For the latest edition of GQ, set to hit newsstands this January, 2014, the popular men’s magazine decided to severely lower their standards by featuring an exclusive interview with “reality” TV’s flavor-of-the-month Pat… I mean, Phil Robertson. He is one of the cast members from A&E‘s hit show ‘Duck Dynasty‘, a show that has so far cashed in millions of dollars by appealing to the simple-mindedness of a large portion of the American public. (*) (While A&E is short for Arts and Entertainment, this show has neither.) But while the show has been nothing but smooth-sailing for the shows cast members, an array of bigoted comments from GQ‘s interview with the 67-year old Robertson is threatening to throw all that into disarray.
The comments which have stirred up such a tremendous amount of controversy ironically came in response to a question addressed to Robertson about what he believes constitutes “sinful behavior”. From that point the entire interview turned into an old man’s endless tirade against seemingly every group which came to his mind, including gay people, Japanese people, Black people, Muslims, non-Christians, anything you could name. “Everything is blurred on what’s right,” according to Robertson.
“Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and these men. 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…
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.”
There are so many things wrong with the above statement that it’s hard to know where to begin. First of all, to equate being a homosexual with being an adulterer, slanderer, prostitute, swindler or sex offender implies that someone is getting hurt or being forced into something against their will. Who is the victim when two grown individuals of the same sex consent to physically intimate relations with each other to gain a sense of pleasure? No one is, but I suspect that Robertson and others who peddle the notion that there is are aware of this, but they intentionally confuse the issue in order to make it easier for them to condemn homosexuality and those who engage in it. It’s also quite odd (or very telling) that he singles out “male prostitutes” and “homosexual offenders” for particular condemnation rather than simply denounce “prostitutes” and “offenders” in general. What are we to make of this? Is it that “female prostitutes” and “heterosexual offenders” will be inheriting the ‘Kingdom of God’? And lastly, I’m relatively certain that most straight or heterosexual men have never given that much thought into what gay sex must be like! He is really graphic here when he talks about how “a vagina would be more desirable” to enter vs. “a man’s anus”! Am I wrong when I say that most straight men haven’t thought that long and hard about it?
Up next he felt it necessary to offer his “expert” commentary on race relations as he saw them growing up in the rural South vs. what they are today:
“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, [not] 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.”
We can only hope this man is never asked to serve on a jury for a trial in which there’s either a Black defendant or victim. Obviously, he doesn’t see it fit to actually talk or listen to what Black people themselves have to say about their own experiences. Somehow he imagines that whatever he sees and how he sees it constitutes how well Black people are doing and feeling at any particular moment in time. That he would invoke “entitlements” and “welfare” (which is most often used as a racist term in the United States) to make the absurd point that Black people were so much better off under Jim Crow segregation just shows that he’s swallowed hook, line, and sinker every bit of negative stereotypical piece of racist propaganda that’s been put out over the years.
If it wasn’t obvious by now that his idea of the “Kingdom of God” is little more than a conservative white Christian utopia, this last comment makes it official:
“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 […]Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”
Now why is this guy purportedly considered a genius again? First of all, what religion if not Christianity did the majority of German Nazis practice? Christianity had been the dominant religion in Germany long before the Nazis came to power and continued during the Nazis’ reign and after. The notion that Germany didn’t know of Jesus is demonstrably false, as is the claim that Christian churches didn’t endorse their rise to power. As far as his claim that Shintos bear responsibility for the attack on Pearl Harbor, then by the same logic Christians bear responsibility for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact, if we are to take his statement about looking “at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups” seriously, then perhaps someone should kindly inform him that the numbers he mentions are far outnumbered by the millions of deaths caused by the enslavement and genocides committed against peoples of both African and Native American descent – all of which were specifically done under the banner of Christianity while claiming to be spreading the Word of Jesus Christ! This is not meant to be an indictment of Christianity at all; I’m only demonstrating that no religion has a monopoly on murder or terrorism, certainly not Christianity.
He also made a statement which on the surface reads like he may be backtracking somewhat, but taken into full account it appears to be little more than a sorry attempt to put a smiling face on what are truly abominable beliefs:
“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus – whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later.”
