Perhaps Phil Robertson has spent far too much time in the woods with the ducks and not enough time in polite society. After all, enough socialization in the 21st century would tell any American what the feedback for his comments would have been. For those who missed it, The Duck Dynasty star landed himself in hot water over his bigoted commentary.
It all started with the infamous GQ interview, where Robertson ended up discussing his religious and social beliefs. Perhaps for some reason GQ expected him to say something about white after Labor Day or socks with sandals? Regardless of what the interviewer was anticipating, it may not have been this:
"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."
This is the second part of a an explanation of his feelings about homosexuals and how they are the slippery slope to bestiality. Yikes. And that's not last of it, unfortunately:
"All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I'll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That's eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups."
Wow. ....So that's it? ....Please?
"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."
Oh dear. It seems safe to assume that no one ever got around to telling Robertson that Germany is no longer under Nazi control and Japan is currently one of our staunchest allies. As for that whole Civil Rights Movement? Clearly African Americans wanted more out of life than "picking cotton". Between commentary on other ethnic groups and gay men and women, the fallout was never going to be pretty.
— Bert Weiss (@BertShowBert) December 19, 2013
— Eric Deggans at NPR (@Deggans) December 19, 2013
When criticism first emerged, Phil Robertson had said in his own defense, “I myself am a product of the ‘60s” who indulged in sex and drugs until hitting bottom and accepting Jesus as his savior...I would never treat anyone with disrespect because they are different."
The "I am a product of my time" defense is a popular one. The problem is that the groups who are discriminated against today didn't just pop up out of the ground yesterday. Many of those individuals are the same age as Robertson and can recall a painful existence as the result of hate and ignorance.
The duck hunter's justification is not enough for A&E. The network has stated that Robertson is off the show indefinitely. A&E experienced similar woes a few years ago when Dog the Bounty Hunter star Duane Chapman was recorded by his son in a racist rant against the young man's choice of girlfriend. Production was halted and though the series returned eventually, it suffered low ratings. This led to its cancellation in 2012.
As for whether or not Duck Dynasty will experience the same fate, that remains to be seen.
Image via FranAlva