Many are fuming on the left and right over the suspension of Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame by A&E. The right says it is PC gone too far and his rights to free speech were violated by A&E. Those on the left say his words went to far were offensive. Lets take a deeper look.
In an interview with GQ Phil Robertson stated that he did not understand how a man could choose a mans anus over a woman's vagina. He went on to put homosexuality in the same list of sins like Murder, Bestiality and being a Terrorist. Folks on the left saw that as insinuating that gays are the same as terrorist and people who have sex with animals. Those on the right say he was just listing other sins that as he put it just were not logical.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”-GQ
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”-GQ
He also went on to comment on things the Lame stream media are not reporting. He claimed he never saw a black person treated badly in the south before the civil rights act was signed into law.
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. 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.”-GQ
Based on the above comments A&E placed Phil on suspension, before anyone had a chance to get mad over the interview. Many are so mad they are threatening to boycott A&E, meanwhile others praise them for this action. Everyone seems to have a view on this topic so here we sit, in another debate of has being politically correct gone to far yet again?
Were Phil's Rights Violated:
The big question I see from the right, is did A&E's suspension violate this seeming kind hearted man's rights?
Before we jump right into the knee-jerk reaction to this question, lets looks at the text of the First Amendment.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The First Amendment clearly states Congress(i.e. the government) can not prohibit exercise of free speech by the citizens of America. Is the Congress interfering with his right to free speech, by A&E suspending him? The answer to this question is no, therefore the answer to the question of his rights being violated is no as well.
Did Phil's Words Go to Far:
Those on the left seem to think his words went to far, but did they? Could this be a case of being overly political correct? Phil simply stated an answer to questions asked and explained his families views on living by the bible. It appears many felt he equated homosexuality to bestiality and this seemed to offend and anger many supporters of gay rights. Also, his comments on race drew the anger of the NAACP. These folks feel his words went to far. In the end maybe the response was a bit of an overreaction. After all this was a man simply giving his honest views on things, it doesn't really matter if you find them to be bigoted and offensive.
Phil vs. A&E:
In the end this is an issue between Phil Robertson and A&E. One can assume that his contract likely had a code of conduct or similar clause. This would allow A&E the ability to fire or suspend Phil for saying things in public that are contrary to their views. Now this we can only assume as we have not seen his contract. If A&E did not have this in their contract with him then they might have a legal issue, although the very likely did. So A&E did have the right to act in the manner they did.
This is America where we have the right to say what we like. The thing is sometimes just because you can do something does not mean you should. As wrong as it may be, as a public figure you are expected to use better judgement when speaking in public. Whether or not you agree with this, it is what it is. I am of the opinion that A&E may have over reacted to Phil's comments. I in no way agree with many of his view, but can not find fault with a man speaking about his religious views. Here in America we have become too politically correct, just because someone says something you don't like you get your feeling hurt. This is all much ado about nothing. A&E had the right to fire Phil and Phil had the right to express the views he did. His First Amendment rights were not infringed, as he was allowed to speak, but the right to free speech does not protect you from the social repercussions of your speech. Simply put Americans need to stop getting butt hurt every time someone says something that offends them. This is America Get Over It.
To see the GQ article Click Here