The Duck Dynasty Bigotry Scandal Has Made Us All a Little Stupider
If there's one thing worse than dumb reality television, it's the dumb reality television scandal. We place nobodies who might be better off keeping their opinions to themselves on a national stage because they're a whole lot of odd and a little delightfully stupid, and then act all scandalized when they say something offensively odd and stupid.
So here we are in the midst of a national brouhaha over the fact that Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family, is racist and homophobic. Obviously, we shouldn't give him a free pass, but this is one of those "How did our culture even come to this?" things that makes everyone involved look just a bit stupider -- including this blog for making a list of the top five stupidest people involved in this scandal.
You can't fault a group that exists solely to call out anti-LGBT sentiment in the media for doing just that, but here's what's irksome about GLAAD's taking control of this incident: It has completely ignored the racist remarks Robertson spit out as well.
"They're singing and happy," he said about growing up in the pre-civil rights South. "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's essentially saying black people were "happy" with segregation, employment discrimination, widespread police brutality, and voter disenfranchisement. He's insinuating that the whole civil rights movement resulted only in welfare checks. It's not racist in the straight-up "I hate black people and think they're inferior" way, but it's completely racist in the even more insidious way of upholding deeply ingrained, institutionalized racism and ignoring and misrepresenting the true aims of the civil rights movement.
Now, we all know that racism within the LGBT community and relations between the LGBT community and African-American community are still issues, and here was a perfect opportunity for GLAAD to team up with an African-American rights group to release a joint statement condemning Robertson for all of his words. Instead, GLAAD straight up ignored the racism and in the process did a huge disservice to African-American members of the LGBT community.
[Note: If this was a 100-part list, GLAAD would probably come in at 100. Internet rankings, as you should know by now, should come with a grain of salt, and there are people and groups far more stupid involved. We just needed to get that off our chests.]
4. Anyone Claiming This Is a First Amendment Issue
We have free speech in this country in that (for the most part) you won't go to jail or get fined by the government for things you say. We also have free speech in this country in that when you say something offensive, people who are offended by it also have the freedom to criticize and condemn you for it. It also doesn't stop a TV network, co-owned by two giant media conglomerates, from pulling you from your dumb duck-hunting show to do damage control and protect its business.
Let's also not forget that half these people shouting "free speech" over this fiasco are the same people who cheer whenever some liberal gets suspended form an MSNBC show for saying something stupid. Or, for example, take Sarah Palin, who (unsurprisingly) has come to her fellow reality TV star's defense, and remember all the times she's lambasted other celebrities for airing their liberal views.
You broadcast trash like this, so what do you expect? You reap what you sow. Apparently neither A&E nor Robertson read Galatians 6:7-9 in their copies of the Bible.
2. The Duck Dynasty Family's PR and Publicity Team
This is assuming they have one, but we're guessing the faces of a multimillion-dollar brand probably do. And that team should probably be fired. How in hell did anyone think anything good could come out of giving GQ, a men's fashion bible edited by an openly gay man, full access to a bunch of camo-clad swamp dwellers? Had they read anything the author, Drew Magary, has written? (They really should. His Deadspin column, "The Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo", is a delight.) Did they not read his less than flattering profile of Justin Bieber for the same magazine? I'm pretty much betraying my profession by giving tips to the PR flacks, but, damn, someone should have stepped in before letting this happen.
1. Phil Robertson
Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has them. Unlike opinions, though, everyone's assholes are anatomically the same. Robertson's befuddlement over the idea of homosexuality because vaginas have "more there" than an anus is just ridiculous. Does he not know how much straight guys wanna stick it in butts too?
We've listened to the new Beyoncé album. Even gays know there are wonderful things like Skittles and cherries waiting to be turned out in ladies' love areas, and that's great. But damn, son, if there's one thing that most straight guys and gay guys can agree on is that anal is the best. If he wants to condemn anal sex, go ahead. Just don't pin it all on the gays.
The rest of Robertson's stupidity speaks for itself.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.