On the other hand, before you anoint the Duck Dynasty dude the Stonewall Jackson of Red Meat Culture War Christians….

you might want to consider his commentary on the Jim Crow South:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person,” Robertson is quoted in GQ. “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.”

MmmmmHm.  You can almost hear the banjos and the singing happy black folks, thanking God for Massah’s kindness.  If only them carpetbaggers and Jews hadn’t come down from the North with their newfangled ideas about civil rights and gotten them full of uppity ideas about entitlements.  Everybody was Butterfly McQueen, Hattie McDaniels, Mr. Bojangles, Stepin Fetchit and Amos and Andy in those days.

I particularly like, “I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!”  Yeeahhhh.  See, here’s the thing about that whole “not saying a word” dealie:

So: defend if you like this guy’s views on the sinfulness of homosex. But don’t circle the wagons for him. He’s a rather average Christian from what Flannery O’Connor called the “Christ-haunted” South.

What is interesting to me is that A&E chose to get upset about the remarks on homosexuality, not these remarks. It speaks volumes about which demographic matters at the parties of the best and the brightest that networks execs attend.

Update:  I’m getting interesting protests, even from some of my black readers, who think I’m calling the guy a bigot and who feel I’m being unfair to him. One of my black readers told me he was sick of demands for white people to abase themselves for crimes their ancestors committed. Another reader notes that the DD dude was only speaking of his personal experience.

To my readers: He didn’t have to abase himself.  He merely needed to say that while he is perfectly aware that black people suffered grave injustice under Jim Crow, his experience was that they were all poor folk together who shared that in common and that it bound them together with real bonds of affection.  He could say all the stuff about their courage and happiness and godliness (because it is no doubt true) without coming off as a heavily edited version of reality.  I’ve never seen the show, but I suspect from what I’ve seen of his remarks that he is probably a very warm-hearted man without a drop of personal race hostility in his bones (I think of Robert Duvall’s character in The Apostle).  But the fact is, his comments are absolutely going to read like an apologetic for Jim Crow and people who are supporting his remarks about homosex should bear that in mind instead of instantly making excuses for them.  To give an accurate personal remembrance of life under Jim Crow that does not mention at all anything beyond one’s personal experience is to give an innaccurate version of life under Jim Crow.

I realize the guy is not a sociologist.  Doesn’t matter.  If you are going to slap his picture on your banner as the latest Christian Folk Hero to whom you will rally to oppose homosex, you have to be aware of the fact that those remarks *will* be read, not merely by sinister agents of the Gay Agenda, but by a huge swath of people who are inclined to agree with you, as saying “Jim Crow was no big deal”.  Don’t shoot the messenger for pointing that bleedin’ obvious fact out.

“But you admit you’ve never seen the show!”  Right.  Exactly.  That’s the point.  It’s the people who have never seen the show who look at the spectacle of Christians a) holding the guy up on a banner while b) appearing to have no big issues with a statement that does look uncommonly like “Jim Crow wasn’t so bad.”  The way to get the central message across (about the injustice of trying to muzzle his views on homosex) is, “Jim Crow was that bad and if that’s the subtext of what he’s saying I repudiate it. However, I think a case can be made that this is not what he is saying.”

  • David

    But he didn’t say black people were never mistreated. He just said: “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person”. No way to tell if he is telling the truth or not.

    • chezami

      Yes. Brilliant. Make excuses! The conservative anti-charism of discernment once again unreservedly throws it support to a folk hero who will make the right look like a pack of idiots one snatch defeat from the jaw of victory. Genius.

      • Russell Tisdale

        How in the world is David’s statement making excuses. You say that his statement is “painfully obvious racism”, yet you haven’t shown how. Naive, most likely, but “obvious racism”?

      • Matt Kososki

        I never, with my ears, have heard any conservative refer to Phil Robertson as a “folk hero” or the “Stonewall Jackson of Red Meat Culture War Christians”. They may enjoy his TV show or sympathize with his Christian beliefs (As imperfectly realized in him as the rest of us), but that’s pretty much it.

      • http://leelusplace.blogspot.com/ leelu

        Soooo, he can’t play in your sandbox because he’s a redneck? Or because he reports (I assume honestly) that he never saw blacks mistreated? who’s making the Right look idiotic? Not Phil.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        What excuse, Mark? You are blowing up something that doesn’t exist.

  • SmilingAssassin27

    You mean he’s a….sinner? I’m sure he’d be the first to admit that w/o your write up. Nobody has canonized the guy but rather appreciate that he’s stood up for God without apology. Did he appeal to God as his justification of Jim Crow? No. When a man defends God, particularly in the way Robertson did here–with humility and love–we could do worse than ‘circle wagons’ around him, while simultaneously acknowledging his human flaws. This was an unnecessary post, Mark.

    • chezami

      Hey. Knock yourself out downplaying the racism and exercising that massive anti-charism of discernment that is always so ready to turn a blind eye to impenitent sins conservatives don’t really care all that much about. I’m sure you will be equally credulous should some Obama/Pelosi supporter say of their zeal for abortion. “You mean, they’re sinners?” It stuff like stupidly winking at painfully obvious racism that makes for the stellar success the right has been increasingly enjoying. Brilliant.

      • SmilingAssassin27

        Obama and Pelosi ARE sinners, and horribly misguided on the issue of abortion, as their records demonstrate. They flaunt it openly. Robertson was ASKED whether he witnessed bigotry or racism and he answered what he himself saw, nothing more. How a person’s recounting his personal observation is ‘racist’ is beyond me. You don’t know enough about him to slap that label on him. Your desire to turn it into a ‘right-left’ issue doesn’t do this Christian issue justice.

        • chezami

          Genius. Keep it up. Enjoy life inside the bubble.

          • TheologyFrog

            What do you know of the South fifty years ago Shea? What he claims to have experienced is far from unusual. Perhaps he should have offered his pinch of incense and made up some Oprah-esque sob-story instead? Why can’t you just let the man’s yes mean yes and no mean no? If what he said may be true, why libel him? Just for once let us speak straight and true and not bent and PC. It is not blasphemy to be impious before the Gods of Race and the Post-Modern Narrative.

            • kenofken

              If Robertson didn’t see injustice in the South 50 years ago, it was because he was working hard at not seeing it, as were most whites of the time.

              • SteveP

                Or he might be just like you and only have acquaintances of the utmost politically correct character and history.

              • Cypressclimber

                That’s a great point I’d like to ask Mr. Robertson. Indeed, I wonder if GQ did ask that question. It’s a very good followup to what is quoted. Did they ask it, do you know?