The reactions to his comments were incredibly swift on all sides. The amount of hatred, disgust, ignorance and bigotry underlying Robertson’s comments prompted a joint response from the respective leaders of the country’s most prominent gay rights and civil rights organizations, the Human Rights Campaign and the NAACP, which was addressed to the President and Chief Executive Officer of A+E Networks on December 18th. It reads, in part:
“We want to be clear why Phil Robertson’s remarks are not just dangerous but also inaccurate. Mr. Robertson claims that, from what he saw, African Americans were happier under Jim Crow. What he didn’t see were lynching and beatings of black men and women for attempting to vote or simply walking down the street. And his offensive claims about gay people fly in the face of science. In fact, it’s important to note that every single leading medical organization in the country has said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being LGBT – it’s not a choice, and to suggest otherwise is dangerous.”
Not long afterward, A+E Networks responded that they were “extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series ‘Duck Dynasty’. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.” That response sparked predictable outrage in conservative circles. Quick to jump to his defense was Louisiana’s clusterfuck of a governor, Bobby Jindal, who, reminiscing on times that only existed in his imagination, commented, “I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment: it is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.” This comparison is not particularly helpful, considering there wasn’t anything humorous about what Robertson said, and MTV Networks and A+E Networks are not the same company and according to his own logic – that private corporations should be able to act as they please without any sort of government-imposed regulations – A&E should have the right to suspend Robertson if they see it fit. And then there’s the half-term Alaska governor/ ‘reality’-TV queen herself, Sarah Palin, who never met a bigot she wouldn’t defend. She commented on her Facebook that “those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.” I wonder if she is aware that “intolerants” isn’t a word. I’m guessing she meant “intolerance.” In Rush Limbaugh’s mind it doesn’t matter if the comments were offensive simply because the “the gay population that’s supposedly offended here is, max, 2 percent. [Whereas] the Christian population is 250 million so the market is going to reflect that at some point.” Millions of the show’s fans have also weighed in and have launched a number of online petitions. Their words have launched Robertson to the status of a conservative martyr who stands up for “biblical traditional family values.” Or, as one of the show’s dedicated fans, Rick Peter, says, they’re “tired of that pro-gay sentiment that’s out there in the media and it’s time to fight back.” Lost amid the exaggerated “First Amendment” outrage is the fact that no one has stifled Phil Robertson’s right to free speech. He still has his business and the GQ magazine interview is still available online and is set to appear in print next month. In the meantime, as we approach the year 2014, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people can still be potentially fired for their sexual orientation or identification in 29 States of the Union. Louisiana, where the Robertson family resides, is one of them.
In conclusion, I’d like to personally take on one of Mr. Robertson’s assertions, that gay people won’t “inherit the kingdom of God.” If he and people with exclusionary viewpoints are truly representative of what is to be found in the kingdom of God, I’m willing to bet there are a lot of people who would just as soon not go. Speaking as someone who is in fact gay, I’ve dealt with enough hatred and bigotry in my time here on earth that I have no desire to still be facing off against it in the afterlife.
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ star makes anti-gay comments; GLAAD slams
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Controversy: Louisiana Gov. Defends Phil Robertson
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Fans React to Robertson’s Hiatus
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ ignites culture war as boycott looms
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star’s Gay Bashing Isn’t His Worst Crime
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ family stands by suspended patriarch
Additional reads from around the Net:
- The Real Duck Dynasty Scandal: Phil Robertson’s Comments on Race
- Jesse Jackson: Phil Robertson more offensive than Rosa Parks driver
- When You Defend Phil Robertson, Here’s What You’re Really Defending
- *The show has somehow managed to pull in as many as 12-15 million viewers for the premiere of a single episode. But as far as I can tell the show has no plot. Entertainment Weekly comments, however, that “Duck Dynasty has managed to call itself a ‘reality’ series with a straight-face despite the story lines being clearly guided.”
Hahahahahaha. Um…yeah there is a BIG difference but I don’t want to go into it and remind myself about these profits that go back to the filmmaker cuz then I feel bad. So for now, I watched the movie, it’s like tv, and yeah. It’s done. I did it. LOLOL. But my, Caleb that was SO well DONE. MY GOODNESS.
That director did a great job, but after seeing it, I’m a little sad about Lisa again. RIP. 😦
If this movie made you sad about Lisa, then you really need to watch the “Last Days of Left Eye” documentary. )-;
The last days? They made a documentary about that with live footage? Wow, that is gonna be on another day. Too heavy for new years night. I’m already depressed lol.
