in some other countries. However, most people work for “at will” employers, so they can get fired for anything, with or without reason. How is that a power trip?

      If I tell my boss to screw off, and they decide they don’t want me working for them anymore because of that, how is that wrong? If I work for an abortion clinic and I start expressing extreme pro life messages on social media, they would probably say I’m not a good fit for that job and relieve me of my duties. In both cases, I was free to say what I wanted, but the consequences are probably not something I would like. But, just because I don’t like the outcome, does that make them wrong for holding me accountable for my words?

      • First, if you were pro-life, you wouldn’t apply for a job at an abortion clinic. That’s the beauty of “at will” employment.
        Second, I believe that you should be employed (or not) based on the work you do at your job, not what you do at home. Or your personality or sexual preference or religion. The fact that a person can take away your income (and consequently your home and food for your family) because they don’t like what you say or do in your spare time is not right. Let’s say you’re in customer service. You’re really good at your job, but on weekends, you like to run streaking through the city. What you do once you punch that time card in the evening is not that employer’s business as far as I’m concerned. So if your boss finds out that you’re streaking on the weekends and doesn’t like it, he can fire you even if it didn’t affect your job performance at all? I used an extreme example there, but you get what I mean I’m sure.
        And if you have to kiss your boss’s behind so that you don’t get fired, in my opinion that’s like prostitution. You’re selling yourself. Not just your job skills. I don’t think it’s right that a person has to go around pretending they’re someone they’re not so that they don’t get fired. An employer isn’t a person’s owner. They shouldn’t be able to tell people how to live their lives as long as it doesn’t affect job performance. If you do your job, that’s all that should matter. Not that you are a Christian or not, or if you support gay marriage or not, If you get fired because of your Christian views, isn’t that just as much discrimination as being fired because you’re gay? It’s discrimination in both situations as far as I’m concerned.
        A boss is no more or less special than someone else. He doesn’t own you or your words or your thoughts, even if those words are “screw off”, and said directly to him. If you do your job, you do your job, and that’s all employment should be based on. It’s not supposed to be a popularity contest. If your boss expects that you live your personal life to his specifications for fear of retaliation, how is that not a power trip? If you’re not “free” to say what you want without fear of losing your income, then I don’t see how it’s “freedom” at all.

        • The picture you paint of the world you believe in is very idealistic. I sincerely believe if we all lived in that world, it may be a nicer place…it would certainly be different.

          In the world I live in, employers are concerned about the bottom line, which is money. If something that one of their employees is doing, or the way they are acting (on or off the clock) is going against the image they are trying to uphold, the employer takes action to ensure they aren’t going to lose money.

          There are many fictitious examples we could come up with, but the two real examples of my statement are shown in the post. A & E doesn’t want to lose the advertising dollars and viewership of the LGBT community and many people outside that community who may also be offended by the statements made, so they fire the guy who offended them. Maybe they’ll hire him back later, maybe not. Twitter girls employer wanted to distance itself from the comments she said. So they don’t suffer the backlash of what many people would be offended by, they fire her. Both are showing that the individuals statements were not the beliefs of the company.

          I’m not saying that I personally agree or disagree with these companies, but the fact is, it well within their rights to let an individual go for whatever reason they choose to.

          • I live in the same world you do – and I know how it works. That’s why I say it’s a power trip. The guy who signs the checks determines your future based on whether or not they like you and what you stand for, which has nothing to do with your job skills. Just because that’s the way it is doesn’t make it right.

            Also, Phil’s opinion is based on his religion, and last I knew you couldn’t be fired based on your religion. Just like being fired for being gay. It’s discrimination and it’s not allowed by law.

            Besides, Duck Dynasty is a reality TV show. Key word being reality. In reality, very devout Christians have very strong opinions on homosexuality. If the LGBT community is offended by the Robertson family’s views on homosexuality, they can change the channel, same as the Robertson family doesn’t have to attend the gay pride parade or watch Anderson Cooper.

            As far as Twitter girl…I’m not even sure I understand what she was trying to say. You don’t get AIDS if you’re white? That’s just stupidity, not racism in my eyes. Though I still say that unless she was using the company Twitter account, who cares.

            Just for the record, I think that everyone deserves the same amount of respect. Boss, employee, gay, black, or HIV positive. Giving employers the right to fire a person for any reason whatsoever regardless of job performance gives them more rights than employees. And that’s not okay. It’s the way it is, but not okay.

            By the way, thanks for the great debate :)

  5. I just want to say this reminded me of one thing…

    I was at a friends gathering some weeks ago and they decided to play Cards Against Humanity. I’m sure you are all aware of it. At the time I’ve never heard of it but being someone who doesn’t find racial, sexual and religious comedy funny, I didn’t enjoy the game AT ALL.

    Now let me get to my point. I’ve read that countless people gave it five stars on Amazon and everyone raves about it on Facebook. What’s the difference between the PR girl’s tweet and the statements in the game?

    Can someone please explain me why people seem to enjoy the game and no one found Justine’s tweet funny?