              • TheodoreSeeber

                Or, gasp, just plain working hard, as were most whites in the south of the time.

            • chezami

              Wow. The idiots are coming out of the woodwork to go to the mat for the glories of Jim Crow. Goodbye. You are one of the people I can do without, who never will be missed.

              • TheodoreSeeber

                Nothing in what he said had anything to do with “the glories of Jim Crow”.

      • Cypressclimber

        Are you saying Mr. Robertson’s comments are racist? They’re dumb, yes. Certainly nothing to defend, and something to criticize. But are they racist?

      • TheodoreSeeber

        WHAT RACISM? I see no racism here, except maybe from you.

  • Cypressclimber

    What he was quoted as saying was stupid and it’s fair to criticize. But let’s not overstate it. Especially as it’s just possible what he actually said wasn’t nearly as dopey as what appeared in print.

    Mark, sometimes your outrage-o-meter only seems to go from zero to APOCALYPSE!

    • chezami

      I’m not particularly outraged. The Republic will survive this guy’s stupid remarks. I’m just saying that Christians who choose to defend them (as, so far, the majority of commenters here are doing) should not be super surprised when normal people outside the bubble of discernment free conservatism write them off. The remarks are indefensible. Period. What is more, Defending them will achieve one goal: helping advocates of homosex to write you off as an obvious bigot. If somebody wants to die on that stupid hill and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, go ahead.

      • kenofken

        Robertson is the best thing that ever happened to GLAAD and the SSM movement. They won’t even have to do any heavy lifting on their agenda anymore.

        • SteveP

          Why? Is GLAAD going to lobby for a law making the differentiation between an anus and a vagina a hate crime?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I thought they already were.

        • The Deuce

          On the contrary, Robertson is helping the SSM movement to demonstrate its intrinsically totalitarian and hateful nature for all to see.

      • Cypressclimber

        I think you’re being a little disengenous. Your post, with allusions to slavery and plantations, and with the picture of a lynching for heaven’s sake, as if all that is what the duck guy was advocating, defending, or even minimizing (he did none of those things)–is why I said you seem pretty high on the outrage-o-meter.

        His comments were dumb (assuming he was fairly quoted). But they don’t reveal him to be the Exalted Cyclops of the KKK; just someone who said something stupid.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        I’m surprised when normal people outside the bubble of discernment free liberalism think that this is a racist statement. At all.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Yeah. I grew up Rural and now live Urban. The assumptions in both communities about the reality of the other always does astound me.

  • Elizabeth

    Mark is one of the few conservatives making this point today. I have seen the racial comments called out by a liberal writer – who is black. This is a necessary post, no matter how hard that photo is to look at. I’m assuming here that the Ducks didn’t have anything to do with lynchings – and good for ‘em – but to imply that black folk in the Jim Crow era never had any but kind thoughts about the people who justified murder just to keep the black population scared and in line is just plain stupid.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Except, nobody implied that.

  • CleverNickname

    Just FYI, that picture is not from the Jim Crow South, it is from June 15, 1920 in Duluth, Minnesota. You can read a little more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1920_Duluth_lynchings

    IIRC a Catholic priest tried to stop the mob, in vain.

    A tangent, but for what it’s worth.

    • chezami

      Irrelevant.

      • CleverNickname

        That’s why I said it was a tangent, for Pete’s sake.

        • TheologyFrog

          Shea doesn’t really take the time to read what people say here. He just skims and thinks most everyone is out to get him. It’s also single words like that above that make so, so many enemies for this guy. He can be amazingly flippant. Sorry.

          • CleverNickname

            I’ve been reading Mark for, around a decade I suppose. I used to comment here a lot, a long time ago. Now I rarely post on any blog, and am a lot happier for it. I was just struck by the photo, which means something to me for personal reasons, and felt moved to mention its context, not as a criticism or even a contextualizing but just as a, well, as a memorializing.

            To your point: Yes, Mark sometime does those things, and more to the point, he knows he does those things, and apologizes for them in a manly way, and keeps trying to do better. I wish he hadn’t gone to Defcon 1 on me, but I also have a great deal of sympathy for why it happens. He’s trying to do a hard, noble thing, to not be a child of his age and its ideologies but a child of the church, and while he’s certainly not alone in that or perfect at it, there are a lot of people (n.b. not saying you) who don’t appreciate it, and come out in force, with sometimes less than edifying things to say, and responding to that in a way that is patient and kind but also clear and proportionate and true is hard and sometimes frustrating, as I also personally know. One of the reasons I rarely post on blogs!

            In that spirit, I suggest taking a step back from the little stage-whisper you gave me here about how nasty our host is. One thing I notice in life is that often people who are criticized as being uncivil are themselves subjected to a lot of incivility, sometimes by the same people doing the criticizing, who don’t always hold themselves to the same high standard. Perfectly human. Not condemning. I do it too. There’s a reason I rarely comment on blog posts! But anyway, I always hope Mark is successful on his resolutions to be patient and make kinder assumptions about people, and failure to do so is something we can all spot easier in others than we can in ourselves, I think, so we should all work hard at it with him.

            • Stu

              Amen.

              Mark can be stubborn, way too quick on the draw and prone to overly generalizing. (And I have a list of faults too).

              But, I have no doubt that he loves Jesus and is trying to do his best and I would have beer with him any day.

            • Maggie Goff

              He used to drive me bonkers..not so much anymore, as I mostly end up agreeing with him, because I am also agreeing with the Church. which is where I want to be.

    • CleverNickname

      The victims’ names are Isaac McGhie, Elmer Jackson, and Elias Clayton. The priest’s name is Father William Powers. Again, FYI.

      • chezami

        God rest their souls and have mercy on the murderers.

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      I don’t think the Duck Dynasty guy was even born when that Minnesota mob lynched three blacks, let alone that he would have seen it personally from deep in the back-country of Louisiana. He was born in 1946 and would have been 19 when the Civil Rights Act dismantled Jim Crow. There were lynchings in Louisiana up through the 1930s, but none when he was about. He grew up desperately poor — no electricity, one pipe of water, no bathtub, etc. — and he worked as a field hand alongside black field hands, so quite possibly they were all in the same state of mind. He titled his autobiography Happy, Happy, Happy. He may not have been making a sociological analysis of the entire South, 1865-1930, but only commenting on his immediate environs when he was growing up.

      • Cypressclimber

        Well, but I think the valid point here is that the man is rather tone-deaf to talk about those days as happy-happy, without betraying much awareness of what was terrible and unjust.

