I have watched the sad commentary of Phil Robertson, star of A&E’s backwoods reality TV show, “Duck Dynasty” evolve and sadly play out. I don’t know why anyone should be surprised because bigots have always disguised racism around Christianity. Since it seems this lunacy is not going to die and “conservatives” have made him a hero, I thought I would jump into the controversy.
I am old enough to remember what it was like in the Apartheid southern states of America. Frankly, during this period, anywhere south of Canada was “South”. Let me remind you more specifically of a “little case” called Plessy v Ferguson that ushered state sanctioned discrimination across America. In fact, it was there in Louisiana where it was born. So the Duck saw, and he claims nothing, was the law of the land. Frankly, those who owned slaves said the same kinds of thing – “My Darkies are happy!”
A lot of “good boys” have rallied to support the Duck making him the face of their views. One politician went so far as to compare him to Mrs. Rosa Parks. WOW! Now, I will be honest and tell you that I rarely agree with Jesse Jackson but in this instance, he said something that was on the mark; he likened the “Ducks” words to what the driver of Rosa Parks’ bus more likely said.
Jackson states in a release, “At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law… Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege’… It is unacceptable that a personality who has been given such a large platform would benefit from racist and anti-gay comments.
I’m sure we remember the famous Klan’s Man David Duke, a Louisiana native, and other extremist from this so-called wonderful land in the Deep South, who are well known for bigotry. Mr. Duck I can tell you with certainty “black people were not as happy as you profess. In fact, they were singing the blues and if memory serves me correctly; it was there that the blues was born, and there was a reason for it.
What bothers me is his claim: “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person… Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them… They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’— not a word… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
Before the civil rights movement of the 1950s, Jim Crow laws enforced a system of subjugating African Americans in the South by upholding racial barriers for years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The cultural climate in the Southern states was one of “disenfranchisement, segregation and various forms of oppression, including race-inspired violence,” History.com notes.
I applaud the Human Rights Campaign and the NAACP’s joint letter to the president of A&E, expressing deep concern over Robertson’s remarks:
We want to be clear why Phil Robertson’s remarks are not just dangerous but also inaccurate. Mr. Robertson claims that, from what he saw, African Americans were happier under Jim Crow. What he didn’t see were lynching and beatings of black men and women for attempting to vote or simply walking down the street. And his offensive claims about gay people fly in the face of science. In fact, it’s important to note that every single leading medical organization in the country has said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being [lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender] — it’s not a choice, and to suggest otherwise is dangerous.
Robertson called homosexuality a sin and juxtaposed it with bestiality. After his homophobia made news, A&E released a statement announcing Robertson’s indefinite suspension from “Duck Dynasty.” The network emphasized that his beliefs are in contrast to those of the network. Yet, they announce that he would appear in the season when it starts the next season. This was stated in spite of the Duck saying, he stands by his remarks. Hmmm!
I have never seen the television show, but it must be enjoyable to see Rednecks in their natural habitat. Lastly, it might be a good idea for all sane people to do two things. (1) Boycott Cracker Burrell and (2) turn off A&E! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…