So, there's this show called Duck Dynasty, which is about some guy who has made a successful business from making duck calls and then hired his whole family to provide him with endless amusement while he makes money. Or something like that. At any rate, it is one more program in the long list of shows that Discovery/History (this one's on A&E) have come up with to convince its mostly urban/suburban viewers that anyone who lives in the South (or in Alaska, for some reason) is a hick and just a bundle of laughs.
We've had swamp people, logging people, swamp logging people, fishing people, gold hunting people, and Alaskans by the bunch all of whom seem to exist to show that there are, in fact, people dumber than the average sophisticated viewer of The History Channel, Discovery Channel, or whatever. Of course, if those viewers were so sophisticated, they might realize that these hicks are getting wealthy acting dumb while the viewer pays the cable or satellite bill to keep them on the air.
Well, now we have one of these hicks, someone from Duck Dynasty, doing a little good ol' fashioned Biblical gay bashing in a GQ interview which he followed up with an “apology” defending everything he said previously while allowing how he had committed some “sexual sins” himself.
Obviously his reading of the Bible never extended to John 8:7.
So A&E “suspended” him, whatever that means, while basking in all the free publicity for the show. Of course, conservatives tried to make this into a free speech issue, forgetting that, while you can say what you damn well please, you have to own up to the consequences of saying it.
There's also a bit of stuff in the interview where he's “for the blacks” because his family is “white trash.” Well, Mr. White Trash, while you and your ancestral white trash were working in the fields with the po' ol' black folk, you could easily vote, get a drivers' license, and have a hope of working up to a foreman's job, which, for a very long time, those black folk couldn't do. One reason they couldn't do those things were because of the people the poor old white trash kept voting into the legislature.
What this is called down here in the South is “pious racism”, appreciating the lot of blacks as long as they kept in their place. In other words, what we have hear is a good old fashioned bigot that much of the country can feel superior to because he's a hick Southern racist – or someone they can relate to because said viewers may be racist bigots, too.
This is your basic lose-lose situation.
But back to the gay bashing. Call me naive, which is kinda hard to do to a 65 year-old, but I have never understood the big concern over someone's sexuality. I've known gay people, and I've known straight people, and I have yet to detect significant differences between them when it comes to job performance, interests, and general humanity. All I care about is whether the person is a decent sort or a jerk. The rest takes care of itself.
I have noticed a tendency in the media to highlight homosexuality in a person accused of sex crimes, particularly those involving children. If the person is straight, then he/she is a pervert. If the person is homosexual, then he/she is a GAY pervert, as if that somehow makes it worse. Such reporting just adds to the whole “gays are disgusting deviants” mentality that refuses to go away.
However, just when it seems like the whole world is a stinking morass of hate, one gets a story like this. Seems a fellow with the wondrous name of Jamison Manwaring decided to come out not just to his family but his church. That's brave enough, but imagine this. Mr. Manwaring lives in Salt Lake City and is a Mormon. Not only did they not burn him at the stake, but church members, as well as his family members, are actually supportive of him.
Perhaps the Duck Dunce needs to take a pilgrimage to Utah.