        That’s why I call the remarks–as quoted–dumb.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          We have no idea what the full quote was, what the question was, or if there was more to the response than was published. We have a blurb in a sidebar and are extrapolating the man’s entire worldview on race from it.

          This is dangerously irresponsible commentary by Mark.

          • Cypressclimber

            I agree.

            When I refer to the remarks as dumb or a mistake, I’m saying two things: one, what was quoted, as quoted, is “dumb” (as opposed to something much worse); and, two, the mistake was in stepping into the trap. There are ways to avoid it, if one knows how, which lots of people don’t. But someone in this fellow’s shoes ought to know how to avoid these traps.

            So in that sense, this outcome represents a mistake on Mr. Robertson’s part.

      • chezami

        I get all that. But at the end of the day, no: the Jim Crow South was a lot more than his personal recollections and he should have either acknowledged that or not answered the question. it’s the Theresienstadt version of how guest camps were run for undesirable elements.

        • Colin Gormley

          >The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash.

          This doesn’t strike me as someone who is trying to deny the Jim Crow south. It sounds to me like he is trying to identify with the black community since he was “white trash”.

          >Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

          I don’t think anyone can deny that the black family has not done well under the Welfare state. Families of the poor were far more intact back then they are now.

        • rmichaelj

          I think that is the point, in the Huffington Post article and in the GQ article we are not told what the question was. If the “journalist” asked him what is experiences with black people growing up were and he answered honestly- then so what? The interviewer only prints three questions that he asked- and the “red meat” answers were not in response to those questions (although the paraphrasing of Corinthians which would be offensive to some- is a response to one of the three questions). The interviewer just throws the statement out there and the context of his answer just isn’t there.

        • Mike

          I agree Mark, BUT you’re tough, on everyone and that’s a bitter pill to swallow. But you’re right in your analysis.

      • kenofken

        So no one who had to work hard in the 1950s and early 60s had any way of knowing anything was wrong with racism? The whole system was perpetuated by the one percenters of the South, and kept it all hidden from ordinary citizens?

        This isn’t even really about what Phil Robertson known or should have known as a 19-year-old. He’s had nearly 50 years of perspective, and anyone who can sit here today and dismiss the enormity and ugliness of our nation’s legacy of racism is either racist themselves, or willfully ignorant.

        • SteveP

          Apostate, your need for others to mouth your preferred narrative of their own lived experience must be overbearing to those around you.

      • Mike

        Apparently, accord to wiki, the largest mob lynching that ever did take place in the US took place in NOrleans where something like 11? Italian immigrants were strung up. I AM NOT COMPARING the brutality that was the black experience in the South, but people are people, no?

  • jroberts548

    Why are trying to censor him? Why are you trying to crush his free speech? Why do you hate America?

    • chezami

      I just do. I hate America so much. And puppies. And cuddly babies. Hate ‘em.

      • Kelly Reineke

        I don’t think it is too difficult to say, “yeah man, that was awkward.” But people seem to be so excited that someone in enemy territory — TV — is part of their tribe, that it is too difficult to say.

  • Challenger Grim

    Yes, I’m sure his adopted, bi-racial grandson feels hated and unloved. (well probably not, but then I’ve watched the show and seen how they all interact)

    Tell me, Mark, you thinking the kid should be taken from his home like Capehart?
    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/what-will-he-have-to-unlearn-capehart-frets-over-robertsons-adopted-bi-racial-son/

    Maybe you should burst your own bubble first.

    • kenofken

      You’re right. “Those people” should thank their lucky stars for white guys like Phil!

      • chad

        It appears you are arguing with your own projected thoughts. An easy argument to win I admit, but quite dishonest and disingenuous.

      • The Deuce

        Gosh, his adopted, bi-racial grandson couldn’t possibly indicate that he and his family aren’t racist after all, or that the hit-job interview may have taken him out of context, and that you’re an ignorant, hateful little troll projecting your own prejudices. You know what, ken? Take a hike.

  • SteveP

    Get some rest Mark.

  • HornOrSilk

    My problem with the narrative is that a few days before his “firing” (or whatever you call it), he was showing an interest in leaving the show (due to creative differences with A&E). I wonder if this is all a preplanned stunt to let him go while bringing publicity to the show.

    http://hollywoodlife.com/2013/10/09/duck-dynasty-family-drama-feud-cast-quit-show/

    Will Phil Leave The Show?

    And family is what the Robertsons are all about, Kay explained, adding that even after the four seasons, “I never forget where I came from.”

    Her husband Phil, 67, may be ready to throw in the towel, though. Allegedly, A&E added “bleeps” over cursing that wasn’t there, which upset him immensely.

    “Phil has already admitted he wants out of the show,” a source told the magazine. “I think this could be his last year. I am sure they won’t let him leave easily, but I think it has gotten to be too much for him.”

    • Cypressclimber

      Well, but when was the GQ interview? It might have been weeks or even months ago. Do you know?

      • HornOrSilk

        The interview is from the “January edition” of GQ. It’s the most recent issue. I don’t know when he did it, but I expect fairly recent, soon before or after his wife saying he is looking to be off the show.

        The fact that the Duck Dynasty show is fake (scripted television, like so many other “reality” shows) also makes me think there is more going on than meets the eye.

    • http://leelusplace.blogspot.com/ leelu

      HOS – didn’t know about this, and I’ve mentioned in comments elsewhere that I thought it was a ratings ploy. No such thing as bad publicity (got that, Mark – it cuts both ways). I have a $5,00 bet on the table over at Phineas’ that it’s a ratings ploy.

      • HornOrSilk

        I know, I got a feel it was a marketing ploy. I mean, the audience didn’t seem to be one concerned with such statements, and it is already a big “money maker” that I doubt A&E would quickly suspend him without at least a warning. So I looked into scripting issues, found sites dedicated to showing how the show is scripted and found that article saying he wanted out. It makes sense to me, and sad that it is being played like this.

  • http://leelusplace.blogspot.com/ leelu

    And you have *never* been right about one thing and perhaps wrong on another? Do we throw his message out because he says he never saw “mistreatment of a black person”? How does your judgement serve you and God??

    • chezami

      Dude. Learn to read. I’ve already said that I agree that he has a perfect right to express his opposition to homosex and that I agree with that opposition. What I’m saying here is that Christians who support that position should not stupidly makes excuses for his idiotic comments here since they are a) wrong and b) the perfect way for supporters of homosex to peg Christians as bigots who can be ignored. This quote merits firm and unequivocal rejection, not the mealy-mouthed excuse making we are seeing from some in these comboxes.

      • http://leelusplace.blogspot.com/ leelu

        Ad hominem much?? Because that is what your post essentially is.

