First of all, he opened his mouth in an interview run by someone who would try to trap him into saying things that would be easy to misinterpret.
Secondly, Mr Robertson talked about happy black people when he was growing up. That’s what called Jesse Jackson into the act. My problem is that I understand the man, having grown up in the same time, and similar cultures. My difference is that I had an advantage in that I grew up in a city. Everybody, including blacks, had shoes in the city, but not in the country.
As a matter of fact, my father bought my shoes and clothes at a Jewish owned department store called, “The Black And White Store”. The marketing strategy was obvious, to sell to the poorer white community, and to the black community. This was something the large department stores in downtown Memphis did not do.
Phil Robertson grew in a rural community, where the swamps were a major feature, and furnished part of the living for poor families in Louisiana, both black and white.
It was part of the old South where economies during he Civil War had been devastated, homes and farms were burned, and legislative barriers to trade between the southern states and the northern states were the norm. The entire US southern states were in abject poverty from the time of the end of the Civil War until the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Of course, these economic deprivations were not only visited on white southerners, but black citizens were acutely affected. Reconstruction greed of the northern states knew few boundaries, punishing all living the south. A crying shame after the Civil War is that the anti-slavery advocates in the northern states paid little to no attention to the condition of black America after their freedom from slavery.
So it was that in Phil Robertson’s childhood in the 1950’s and 1960’s, he was probably just as barefooted as the black kids with whom he saw and communicated every day. How can I say this? Even though I was born in the City of Memphis, I still visited kin in the Mississippi Delta where poverty was still the normal in living for millions in the deep South. I was witness to these conditions.
So, before you get off criticizing Phil Robertson, you might want to take a look at what almost everybody in the Old South had to do, black and white, to get along. White people were way better off, but if you were an elementary kid, or even high school kid, you really didn’t know all the facts and history of that society. Opportunities were stolen from black and white, alike.
It is a rewarding thing today to look up and down my street in the Atlanta Georgia area and count the number of black families with whom we are friends. My best neighbor, ever, is a black family. Our kids grew up together, and they are welcome in our house, or our daughter’s wedding.
We have discussed some things about our racially motivated society, and I have no fear that our mutual love and people and our Christianity will overcome any problems that might arise. I believe we have come a long way.
This Phil Robertson thing will blow over, soon. Nobody will learn anything from it.