In a recent interview with GQ, Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson, had some colorful things to say about gays, blacks, and all sorts of other people.
– “It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical,” he’s quoted as saying.
When asked what he thought was sinful, Robertson replied: “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.” –
Obviously, comments comparing homosexuality to bestiality are ignorant and ridiculous. I think we can all agree on that.
A major part of this guy’s job is to be an ignorant, backwoods redneck who says funny-sounding dumb shit, so that slightly-less-dumb people can laugh and feel superior. So I’m a little confounded by all the uproar. So what, a stupid idiot said something stupid and idiotic? And? This is “shocking” in the same way that the attack on Siegfried and Roy by their tiger was shocking…in that it wasn’t. At all. It’s a TIGER!!! THAT’S WHAT TIGERS DO!!! It was only a matter of time. I find it hard to believe that anybody is actually surprised by this. This is exactly what they’re paying him for.
I have to take his side, in terms of free speech. To a point. He has the right, as we all do, to be a an insensitive bigoted asshole. He has the right to keep his mind closed, to remain oblivious to things like facts and progress, and to tell anyone who cares to listen all about his infantile and narrow world view. He is entitled to that basic freedom, and I will defend that to the end, regardless of my intense distaste for the particulars of his opinions. Any suppression of speech is a dangerous and slippery slope, and we should all be more careful about our reactions to words and thoughts we don’t like. Censorship is not the answer. Censorship, on any level, creates a dangerous precedent, and it might only be a matter of time before somebody else calls the shots, and decides to censor those with whom you might agree. Like me. I don’t want to be censored. My whole life is predicated on free speech.
Having said that, I’m pretty disgusted with the (mostly Right Wing) bandwagon hop-ons spouting off about this guy’s TV suspension being an affront to the First Amendment. That amendment protects speech in very specific instances, particularly in regard to politics and protests against the government. It does NOT give you free reign to be a mouth-breathing imbecile without fear of consequence. The 1st Amendment does not protect you from backlash or retribution from your community, be they neighbors, sponsors or, in this case, employers. Employers are free to fire you for many reasons, including public statements contrary to the company agenda. In this case, he said some dumb shit that made the company look bad. So they suspended him. Is it legal? Absolutely. Is it fair? That’s another question…as I’ve already covered.
At the end of the day, I could give a shit about this guy. I don’t watch the show, and I have no interest in it. I don’t need to watch a show about illiterate inbred mutants, just to feel better about my own life. I can go to Reno for that. I think the corporate execs are probably creaming their pants behind the scenes right now over all the free publicity. In fact, I feel a little tainted myself, contributing to it as I am, in my own small way. I think the real problem here is much larger. There is something much more sinister going on here than one hillbilly’s take on racism and homosexuality.
If you take a look at the rest of what he said, it’s easy to see that his beliefs are pretty much right in line with 90% of the Republican Party Christian conservatives, or at least those that dominate the Tea Party. He is hardly an anomaly. Here’s some more of his “wisdom”:
“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.”
He’s not just hating on gays. He’s hating on pretty much everyone I know. He’s representing an “us versus them” Christian mindset that is all too common in this country. That’s why the Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz types are so quick to defend him. They’re not protecting free speech. They’re protecting hate. Hate is what keeps paying their bills.
*Kinda begs the question: what about female prostitutes?