      • molledar

        I get it, Mark. Try to be honest and charitable, give Robertson the benefit of the doubt (because, you know, we’re not in his shoes or mind) and see the context within the quote and get called a stupid, Phil Robertson-loving, excuse-making racist.

        If that sounded like an unfair generalization, it’s only to illustrate how utterly unfair and mean your post and responses are. Extremely disappointed.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        I support him in both statements. Many people forget that for the majority of white southerners, racism was never an issue and slavery was something rich people did.

  • sybilll

    My mother picked cotton in the deep South alongside blacks, just like Phil did. Her recollection of those experiences mirror Phil’s. It is undoubtedly a Southern thing, but not untrue.

    • kenofken

      What does it mean for someone to say they didn’t see “mistreatment” of black people in Jim Crow South? If we take it at the level of saying “well, I never saw a lynching or beating”, well that’s true for most people. The mistreatment for most blacks most of the time lay in the fact that they had to live in credible fear of lynching for “stepping out of line.” That was their reality, 24/7, for their entire lives. So people who say they “didn’t see” mistreatment or bigotry were taking special care not to look for it.

      • sybilll

        Bingo. They shared the unspoken despair of extreme poverty.

      • Stu

        Perhaps. Tell us how it was from your personal point of view picking cotton alongside black people in that era.

        • kenofken

          Right. Cause unless a person was an eyewitness, we have no way of knowing what went on 50 years ago, or that anything was wrong with the Jim Crow system.

          • Stu

            You are the one speaking like its first hand knowledge, not me.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        “What does it mean for someone to say they didn’t see “mistreatment” of black people in Jim Crow South?”

        It means they were so damn poor they couldn’t afford to go to the lunch counter, let alone a segregated one.

  • coallb

    I don’t get the outrage. He was speaking of his own experiences with black people growing up. That’s what he witnessed. What is there to be upset about in someone describing what they experienced?

  • Stu

    Any more context of his comments? Did he actually deny the mistreatment of black or blame things on “carpetbaggers” and “Jews”? Or is this just the personal recollection of an older man with perhaps some faded memories that really didn’t see the things as depicted in the picture Mark provided (how could he, he was born in 1946 and the picture is from Duluth, Minnesota in 1920).

    Bill Clinton certainly remembered all of the church burnings though, didn’t he? Except what he “remembered” didn’t actually happen.

    Let’s not forget what happened in our past, but let’s not overplay it either.

  • Dan C

    This is a repeated narrative I hear. The “it really wasn’t that bad being a black in Jim Crow South.”

    Whites overwhelmingly are the ones spinning this yarn though.

    The second narrative was, if left to its own devices , Jim Crow would have ended on its own. The “subsidiarity/bad big government” part.

    These narratives are sustained, unchallenged and even reinforced by the conservative movement.

    Someone needs to probe this man in an interview that is half- therapeutic: do you recall segregation? Did you ever hear about a lynching? Do you know people in your circle who were members of the KKK or passed as racist bullies?

    • Dan C

      His memory of mistreatment sounds like a legalistic defense. He never with his own eyes witnessed…yada yada yada.

      That reveals more about what was unsaid. What was heard in speech of his social circle. What was the prevailing social structures at the time.

      • Stu

        And then there is the belief that everyone who lived in the South in every part ever was either a racist, is a racist, saw racism or condones it.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      “Do you know people in your circle who were members of the KKK or passed as racist bullies?”

      If he truly was white trash, no. That attitude was limited to the upper class- after all, the KKK started out as a college fraternity.

      • Stu

        The KOC council in which I first became a member was very proud of their history which run-ins (sometimes physical with the KKK).

        That was Bath, Maine.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Doesn’t mean that poor people had friends who were in the KKK. KKK was for the rich folks who could pay dues.

          I’m well aware of the history between the KofC and the KKK- but most of that happened a good decade or two before Phil was born.

          • Stu

            We agree. My point is, the KKK was in the North as well. Why not ask anyone from the North those same questions like Dan wants to ask Phil?

            • TheodoreSeeber

              True. Good thought. Mark, did your grandfather ever see a black person mistreated?

            • Dan C

              My mother asked herself these same questions. She knew this well- as she sorted out these feelings and biases she grew up with. My grandfather was a bigoted man who lived with us and my mother was clear we were not to embrace his sinfulness.

              The era normalized this maltreatment. What was acceptable then should not have been acceptable at that time, and folks knew it vaguely. Some engaged in bigotry completely. Some just acknowledged it, some deliberately avoided it. Few worked to change it.

              It’s not just the South.

              • Stu

                And on that we agree. But just like the North, there are plenty of people in the South who didn’t see overt racism.

      • Dan C

        That would differ than my experience in the 1980′s with South Jersey rural racist elements. Quite clearly these were individuals who were desperately poor.

        The working class Scoutmaster in these rural areas easily discussed “those people.”

        The “salt of the earth” from the 1980′s in rural South Jersey- white Protestant men with whom I had familiarity were bigoted, biased, and made reference to desires to be apart from “those people.”

        It was sad. This crossed income levels.

        • Stu

          And that was New Jersey in the 1980s.

          • Stu

            Clearly.

            Dan, are you a racist?

        • TheodoreSeeber

          New Jersey in the 1980s is not equal to Oklahoma or Louisiana in the 1940s and 1950s.

    • Cypressclimber

      It would be easier to gauge the meaning of his answer if we knew the question. I read the article, I didn’t see that; or any follow up.

      I think what he said was dumb. But if you think he was defending or minimizing Jim Crow, I’d like to have you specify your evidence for that. It’s not in the quote given.

      Also, had I been the reporter, and the question was kind of general, such as, “what was your experience of African Americans growing up,” and that was his answer? I’d follow up with, “wait, what about segregation and all the other denial of civil rights–did you ever get any sense of what that was like for your black neighbors and coworkers?” I’d want to know–is he really as clueless as this quote seems?

      There’s not indication the GQ reporter did that. Curious.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Mark, my family on my mother’s side were in Oklahoma at the time, and were white trash. My grandfather used to tell me that blacks, Mexicans, and white trash would all play together- and were all equally hated by the folks in town.

    The land that he grew up on is now an oil well and an experimental forest. It was purchased by my great uncle for the second time right after WWII.

    So yes, this was common during Jim Crow era- much as it may offend your urban sensibilities.

    Yes, that is the Protestant side of the family though…..

  • ChGPe

    I don’t understand why people are jumping all over this quote (other than the typical knee-jerk reaction to anything that falls even slightly outside the approved historical narrative). No where in the quote is he defending racism. No where is he saying the civil rights movement shouldn’t have happened. No where is he saying that blacks weren’t mistreated. He’s simply describing what his own personal experiences were.

