Rod Dreher Courageously Stands up For Old Bigots

Shorter Rod Dreher on the racist (as opposed to the homophobic) aspect of the Duck Dynasty Douchebag imbroglio:

Well, bigots can do good stuff too, even for the people they are bigoted against, and here is one, anecdotal example, so therefore, neh, neh, neh, neh, neh, on you, you know it all, New York City liberal double reverse bigot!

Seriously, Rod recycles his Paula Deen defense, which includes this:

“Every younger white Southerner who holds enlightened opinions on race knows that you have to allow for the cultural deformation of older white Southerners. Every one of us knows elderly whites who, despite their residual racism, have done more good for particular black neighbors than many of us who believe the right things, but who have done little or nothing to help actual black people in our midst.

“I think of the old white lady I interviewed two decades ago in my town. She was politically incorrect on race, and hopelessly innocent of her ignorance. But she was helping lead an ultimately successful charge to save a poor black church from a developer’s wrecking ball. It takes a Puritan to regard that woman as a simplistic villain…”

So, because the old bigot arguably did a good thing, despite her bigotry, therefore, what? Well, Rod continues:

“What galls about Deen’s treatment is the puritanical zeal that cultural enforcers bring to bear on the complex realities of race, region and history. By implication, it says that all right-thinking people must drive anyone with Deen’s personal history and antique views out of the public square.

“To demonstrate our racial righteousness to the media commissars, are we younger Southerners required to agree that our gray-haired kinfolks are irredeemably tainted? If so, forget it. We know better. We know these people, we love them, and in most cases we grant them grace, knowing that they too were twisted by the evil of racism, by a world into which they were born, and which — contra Mr. Faulkner — has passed and is passing away.

“Similarly with an old country man like Phil Robertson…”

Leaving aside the shilly shallying “complexity” bullshit (What was so complex? White folks in the South enslaved Black folks for a couple of hundred years, until they were forced to stop doing so, and then they exploited and oppressed them under Jim Crow for another hundred years or so instead, until, once again, they were forced to stop doing so), and the disgusting and vile “racism hurt the White folks too-ooo” whine, what really galls ME are the straw man arguments and deliberate conflation.

No one wants to “drive” anyone “out of the public square,” no one wants anyone branded a “villain” for life. I doubt any “cultural enforcer” or “commissar” was coming for the women Rod mentions with a red hot iron, ready to brand a big, ol’ “V” on her head, and then poised to keep her off that lovely old small Southern town courthouse square for the sadly brief remainder of her days. Nor is anyone coming to do anything similar to Paula Deen or Duck Dodger of the Nineteenth Century. Instead, the reality is if you want your TV network employer to keep you on, rather than fire you, as it has every right to do under the employee-at-will legal doctrine that conservatives love so much (and, in Daffy Duck’s case, also under a contract that gives it the explicit right to do so), then you have to make nice-nice even with folks you despise, if that’s what your TV network employer wants you to do.

And since when did having your own TV show on A & E become the same thing as mere presence on “the public square?” Are Paula Deen and Duck’s Ass banned from writing a book? Are they banned from being on any other TV network? On the radio (broadcast or satellite)? On the internet? Are they not allowed to make films or videos? To give public speeches? A privately owned cable TV network, one of literally hundreds of such networks, and one of virtually infinite outlets to the public, does not comprise, all by itself, “the public square.”

Of course, the rationale being recycled (after all, Rod is not just any con, but a “crunchy” con, indeed, he wrote a whole book about it, just ask him, he’ll be more than happy to tell you how you can order it, and his book about his dead sister too!), it doesn’t quite fit like new on Donald Duck. As even Rod’s handpicked and mostly reactionary commenters point out, Dick Duck is a Baby Boomer who is not quite seventy, and has a BA and an MA, and has taught school, and negotiated a contract with a TV network. He and his family formerly vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard, for Christ’s sake! He is not all that “similar” to the small town, African American church saving old bigoted lady, nor even Paula Deen. Presumably, he must know at least something about the Civil Rights Movement, Jim Crow and all that.

No matter. New wine in old wine sacks is more than good enough for Rod. Another column in the can, and its off to enjoy some fancy food with the Mrs., and then kiss the icons and hit the hay….


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