But I will have a look eventually, cuz that was just so shocking.
Anyway, happy new year Caleb!
Actually she filmed it herself ! It’s really intense. Her death is shown as well and it’s very disturbing.
Great article, Caleb. I’ve been perusing a lot of conservative FB pages as of late, and have been calling them out on their hypocrisy. Of course, all of these groups covered the Phil Robertson situation doggedly, obsessing over how Robertson’s right to hate other groups was infringed upon. They were pissed that he got fired, also, But just today, there was a woman on a liberal FB page who made a statement that they disagreed with, and what did they do? They tracked her down, found out her address, her home and cell #’s and where she worked, and posted it online, encouraging the followers to call and harass her. Then – get this – they plan on emailing her boss to get her fired. FB forcibly removed their posts, but I’m not sure if they are going to harass her regardless. My post on their page calling out their hypocrisy went unanswered.
That is some really crazy shit! And the whole thing is just so hypocritical because, like you said, when it’s something THEY don’t agree with they are the first to call for some sort of government-imposed religious sanction. I found this article on Huffington Post describing some other instances where conservatives pressured companies to sever ties with celebs they didn’t agree with that you might find interesting: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-alter/duck-dynasty-and-madonna_b_4492801.html
Beautifully written, powerfully put and you make alot of sense. I’m just sorry sensationalist tripe like this continues to get attention for their hateful comments and contradictory assertions.
First off I am Christian, and I continue to say on all my social media pages from time to time, folks like the Duck guy above are not an indicator of what Christ is about. He speaks with his mouth about love but then out of the same mouth comes condemnation, judgement, offense.
I don’t care if he singles himself out as ‘Poor White Trash,’ while trying to point out he is in a similar situation as blacks. This doesn’t give him more validity in his views of black people or their experiences. And you’re right, no hetero man I know is giving this much thought to how gay men have sex, um, unless he is secretly gay or at least bi.
There are so many things wrong with this man’s statements, it exhausted me before I reached the end (nothing to do with your writing/everything to do with him). Then I remembered this guy is cut from the same cloth as Paula Deen. He’s an older white person whose privilege was unconscious while devoid of any consequence for careless speech.
I just keep reminding myself this type is old and that society has better access to the minds of the youth, exit those in Greece or who pride themselves on being National Socialists or nazis here. Now.
We as a society simply have to keep educating the general public, because this gentleman and Palin make it clear that there are so many people who consume a regular diet of this kind of bigotry, and from there practice it. Still our letters, and further, blogs, films, plays, and social response to interviews such as the above go a long way to giving people something to think about.
Complete insanity. Smh.
Preach! Like where the hell does he get off saying that because he is “white trash” it means he is in the situation as “blacks” as he puts it? But like you said, in the time they were growing up they could say whatever racist bigoted trash they felt like without ever having to worry about facing any potential backlash, so I bet they are surprised anyone would be offended by their hateful rhetoric.
If the whole ‘Duck’ show doesn’t work out for him, I guarantee there will be a very hefty sum awaiting him as the new panelist and “political commentator” for Fox “News”! lmao
Hahahaha. OMG!!!! Haha. I know right? How crazy is that? You know there will be, something…
And I’m sure he is hearing some of the backlash now and thinks we’re all just ‘oversensitive.’
First off, weren’t the producers of his show a little weary? You’d think they would have predicted something like this. I mean these guys are kinda um, backwoods a little. PLUS he’s older…
It’s like HELLO.
But of course they have to release some statement saying how ‘disappointed,’ they are, to spare their viewer right. ;[ Whatever.
Anyway, great write up.
Lol I’m actually from the same state as them and believe me when I say they’re very popular around here. The white ppl are always sporting their merchandise.
Opps oh no. No disrespect. Sporting their merchandise? Ugh. Television makes stars of the wrong folks sometimes, just the wrong folks sometimes.
Happy Holidays Caleb (on another note).
Yes and sadly, the reason these “reality” shows are ao successful is because the companies know there is a Palin-esque audience out there who will eat it up. Lol Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and all that stuff! (-;
I agree. Ugh. Can a new trend come along and kill reality shows already?! LOL.
Thanks luv, Merry Christmas and happy new year back. Hope you get to a fun party minus the Christmas music.
