Duck Dynasty comments spark firestorm1 min read

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Rachel Schemel, Web Editor

Why is it so surprising Duck Dynasty’s patriarch Phil Robertson made disrespectful and inappropriate comments about gay men and pre-civil-rights era black people in a recent GQ interview?

California, let me tell you what life is like in the Bible belt.

Having grown up in Alabama, I saw first hand many of my peers completely mystified by the concept of sexual orientation outside of what they grew up believing was biblically condoned.

When Robertson said black people were happier before Civil Rights, I remembered how a black person would never start a debate about racism without already knowing my stance. Of course Robertson never heard anyone argue back, with lynching being a real threat.

Well into this millennium, I saw lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people living in isolated communities, far away from the church-going groups the Robertsons had come to know.

LGBT people I knew went to one bar, kissed behind closed doors, and stayed respectable to others by having their sexual orientation as hidden from the larger public as possible.

When my friend Roberto and his boyfriend got lost driving to my house for Thanksgiving, they would not stop at a gas station and ask for directions because he thought his eyebrows were too groomed.

When I asked my friend Chris if he would like to be allowed to marry another man, he said he was afraid gay marriage would invite violent repercussions from hate filled, ignorant bigots.

It’s not surprising Robertson thought homosexuality to be only about where you place your penis, and that pre-civil rights black people were happy; he doesn’t know any better.

Phil Robertson needs to meet and converse openly with 21st century gay and black people to understand the ignorance in his remarks. Then he needs to apologize.

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