Free Speech Still Costs: Why Phil Robertson Shouldn’t Be Fired from ‘Duck Dynasty’

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    We’re about to see them soon over Christmas. Y’all know who I’m talking about.

    Everyone has one – that crazy uncle or kooky aunt who will say just about anything. You never know what’s going to come out of their mouths.

    I can’t tell you how many times my own step-dad embarrassed me in front of friends.

    Once, when my high school called to find out why I wasn’t at school that day, he told them I had heavy gas and I was in bed all stoved up with gas.

    Karma I guess – my payback for playing hooky that day.

    So, now comes, perhaps, “Duck Dynasty”’s karma.

    The A & E network’s biggest star has gone running off at the mouth with comments that have put the 400-million dollar empire in jeopardy.

    Here’s part of what Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty family patriarch said to “GQ Magazine” about gay people:

    “It seems to me a vagina- as a man- would be more desirable than a man’s anus…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…it’s not right.”

    He also said African-Americans were happy prior to the Civil Rights Movement, saying quote: “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.”

    It’s hard for me to read both those statements without laughing out loud.

    Many defended his statements by saying Robertson was not being homophobic and racist. He was just doing the Christian thing and quoting the bible.

    If that same thought to defend him even entered your head, I’m here to tell you you’re probably a bigot.

    Why?

    Because many people use religion and bible quotes to keep women subservient and black people enslaved and later segregated. That’s the End of the story.

    And the fact that Robertson believes that black people were happy before the Civil Rights Movement is akin to white people, back in the day, down South saying “Our colored folks down here are good colored folks. They don’t cause no trouble.”

    I know because I’m from down South in Louisiana, the very same state where they tape the “Duck Dynasty” reality series.

    I heard people speak like Robertson for twenty some odd years while growing up there.

    The Ku Klux Klan passed out literature in front of my high school in the 1980’s. We didn’t have a school sponsored prom because they didn’t want the races mixing. I could go on, but I won’t.

    What I will say is that kind of ignorance is the main reason I left the state.

    That said, I’m not surprised by his statements.

    And while I think his comments are reprehensible, disgusting, racist, homophobic, hateful and just plain old ignorant, I believe in his right to say it, and I don’t think he should be fired.

    I think ignorance like his should be revealed if only for the sake of holding up a big, country-wide mirror so that he and others like him can see themselves for exactly who they are.

    Phil Robertson is the star of the biggest reality show ever! And boy is he about to get a real taste of reality.

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    36 thoughts on “Free Speech Still Costs: Why Phil Robertson Shouldn’t Be Fired from ‘Duck Dynasty’

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    2. Okay let me make one thing clear before we touch on the focus of the main article.For all these people trying to blame the president,pick up a book,or stroke some keys on the computer an find out how laws and bills come to be.Obama is not a dictator and cannot make all these bad things that some of you feel is happening to the whole nation as a result of his time in office.Look up how long it took to recover from the previous great depression.Some say reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the country is making us weak.Look up blast radius of weapons and how few you need to destroy a nation and that just our nuclear subs alone can kill the world.North Korea and Iran are dangerous???…Just look up world military ranking and see for yourself,then you will see and know all this fear mongering is done because your lazy and they know you’ll believe anything they say.Tea Party,Dems,and GOP are all lairs and they all bow to the money given to them.Until we the people make major and correct changes like limiting the time congressmen stay in office and make them subject for being fired for lack of performance then things will always be like they are.Anyway that said,no I feel he shouldn’t be fired for what he said.I’m very sure that there is some black people out there that has said something worse than what he said about whites,Latinos,even their own kind its freedom of speech and he is not preaching hate like the KKK that are too stupid to realize that the nazi symbol that they proudly display is a death symbol for them as well.Hitlers views wasn’t for a pure white race,it was for a pure GERMAN race.Whites in America would of been treated just like everyone else under the iron boot.So all those dumb bunnies with NAZI tats guess what…. your wearing a mark branding you a slave to “old Nazi Germany”.Im sure some whites or most whites talk about us like we talk about them and ourselves behind closed doors to family and friends or at work in the small group conversations ect…Lets keep it 100% if the news crew ever heard some of the stuff I say about black folks they would be after me and I’m black,but I call it how I see it.The pants half on…gay and just plain dumb N-word #### that’s what I call it and im sure there are plenty of other black Americans saying the same thing.Not just about that but the petty gang banging of teens claiming they run a city block(really impress someone and run a real business),the shooting first because cowards have the power of the gun and don’t need to fight,and then our own backwards notion that being smart and trying to do better in life is acting white.Then finally I have to say is how blacks and and everyone else are upset about what he said,but not even slightly concerned about the producers and network that allowed it to air.Last time I checked these shows aren’t live and can be edited,that said who is more racist the one man or the network that allowed millions to hear him?

