An undercover camera crew in Farmers Branch -- a small suburb of Dallas -- filming the ABC show What Would You Do? in a typically small-town diner found something they didn't expect in Texas: customers repeatedly standing up for a gay couple bullied by a waitress in front of their children.
Although the video itself is two years old, it's been making its way around the Internet once again in the last couple of days. And just because you may have seen it before doesn't make the customers' responses any less heartwarming.
The host of What Would You Do?, John Quinones, pointed out that half of the diner guests in Texas stood up for the two gay couples (one male couple and one female couple -- all four of whom were actors, although at least one was actually gay). This stood in stark contrast to the same set-up in New York, where only a scant handful of nearby patrons said anything to the bullying waitress (also an actress).
Of course, not everyone saw the customers' reactions in such a positive light.
Surprisingly enough, people from both sides of the issue -- gay rights supporters and your run-of-the-mill homophobes -- both chalked up the customers' reactions to the fact that Texans simply weren't appreciative of the waitress's unprofessional behavior. It's only cool to hate on gays behind closed doors, y'all. Don't make a scene. Bless your heart.
"I actually suspect that if the male couple had been poor and Hispanic, that even less people would have cared," wrote Daniel Villarreal on gay rights blog Queerty back in 2011. "But even the video agrees with me when I say that most of the 23 in this case probably defended the the lezmos because hungry Texans hate shitty service."
The heavily conservative (and unfortunately acronym'd) National Organization for Marriage agreed with Queerty, writing: "Let's note first of all that the behavior of the "waitress" in this setup up is outrageous. No boss, and no customers would tolerate it. Not even in the 'conservative' towns of Texas. Good news for American common sense."
NOM finished: "The insidious propaganda point from ABC News is the suggestion that millions of good Americans who believe marriage means a man and a woman because children ought to have moms and dads, would or are behaving like this. Shame on ABC. Be prepared for lot more prejudiced stereotyping of decent and honorable Americans down the road by powerful elites."
If the man high-fiving the waitress for her homophobic bullying in the ABC video above is a "decent and honorable American" by NOM's standards, I wonder what they think of the young gentleman who passed the gay couple a note quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "In the end, we remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
That's not a Texan who "hates shitty service." That's a Texan who understands that keeping quiet in the face of hatred and intolerance is the least "decent and honorable" thing you can do. To me, that's truly American.
Take note, New Yorkers.
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