    The response to this particular quote brings the word “Reactionary” to mind…but then again, that word has been thrown around quite recklessly on this blog as of late…

    • Stu

      It’s easy to take the bait of the press.

      Isn’t that what we have been critiquing the “reactionaries” of doing with MSM reports on the Pope.

  • Mel

    Melody Williams There was no context around the quote. It’s on the first page of the GQ article, as an independent quote right after “Phil On Growing Up in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana”. He might well have been asked,”What was your experience in pre-civil-rights Louisiana?” He might well have said other things that weren’t as punchy or quotable about the Jim Crow South. My cynical take? I’m guessing that this quote is the best they can come up with to spin the situation and diffuse the support that Phil has gained. Their plan backfired and they are using this to try to discredit him. http://www.gq.com/…/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson…

  • chad

    I detest culture wars. Unlimited passions are inflamed and the netherworld buzzes with exhilaration.

  • Jimbo

    Seems to me like someone *might* be reading the text like a flat footed atheist reads scripture – forgetting to look beyond the text to what tradition teaches us about the text. In the instance, tradition would loosely mean what history (other quotes from Phil, his friends, his teachers, his black coworkers) teaches us about Phil’s attitudes on race. Phil could be a racist jerk, but you can’t plainly determine that from the text *alone*.

    • kenofken

      We can determine at a minimum that he is ignorant and insensitive to the reality of our nation’s racist past that stands as an epic human tragedy and one of our country’s deepest moral failures.

      • SteveP

        That’s right – his lived experience means nothing in light of your judgment. How dare he remember something without first obtaining your approval.

        • kenofken

          His lived experience isn’t the issue. That’s the point. In stating that blacks of the time were “happy”, he’s presuming to speak for an experience he never lived, and one which entailed a lot of misery for most of those who actually did.

          • jimbo

            But the quote in GQ Mag states that his words are taken to be in the context of Phil’s lived experience. How is what *is* in the text not the issue and what’s *not* in the text the issue?

          • SteveP

            Your insistence on reading what is not there is quite boring: the text clearly places “happy” in the context of hoeing the field. Not that you’ve ever done that type of physical labor much less sung a song while doing so. It is you who have generalized a specific memory, seemingly a fond memory, into a political narrative of a youth describing all black persons in the Southern US prior to 1964. You are indeed Squealer.

            • kenofken

              Your use of the word “squealer” marks you as a five star troll and is annoying enough that I plan to donate $5 to Lamba Legal every time I see you use it in response to one of my post. Since I can recall at least three other instances, that’s $20 you just raised, and it will be dedicated in your honor.

              • SteveP

                Illiterate Squealer, that’s a good strategy – pauperize yourself in response to a literary allusion you apparently do not understand and hence categorize as trolling. Demand your acquaintances do the same!

      • Stu

        All from one selective quote.

        • Dave G.

          Yeah. It’s the 21st century. It’s America. Need we say more?

  • Mike

    I just look at it as a citizen who used his free speech rights (even if you think it is bigoted) and now his employer penalizes him. Not saying A&E violated his 1st Amendment rights but still scary that they want to inset themselves at all here. Seems to me that A&E caved into one set of bigots to stop another type of bigot from expressing his views.

  • Scotty

    There you go again, Mark, throwing cold water on sizzling Red Meat. Don’t you realize you’re not helping “the cause” when you do that?

  • Hunk Hondo

    Tell it like it is, Mark! And I speak as one who grew up white in Mississippi in the 60s. I love the state and its people–but don’t try to tell me that that culture was not deeply diseased.

  • Paxton Reis

    “What is interesting to me is that A&E chose to get upset about the remarks on homosexuality, not these remarks. It speaks volumes about which demographic matters at the parties of the best and the brightest that networks execs attend.”

    Interesting observation.

  • Dave G.

    What’s interesting to me? I just watched three separate debates on cable news shows discussing this. Know what I noticed? The conservatives were using arguments that sounded a whole lot like the arguments liberals of the 70s and 80s used about freedom of speech and being tolerant of diverse opinions. And the liberals defending A&E? Why, no 70s fundamentalist ever spoke with such self righteous judgement and contempt for those who failed to conform to moral absolutes. Piers Morgan made Jerry Falwell sound like a hippy by comparison for crying out loud. It’s as if the liberals have become the conservatives, and the conservatives now sound like the liberals of old. For me, the big joke is that idea we were sold about striving for a nation of tolerance, diversity, open-mindedness, respecting differing opinions and living and letting live. What the hell happened there? Tolerance? Diversity? Our modern age doesn’t know the meaning of the words.

  • Andy

    A question – is this a marketing ploy by A&E = designed to gin up controversy to increase viewership? I have never watched the show – I am not into scripted reality shows, which they all of them are. If I were a company with the goal of maximizing profits – publicity is the way to engender publicity.
    I am far to cynical in may ways about our media-world not see this as a strategy for something else. Maybe my bad?

    • HornOrSilk

      Andy, if you look to my comment below, I suspect it is (though I can’t say for sure, because of how manipulative these scripted shows are). Nonetheless, Phil apparently said he was done with the show and wanted off of it before this controversy began, so I feel it’s a strange coincidence now he and his family are upset over his not being on the show he said he wanted off. It certainly has gotten many people talking about the show and giving it free publicity.

  • Rhonda

    I always love it when someone from the north always tries to school the south on it’s heritage. Yes, it could be ugly, but it wasn’t that way for everyone.

    • Dave G.

      I’ve often imagined that not everyone in the South was a racist Nazi-wannabe in full support of slavery. I could be wrong of course. But I’ve often imagined that what really happened in history is more complex than a section in a history text book might otherwise suggest.

      • chezami

        “You know, not *everyone* believed/thought/did X….” would be a sensible thing to say if anybody was asserting that the Jim Crow South was a monolith. But since nobody is, it’s beside the point, which is that it is ignorant or dishonest to talk of the Jim Crow South as nothing but happy singing black folk who never complained without giving some small nod to the massive and overwhelming fact of racism and the threat of violence that hung over the heads of black people in the Jim Crow South.

        • Dave G.

          If nobody is saying it was a monolith, then why the big deal about a man speaking of his personal experience? I’ve not seen that he said it didn’t happen. He said he didn’t experience it. If it’s not a monolith, shouldn’t we just shrug and move on? After all, it’s his experience. Unless there’s more to his quotes than I’m seeing.

          • Stu

            Winner, winner. Chicken Dinner.

