Why I Don’t Care About the Duck Dynasty Controversy

This whole Duck Dynasty incident is a manufactured controversy. A show, dedicated to redneck stereotypes, a real life Beverly Hillbillies- GQ chose to ask this man his personal opinion, unrelated to his work or his accomplishments, and he answered you. GQ could have asked anything- perhaps “what advice do you have for folks hoping to start their own business?”, or perhaps “did you feel pressured to go into the family business?” but you didn’t care about actual interview questions from a businessman. Instead, you looked for something controversial- you asked these specific questions, hoping he would give a stereotypical “redneck” answer, and you got them!

Meanwhile:

1. North Korea threatens to “strike South Korea mercilessly” (by fax, no less)
2. The NSA is still spying on you
3. China and Japan are still pissed at each other

I haven’t even read his comments, because I don’t care. He is a television star. He’s not running for political office. He’s not banning anything, dictating what happens in anyone’s bedrooms, or marching anyone into gas chambers. He’s saying what he thinks of someone else’s life choices- and it doesn’t matter. Even if he marches around and says he hates gays, blacks, and dog owners, I don’t care; I think he would be wrong to believe that, but that’s his incredibly stupid loss. I felt the same way about the Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, Green Day and U2. These people running their traps convince me of absolutely nothing. They are not in power, and anyone over the age of 13 who makes a philosophical decision based on what a celebrity says is a moron in the first place.

A&E suspended him (perhaps fired? I haven’t followed it too closely). This is not an issue of free speech or 1st amendment rights- it’s a business decision. If A&E finds it in their best interest to fire someone for their personal beliefs, so be it- the government has not forced them to do so, so there is no grounds for bringing the 1st amendment into the discussion. If I owned a television show, I should not have to air people I don’t agree with to “protect their first amendment rights” – it’s my TV show and my network. Just as my property rights supersede your freedom of speech (you can’t come into my kitchen and yell at me without my permission), I can’t come onto your television network and demand that you air everything I say.

I find it especially hypocritical that people refer to the Duck Dynasty folks as “hillbillies” or “rednecks.” Let’s quickly evaluate what those terms mean: Close your eyes and envision a redneck: Is he rich or poor? Is he white or black? Don’t bullshit me, he’s a poor white guy, probably with a southern accent. Only a white person can have their neck turn red from working in the sun. Every time one of you assholes says “’Murica” to mock “rednecks” you are part of the problem. By using derogatory terms to describe someone’s race and socioeconomic background, you are just as offensive.

So, enjoy your bread and circus.

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