Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » How do we talk about prejudice in a healthy, honest way?



This 2012 photo released by A&E shows, from left, Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson, Si Robertson and Willie Robertson from the series, "Duck Dynasty." A&E says nearly 12 milion people watched the season premiere of the hit series on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard).

"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson offered a sermon to those attending last Sunday's event in Victoria.

Most said the event, a fundraiser for Man to Man Ministries, inspired and uplifted them. "I hope that they see someone of fame who still speaks the beliefs of being a Christian and who is not afraid to talk about it in public," audience member Michael Chavez told an Advocate reporter about why he brought his children to hear the reality TV stars.

However, one audience member commented online that she found Robertson's talk to be racist and hate-filled. She found a variety of his comments offensive, but focused most on the "Ducky Dynasty" star's statement that the problem with black people today is they think the government is their father.

Others said this was taken out of context and missed Robertson's larger message of Christian love for all. We wish we had a recording of the talk so readers could hear it all and judge for themselves. If you do have one, please contact me at 361-574-1271.

I talked later with the woman, who said she was worried by the strong reaction she got to her online post. She said she wanted only to spark a discussion about "how destructive prejudice is, how far we have come and how precarious that progress is."

Meanwhile in New York, another "Duck Dynasty" star, Jase Robertson, was escorted out of a hotel because of his scraggly appearance. He joked about the experience last week in a TV interview, calling it a case of "facial profiling."

Many discussed this facial profiling in the context of Oprah Winfrey's recent experience of trying to buy an expensive handbag at a store in Switzerland. The clerk didn't recognize Oprah, assumed she couldn't afford the item and refused to show it to her.

Whether we're stereotyping blacks or beards, we do so out of ignorance. The best way to combat ignorance is through education. How else might your Advocate promote a constructive conversation about race, ethnicity, gender and other issues that divide us? After all, our differences should make us stronger as a people.