The Dukes of Hazard.
So, I’m showing my age here but I’m 54 and I grew up watching Beau and Luke Duke sliding across the hood of their Hot Dodge Charger named the General Lee. If you don’t know this show the General Lee had a Confederate flag painted on the roof.
The Confederate flag is a symbol of racism.
Are we going to ever be able to watch this family-friendly show ever again? Ehh, honestly I’m not that attached to it but just don’t take away Charlie’s Angels.
There is also a movement to remove statues of confederate leaders and the confederate flag. I get this and agree of course because ya know, they lost the war. I mean a long time ago, let go already. Lets not idolize those leaders who fought for what that meant. It seems obvious those should be removed.
NASCAR driver Ray Ciccarelli just made a statement vowing to retire based on the fact that NASCAR has banned the confederate flag at it’s events and properties. There’s a real shame. Oh well, one less racist in professional sports. If you can call NASCAR that.
Country group Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A as they didn’t want to be associated with the word that had racist connotations.
Netflix just removed Gone With The Wind because while it was one of the greatest movies ever made it was also clearly one of the most racist.
Christopher Columbus statues around the country are being taken down. And while I get this to a large degree, does everyone understand what Columbus day means to Italian-Americans? Probably not. Check NPR.com for the story. Mind you despite this new info that doesn’t mean I agree we should idolize Columbus either, I don’t.
There’s also currently a movement in place to possibly rename Boston’s Faneuil Hall because Peter Faneuil owned slaves.
Obviously its understandable how this is all coming up in light of current events and I an outraged and appalled more than I ever have been (but should have been). But I am only affected by this personally as my partner is black and we have watched this all erupt together.
But where does it end? George Washington owned slaves.
What do we do now?
Do we take down the Washington Monument?
Do we replace him on the dollar bill and if so with….who?
Do we rename the GW bridge in NYC?
Do we change the name of the Capitol of this country from Washington, DC to just…DC?
Do we obliterate Mount Rushmore?
Same thing with anything memorializing presidents Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Johnson and Grant….do we erase all indications of them from memorials, monies, architecture etc?
And does it stop there? What happens to the Declaration of Independence because so many of them did or likely owned slaves, is the point of view of this and the entire Constitution skewed because of it?
I mean lets face it the Declaration of Independence and Constitution was written in the 1700’s and a lot of things relevant then and standard for those social norms do not apply now. I mean in my earlier blog That’s A Mighty Big Gun You Got There Mister I pointed out the fact that our right to bear arms was meant to enable us to protect ourselves, our land and families in a time where law wasn’t so defined. And when military-grade weaponry wasn’t a thing. I think we can all agree that if that was being rewritten now it might have a few ‘except’ clauses.
I am all for removing Columbus Statues and renaming Columbus Day Weekend to maybe Italian-American Weekend, and I am adamantly for the removal of all statues of Confederate leaders, banning the use of the confederate flag and renaming the Army bases from names of Confederate leaders.
My problem however is that while I understand the racist relationships, but slavery and racism is, admittedly horribly, an actual part of US history. Are we erasing history by doing all of this? I mean I get it because we are creating a new point in history that will show intolerance. But how do we talk about the first American Unites States President ever again and the positive things he did when its clouded by the fact that he owned slaves so we musn’t glorify the good. Hmmm…
And in erasing part of history are we erasing lessons learned?
I think the biggest lesson here is that when the Confederates lost, when Lincoln abolished slavery, the whites of the United States didn’t just flip an internal switch somewhere and suddenly everyone was equal. I wish it was that easy.
Racism carried on.
Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus. She made her point.
Racism carried on.
Martin Luther King made his great speech.
Racism carried on.
Rodney King was beaten by police and the LA riots followed.
Racism carried on.
George Floyd was killed by a police officer while three other officers stood by and did nothing.
Protesters rallied across the country amid a global pandemic.
Police forces across the country feared without change nothing would change.
Will racism carry on this time?
No matter what we do, no matter what anyone does, there is no off switch. Does zero tolerance lead to a reduction in racism? No.
Or do we have to be satisfied putting an end to racist actions and laws across the country, is that good enough? It might have to be.
I want it to end. I think the majority of the country wants it to end.
Ray Ciccarelli will never race again and honestly nobody cares. Your love of the confederacy is laughable and untimely.
What if Tiger Woods was at the peak of his game and came out saying he’d never golf again in the midst of a racist country?
What if all the black baseball players refused to play in Boston because of its racist fans?
What’s it going to take?
Tell me because I would like to know. I don’t think erasing history because leaders were racist does the country any good.
Lets learn the goddamn lesson from it and keep those reminders of how far we had to go as a nation.
How far we still have to go.
Its sad, but its true.