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    4. The man spoke the truth he has the right to Free Speech. The Slave comment, we still slaves because we adapt to things so easily for attention. God did create us in a unique way, but if a Woman think she’s a better Man than Man, and if Man wants another Man that’s there decision. We all look for Love in the Wrong Places .. And we have to accept the consequences of our Lives. God is the only Judge and that’s who you need to worry about your Enternal Life and Salvation.

    5. Phil Robertson made a thoughtless remark. If he is as educated as you say he is then I would not be surprised if this was just a publicity stunt for the ratings and an exit strategy for him. If he is this popular then it makes sense that he would have to go out in a blaze of glory like this so people will keep watching the show. What makes me sick is all of the ignoramus’s that condone this hate mongering.

    6. Phil Robertson is not some illiterate old backwoods bumpkin, he’s a successful businessman with a masters degree in education. He was representing an A&E program in the interview. His personal experience included living in the Civil Rights era.

      He gives his religion as justification for what he said, so I think that it’s fair to look there for insights on his bigoted motivated reasoning. http://wfrchurch.org/who-we-are.htm

      The most obvious thing is the sexism. Women are not elders or ministers.

      • As a woman I can tell you that nothing any sexist pig says about women will change anything about me or how I feel about myself. I feel sorry for people like that. To lash out at society with that much hate in their bones there has to be a ton more of self-loathing to motivate it. Lashing back isn’t going to make anything better. Why bother? Nothing I could ever say in retaliation could be as hurtful or damaging as what is inside these toxic people.

    7. Don Lemons a piece of liberal trash. He likes to divide people, not recognize our similarities. He likes to cut the microphones off of guests he disagrees with. He is an elitist and believes in censorship.

    8. Jesus predicted that just before His return as Judge, there will be a strange, dangerous fad – a spontaneous global steamroller notable for its speed, violence, and impudent in-your-face openness. In Luke 17 He called this worldwide craze the repeat of the “days of Lot” (see Genesis 19). By fulfilling this worldwide mania that’s secretly coordinated by unseen spirit beings, gays are really hurrying up Christ’s return and making the Bible even more believable!
      They’ve actually invented strange architecture: closets opening not on to bedrooms but on to Main Streets where kids can see naked men having sex in “Madam” Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco Brothel District. We wonder how soon S.F.’s underground saint – San Andreas – will get a 10-point jolt out of what goes on over his head (see the dire prediction about cities in Revelation 16:19, and Google “Obama Supports Public Depravity”).
      What’s really scary is the “reprobate mind” phrase in Romans 1:28. A person can sear his conscience so much that God finally turns him over to S, the universal evil leader whose unseen agents can give a “possessed” person super-human strength that many cops with tasers have trouble subduing!
      Remember, gays don’t have to stay bound to their slavery. Their emancipation is found in a 5-letter name starting with J – no, not James or Julia. As soon as they can find out the all-powerful J name, gays will really start living! (Google “God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up,” “USA – from Puritans to Impure-itans,” and “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)
      Was Jesus silent about gays? Google ” ‘Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality.’ When gays have birthdays….”

      / Spied the foregoing on the surprising web. Any reaction to it? /

    9. lemon LIED in order to make up a story for his particular situation!!! phil didn’t say ALL BLACK people were happy just the ones he had experience with. it’s his experience and may or may not have actually been true. MOST BLACK people at the time would have had enough common sense not to reveal their hatred of their circumstances to a white man. whether that was presented as friend or foe–WTH???

      IT WOULD BE CALLED SURVIVAL!!!!!! as for the gays, they’re just people and i’m NOT interested in ANYBODY’S sex life other than my own!!

    10. It’s funny how you people are calling him a bigot yet the word defined means to have a strong opinion on ethnic and or people groups. Well the Gay community is just that to me. It’s bigot ness in the same dam way. You feel it’s ok and strongly have an agenda about letting people know and shoving it down our throats so point is it’s truth and your ears are deff. Jesus died for ever body.

