“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson went from beloved southern reality TV star to one of the most controversial bigots and homophobes in entertainment in the span of a day after a new GQ interview hit the web in which he claimed black people were happier before the Civil Rights Movement and that gay men are ungodly and have strange sex practices. Since then, famed civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton has spoken up about the controversy and is challenging Robertson’s closed-minded ideologies.
In his GQ interview, Robertson spoke about black people, saying, “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person [in the pre-civil rights era South]. 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 and no one was singing the blues.”
And about gay people, he said, “It seems like to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on dudes! But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and those men … they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. It’s not right.”
After Robertson’s interview hit the web, Janaye Ingram, a rep for Sharpton’s National Action Network sent a statement to RadarOnline, and chastised Robertson for his racist and homophobic comments.
“The comments made by Phil Robertson represent ignorance in its highest form,” said Ingram.
“His narrow-minded delusions about the state of happiness felt by black people during the 50s and 60s civil rights era are some of the same arguments spewed by the proponents of Jim Crow laws at that time and obviously are contrary to the truth. He is not an authority on the Black experience, no matter how many Black people he has known, seen, or heard sing,” she said.
Ingram also defended the LGBT community, saying that Robertson’s words breed ignorance and homophobia.
“As for his comments about homosexuality,” Ingram said, “it is the type of cretinous beliefs he has that breed homophobia and fail to see the humanity in people within the LGBT community. For him to utter in the same sentence homosexuality and bestiality leads to fear mongering that further alienates people who identify as gay, lesbian, or transgendered. His comments reflect the onerous amount of work that still has to be done to change opinions and attitudes about minority populations like blacks and individuals within the LGBT community.”
After receiving a fury of backlash, Robertson tried to backtrack, saying, “I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different than me.” Still he insisted, “women and men are meant to be together.”
However, “Duck Dynasty’s” home channel, A&E, announced that he is on “indefinite hiatus” from the show.
Kudos to NAN and A&E for handling the ignorant statements so well. – nicholas robinson