Be careful what you wish for. The next trend may be ever WORSE than reality tv ! lmao. Just kidding.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2 u! And I’m def not a big fan of Christmas music… except for TLC’s “Sleigh Ride”. lol
Hahaha, Yeah you’re right. Ugh. By the way I’ve posted something new on my profile. Just so you know. Coming back lil’ by lil.’
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG…I forgot about that!!!!!!!! Wow, don’t you miss them?
Wooooow. Blast from the past….. 🙂 *Thanks for the Holiday wishes.* 🙂
Yes I do miss them! Although they’ve actually been on a bit of a comeback sort of since the movie about them came on VH1 back in October. I still play their 4 CDs like they are new lol. And I’ma go check out your new post right now.
I NEVER SAW THAT MOVIE. What was the name of it? Gonna Itunes it. You know, artists never get what kind of effect they have on their fan base. I don’t think they really understand how their work becomes a part of out lives. How much respect people have.
Anyway I lost alot of my CDs through my moves (ugh), but I listen whenever a song of theirs is on. It’s STILL GREAT MUSIC.
So sad about Lisa Lopez.
Where have you been all of 2013?! T-boz and Chilli were everywhere – had me feeling like it was 1995! Check this out: http://www.hulu.com/watch/545458?cmp=507&pdv=c%20&gclid=COCG3eTc0LsCFWJo7AodtxgAgg
And the movie broke records for a VH1 original movie and was even the most watched original movie on cable television for the year 2013. See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/22/crazysexycool-the-tlc-story-primetime-history_n_4145039.html
And on top of that they performed at the American Music Awards with “special guest” Lil’ Mama (not one of their best performances I will say) and again on that show “Dancing with the Stars”. Needless to say I will ride for TLC until the wheels fall off! Lmfao.
And I agree about Left Eye. /-; I love all of the TLC girls but Left Eye holds a special place in my heart because of the solo album she did called “Supernova”, which was never released in the States but that I had imported on Amazon.
Oh my. I hit a massive fan hahahahaha. I know I’m losing my social creed. How the hell did I miss all that? Hahaha.
Yeah I need to pull my head out of surviving crazy New York and live a little. I don’t watch tv much (discipline for writing work). I watch it more when in MD, that’s now I caught The Blacklist. My fav show of 2013.
Think it’s on Youtube?
Haha. I suck! I missed the event of the decade. You know, I don’t remember Left Eye’s Solo Album.
*Ducking from that egg right now.*
Sure, if I heard it….I WOULD.
Well you def don’t have to duck your head on missing Left Eye’s solo album because I’m sure 99.999999+% of America never heard it either! Some TLC fans never heard it, but for me I just love it all the same, maybe even a little bit more because it’s so exclusive lol.
But there was no excuse for missing the movie! (LMAO, you know I’m just joking with you). There is a version of the movie here on YouTube but be forewarned, it’s a very chopped up version and all of the performances as well as recreations of the music videos have been cut out (I’m guessing to avoid it being removed from YouTube? Idk) so you’re not going to get the full experience but it might be the best there is until a DVD comes out or it comes on TV again. lol
Haha. You’re probably right, but I am going to look it up. Maybe I heard it, but simply don’t remember hearing this.
The memory is probably garbled in life.
But I KNOW I LIKE TLC – SO WTH? I MISSED THE MOVIE? *Signs an L at my forehead.* Lolol.
I’m gonna watch the Youtube version, but damn! They’ve had to lose almost everything. Guess beggars can’t be choosey lolol. That’s the whole point, the studio wants you to wait and buy!!!
But if it’s good (meaning the way it’s dramatized), I’m GOING TO ANYWAY.
How do you think Chilli and T-Boz liked this movie? Did you catch interviews with them about it? Kinda weird isn’t it, to have a movie about you when you’re still relatively young. Anyway, thanks for posting the video.
*The pinnacle of political incorrectness on my part.*
I SHOULD say….no thank-you I want the filmmaker to get the credit. But…I didn’t post it on Youtube…
*Face of forgiveness to the universe.*
Anyway, thanks Caleb!
Haha. I know exactly what you’re saying. But I’m like you, it’s not like YOU were the one to upload it, and what’s the big difference between watching it on YouTube and on TV (well, aside for everything being cut out in this case lol)