    11. This man is from a different generation, like your grandfather, gay was not accepted, and for most of you who are gay, Xmas is cominng up and many of you are still in the closet especially to your family that you know is anti gay. I am talking black folks, You have the pro straight women who has a gay friend, but if you asked them privately would you want a gay son , 90% would say no. They all want that grand child . The old man was asked a question, he answered it honestly. weither you agree or disagree. If you ask a straight woman would she lick a va ja ja instead of having a man’s penis. I wonder in truth what would she say honestly. We have to chill of this gotcha polllitical correct bull shit. Every american has a right to their own opinion if asked. Now if that bigotary is outside the home & in a public place. Now we have issues. You cannot correct the ignorance if all are kiss ass in your face & talk about your race, sexuality behind your back. Gay is the new black, back in the 70′s evry liberal white person was pro black and wanted a black friend to show off. Wake up gays, you are nothing more to a taken to some.

    12. All Phil Robertson said was that he never saw the mistreatment of a black person WITH HIS OWN EYES. He said where he lived, he and others, who were black, worked on farms. He said those black people that he knew that worked on the farm with him seemed happy.

      Even though they were poor and didn’t have much, they believed in God and seemed happy regardless of what was going on. I guess he’s painting that in contrast to now where Black people have advanced but he sees the poor black folks today do not seem as happy as they were back then.

      That’s all I got from it.

      • That’s not what he said. The context was clear. Black people back then were happy and didn’t need a civil rights movement to liberate them. All that did was make them angry and unhappy according to him and other conservatives.

        • He said nothing about the Civil Rights movement. He talked about black folks seeming happy before welfare and entitlement programs. Therefore, you can conclude that he feels that welfare and entitlement programs do not help in regards to happiness.

          Poor black folks may have more now than they had then, but he says they seemed happier then. That’s all he’s saying.

          And he specifically is talking about what he’s seen with his own eyes. He very well may be wrong. But it is HIS experience. And that isn’t wrong. His experience is his experience. Not your experience.

          If he is honest about his experience, the how can you fault him? He said nothing racist at all.

        • He must go read some history then. He wasn’t born when “welfare and entitlement programs” started. How would he know if that’s what he really meant?

    13. Having a Constitutionally protected right to say what you want is not the issue here. A&E is not taking that right from him. They’re saying, as an associate of this company, you cannot make those kinds of statements and continue to retain that association. It’s no different from saying, “We don’t think you’re right for the job anymore.” That’s all. It’s very likely he had some kind of clause in whatever ridiculously large contract he signed noting that he could be fired or sanctioned for behavior that would reflect poorly on A&E. Anyone working on a network should be familiar with such a thing.

      Stop invoking the Constitution in these kinds of instances.

      Now, one could turn this into a teaching moment. A&E could put on a program where Robinson, maybe all of them, have to sit with some Black people who lived in Louisiana at the same time he talked about and listen to them tell him how wrong he was, how little he knew about their lives. I don’t know if there’s anything to do to enlighten him about gay rights, though. He seems pretty far gone.

      • You may want to check out what federal judges are doing throughout the United States and the reaction of the Supreme Court on the issue. One man can not control everything in a democracy, but if you need a fall guy…

    14. Uh, if he doesn’t get fired for his hateful comments, he will be profiting from it. Let us be real; most of Duck Dynasty’s most dedicated viewers share his bigoted perspective. You can see them defending his ass all over the internet and agreeing with his comments. They will continue to watch him and buy his merchandise. So while he can be the ass he chooses to be, it won’t be on A&E’s dime.

      A&E is not a free network. Their programming is their image to the public. They have every right to fire an employee that is bringing about bad publicity and promoting their brand as bigoted. It has nothing to do with free speech since last time I checked, no one is arresting this asshole for saying assholish things. Places of employment can fire employees for hate speech. Duh!

      Firing bigots and giving them actual real world consequences for their hateful behavior, is a good thing. Why should the marginalized get all the real world ramifications of hatred?

