Jesse Jackson Sr. has joined the controversy surrounding the anti-gay and racial comments by Phil Robertson, star of A&E’s backwoods (fake) reality TV show, “Duck Dynasty.”
In an announcement sent out Tuesday, Jackson Sr. compared Robertson’s recent comments about African-Americans, gay people and women to comments made by the driver of Rosa Parks’ bus.
“At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law, Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’”
Jackson’s human rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, has demanded meetings with A&E and with Cracker Barrel regarding the two companies’ treatment of Robertson. Jackson’s group, along with the National Organization for Women, urged A&E to keep Robertson on an indefinite hiatus from the show. Cracker Barrel originally removed Duck Dynasty products from its Country Store shelves and A&E while suspending Robertson has been holding a Duck Dynasty marathon and financially reaping the rewards of the publicity.
Jackson Sr. and the leaders of the other groups are demanding a sit-down meeting with Cracker Barrel and A&E in the next couple of days.
“It is unacceptable that a personality who has been given such a large platform would benefit from racist and anti-gay comments,” the group leaders state in the release.”
It took less than two days for southern restaurant chain Cracker Barrel to put the “cracker” back in its name after pledging too pull Duck Dynasty merchandise from its shelves, and now the company reversing its decision
In a Facebook post, Cracker Barrel — the first major retailer to take a stance on Phil Roberston’s controversial statements — said it would continue to sell some Duck Commander merchandise but would continue to evaluate the products.
“When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done,” the company wrote in a Facebook post. “You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong. We apologize for offending you. We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.”
In their original statement when they pulled some DD merchandise Lebanon, Tenn.-based restaurant company said they were concerned that the DD products might offend some of our guests. But obviously knowing that they cater to the same white trash customer base as Duck Dynasty does Cracker Barrel chose money over doing what was right.
Dolly Parton in an interview with The Boot shares her feelings about her gay fans and lightly touches on the fact that Dolly recently cut a deal to exclusively sell her new live album and DVD, An Evening With Dolly, and other exclusive products with the anti-gay CBRL Group Inc. (Cracker Barrel Restaurants)
“We’re all God’s children no matter what. So, there was a lot of love and understanding and I think they felt that. Being a freak, I know what it’s like not being accepted. Not that they were freaks but I was. I just know, through the years, I’ve had people tell me I should do this or I shouldn’t do that. I have a lot of gay fans because they know that I just accept people as they are. That’s not my place to judge. I ain’t God and I ain’t runnin’ for office. But I was proud to be part of that. It makes you feel good.”
On why she’s aligned herself with Cracker Barrel Dolly Parton is either oblivious or in denial of the businesses anti-gay history and policies saying: “Anything I’ve got would fit in Cracker Barrel. They’re country, I’m country. I’m a good cook, they’re good cooks. We cook the same kind of food.”
Cracker Barrel has a long history of discriminating against gays and blacks, both as employees and dinners. It had an HR policy from 1991 until 2002 that said “It is inconsistent with our concept and values, and is perceived to be inconsistent with those of our customer base, to continue to employ individuals in our operating units whose sexual preferences fail to demonstrate normal heterosexual values.” Seventeen workers were fired because they admitted or were assumed to be gay after the first few months that the policy was created. A spokesperson in 2008 said Cracker Barrel “welcomes all guests, and our equal opportunity employment statement clearly states that we will not tolerate discrimination based on sexual orientation.” However, it does not offer diversity training, domestic partner benefits or any support for their LGBT employees. (If they hire any)
Cracker Barrel has a HRC Corporate Equality Index score of 15/100.
Seems like Dolly also accepts LGBT bigots “just as they” are as long as their money is green and plentiful.
Et tu, Dolly?