Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty: Homophobia is one thing, pure ignorance is another

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 10:17 AM

click to enlarge OLD TIMES THERE: Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson remembers a happier time in Louisiana than this photograph recalls. - LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
  • Library of Congress
  • OLD TIMES THERE: Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson remembers a happier time in Louisiana than this photograph recalls.
The GQ interview by Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has set off a tempest. His homophobic remarks — comparing being gay with bestiality — got him suspended by A&E, which airs the weirdly popular show. But let's bend way over backward and give his religious views, however perverse, some explanation for intolerance of gay people.

A reader called this additional remark to my attention and it's smack-your-forehead stuff.

Phil On Growing Up in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana

“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, 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.”

There aren't enough megabytes to detail how wrong-headed this is. You could put it down to ignorance only if you believe Robertson never read a newspaper or watched TV news. Particularly when you know that Phil Robertson grew up in Caddo Parish, outside Shreveport, and now lives in West Monroe, which is in Ouachita Parish. Northern Louisiana  isn't known for its racial harmony. The Louisiana Encyclopedia mentions after talking about Louisiana as the land where Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal) was born and where rigid segregation statutes soon followed:

Not coincidentally, lynchings increased dramatically after 1900, primarily in the northern parishes of Caddo, Ouachita and Morehouse. Between 1900 and 1931, more than half the lynchings in the state occurred north of Alexandria. The numbers of African Americans lynched are in the thousands though detailed statistics are skewed because police officers in the northern parishes rarely considered lynchings as homicides.

Of course, Robertson wasn't born until 1946. And by then, maybe all the darkies were just a-singin' and a-whistlin' — at least they were if they knew what was good for them.

The catalogue of racial horrors in my home state is too brutal and deep to fully recount. But the images are stark: Plaquemines dictator Leander Perez's threat to exile civil rights activists to a barge in the mosquito-infested wetlands; vicious mothers shouting curses at little Ruby Bridges as she tried to enroll in a white elementary school in New Orleans; the violent racist backlash when black people stood up in hate-driven Bogalusa where the vow was, "Niggers Ain't Gonna Run this Town."

If Phil Robertson went to school with black children in rural Caddo Parish before his 1964 high school graduation it would be surprising. My own Southwest Louisiana school district, led by somebody then considered a remarkably liberal school superintendent, acceded without lawsuit to integration in 1965-66, but only at first by a bare handful of some of the finest of local black high school students.  In fact, a Shreveport Times article says the first two black students to enter a white school anywhere in Caddo Parish occurred in 1965. It doesn't say if it was out between Vivian and Hosston, where Robertson lived, but I'd bet against it.

Still, maybe Phil was right. Maybe his fellow cotton pickers were happy with their lot then and singing the blues now about their present state. You think?

PS — The Family Research Council stands with the Duck boys. Which is about all you need to know. Surely there will shortly be a call to buy some Chick-fil-A to show where you stand.




Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (71)

Showing 1-50 of 71

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-50 of 71

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

People who saved…

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

  • State Treasurer staffer resigns after offensive comments

    Treasurer Dennis Milligan today announced he has accepted the resignation of Hunter Hatcher, an Outreach Coordinator for the Treasurer's office. Hatcher publicly stated on social media that because Donald Trump was taking office, "Gay jokes are back on ya bunch of homos," and also made derogatory comments (in the form of lame jokes) regarding the role of women.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation