OK

Aside from actually catching occasional snippets, I've never watched Duck Dynasty, despite being from that state, and that part of the state, and that town (Monroe, La). Or maybe because of that - I grew up with people like them, and I saw this "flip-side" of the folksy humor a long time ago. Kinda done with it.

But after Phil Robertson spewed all over his GQ interview, my Facebook page (which carries an amazing diverse array of people, at least for the moment) came alive with posts on one side or the other, and I thought I had to respond to it all.

So I posted a note with the text below the orange squiggle. No idea how much my friends list may shrink. C'est la vie.

Read on . . .

To Mr. Phil Robertson:

So much to go through here – let’s start with the race thing, since that seems to be the most recent dustup:

To say you “never saw a Black person mistreated” in the Deep South in the 50’s and 60’s, is genuinely astounding. You’re talking about people who couldn’t vote, walk in the wrong part of town, drink from the wrong fountain, sit down in a diner, or show inadequate “deference” to any white trash idiot no matter how poor or stupid he was. You’re talking about people with few if any genuine rights who were consigned to those fields because they were actively excluded from anything else. You saw nothing but Black people being mistreated, and just because you never saw some white guy actually standing over them and beating them with a chain is no excuse to play dumb about it.

I’ve never really watched your show, so I don’t know much about your outlook beyond what you’ve unfortunately shared with the class in the GQ interview, but I come from the same place as you, Chief, so I’m pretty sure I know your type – and I’m willing to bet I know which side of the Obama-Tea Party divide you fall on.

And given the Tea Party tendency to hysteria about “tyranny”, apocalyptic ranting about that “armed revolt” that well may be necessary to “take our country back” and just general bitch-whininess about every stitch of the Social Safety Net, or every minor act of the public sector to, you know, actually deal with our national problems . . . then for you to say that Blacks in the pre-Civil Rights South - people who were actually oppressed, actually persecuted, actually denied representation in the government that controlled their destiny and actually  restricted in life by law, social convention and the ongoing threat of violence  - if they occasionally sang or joked to lift their spirits, or didn’t just break down sobbing in the goddam fields over their miserable lot in life, then they must have been happy as clams . . . makes you a fucking idiot.

And as for that mountainous spew of bile about gays . . .

The Bible uses the same word – toevah (literally “taboo”) to describe eating shellfish and wearing mixed fibers. I’m guessing you’ve never protested a Red Lobster, or complained that the cotton-poly blend in your hunting camo violated your faith. So I’m going to guess your “Bible defense” for your homophobia is so much bullshit. I’m going to guess you don’t go around thinking “I sure would love to embrace and welcome my gay brothers and sisters, but the Bible just won’t let me.”

No, I’m guessing you’re that kind of Christian, and you’re just like the millions of that kind of Christian before you – bigoted tools that just bludgeon others with their personal hatreds and prejudices, then wrap themselves in Scripture as some kind of rationalization and magical anti-criticism shield. I wish the other kind of Christians – the actual Christ-like ones – could vote you guys out, or something. Sue you for damaging the brand. You’re kind of Christian, believe me, that does just that.

By doing things, for instance, like beating up a guy and his wife, and – after a payoff kept you out of jail – deciding to “just let things lie” instead of ever having the balls to apologize and actually make things right.

Yeah. Best for last. You said stupid, bigoted stuff – but so what. That’s between you and the people you work for (more on that later). But punching a woman – that’s a thing for me. And after you bought your way out of criminal charges, you called it done. No repentance, no apology, no attempt to actually make it right. Just paid in full and move on. “Not perfect, just forgiven” – which is what your kind of Christian says when they mean “you can’t criticize me for anything I’ve done – now hold still while I judge you.”

So all told, Phil, you’re a piece of work. Glad I never bought anything from your company or your show. Sorry that A&E ever got in bed with you.

And by the way, stop crying about “free speech”. Talking to GQ because you’re the star of a hit reality show is not “free speech”, it’s “$200,000 per episode” speech, and the people writing that check have every right to insist you keep your public statements within a certain business-friendly box. You could have walked away from that gig anytime you felt right about it – and immediately said anything and everything you wanted, as loud and as often as you could.

So go do that now. Or make another duck call. Whatever. Just stop with the crybaby martyr stuff.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.