          • Cypressclimber

            Once again, the answer is greatly clarified when one knows the question.

            I actually was a reporter once, many years ago. So I’m not blowing smoke when I say, had I been the reporter, and whatever question I asked elicited his quote, I’d have asked: so what about Jim Crow? What about voting rights? What about the climate of fear? Did you know about that? See that? Hear about it?

            And maybe all that happened, and maybe Mr. Robertson’s answers don’t help his cause; maybe the reporter could have made him look even worse.

            Mark goes full-spectrum hyperbole on how ill-advised it is to “defend” Mr. Robertson while the wolves have their meal.

            I’m just trying to figure out what’s fair. There’s that charism of anti-discernment or whatever it is at work, I guess.

        • Rhonda

          We’re talking about one person’s point of view. He wasn’t giving a history lesson. He was giving a personal account. He was talking about what he saw. No one in my family ever saw a lynching, so how would they talk about it? They would talk about the cotton pickers they worked alongside, they would brag about the black high school basketball team. If asked for their personal account they wouldn’t sit there and talk about the over-arching Jim Crow South. They’d talk about local history.

    • HornOrSilk

      Yes, it wasn’t that way for the elites! The same could be said about Stalin’s Russia, too!

      • Dave G.

        Since you mention it. When I was in graduate school, I became friends with several students from different cultures. One group was from the former USSR. One fellow,Vladimir, became a good friend. I used to ask him about growing up in the Soviet Union. He told me some very interesting things. Perspectives I never imagined. One? That he never knew anyone hauled off to Siberia, or dragged out into a detainment camp to be beaten by the KGB. For that matter, he said he didn’t know anyone who had ever known anyone who had that happen. Not that they denied it. It’s just that, contrary to American media, every citizen of the USSR wasn’t taken to Siberia daily and beaten within an inch of their lives. Not that he denied it happened, it just wasn’t his experience. He went on to tell me other interesting perspectives, but that was one that I thought of when I read y our comment, and I think it fits with the overall debate here.

    • Stu

      And they always seem to overlook their own warts. Example is the graphic used in this post. It’s a horrific lynching. Must have been the South, right?

      • chezami

        The sheer obtuseness of this is amazing. The point of the graphic is that thing *like* this happened a lot in the Jim Crow South and the threat of things like this is what made the Jim Crow South the Jim Crow South. The weird and repeated insistence on saying “This picture doesn’t happen to be from one of the many instances of lynching, KKK rallies and so forth that were (as we all know) a prominent feature of the Jim Crow South is one of the sillier ways this is being “rebutted”. If you like, I can easily go out and find a picture of Emmett Till instead. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmett_Till‎ Or KKK rallies, church burning, bus bombings. Or To Kill a Mockingbird. Let’s not kid ourselves that because this picture doesn’t happen to be from the South, the threat of violence was not a major feature of the Jim Crow South. Sheesh.

        • Stu

          And yet the picture was from the north twenty six years prior to the man even being born. What it shows is that you don’t have any idea what it was like where he actually grew up nor his life experience. The man simply remarked on what he saw, he made no statement denying such things happened EVERYWHERE in America including the NORTH.

          • chezami

            All of which is irrelevant since the picture nonetheless illustrates that when you say “black folks had no complaints” without mentioning the threat of violence that hung over their heads you are heavily editing reality.

            • Stu

              Except that he is remarking on those individuals within his sphere and it is but one small soundbite.

              You’ve overplayed your hand.

              • chezami

                Except that even those individuals within his sphere lived with that exact same threat of violence over their heads too. And to talk the way he does clearly implies “Jim Crow wasn’t so bad.” It was bad and Christians should just say that and stop making excuses for this stupid remark.

                • Stu

                  Do you know how those people felt? Were you there? Isn’t it possible that they simply adopted a posture of going about their own business and existence in a manner that simply avoided such issues? Isn’t it possible that given Phil’s existence as someone from modest means that he simply wasn’t that “worldly” at the time and didn’t see the full picture? Isn’t it possible that the memories of an older man might have focused more on the positives than the negatives?

                  Mark, in situations like this, you would do well to limit yourself to commenting solely on what was said instead of trying to always read into comments seemingly what you want to see.

                  • chezami

                    If you are trying to say that his remarks can only be attributable to ignorance or dishonesty and you prefer ignorance, that’s fine with me. What they are obviously not is anything like a credible picture of the Jim Crow South and, given that he is currently being lionized by Christian whose enemies are only too ready to paint them as bigots already, Christians should demonstrate, at long last, the sense God gave a goose in not handing their enemies a huge club to beat them with by, among other things, saying “Jim Crow was bad, not the good old days.” Not super complicated.

                    • Stu

                      What I’m saying is that given the lack of context, I’m not comfortable passing judgment on him and would prefer more clarification because there are multiple ways his comments can be interpreted.

                      Jim Crow was horrendous. But his comments don’t necessarily contradict that.

                    • chezami

                      Nobody’s calling you to pass judgment on him. What my post was calling Christians to do was exercise a little discernment and prudence in hoisting this guy’s banner as the Face of Christian Resistance since, like it or not, his stupid remarks can and will be used to paint them as saying “Jim Crow wasn’t so bad.”

                    • Stu

                      Just like the Pope’s comments, taken in snippets, can and will be used to paint all manner of picture.

                      Discernment is great but it goes both ways. No need to come to the conclusion that he is condoning Jim Crow when you don’t have proof of such.

                    • chezami

                      Likening remarks that suggest “Jim Crow wasn’t so bad” to anything the pope has ever said just comes off sounding like “Jim Crow wasn’t so bad”. Re-do.

                    • Stu

                      Nice dodge.

                      FWIW, can you find me where Phil even mentioned Jim Crow during the interview? I can’t find it in the GQ article. Just like i missed the part where Phil blamed things on carpetbaggers and Jews as you imply above.

                    • chezami

                      He was describing the South of his youth, which was the Jim Crow South. His language was intending to compare how great things were then to how bad things are now with blacks demanding “entitlements” and all the rest of the modern liberal developments–liberal developments which include the conspicuously unmentioned Civil Rights Act–that apparently delivered nothing but evil to this golden age of the past. It’s language redolent of the kind of stuff segregationists said at the height of the Civil Rights movement to complain about Yankees interfering with their snooty Northern liberal ways.

                    • Stu

                      Mark, you don’t even know what question he was asked in making that statement. You don’t even know if it was the totality of his response.

                      Further, the world isn’t binary. While Jim Crow was certainly bad and needed to go, that doesn’t mean that we have gotten it all right in the modern era or that the “cure” didn’t bring unintended negative consequences.

