Party of Family Values: Father’s Day Edition
Apparently, some of the “values” of the Party of Family Values need a little re-tooling. How else to interpret the fact that, in one week, two separate spawn of the GOP—Tanner Flake (aka N1ggerKiller), son of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Joey Heck, son of Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV)—are outed as social-media-opaths? Two All-American white, Christian paragons (ok, ok one’s Mormon), sons of All-American white, Christian paragon fathers, spend their leisure time just frothing, fuming and twittering hate at anyone who isn’t an All-American white, Christian paragon i.e., faggots, niggas, women, Jews, Obama, Messicans, Obama, Indians, Obama, Muslims, etc. [in their words]. These kids, if nothing else, are equal opportunity bigots, they pretty much hate every one who isn’t a white male.
Now, I’m a mother, so I don’t need to be lectured on how hard it is to raise kids, how many things can go wrong, the deleterious effects of peer pressure, etc. by the “free to be adolescent a**holes” defense league. It’s not easy to raise kids and I suspect that the internet and social media makes it that much more difficult than it was in my childrearing days. But . . . seriously? This is some hard core, deeply-rooted prejudice that just happens to mirror the hard-core, deeply-rooted prejudices of some movement conservatives and TEA Party activists that have been on parade for the past few years.
It’s pretty hard to believe that, with the casual frequency with which these kids laced their daily trivial conversations with hate-talk, that their parents were all shocked and awed by their kids blatant biases. Things that become “second-nature” usually surface, at least occasionally, in the home. And obviously, when these kids are in their “comfort zone,” they let it all hang out.
Both Sen. Flake and Rep. Heck have sort of apologized in strikingly similar, terse terms . . .
I am extremely disappointed in my son’s use of the offensive and inappropriate language on twitter: that type of language has never been permitted in our home.
I apologize to everyone he may have offended. My son also apologizes for his insensitive behavior. My wife and I have addressed this family matter directly with him and he has learned from it.
I wonder, does Joe Heck realize that just about everyone “may have been offended?”
I’m very disappointed in my teenage son’s words, and I sincerely apologize for the insensitivity. This language is unacceptable, anywhere. Needless to say, I’ve already spoken with him about this, he has apologized, and I apologize as well
As a parent, I find those apologies on the lame side. Both fathers say that they’re disappointed in their sons, but it’s unclear what they’re disappointed about . . . their kids’ language? their kids’ inherent bigotry? their kids’ stupidity in letting it all hang out in social media? their kids’ obliviousness to how this news could impact Dad’s career? What?
Both fathers seem to be focused on the “language” and keeping it out of social discourse but what about the feelings of hatred and prejudice that these boys are walking around with and infecting others with every day? I’d much rather hear from Sen Flake and Rep Heck that part of their remediation is understanding why their boys feel the way that they do about others who are different. Haters can be taught not to talk about their hate but that doesn’t mean that they won’t keep hating and act on it in different ways.
While I find it appropriate and admirable that both fathers apologized personally for their sons’ failures, I’m underwhelmed by both fathers’ assurances that their sons have apologized. To whom did they apologize? to their Dads? to the targets of their hatefulness? It seems to me that their apologies should be at least as public as their offenses . . .
The Rev. Jarrett Maupin is joined by other community leaders, including the Rev. Oscar Tillman of the NAACP, in issuing a letter to Flake condemning the recent racist remarks made by his son, Tanner Flake.
African-American community leaders said they want to meet with Flake in person to discuss the incident and his relationship with his African-American constituents.
“The Senator should meet with us. He apologized to thin air, not to us. This is an opportunity for him to do so in-person and to create what will hopefully be a lasting and healthier line of communication with the Black Community,” Maupin said in a statement Thursday.
The actual letter is well worth reading.
Over and above the “hate” problem, Sen. Flake has his work cut out for him and might even want to consider taking some “time away” from office to spend more time with his family (and I’m not talking about survivalist camp). One of Tanner Flake’s social media exploits involved faking his own suicide on YouTube. Is that a child-rearing alarm bell going off . . . ?
Just in case someone finds it relevant, Flake supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. He has a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. He has a 0% rating from the NAACP. He has a 7% rating from the ACLU.
Heck has yet to receive ratings for his actions in the House of Representatives.