The Dynasty Controversy: What We’re Forgetting

A Louisiana man is proving words pack a lot of power. The power to divide a country. The power to rally support. The power to promote around-the-clock media attention.

In the case of Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson, words also have the power to halt multi-million dollar business deals. Merely words. Spoken in seconds. Spread worldwide. Words are powerful.

Yet, a lot of people (me included) forget their potency. We forget every time we call someone fat. Or lazy. Or stupid. We forget every time we call someone evil. Or incompetent. Or wrong. In the same way words have the power to heal and bring joy, they also have the power to enforce isolation.

This post is not about dissecting what Robertson said. This is about respect, tolerance and kindness.

We all deserve to be respected and tolerated and embraced. Yet, we live in a society where meanness is often considered popular. A society where fragmented beliefs tear apart populations. A society where a single click can land scarring words in every corner of the globe.

Following Robertson’s comments, people were adamant on joining a side. For him. Or against him. The severe polarization sparked arguments between friends, families, celebrities, politicians and network executives. This fight is nasty, regardless of the side you’re on.

Let’s be honest— we’re going to continue fighting over a lot of issues. We’re going to continue speaking our minds and pushing for the values we believe in. That’s okay. After all, voices shape American culture and encourage growth.

But let’s promise to agree on something: to think before we speak. Or tweet. Or share. Yes, we all deserve to have a voice. That voice, above everything, should promote respect. Promote tolerance. And promote kindness.