                      I’m amazed that you can’t seem to take such thing into account but instead rush to a conclusion on the most scant of data.

                    • chezami

                      Go ahead and knock yourself out continuing to try to put lipstick on this dumb remark, Stu. Like it or not, it will be a gift with a bow on it to those who want to crush legitimate Christian critiques of homosex because they will point to it–and to the tidal wave of excuse making for it in combox thread like this one–and say “See? These guys are falling all over themselves to make excuses for a guy who describes the Jim Crow South as a golden age.” Dumb.

                    • Stu

                      I’m still waiting for you to point out where he even mentioned Jim Crow, was asked about Jim Crow or even blamed “carpetbaggers” and “Jews”. If I missed it, show me and I will be happy to join you. What’s your excuse for not showing this?

                      I’m not trying to put lipstick on anything. I asking you tot show your proof for your conclusion.

                      You haven’t.

                    • chezami

                      Never mind. You’re right. What he said was perfect and without flaw. He is the ideal representative of the Christian Right. Only a fool or dastard would say otherwise. Proceed without caution. What could possibly go wrong?

                    • Stu

                      Nice strawman.

                      Certainly not my position.

                      I welcome you trying again.

                    • chezami

                      Stu: My point in posting was to say that Christians need to think twice before making this guy their point man–because of this stupid remark. Since that time, you and small army have been trying to defend that stupid remark. So I give up. You make the mission to defend that stupid remark. Make him the point man for Christian free speech and tell anybody who thinks that what he said about life in the Jim Crow South was stupid that they are wrong. It’s a guaranteed strategy for success. Knock yourself out.

                    • Stu

                      I’m not defending the remark. I’m pointing out that you have potentially read too much into it. You have come to the conclusion that it represents a man making excuses for racism. I, and many others, are pointing out to you that absent context, you really can’t come to that conclusion. You keep bringing up Jim Crow. That doesn’t appear in his answer or even in the original article.

                      Your response to this is to characterize our position to the other extreme. That is, you seem to think that by stating you haven’t made your case that we must naturally think that his statement is completely innocent, that we see him as “point man for Christian free speech” or that you are wrong.

                      Our point, is that we don’t know because there are too many variables still unknown. I would rather use due diligence and not jump to conclusions until I hear more and yes that includes thinking twice before making him into some form of hero because it still could cut in the wrong direction.

                      It’s about discernment and due diligence.

                    • chezami

                      You’re right. There was no problem whatsoever with this quote. Christians are extremely smart to make this guy their point man and will win many hearts and minds by defending this quote. Brilliant. Carry on.

                    • Stu

                      I like how your responses don’t actually relate to what you are supposedly responding to.

                    • Dave G.

                      How exactly, assuming we aren’t painting some monolithic portrait of everyone in the South, is this a stupid comment? It was his experience. Was my friend from the USSR stupid for saying he never experienced anyone being dragged off to Siberia? Would that be our reaction? Or does this, our national reaction, say more about us awesomely smart and educated Americans c. 2013, than it does about someone from the south speaking of his experience in the days of Jim Crow? I sometimes wonder.

                    • chezami

                      You are correct. It was most certainly not a stupid comment and it is very smart of you to keep defending it. It’s a surefire strategy for persuading 21st century American that Christians don’t back obviously wrong-headed things and will most certainly guarantee success. Keep up the defence! Brilliant.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      I think, Mark, had you focused on the remark being stupid you’d have had less than 10 comments.

                      It was your insistence on going beyond that, and in my eyes, and that of others, beyond the facts actually before us–into the territory of implicating the man in post-modern society’s cardinal sin, racism–that leads a lot of us to say you went too far.

                      Saying you went “too far” concedes you weren’t wrong to go anywhere.

                    • Stu

                      Exactly.

                      I think it completely reasonable to warn others to not completely hitch their wagon to Phil without some discernment. And clearly his remarks MAY be indicative of some very bad ideas.

                      But conversely, we don’t need to go overboard in the other direction and begin channeling him into some absolute racist. That’s just as extreme as making him into a hero.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      Sheesh!

                      It’s not about defending the remarks but being fair!

                      What characterization of his remarks–and what response to them–is fair?

                      You keep harping on how it makes folks look bad if they seem to defend this man.

                      I’m guessing John Adams looked pretty doggone bad when he served as defense attorney for the soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre. But he thought they deserved a fair trial.

                      This is obviously vastly less significant. But the value is the same.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      Do you consider his comments simply “stupid” or also “racist”? I think the latter is a much more consequential charge, and it’s far from clear whether that’s what you’re accusing him of.

                    • chezami

                      I think the comment was obviously racist. Jim Crow was bad, not the good old days of happy singing black folk who never had any complaints about white. I’m not persuaded *he* is racist though. I think he’s largely not too smart (or he wouldn’t have said that) and likely a very personally kind man who has no racial animosities at all. I think he likely relates to his friends from other ethnic groups in terms of their Christian piety, not their race and sees himself as far closer to them than to northeast corridor secularists and cultured despisers.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      You seem to know he was asked to comment on Jim Crow. Was that clear in the article? I didn’t see it. I saw a response, without the question responded to.

                      In fact, it’s not hard to imagine he was asked specifically not to comment on the larger social situation, but just his own little world. It’s not hard to imagine a lot of questions for which this answer is a lot easier to understand.

                      I think it’s slicing things pretty closely to say the remarks are racist, but the one making the remark, is not. A valid but obscure distinction most wouldn’t get.

                      Sorry, I don’t see this as “obviously” racist. I need to know more than I do before I say that.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      Robertson was born in 1946. He was 11 years old when the Eisenhower civil rights bill was passed in 1957. The entitlement era started with the passage of the Great Society bills in 1964 when he was 18. The comments do not actually use the words jim crow, but rather pre-entitlement, pre-welfare which could reasonably be his early teen years.

                      There is a very non-racist argument that the Eisenhower era progress pathway for blacks was a better path for them and would have resulted in blacks being in a better position today than the Johnson Great Society legislation pathway which created a fast drop, hurrying progress right then at the expense of stopping progress for them later and trapping them in a dead end spot that they are still trying to get out of.

                      So, was Robertson being racist? Maybe. I don’t have the context for that. Obviously racist so much that you don’t even have to think hard about it? That’s unfair.

                    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                      News flash, You will not escape being lied about and falsely accused of holding beliefs you do not hold. Don’t kid yourself, even of having escaped that to this point already.

                      You are arguing against one of the beatitudes Mark. This seems a bit strange to me why you should do that.

                • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                  Jim Crow was bad. Could everybody who disagrees please respond to this so I can give chapter and verse.

