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.]