Op-Ed: Who Gives a Flying Duck?

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"You got to marry girls who are still in thier teens." - Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty

I had no idea, until recently, that watching trailer trash on a “reality” show had reached such heights. If it hadn’t been for the controversy ignited by a group of bad ZZ Top look alike I would have never heard of “Duck Dynasty.”

I guess that was the intended purpose of the whole thing. Gays have become an integral part of the national dialogue that bashing us guarantees the offender instant notoriety. Bigots have a field day; it reminds me of a line from a Tom Robinson’s song from the 70’S that goes “… the buggers are legal now what else are they after…” We live in the age when bigotry and racism are disguised as freedom of speech. Ask Obama.

So why do so many people, from any walk of life, still spew homophobia?

One theory is that homosexual urges, when repressed out of shame or fear, can be expressed as homophobia. Freud called this process a “reaction formation” — anger against the outward symbol of feelings that are inwardly being repressed.

Not all those who campaign against gays secretly feel same-sex attractions. But at least some who oppose homosexuality are likely to be struggling against their inner selves. Most likely, in this particular case, it is a well-orchestrated stunt. There is no bad publicity after all.

The patriarch, the Big Duck, who never apologized for his remarks, was reinstated after fans protested and corporate sponsors stuck by the show. “Duck Dynasty” co-star Phil Robertson criticized gays during a magazine interview, but he didn’t stop there. He also made inflammatory comments about blacks during the Civil Rights era. Then a clip showing Robertson advocating marrying underage girls surfaced on YouTube adding to the furor. In the footage Robertson offers what he calls "river rat counseling," and tells men to marry girls who are still in their teens. "You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16. They'll pick your ducks. Excusez-moi? We are bordering pedophilia here.

Among Robertson's other dating advice: "Make sure that she can cook a meal" and "make sure she carries her Bible. That'll save you a lot of trouble down the road." He married his wife, Kay, when she was 15. All of this done while wearing the red necks’ version of theatrical drag.

Behind the façade they are millionaires posing as white trash. And of course the GOP, true to form, ate it all up and jumped on the wrong bandwagon, again. U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, R-Swartz, brought Willie Robertson, one of Phil's sons, as his special guest at the last State of the Union Address.

Willie was seen sitting in the audience wearing his famous American flag bandana. If any other liberal, artist or actor, had done that, Fox News would have gone ballistic calling it “disrespectful” toward the flag.
The more these bozos talk, the more they make people stop and think. Many may come to the conclusion that they do not want to be associated with these asses and their levels of tolerance increase. The bigoted blabbering keeps us out of the closet and into people’s conscience.

Though “Duck Dynasty” was expected by some to return to its biggest ratings yet after its huge controversy last month, the Louisiana-based reality show returned to lower viewership than its previous two years. Down 28 percent from its record-setting fourth season debut in August (11.8 million). It’s also slightly down from the show’s third season premiere in February last year (8.6 million). Maybe there is such a thing as bad publicity.

I have to thank Anita Bryant for who I am today. She was the catalyst that sparked my activism.

My coming out process started with her. I was appalled by her bigotry and she made me realize that if I wanted to fight for equality the first thing to do was for me to be open, out, vocal and visible.

I will be forever grateful to her even though we are still paying for the damage she inflicted on gay couples wanting to adopt. Perhaps these ducks will inspire other closeted gays to come out, fight back and be counted.

Bottom Line: Controversy gives conversation an invaluable national platform. Sometime even an international platform…. thank you Mr. Putin.


Greg Kabel

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