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"Duck Dynasty" bumper sticker brings Eglin AFB to national spotlight
A dispute over a "Duck Dynasty" bumper sticker has put Eglin Air Force Base in the national spotlight. A union official reportedly said two civilian supervisors should be removed from their jobs, for displaying bumper stickers that say "I support Phil."
"Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson came under fire last year because of comments he made to "G-Q-magazine". A reporter with the magazine asked Robertson what his definition of sin was. Robertson said, "Start with homosexual behavior, and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman'. He also said African Americans were better off in the days of Jim Crow, or the pre-civil rights era.
Laura Hussey "You can find a bumper sticker that says just about anything...often, they make political statements. In this case, four short words have gone off like a bomb"
"I stand with Phil." When a member of Local 1897 of the American Federation of Government Employees said he found the stickers offensive, executive vice president of the local, Alan Cooper, sent out an email criticizing the supervisors who displayed them.
Before the union told him not to make statements, Cooper told Fox News "These two particular individuals have a great amount of influence over individuals who may be gay, who may be African American, and we have a concern they should not be in a position to exert that influence when it comes to promotions"
To some, it's a valid concern.
Jeremy/FWB "Yeah, it might sway his opinion on who he hires, or who he wants to work for him"
A spokesperson for Eglin says the situation was investigated thoroughly, and no violations of policy were found.
Andy Bourland/Eglin AFB "General Harris asked that our legal counsel as well as our Equal Opportunity Office take a look and the issue and the matter. What it boiled down to from the Wing Commander's perspective was a legal perspective of the First Amendment, and protected speech"
The controversy has sparked national headlines, and lots of calls to the Passionate Patriot T-shirt Shop.
Jonathan Maney "Yes, they've been calling me looking to get copies of the bumper sticker, the I support Phil bumper sticker"
Jonathan Maney doesn't sell the stickers, but applauds the show of support: "This kind of undercurrent of sentiment and the strength to which people hold their values dear is always out there"
Laura Hussey "A spokesperson for Eglin says the base has been and continues to be committed to diversity in the workplace. Laura Hussey, Channel 3 News"