A Word In Edgewise: Quacking Like A Duck


My father was born in 1903, in Potts Camp, Mississippi–country way before it was cool. So I’m not one to make redneck jokes or put down folk who eat squirrel for breakfast. Redneck is a state of mind, not a geographical location.

I’ve never watched Duck Dynasty, just heard more than I wanted after A&E put patriarch Phil Robertson on “hiatus” for some crude, not particularly original, remarks about gays in a GQ interview. Should he have been? Was his freedom of speech suppressed? No. The interview will be duly published and boost the sales of Duck paraphernalia. GQ quotes:

“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. 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.”

After some rumination on his opinions concerning ladies’ and men’s naughty bits, Robertson concludes, “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.” Nothing our own Ms. Bachmann wouldn’t applaud, nor unexpected from Robertson’s established fundamentalist position. Rather than confront his homophobia–a futile exercise–consider Robertson’s credibility in light of his comments in the same interview on blacks in the pre-Civil Rights Amendment south:

“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. 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.”

That was back when fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was beaten to death and sunk in the Mississippi River in chains for “winking” at a white woman, civil rights workers Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman were murdered, and no black person dared talk aloud about “doggone white people.” With the blacks? Maybe. But come election day, Robertson could drop his hoe and go vote.

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