HRC to Sarah Palin: Use Daughter's Facebook Slur as Teachable Moment
November 17, 2010 by Carolyn Simon
According to media accounts, someone watching the new Palin reality show posted on Facebook that the show was failing. That prompted Willow Palin to respond by saying, “Haha your so gay. I have no idea who you are, But what I've seen pictures of, your disgusting... My sister has a kid and is still hot…. Tre stfu. Your such a faggot.” [sic] Today HRC called on the former Republican Vice Presidential candidate and current reality TV show star Sarah Palin to come out against the kind of anti-LGBT bullying sadly typified by her 16-year-old daughter’s posting on Facebook. “Anti-gay language by teenagers often starts at home – or at least, that’s where it should be stopped,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “It is our sincere hope that Sarah Palin will take this opportunity to speak out and condemn these kinds of insensitive remarks. It’s time for ‘Mamma Grizzly’ to teach all youngsters a lesson in decency and respect.”
Over the past year a number of teenagers have taken their own lives after being the victims of anti-gay bullying or harassment by other teenagers – most predominantly in the mid-teenage age range of Willow Palin. Many public figures, including President Obama, have addressed the issue, telling teenagers who are struggling with their sexuality and the bullying and harassment that sometimes goes with it, that it will get better. Sarah Palin has remained silent about the bullying-related suicides while publicly supporting political candidates who oppose equality and have anti-gay records including Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Sharron Angle in Nevada. “Sarah Palin has gotten away with not speaking up when the nation’s kids needed her most,” Solmonese said. “Sarah Palin, we ask you, will you use this as a teachable moment and tell all of our young people that this kind of language is simply unacceptable?” To help stop the name-calling, bullying and gender stereotyping that so many students face every day, the HRC Foundation has developed the Welcoming Schools initiative.
This innovative program gives elementary school administrators, teachers and parents across the country the tools to prevent bias-based teasing and harassment among elementary school students. It helps kids learn respect and tolerance early on, to prevent violence later in middle and high school. “Willow Palin might not have gotten the kind of anti-bullying and name-calling lessons that could have made her think twice about this kind of language,” added Solmonese. “But there’s no reason her mother can’t use this moment as a way to reach out and make every young person feel valued and accepted.”