Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network Calls Out 'Duck Dynasty's' Phil Robertson, Star Suspended

News & Views | Camille Travis | 12/19/2013 | 01:30 PM EST

The reality star is catching heat for his remarks on race and homosexuality

When Rev. Al Sharpton and Co. catch wind of your foolish antics, that's when you know you're in trouble.


The activist/television host and his National Action Network have blasted Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for his recent comments in a GQ interview about his views on race and homosexuality in America. In a statement to Radar Online, the organization's National Executive Director Janaye Ingram said his remarks "represent ignorance in its highest form."


When questioned about his upbringing in pre-Civil-Rights-era Louisiana, Robertson said:


"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."


And on homosexuality:


"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."


Of course Robertson's comments did not sit well with the NAN (or most of the nation); the organization released the following statement:


"His narrow-minded delusions about the state of happiness felt by black people during the 50s and 60s civil rights era are some of the same arguments spewed by the proponents of Jim Crow laws at that time and obviously are contrary to the truth. He is not an authority on the Black experience, no matter how many Black people he has known, seen, or heard sing.


The striving for equal rights would have never had to pass through him to be achieved, and most importantly, could have put those Blacks who did complain at risk if he or his family believed that blacks were inferior and in their rightful place in society. Because of that, I would never expect him to be an expert on what the Black experience was like at that time. Even with his statement, he addresses the inequality that existed by almost asserting that the only reason he was with or around Black people was because he and his family were 'white trash.' He may accept a lower than equitable status for himself and his family, but he cannot transfer his acceptance to black people.


"As for his comments about homosexuality, it is the type of cretinous beliefs he has that breed homophobia and fail to see the humanity in people within the LGBT community. For him to utter in the same sentence homosexuality and bestiality leads to fear mongering that further alienates people who identify as gay, lesbian, or transgendered. His comments reflect the onerous amount of work that still has to be done to change opinions and attitudes about minority populations like blacks and individuals within the LGBT community."


While Robertson has since backtracked from his statements, A&E has suspended him indefinitely for his remarks.


In a statement Wednesday, the network said they were "extremely disappointed" to read his comments and maintained that his views do not reflect their beliefs.

 (Photos from left: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for A&E Networks, Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)

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