ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Vietnam veteran has taken aim at Duck Dynasty products on sale at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center store in Albuquerque, and it looks like all the items in his cross hairs will be removed from the canteen’s shelves.
Robert Anderson is one of many people upset over a magazine interview in which Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson made comments they found racist and homophobic. In the January issue of GQ, the 67-year-old TV patriarch calls homosexuality a sin, comparing it with bestiality. Robertson, who is white, also claims that African-Americans he knew during the Jim Crow era in the South “were happy.”
On Dec. 27, Anderson – who served in the Air Force in Vietnam in the 1960s – wrote to the canteen that he was “greatly offend(ed) that the Veterans Administration Patriot Store would sell items promoting an entertainment group that clearly stands for racism and bigotry.
“The reactionary views incorporated into the Duck Dynasty group are contrary to the policies and mission of the VA medical system to not discriminate among veterans based on race or gender,” he continued. “Please remove these ugly divisive items immediately.”
A few days later, in an email to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Anderson urged quick action “to remove the racist and bigoted products” from VA canteens. On Monday, the Central New Mexico Community College instructor said he was still waiting to hear back from the national office.
Last week, Debra Abeyta, assistant chief of Canteen 501 in Albuquerque, advised Anderson that she, too, was “very upset by the racist remarks made” by Robertson, adding, “We here at the canteen service in no way promote such ideas and have taken steps to remove the product from the store.”