Ahhhh, Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson—the gift that keeps on shitting in your mouth and calling it a "GAY SANDWICH," because it doesn't have a real clear understanding of what gay people do, it just knows that they make it feel grumpy in its downstairs (um...did you keep that gift receipt?). Hot on the heels of "gay men were sent by the devil to tempt us all with their magnificent anuses" and "picking cotton was so fun, black people just COULDN'T STOP SINGING" comes Phil's latest greatest hit: If you want a subservient Biblical wife-slave, make sure you marry her when she's still an impressionable and terrified 15-year-old child. #ROMANCE
A video of Phil speaking at a 2009 "Sportsmen's Ministry" event (guuuuuuuhhhhhh) reveals some appalling (though not particularly surprising) thoughts on courtship and compatibility.
"Make sure that she can cook a meal, you need to eat some meals that she cooks, check that out," he said. "Make sure she carries her Bible. That'll save you a lot of trouble down the road. And if she picks your ducks, now, that's a woman."
"They got to where they're getting hard to find," Robertson remarked. "Mainly because these boys are waiting until they get to be about 20 years old before they marry 'em. Look, you wait until they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that's going to take place is your pocket."
The Duck Commander company founder added: "You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16, they'll pick your ducks. You need to check with mom and dad about that of course."
He is worse at being a person than most ducks.
Of course, Phil's "opinion" that the "best" way to "get" a wife that won't cause you "trouble" is to groom an impressionable teenage girl (which Phil reportedly did with his own wife, whom he started dating when she was 14 and married two years later) won't likely bother the heads at A&E. After all, who cares about women's autonomy, the dehumanization of gay people, and the glorification of racism when corporate profits and a white man's livelihood are threatened!?!?
As any Constitutional scholar/guy who works at the tire store can tell you, the First Amendment clearly states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of ducks, or prohibiting dynasties thereof; or abridging the freedom of white guys with beards to NEVER BE FIRED, or of stroking the martyr complex of racists; or the right of cable networks peaceably to cave to bigotry, and to petition the people for hella hella more duck money because $$$$$. #benghazi
In case this isn't clear: A&E choosing to end Phil's "suspension" and keep Duck Dynasty on the air isn't a victory for freedom of speech—it is a failure of human empathy. As usual when these issues come up, free speech is completely irrelevant. A&E doesn't have a legal obligation to end the show, but if it's true, as they claim, that their "core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect," then they have an ethical obligation to stop profiting from bigotry. You don't get credit for your commitment to "inclusion" and "respect" IF YOU ARE NEITHER INCLUSIVE NOR RESPECTFUL. And you especially don't get a pat on the head for "tolerance" if you actively reward and encourage entrenched systems of injustice.
A&E is a company that broadcasts information. To imply that the information they choose to project isn't a reflection on their values is nonsensical and disingenuous. You can't be inherently good in spite of your actions. Homophobia, racism, and misogyny—that's what A&E stands for, because that's what they are choosing to stand for.
Image via Getty.