Derick Dillard has been anything but quiet about his beliefs when it comes to LGBTQ issues — and in particular, whether transgender people even exist (spoiler alert: he doesn’t). Now, according to the Hollywood Gossip reports, Dillard is trying to defend himself and, in the process, revealing that he completely fails to understand what the concept of “freedom of speech” means.
Derick’s first, and perhaps most famous, foray into transgender-bashing occurred back in early August, when he went after another TLC star, Jazz Jennings. Jazz, if you’re not familiar, is a teenager who was born male but identifies as female.
Derick wasn’t having it.
“What an oxymoron… a ‘reality’ show which follows a non-reality. ‘Transgender’ is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it’s ordained by God.”
After getting some heat about his comments, Derick fired back.
“I want to be clear. I have nothing against him. I only have issue with the words and definitions being propagated here.”
First of all, Derick, it’s “her,” not “him.” Referring to someone by anything other than the pronouns they prefer is boorish. Second of all, she’s a teenage girl and you’re a grown man pushing 30, so let’s quit with the online bullying.
Not long after, Derick got in on the transgender debate again, not mentioning Jazz or the transgender community directly, but making a remark that Hollywood Gossip writer Emily Trainham called “pointed.”
“It seems truth is relative these days.”
Then he tried to drum up support for a boycott of Target over the retail chain’s decision to allow customers to use whichever bathroom they choose.
Now, in a post on the family blog, Dillard is trying to defend himself against the backlash he’s received, this time invoking the Constitution — specifically, the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to freedom of speech.
“It’s not bigotry, fascism, etc… to exercise one’s right of free speech.”
Clearly, Derick doesn’t understand how freedom of speech works.
The First Amendment guarantees that the government can’t prohibit you from expressing yourself (within certain limitations). It does not mean that no one is allowed to criticize what you say in response. Further, it doesn’t prevent anyone from labeling your speech for what it is. The same First Amendment that gives you the right to spew bigotry gives me the right to call it bigotry. It’s as simple as that.
He goes on, “If you do bad stuff, you should pay the consequences regardless of who you are. One’s consequences, good or bad, should be based on actions, not identity.”
Sure Derick, but what you’re forgetting is that you seem to feel like you’re above consequences yourself. Your actions — bullying a teenage girl and the transgender community — are bad actions. And you deserve to suffer the consequences of those bad actions — at least, if the only “consequences” you face are people calling you out in the comments sections of your bullying social media posts.
[Featured Image by Derick Dillard/Instagram]