[guest post by Dana]
Those Duck Dynasty people are causing a stir again, or rather car decals supporting them are…yes, decals.
A union representing federal employees at Eglin Air Force base in Florida is demanding that two senior management officials be removed from their posts because they put decals on their personal trucks supporting Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.
Alan Cooper, the executive vice president of the local chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees, said one of the officials also displayed the “I Support Phil” decals in his office last month and offered them to subordinates.
“The BUE (bargaining union employee) was clearly offended and disgusted that a senior management official would display the decal on their pod,” read an email Cooper wrote.
“We took offense,” Cooper told me in a telephone interview. “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.”
In an email that was sent to union members, Cooper said the Duck Dynasty decal may be a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Phil Robertson has made disparaging remarks against a vast array of people, which created a firestorm in the media in the recent past,” Cooper wrote.
Naturally, Cooper wants to see those with the I Support Phil stickers to be fired.
“I don’t know how long these individuals harbored these views – could they have impacted employment opportunities for folks that have been disparaged by the likes of a Phil Robertson,” he said.
Regardless, he wants the Duck Dynasty fans dealt with, noting “it’s definitely 100 percent inappropriate for an organization that espouses a zero tolerance policy” to condone such activity.
“If it’s zero tolerance, it’s zero tolerance for everybody,” he said, referring to the military’s anti-discrimination policies.
The Phil supporters claimed it was a First Amendment issue, and thankfully, so did the Air Force.
They investigated the claims made by the union and determined that the two civilian workers were well within their rights to support Duck Dynasty.
“Brigadier General Dave Harris is not taking any action against the individual as the display of such a bumper sticker is considered legally protected speech under the First Amendment,” said Andy Bourland, director of public affairs at the military base.
Bourland also told me they looked into the incident involving the decals in the worker’s office. They also decided not to take action in that incident.