Imagine being hit in the head as a young child. By your parents. Then imagine going to public schools and having your head bashed in by your closest friends as well as your worst enemies.
Then after school, during extra curricular activities, you occasionally get knocked in the head by your peer group and your coach or team leader. Finally when you reach adolescence, the real head-bashing starts from your minister, your youth leaders and other parents and adults around you. You also misread several books and have the impression that you ought to be bashing yourself in the head. You watch TV shows, which occasionally, with great subtlety and almost unconscious manipulation, tell you to do the same.
You tell people your head hurts, and they tell you that some other group is responsible for your head hurting this way. After six decades of head-bashing, your mental and psychological make up is going to be different from someone who had not been raised or is currently living in this type of environment. The human psyche is even more fragile as the bones that make up our skulls. It cannot take years and years of societal assault without being permanently damaged.
It is difficult for someone who has not been living in this type of environment to understand the mentality of someone who has. This is why my feelings are mixed on this recent controversy over What's-his-name and that reality show. My random feelings and thoughts are coming at hyper speed that I have to put them in list form:
1. A&E was playing with fire for entertainment. They knew what they were doing, and it wouldn't surprise me if this "suspension" of Phil Robertson is just a setup for his "comeback". I realize my anti-corporate bias is showing here. I hate big entertainment and its exploitive nature, and I know that there is no bad publicity with Big Entertainment. When this show first came on, I initially didn't watch it because I was annoyed at all the pop-cultural posers who never ate duck or venison in their lives gooing and gushing over this show, just as they do over every pop-cultural fad that comes along. Posers!
Yet time passed, and whenever D.D. was on, something told me not to watch the program. Something inside me. It was just a gut feeling. Trust your gut sometimes.
2. The comments spoken in GQ were sickening. I have heard them quoted on TV, but wanted to read the article myself to get the full context. I got as far as “It seems like, to me, a vagina..."
Are women so used to oppression by men that they stay silent on the third thing wrong with Robertson's statements? Thank you, Mr. Robertson, for not calling her a woman, but a "vagina". God knows that we like to be referred to as our lady parts. Had to get up for five minutes before reading on.
3. I feel like Clubber Lang, the fictional character in Rocky III, on my attitudes towards this issue. I don't hate Robertson at all, but I "pity the fool". Again, I agree with A&E's decision with suspending Robertson, though I am deeply skeptical about their motives, and time will tell how they will exploit this in the future. D. D. is a brand. Robertson's candid and disgusting interview tarnished the brand, and the brand had to be saved no matter what. Yet I cannot and will not hate the man. After years and years of conditioning, it is hard to suddenly make a 180 degree turn in your views. Politicians do these changes because they are at heart snakes, but ordinary people are sincere in their wrong beliefs. It is very hard to change sincerely held beliefs.
4. It is hard for human beings to adapt to change, even under the best of circumstances. Add a bunch of poor-coping methods and you have failure every time. The gay-rights issue is something that has only made it to the mainstream culture one or two decades ago. I was not always in favor of gay rights. For most of my adult life I felt like it needed to be contained within the subculture of the bluest blue states. It also seemed that the Bible supported putting the equivalent of Jim Crow laws on gays and lesbians in America, (for their own good). If my major had been something besides history, with a heavy concentration on the studies of the rise of the Third Reich, I wouldn't have given gay rights a second thought.
The Civil Rights movement of African-American origins has been around slightly longer, so Robertson has had more exposure to the truth in this regard. Too bad this exposure has been lost on a divided mind:
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.”My emphasis added.
It is hard to explain how this is racist. Robertson claims that Blacks are inherently good, inherently equal, but corrupted by the Civil Rights Movement. So he is racist, yet he isn't. This is a dangerous mindset, but we need to change our textbook definition of racism, because the mentality that Blacks are good at birth (or in the womb), yet by Trayvon Martin's age are evil is an opinion shared by many who claim that God loves all the races equally.
So it seems like Robertson is merely sharing the opinion of maybe a third of America. Again, I want to repeat that I supported A&E's decision, but I don't think that Robertson is any more evil than anyone else. He is just unqualified to be a role model for others, unless the only qualification is ability to raise A&E's bottom line.
5. We need to criticize his statements, but with constructive criticism.
This is a good example:
6. The far-right will milk this for all it's got.
Get ready. The right is going to turn this into a hate-fest. Politicians are already getting their slimy hands on this issue.
7. "Love the sinner; hate the sin" is the perfect response to this mess. The Right uses this phrase a lot. Maybe the Left should, too.