Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, Fort Smith & Personal Freedoms

Phil Robertson, the "Duck Dynasty" patriach, has been a major topic lately, not only in mainstream media, but social media as well.  On Dec 18th, the A&E Network stated they were suspending Phil for remarks he made in a magazine article.  One Dec 19th, I stated on my "Facebook" page, "the Liberal Progressives have picked the wrong boy this time."  One Dec 21, Cracker Barrel restaurants pulled "Duck Dynasty" merchandise they felt might be offensive to their customers.  Well, on Dec 22nd the backlash began and apparently, A&E is seeking to reinstate Phil Robertson onto the show and Cracker Barrel has placed, once removed merchandise, back onto the shelves.  Why the change?  Maybe this has become more about personal freedoms of the individual rather than some magazine article.

I bring up Phil Robertson's story because, I feel it is relative to numerous blogs and comments made lately on "The City Wire". Negative blogs and some pretty crude comments about how backward the people of Fort Smith are.  How the city suffers from a mental illness.  Comments have been made about the genetic and too much inbreeding being the problem with Fort Smith.  According to these blogs and comments, many of these negative views are apparently coming from those who have traveled much and now are migrating back to Fort Smith after a lengthy hiatus from their hometown.  But why are these people migrating back to Fort Smith, if indeed, it is such a backward place, as they say?  Are these people being forced to migrate back to Fort Smith?  Or do they just fear being the last person to leave Detroit?

Back to Phil, you see Phil was a star quarterback at Louisiana Tech back in the day and his backup quarterback was none other than the great Terry Bradshaw.  Phil walked away from football because he preferred duck hunting and fishing.  That was his personal decision and according to "Duck Commander", a decision that has worked very well for Phil.  Fort Smith is made up of people much like Phil and given the opportunity and the freedom to compete in a truly competitive and market open to all folks, may realize a similar success and grow our local economy.  Personally, I don't believe it's the backwardness of our citizens, the gene pool, or the genetics, but maybe a small group who try to force a certain direction upon this great city.  Shouldn't a city administration's primary focus be providing basic, essential services at the most efficient costs to the citizens, while allowing all citizens the freedoms to pursue their interest in a free and less restrictive manner?

Merry Christmas!!

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Comments

Bigots

I suppose we can put ol’ Phil up on a cross now and stick a spear in him since he’s the new martyr for the Christian Right. Last year, it was the Chick-Fil-A Chicken being branded as the new saint of Christianity for standing up for all that is Holy Matrimony in the eyes of the Church. These folks want to be on the wrong side of history with their public criticism of homosexuality but cry fowl (pardon the pun) when their own bigotry is examined in a public light. Phil’s licking his fingers at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/08/holy-rollin-poultry-on-cross-chick-fil.html

Isn't It Wonderful

That everyone can have an personal opinion and be free to express their opinion without fear of reprisals. Many thanks to The City Wire for always being fair to both sides of every issue and just maybe Fort Smith City Leadership will learn the lesson of the value of free speech in America that so many veterans served to protect.

Merry Christmas Mr Swink

Have always enjoyed your comments and posts on The City Wire so please keep them coming because people need to value and protect freedom of speech! Millions of our fellow Americans have died in foreign wars to protect these basic constitutional rights and it is the basic fiber of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in our country. It seems that there is an all out assault on these rights by some political leaders who want to keep people in the dark about their civil rights and their right to free speech. sometimes I don't agree with a particular view but would always defend their right to express their opinions. Thank you for putting you views in print and a special Merry Christmas to The City Wire and staff for their help in protecting the principles of free speech.
Have always enjoyed your comments and posts on The City Wire so please keep them coming because people need to value and protect freedom of speech! Millions of our fellow Americans have died in foreign wars to protect these basic constitutional rights and it is the basic fiber of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in our country. It seems that there is an all out assault on these rights by some political leaders who want to keep people in the dark about their civil rights and their right to free speech. sometimes I don't agree with a particular view but would always defend their right to express their opinions. Thank you for putting you views in print ...>> Read the entire comment.

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU, JACK

So why does Jack Swink stay here? We all thought he'd be in Jonesboro by now. In-migration to Fort Smith occurs for numerous reasons. But a few are obviously relative to where resettlers come from. The average natives of Fort Smith are hard working and friendly, a god fearing people for the most part. So outsiders assume the town is honest. Compared to some other places Fort Smith is affordable, safer, less congested, more manageable, less stressful. It has short winters and a central location for travel. Yet Fort Smith is virtually unknown to most Americans as it is seemingly located in the middle of nowhere. It is just a spur off the interstate highway which dead ends after it bypasses the old city. So with all of this in mind, investors feel that Fort Smith is a safe bet and that it can only get better as there is much room to grow and improve. The only way it can go is up ! That assumption is based upon that which generally works everywhere else. There is the catch, however. Fort Smith's elite don't care about how it's done elsewhere. So, up isn't the only way to go for anyone else, after all. The city can crash and burn but the old monied groups will still be okay, even if they inherit a ghost town. No,Jack, people are not being forced back. Resettlers and in-migrants are optimistic risk takers by nature and want to get in on the ground floor to contribute to and to prosper from what could be. Only, they discover too late that it will never be as enivisioned. Not even financial gurus and legal eagles can unfold and expose the too many convoluted layers of local mismanagement and arbitrary policy which cripples this city's growth. Given this rude awakening, migrants to Fort Smith are still being forced; not to migrate here, but to be stuck here. It would seem that Jonesboro Jack is on the right track about "the force" behind it all.