    15. Don Lemon is right and wrong aft the same time. Yes, Robinson’s comments should be read, heard, and reported on. He is now a wealthy and successful fold hero. The problem really is that the Duck shows, crocodile shows, Hey Boo shows, and all other “Southern Values” shows all intrinsically endorse everything that Robinson believes. THEY are what should be stopped, but no, the American public now has a minority of about 30 million television viewers who LOVE this stuff. Critics of television have been recalcitrant is call a racist, sexist, and homophobic show racist, sexist and homophobic. Their silence has been deafening. You see, these show make people rich or as in the case of Robinson, they are all ready rich. We have gone mad, and do not want to admit. 30 million people are much more than a candidate needs to win the Presidency. Henry Giroux wrote an article for CounterPunch titled America’s Descent into Madness, and every silent Aemerican should read it.
      Don Lemon is right and wrong aft the same time. Yes, Robinson’s comments should be read, heard, and reported on. He is now a wealthy and successful fold hero. The problem really is that the Duck shows, crocodile shows, Hey Boo shows, and all other “Southern Values” shows all intrinsically endorse everything that Robinson believes. THEY are what should be stopped, but no, the American public now has a minority of about 30 million television viewers who LOVE this stuff. Critics of television have been recalcitrant is call a racist, sexist, and homophobic show racist, sexist and homophobic. Their silence has been deafening. You see, these show make people rich or as in the case of Robinson, they are all ready rich. Here is the address for the article: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/12/americas-descent-into-madness/

      • What Mark? Honey Boo Boo despite being southern believe 100% that everyone is a little bit gay. They have gay family members who’ve appeared on the show. The only thing they uplift is poor eating and the love of mud.

        • Thanks. You ar right, I have never seen an episode of Boo. Maybe I will check it out, but I have seen the other shows and they all seem to endorse Southern values, ie. all white performers, white poor or “supposedly” marginal whites, and endorsing violent acts against animals.

        • Has anyone noticed that both Duck Dynasty and Honey Boo Boo are white trash? Come to think of it all reality shows appear to exploit the weakness of others. How preditory. I wander how much the networks make off of this legalized form of human trafficing. I will bet the Robertson’s have no idea they are being pimped out. LMAO covert Karma. I love it.

    16. I do not, nor will I ever agree with the comments that Mr. Robinson has made. However I have to completely agree with Don Lemon and say I do not think he should have been fired as well. Yes Mr. Robinsons comments were extremely, “hateful and just plain old ignorant”.

      If you have ever watched the program you can get the feeling and understanding he possibly had those feelings. Which is a reason I stopped watching Duck Dynasty, no matter how much I laughed. This should have been a moment to teach about inclusion. If you support the Robinsons, STOP watching the program, DO NOT purchase any of the items. Though I do not think that majority of the TJMS listeners are hunters, our dollars missing will not hurt him at all. Unfortunately those that have the same belief system as Mr. Robinson will step up and support him. With him being fired from the show do you even think he really cares, he already has 400 million in bank.

      I do find it interesting that since Don Lemon has given his commentary on the TJMS I have read comments call Don an Uncle Tom, a non-Negro and more hateful things. What makes your comments any different from what Mr. Robinson said? #Thinkaboutit

    17. Everyone apologizes these days. You never know if it is sincere, or not. If an apology is forthcoming, I hope he decides to keep it to himself. That’s the beauty of free speech. Regardless, to how “different” it sounds coming out, it gives the hearer the ability to decide if they will support the person, or not deal with them. With everyone trying to be politically correct, you never know if your backing the right individual, or not. He should stay on and if people disagree with him, they should let sponsors know and stop watching the show. It’s all about money for the advertisers and the network, anyway. They could care less about what comes out of someones mouth…look at Dom.

    18. He’s a racist because he couldn’t have grown up in the pre-Civil Rights Movement South and not known about the innumerable racist social policies against blacks. Think separate schools, bathrooms, having to sit in the back of the bus, segregated restaurants, not being allowed to vote, lynchings, etc., etc. Because he chooses to ignore those policies and argue all black people were happy before the Civil Rights Era (based solely on his own myopic view of the world), that makes him a racist, and I pray America will see him for what he is and stop watching his show. Sadly, I know better.

    19. I couldn’t have said it better myself, which is probably why you’re a journalist and I’m not. ;) While I don’t agree with either of Mr. Robertson’s statements, I do believe in his right to make them. His opinions also do not shock me, given his age and the fact that he is from the South (not ignoring the fact that there are bigots in the rest of the world. )

    20. I don’t see what’s wrong with what he said in regards to Black people. He is just giving his own personal experience. That experience may not be your experience. But it is his experience.

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