I had to have this explained to me.
Duck Dynasty is a show about a bunch of rural Americans who got famous by producing and branding a specific brand of duck call that is either very effective or just generally liked. This has turned them into serious stars.
To put it into perspective, Duck Dynasty was getting viewing figures BIGGER than Breaking Bad and that’s a critically acclaimed show. I assume this is a rip roaring balls to the wall analysis of what it is to be in the duck call making industry. It however does not interest me since I don’t hunt and since hunting in the UK is the domain of posh buggers, the culture of hunting is rather more different.
I like duck but not enough to invest in personally shooting them out of the sky.
The problem is “Phil Robertson”. The guy who founded the business has some rather distasteful opinions about how the world functions and indeed what is and isn’t acceptable.
Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” [Robertson] says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.
Basically he doesn’t like the homosexuals.
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. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field …. 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.
He also has some very bizarre opinions about Apartheid America. Especially considering he lived in Louisiana.
Basically black people were happy and never complained about freedom. Not to him.
There is a reason for that.
The ideology behind lynching, directly connected with denial of political and social equality to black people. And Louisiana was one of the major centres for it.
Victims were lynched by white supremacists and this either happened late at night or done as mass spectacles with an atmosphere akin to the guillotine in revolutionary France. And the lynchers were protected. Not by the law but by the abuse of it. Many a time lynch mobs were arranged specifically to allow reporters to make the press deadlines. The goal being to terrify African Americans and other non-whites into obedience.
Fewer than 1% of Lynch mob participants were ever convicted. Even in the case of positive IDs, juries and judges often made the cases vanish. Even if black jurors were present the threat of lynching would make them compliant. In some cases even the presence of cops would not stop lynchings.
To point out how vile and cruel this practice was and the mindset of those who participated in it, we should look at how and why we know about so many lynchings. It is due to a practice of collecting postcards. The lynched victims were photographed and people kept the photos as souvenirs. They even traded them like Pokémon cards. Later, Time magazine described this repugnant practice as so vile that not even the Nazis stooped to such levels by trading post cards of the victims of Auschwitz.
And these were good people. Poisoned by their beliefs, by their religion and by the culture of racism. They didn’t see this as murder, they saw it as pest control. I have read the descriptions of actions from the Tuskegee Lynching Register and believe me, these were the actions of people who 100% believed they were acting in a moral way. In that they were no different from the most convinced Nazi or the most sure Aztec priest. The cruelties done were not done to people after all. It was the duty of every man and woman present to behave with necessary barbarism. To send a message. In that, their behaviour was no different to the molten silver and gold my ancestors used to drown their hated enemies in. To send a message.
If black people were happy under this threat then frankly Phil Robertson is a fucking idiot. Do you think any black person would complain about their lot in life knowing that they lived by the whim of a majority that was quite happy to kill, rape, torture and murder even children? That for all the bleating of the period against abortion that there were instances of pregnant black women being tortured and aborted by force to “send a message” often resulting in the woman’s painful death since lynch mobs make for pretty shitty gynaecologists.
He is basically a homophobe and a racist.
And the problem is not that he said these things but that people are supporting him.
Like Ian Bayne who is running for Congress next year. It’s rare that I outscoop Ed Brayton for stupid American Wingnut statements but Ian Bayne’s statement is just fantastic.
See Ian Bayne thinks that Phil Robertson is the Rosa Parks of our generation.
“In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians, “What Parks did was courageous, What Mr. Robertson did was courageous too.”
No Mr. Bayne, I am afraid Roberson here would have probably told Rosa Parks that she was making a big fuss over nothing and that she would be happier if she stopped complaining.
In short, not just a homophobe but a racist too.
He is free to spew his bigotry, but he is a representative of a major Network and they are free to not carry his show and people are free to boycott his stuff. I don’t think it will affect him that much. He has become the darling of the same movement that a few weeks ago was calling for responsibility of speech.
But I really must say. Who Gives A Fuck About Ducks.