Family Values? The Palins' Gay Chicken Problem

Customers wait on line outside the door of the Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, Aug. 1. 2012 in Shelby, N.C. Supporters of Chick-fil
Customers wait on line outside the door of the Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, Aug. 1. 2012 in Shelby, N.C. Supporters of Chick-fil-A are planning to eat at restaurants in the chicken chain as the company continues to be criticized for an executive's comments about gay marriage. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Wednesday national "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." Opponents of the company's stance are planning "Kiss Mor Chiks" for Friday, when they are encouraging people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country and kiss each other. (AP Photo/The Star, Ben Earp)

A couple disclaimers. Firstly, Sarah Palin is a genuinely brilliant woman who is right about a lot of things. Secondly, the issue of marriage equality is incredibly significant, but it's also a wedge issue used to divide and distract from a deteriorating empire owned by the financial industry. As with abortion, the two political parties arbitrarily divided up the stances in order to score different small but loud demographics. Televised Republicans talk about the Constitution, freedom, and choice more than any televised Democrats. Why else would the pro-federal regulation party be the Pro-Choice party that argues for states' rights on matrimonial freedom? Why else would the states' rights party be radical socialists on women's choices -- and why would liberty-lovers argue for a discriminatory amendment to the federal Constitution?

This Chick-fil-A poppycock isn't about legitimate differences in economic philosophies or foreign policy positions -- nor is it about red states versus blue. This is about nonpartisan oppressors versus the legally, culturally, brutally oppressed. As Dr. Cornel West says, "Since justice is what love looks like in public, you can't talk about loving folk and not fighting for justice, especially beginning with the least of these."

So whether you're an Occupy Wall Street-walking regulator or Tea Partying deregulator, you can see that Sarah Palin's being a bit of a bully. She's actively campaigning against the least of these under the guise of the very religion that beautifully preaches such wisdom on love and righteousness. It's one thing to see someone who nearly became your president thinks you're a sinner undeserving of equal rights -- those in the LGBT community are used to that by now! But it's another to see the same bullying from your teenage classmates then reflected in the adults, in the masses, in the mainstream.

Thankfully, I cannot imagine what it is like to witness a nationwide gathering to voice (or chew) their support for discriminating against me. But I would hope my political leaders would never give the thumbs up to a rather cruel public spectacle. Those who support some statements uttered by the President of a fried chicken sandwich chain are free to vehemently agree with him. But they don't need to be so vigorously disagreeable with those who don't.

TLC reality show star Sarah Palin gave birth to ABC reality show star Bristol Palin, who gave birth to Lifetime reality show star Tripp Palin. There seems to be a rare rule of decency in politics wherein members of the media don't scrutinize the candidates' offspring. So this critical anecdote is not the vilification of a little kid -- in fact, Tripp is a pretty helpless victim as the unknowing star of his own TV series (sort of like a homophobic version of The Truman Show).

On this summer's Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp, three Palin kids sit on a couch. Sarah's grandson Tripp, like any cranky three-year-old, is throwing a little fit. But something troubling happens when he looks up at his 21-year-old mom Bristol and 17-year-old aunt Willow. "Go away, you faggot!" he says angrily. Even more troubling, Bristol and Willow beam. They cover their mouths. They giggle.

Okay, maybe Tripp just heard a word used as a slur on TV and his mommy, auntie, and grammy deplore that kind of hate speech. But as much as I want to believe otherwise, using homosexuality as an insult aligns far too perfectly with the tactics of the other two girls in the frame.

After riding a bull at a bar this past June, Bristol confronted a man who talked smack about her mom, ex-Governor Sarah Palin. "Is it because you're a homosexual?" asks Tripp's mom. "And that's why you hate her? I can tell you are. That's your boyfriend right there."

And remember Willow's Facebook confrontation with one of her fellow students? In an attempt to offend, Tripp's aunt posted: "Haha your so gay." She then sent a follow-up post that read: "STFU. Your such a faggot." Go ahead and scrutinize the teen for making the common "you're" and "your" error, but the content speaks to a problematic pattern for the Palin dynasty.

Bristol blamed the whole incident on the fact that Tripp "apparently picked up some language" that led him to use gay slurs when he's mad at someone. And as Chick-fil-A rakes in the cash from its "record-setting day" on August 1st, I wonder where these genuinely precious Palin children and grandchildren ever "picked up" such gleeful intolerance.