‘Duck Dynasty’: White evangelicals rallying for racism

This wasn’t hard. This wasn’t complicated.

This was the easiest test you could possibly imagine.

A white evangelical Christian celebrity got up in public and spouted hateful racist bullshit. That celebrity, further, claimed that this hateful racist bullshit was based on Jesus and the Bible, and that it represented the views of all white evangelical Christians everywhere.

There could be one — and only one — appropriate response.

And white evangelical Christians struggled, and failed, to give that response.

Instead of denouncing the hateful racist bullshit, white evangelicals rose to defend the celebrity’s right to spout hateful racist bullshit without being criticized. And his right to be televised while doing so.

Instead of denouncing the hateful racist bullshit, white evangelicals rallied to defend the celebrity himself because, they said, any criticism of him is a criticism of the whole tribe. Tribe’s gotta stick together.

Instead of denouncing the hateful racist bullshit, white evangelicals rallied to defend the hateful racist bullshit.

This was a test. This was a ridiculously easy test.

And white evangelicals failed.

Let’s be very, very clear: Duck Dynasty cast-member Phil Robertson promotes unambiguously racist mythology. This is what white evangelicals have been defending, and it is indefensible:

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.

Let’s look at that again. This is straight-up, Swanee-River white supremacist ideology:

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.

This is the hateful bullshit that white evangelicals are rallying to defend.

Maybe that’s because they think scoring points in their tribalist culture-war is more important than telling the truth or denouncing hate. Or maybe that’s because white evangelicals agree with Robertson — that they share his hate or they actually think his hateful bullshit is true. Maybe they’re just longing for the old plantation too.

Either way, white evangelicals have completely lost the plot.

This is why white evangelicals have no moral authority and no moral credibility. White supremacist racism shouldn’t be confusing. It isn’t complicated. It isn’t “controversial.”

It’s just bullshit. But white evangelicals are incapable of seeing that or of saying that.

And, yes, the fact that they’re more offended by my use here of the word “bullshit” than they are by Robertson’s racist bullshit itself only further confirms that these folks are far, far, far away from the Jesus and the Bible they speak of so often.

Consider the pious blasphemies of the Robertson family’s ugly, disingenuous defense of their “patriarch’s” white supremacist mythologizing:

We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.

Prayers, faith, love, the Bible — all sanctimoniously cited in defense of white supremacy. This is bullshit.

White evangelicals, who should be thanking A&E, are instead lining up behind this hateful bullshit and criticizing the basic-cable channel for suspended Phil Robertson.

A&E got this right. White evangelicals are getting it wrong. And when you get something this simple, this basic, this fundamental, wrong, then no one has any reason to expect you to get anything else right.

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