Sarah Palin’s daughter uses gay slurs on Facebook, we try to turn it into a teachable moment

Yesterday news broke that Sarah Palin‘s daughter Willow Palin used gay slurs on Facebook. When a former classmate posted his dislike for the new TLC reality show Sarah Palin’s Alaska in a status update, she came after him with guns and slurs blazing. A sampling:

In light of the recent very high-profile, very public campaigns against LGBT bullying, it’s shocking to see someone from such a famous family use such homophobic language. And it’s kind of untoward to see both the Palin daughters get into what amounts to a Facebook shoving match over something as simple as someone disliking their TV show. Eldest daughter Bristol Palin also enters the fray, using foul language but no gay slurs.

You can see the full exchange here, if you can stand pages and pages of immature put downs and terrible grammar.

Now, Willow Palin is 16 and 16-years-olds sometimes say stupid things. Yes, the language is reprehensible. Yes, the language is at the root of so much unchecked homophobia. Yes, the language should never have been used in the first place. But 16-year-olds aren’t adults and there’s a reason we don’t let them vote yet.

Willow Palin (far right) with her mother and sister on Oprah late last year

What I am much more interested in seeing will be the response from the grown-ups in the room to this ugly Facebook spat. Will Sarah and Todd Palin sit down with Willow and say, “Honey, we know you were mad and just wanted to defend us, but that kind of language is never OK. Not in public, not in private, not anywhere. It’s hateful.” A gal can dream.

Bristol Palin posted an apology from both sisters on her Facebook page late Tuesday night, which is a start.

Will Sarah Palin come out and accuse the media again of unfairly invading her children’s privacy? Will she go all Mama Grizzly on us and say we’re attacking her cubs? Which, if you want to follow that thought train to its illogical conclusion, would mean she would be slamming us for noting that her daughter slammed someone else who did not like their family’s show by slamming all gay people in general. I tend to think when you voluntarily sign up your entire family to do a television show that is actually an elaborate way of promoting your political ambitions, you’re doing the invading of privacy for us. But maybe that’s just me.

What this really is is a teachable moment. This would be when we could all use some of that so-called “compassionate conservatism.” A true Mama Grizzly should want to protect of all Earth’s cubs — gay, straight, whatever — from hate.

Oh and Mrs. Palin, while you are having that conversation with Willow about the impact and consequences of hateful language, perhaps you could go over the correct usage of “your” and “you’re.” Or will you “refudiate” the need for good grammar, too? Your call.

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