Happy, Happy, Happy, In Spite Of

By Floyd Miller | January 1, 2014

Give a man a mic or a pen and he might say just about anything. Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty has been in the news recently. Today I want to address what he said about blacks, from my perspective. As reported in the media this is what Phil had to say, “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once,” he told GQ. “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,” GQ quoted Robertson as saying.{{more}}After reading Phil Robertson’s statement about all I can say is that he was reporting his experience.I would like to give my perspective on that statement. I grew up on my parent’s farm. I hoed and picked cotton for my parents and we also did some of that same work for the white farmers in our area. Those farmers did not treat us unkindly. They did not call us names, neither did they beat or abuse us in any way.A lot of things went on while I was in the cotton fields. First it was the way I would earn money for school clothes and other things that I wanted. It was also just one of the jobs on the farm that helped instill a good work ethic in me, and it was a place to talk and dream about my future. Sometimes we would look up as a plane flew over and just wonder out aloud about who could be on the plane and where it could be going. Then my siblings and I would collectively decide that it probably wasn’t anyone that we knew anyway. It was during those times that I made up my mind that I would not spend the rest of my life on the wrong end of a hoe or even picking cotton.” My family was happy but I want to assure you that it had nothing to do with being considered second class citizens by a majority of our society. Since my family was farmers, we had a good working relationship with most of the white farmers in the area. We were happy because we were Christians and knew that God would deliver us and that things would change.