                  Jim Crow can be bad and at the same time not as bad as those outside it make it out to be. If somebody falsely says that southerners built up brass gods and regularly sacrificed blacks to moloch all across the south as part of Jim Crow, if you had any respect for the truth, you’d end up exactly where Phil Robertson was giving a faint praise argument that it wasn’t so bad. With some artful editing, you’d look exactly as bad as him too.

                  What leads you to believe that the GQ interviewer was an honest fellow who did no such thing and Phil Robertson apropos of nothing just started to defend Jim Crow?

                  It’s useful to (but you didn’t) include the words under contention. Here they are:

                  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.”

                  No question was included to give context. We have no idea what was asked or how many questions he was answering. “What was it like to see blacks being mistreated” would work as an opening question. The ellipses could signal a second question “Did you ever hear blacks back then talk about hating whites”. Next ellipses and another hidden question “Do you think blacks back then were happier because they were more christian?”

                  The unfairness of the assembly likely angered the clan as well but since few are making a fuss about it, they aren’t either, not wanting to add to the complexity of defending their patriarch.

            • SteveP

              Mark, I think you are unfairly skipping over Robertson’s adjective of “godly.” Perhaps, in his own retrospect, he sees the power of the Lord of Hosts upholding a people in the presence of a worldly threat. Who can sing when there is no reason to sing? Those who know they are redeemed.

              • chezami

                It’s very possible that’s exactly how he is thinking and I think he likely is coming at it from something like that perspective. However, no small part of the reason Flannery O’Connor described the South as “Christ-haunted” was exactly because of the split-brain way Southern piety could be completely sincere and yet turn a blind eye to the fact that, for instance, one very good reason black folk had no complaints was because of the threat of violence that hung over their heads. Ask Emmett Till about what could happen if you didn’t “know your place” around your betters in the Jim Crow South.

                • Stu

                  But Mark, you are looking at this through hindsight and history. It’s different when you are actually there.

                • SteveP

                  I do understand your point and will simply leave it at: the characteristic of secular unforgiveness is a particular form of self-loathing; the forgiveness of Christ tends to fill yesterday, today, and tomorrow with the Father.

                  Peace be with you.

                  • Dave G.

                    Secular unforgiveness! I like that. It’s true. Because these things aren’t just brought up for the casual purpose of remembering and educating. There is a reason why we focus almost exclusively on the sins of the past, not for forgiveness and moving on, but to constantly, over and over and over and over again remind everyone of the sins of the past. The Christian Faith/Catholic Church also gets that treatment. The purpose is not just to not forgive. The purpose is to avoid forgiving like the plague in order to use the sins for certain purposes. Well pointed out.

            • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

              You’re misstating the Robertson statement. For someone who is such a stickler on truth, you don’t seem to mind taking liberties when it suits you. The man claims that he didn’t see it, not that it didn’t happen which is a much more limited point which you haven’t bothered to go through the trouble to refute. I’ve gone through a very limited version of this sort of thing and it is not as big a deal as you are making out.

              The assassination of Prof. Culianu in a University of Chicago bathroom is exactly the sort of ‘message’ kiling that the lynchings were. It was aimed squarely at my ethnic group to avoid political activism, at a time when I was politically active enough that one of my projects was publicly denounced in a press conference by the head of the neo-communists in Romania. It didn’t have the effect on me, personally, that you assume the lynchings had on american blacks.

              I have no idea about the black experience in Louisiana during those years. I can only know my own experience. But please don’t imagine that message killings such as the ones that racial lynch mobs delivered automatically cause terror and dread. Life just doesn’t work out that way.

        • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

          The point, Mark, is that you made a slip up in the article, more than one in fact (see my comment above on Stonewall Jackson). You’re building up a straw man. Phil Robertson is not a sophisticate and not perfect on the religious front. The elephant in the room being that he’s not Catholic and thus highly likely to have religious differences with the vast majority of your readership including me.

          The left would love to kill any sort of larger alliance among the religious and ensure that the standard is that one must be a saint before it’s worth crossing confessional lines to support one of their targets. They love the idea of defeating christians in detail.

          Why do you act as you love it too?

    • kenofken

      No, it wasn’t ugly for everyone. It was pretty damn cool for white folk, especially the well born and landed class.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Like Phil Robertson? Wait…

  • lspinelli

    Mark, I love ya, but…as plenty pointed out already, I’m not making him into a Folk Hero. Just because he and his family are good people (and many of their views align with the Magisterium, such as being anti-abortion and anti-health care that includes abortion coverage) doesn’t mean we take everything they say as an alternative gospel.

    As big of a fan of the show as I am, some of the remarks Phil made about women made me cringe. I don’t defend them, but I’m not going to tell him, you can’t say that on your own show.

    Most thinking people – those who refuse to be spoon-fed by the MSM – aren’t going to jump to conclusions that he’s defending Jim Crow.

    He’s become another pawn in the progressive/traditional culture wars. If he and his family don’t want to play that game, neither should we.

    (It’s clear from reading the article that the writer – a liberal WASP-y type – was baiting him. Wonder if HE called GLADD and brought the remarks to their attention? Other celebs and reality show types made controversial remarks that slipped past the MSM. Something about the timing of this is off.)

    • Andy, Bad Person

      It’s clear from reading the article that the writer – a liberal WASP-y
      type – was baiting him. Wonder if HE called GLADD and brought the
      remarks to their attention?

      That’s a very good point. GQ has probably gained an enormous click-count from this whole escapade.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

      There’s some speculation that this is an effort to take the national conversation off of obamacare. Glenn Reynolds, the guy behind Instapundit makes this point.

  • James Scott

    Or maybe he is just a 67 year old man who is looking at his past in an idealized rose colored way. Much like my Grand Parents of Happy memory did.

    Mark the man has an adopted inter-racial grandson.

    I vote this is your stupidest post to date.

    • Dave G.

      In another place and another age and another generation, that would probably be how it was taken. But this is now. 21st Century America. 2013. My son told me this is what he has come to expect from us adult Americans. That’s all I needed to shut up about it and move on after hanging my head in shame that he was so right. This is a perfect example of the kind of country we’re leaving to our posterity.

  • Mike

    Mark, I agree with everything you say and 60% of the way you say it.

  • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

    What’s wrong with the comparison to Stonewall Jackson? I didn’t make that analogy but the man was certainly no saint and lived in a divided area of the country and a divided family. He could have picked the union side as his sister did and didn’t do it.

    Why is Stonewall Jackson an unambiguous hero to you Mark that you would put him up as an exemplar?


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