While much of a fuss has been made over Phil Robertson’s anti-gay remarks in his January GQ interview, some have pointed out that the public has not come down hard enough on the Duck Dynasty star’s controversial views on race and civil rights. One such person is famed civil rights leader, Reverend Jesse Jackson, who is now speaking out.
To refresh: Phil maintains that, in his experience growing up in Louisiana, African Americans were completely content before the civil rights movement.
"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once," Phil says in the interview. "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."
Of course, comments like these are a slap in the face for someone like Reverend Jackson, who has worked his entire life to eliminate racial discrimination and promote the equal rights of African American people. And according to the activist, this sort of ignorance is more harmful than that of the bus driver who forced Rosa Parks to the back of the bus for being black, all the way back in 1955.
"These statements uttered by Robertson are more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago," Jackson says in a statement to ABC News. "At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law. Robertson's statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was 'white privilege.' "
We have to agree that Phil should answer for his statements on race, just as much as his comments on homosexuality (A&E suspended him from the reality show solely for his anti-gay views). Time will tell if he will speak out in response to the Reverend.
Do you agree with what Jesse Jackson said? Sound off in the comments.