Gratefully stuck in Fort Smith

My family migrated from southern Arkansas when I was five to Fort Smith. I have been ever grateful for that move. Although many of my fellow graduates of Southside seemed to all move to Texas, I preferred to remain here. I knew even at a young age that Fort Smith is a wonderful place to live, raise a family and grow old. It offers excellent schools, varied choices for places to worship, a wonderful variety of restaurants, safe neighborhoods, and trustworthy solid citizens to open your heart to for lifelong friendships. I'm so tired of naysayers condemning Fort Smith while they enjoy all the best of it. I believe those who move back here have learned like Dorothy Gale that sometimes you have to leave to appreciate that there's no place like home.
My family migrated from southern Arkansas when I was five to Fort Smith. I have been ever grateful for that move. Although many of my fellow graduates of Southside seemed to all move to Texas, I preferred to remain here. I knew even at a young age that Fort Smith is a wonderful place to live, raise a family and grow old. It offers excellent schools, varied choices for places to worship, a wonderful variety of restaurants, safe neighborhoods, and trustworthy solid citizens to open your heart to for lifelong friendships. I'm so tired of naysayers condemning Fort Smith while they enjoy all the best of it. I believe those who move back here have learned like ...>> Read the entire comment.

Gratefully enjoy it while you can. You got yours.

Not everyone can enjoy the best of it as only a few can enjoy it at best. Perhaps you can buy my house and enjoy your town even more. I'll gratefully move away.

A Little Money

Its just so true that "A Little Money" can buy many closed mouths and after all, its just one penny more!

Moving Back

I for one, have also moved back to Fort Smith. Both of my daughters call Fort Smith home. We were gone for 10 years and tried constantly to find ways to come back. Fort Smith is not perfect, but we also found out, it is a great place to live, raise a family, enjoy life, and be a part of it's continued progress. We left here to go back home to Central Arkansas, and stayed there for 5 years before moving up to "the hill" in NW Arkansas. While it is a great place to live, we much prefer Fort Smith, Arkansas, as our place to call home. Great people, trying to make a difference, and be a part of all the good things that are happening here now, and will happen in the future.

Imperfect Hometown

Just because our town in not perfect that doesn't mean it shouldn't be improved, especially when we consider imperfections in the administration of tax revenues. It should not benefit the minority most by taxing the majority. To those people who can afford to enjoy all which Fort Smith has to offer, I say "good for you". To the vast majority of everyone else I say, "don't get your hopes up" in this town. You own optimism will be your own undoing. Indeed, Fort Smith can be a better place for newcomers and returning native sons and daughters as they return with the rewards gained elsewhere or to the family assets which have remained here in their absence waiting to be reclaimed by kinfolk. But Fort Smith needs to be about more than middle class and higher. The quality of life should be shared, especially in a town where there are so many "churches" ostensibly representative of Christian values. Do those values translate into material security for only a select and lucky few. Ask Director Settle that question, if you don't already know the answer.

good demonstration

This blog of Jack's and the comments generously contributed serve to demonstrate that from person to person, even though the experience of Fort Smith might be incredibly similar, it is still unique to each individual. And some experiences vary widely. Through our experience we all get reflected back to us what we believe. What we choose to see we behold. Therefore, if we want to behold a different experience from the one we're beholding, the change, to occur, has to be made in what we're choosing.

How you look at it

The view from our own God's little acre certainly influences how we see the big picture. In Fort Smith, every individuals narrow perspective can coalesce for the betterment of the community. But not everyone is validated by the powerful and monied factions who have theirs already...too bad for everyone else.

Understandably quite different for those of us..

..who spent the last quarter century trying to stop the 'bad!' from taking away everything that wasn't nailed down and the 'good?' from trying to take away everything that was.

Rhetorical Question or are you really not serious.

aNOnymous, help us out here. You seem to have the answer cloaked behind wordplay. Many of us have specifics of our own, what say you? Maybe most of us would be on the same page if we didn't confuse the issues just for the fun of it. Thank You and Happy New Year.

First the good news

..one of the worst of the bad is about to be had..he just doesn't know it yet. They nearly always do it..return to the scene of a hundred crimes. At his age he will be expensive to keep so I can't say how long society gets a break...if any. Crimes just aren't near as bad if done to the right people. Pretty much like cheating isn't hardly cheating at all if you come up with a noble reason...plus they're the right people. Why were you curious enough to ask?

It Is What It Was

It is what it is because it is what it was and change is only counted in one penny more!

A Larger Nail

It may require a much Larger Nail and a much larger hammer!