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?