    • Hi Juliet. I’ve actually never heard of that game before. However, I did go to Amazon, read the description and the reviews. After seeing the rave reviews, and from what I read, I can understand what you’re saying. The only difference I can see is one is done behind closed doors with friends, and the other put on social media for the world to see.

  6. What you are missing is that A&E was well aware of their Biblical world view and that was a major premise of the show. Why now, when he expresses his views he should be fired…..especially if he’s making his boss a lot of money?

    • Personally, I’m not so sure the whole thing isn’t just a big publicity stunt. Assuming it’s not though, A & E (just like every other company) is under no obligation to not change their minds, go through restructuring, or cancel the show all together if they want. As I said to someone else on here, I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with what they did, I’m simply saying they are well within their rights.

  7. Thank You! I’ve been feeling the same way all week too. I’m tired of hearing about this Duck Dynasty guy and people being “offended” that he was fired for what he said. You are so right – just because you have the right to say what you want, doesn’t mean you are free from consequences. I support A&E’s decision and any other corporation that would fire an employee who spoke to the media and may have said something that might be damaging to the network/company. I’ve been wanting to shout this all week from my status in Facebook to tell people to “get over it”.

    • Thank you so much for your comment Alecia! I’m so happy you completely understand what the point was. As you can see from the comments people have left on here, many people are living in an idealistic world where there are no consequences for their actions. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know I wasn’t totally off the mark with this post :)

  8. I wish we were able to have more conversations like this in terms of how we are raising our kids. There seems to be an increasing number of people, and I’m seeing it with children and teens in particular, who have a difficult time making that connection between cause and effect.

    • Ida Mae, I agree completely! As you can see from the comments on this post, many adults don’t feel there should be consequences either – or if they personally agree with the statement, then that should be the exception to the rule and they are full of excuses.

      As for kids, I couldn’t agree more. I am always talking with my boys about this. I have a 6 year old who will throw a fit and get sent to his room. Then he tries to blame me that he’s in his room and I’m “making him” have a bad day. I always remind him that the cause (the fit) was the reason for the effect (time in his room to cool off). He’s starting to get it, but I think it’s a hard lesson for them to fully grasp.

  9. Richard on December 26, 2013 at 7:08 am said:

    Could not agree more. Free speech does not mean freedom from the reaction of others to what you say. That door swings both ways. You are free to say it, but they are free to respond. If you can’t tolerate the reaction of others to what you have to say, it is best to keep it to yourself.

    As the saying goes, “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

    If I worked for Persi and told everyone that Coke is better, I really couldn’t complain if they canned me. I may be free to say it but they are free to decide that my statements make me a bad fit.

    • Exactly, Richard! How do so many people NOT get this? How are so many people completely oblivious to consequences? The whole Duck Dynasty thing has made me realize what a double standard so many people really have.

  10. I don’t watch the show. His comments were dumb. I’m not surprised he’s getting some backlash. I can’t understand why anyone would be surprised by this.

  11. I totally agree. Just because you can say whatever you want doesn’t mean you won’t get backlash from it.

  12. I’m going to intentionally use poor spelling and grammar within this comment so bear with me. Recently I read a comment that went something like this:

    “Im an college educated person. you people are all idiots who dont know nothin bout free speech. that dude on dd has the right too say watever he wants. dont call me uneducated when u dont even have a clue what the first amendment is all about.”

    Umm, what? Memo to these morons: The First Amendment protects you from going to jail for stupid shit. It does NOT protect you from the consequences (ie job loss) for saying stupid shit. Get. A. Clue. No wonder our nation is full of stupid people. We’re more concerned with a lame television show and the money than we are about education!

    I don’t agree with what this Ducky Dumbass said and the fact A & E recently reinstated him shows how spineless they are. Profits over people!

    • Kim, thanks for the heads up that the grammar/spelling weren’t your own :D Wow on that comment! It’s sad that more people don’t have a grasp over what rights are protected and where that protection actually ends. I never watched DD before, but they certainly won’t be getting any views from my house in the future.

  13. Unfortunately, it is the view of some Fundamentalist Christians that they are the only ones whose freedom of speech should carry no consequences. Because of their faith. As long as their prejudice, hate and ignorance delivered while wrapped in either the flag or their faith, they will always claim that the public is harshing on the external packaging…rather than the message itself. All others (non-Christians) have no such luxury from consequence. Because they are not “saved”.

    • I’d love to disagree with you, but I’m seeing that more and more. Many people are rolling freedom of speech and freedom of religion together into freedom to do/say whatever the hell they want. Some of us just look at those people as dumb-asses though.

  14. Hear, hear! Amen! And spot the *&^% on!

  15. THANK GAWD I found this website. I have been trying to make this point with so many people and they are looking at me like you agree with this DD man! Holy moly, it does not matter what I believe folks, but the idea of cause and effect has so gone by the wayside in this country that I cannot believe that people can even spell anymore!

    More politicians should be held to cause and effect! Sigh..ok I feel better now Rhonda. This is my first trip to your site and I loved it. Keep up the good thinking!

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