You know, I think I’m as sensitive as anyone (sane) to nascent racism, and yet somehow I missed the fact, when in my youth I would watch TV’s “The Dukes of Hazzard” for an average of six minutes before thinking, “BOY is this dumb!” and change the channel lest my IQ be permanently lowered, that the show was a KKK product. That’s because there was nothing vaguely racist or even Confederacy-ish about the show, except the flag design on the fictional super-car the good ol’ Duke boys drove, “The General Lee,” named after a historical figure who, you will recall, was a Confederate general. What would you expect a car called the General Lee to have on its roof, the Portuguese flag?
Never mind. TV Land, the cable channel that celebrates TV shows so old that they provoke mid-life crises by their very existence, just decided to join the political correctness purge that has the Park Service representing at its battlefields that the Union prevailed over a mysterious foe Which Cannot Be Named, and which definitely had no flag to fight for. It has pulled “The Dukes of Hazzard” from its schedule….not because it is trash and no more worthy of preservation for future generations than less popular stinkers like “It’s About Time,” “Pink Lady and Jeff,” “Mr. Terrific” or “Hart to Hart,” but because of the design on the roof of the car.
As a self-appointed guardian of pop culture history, TV Land is obligated to resist such efforts at whitewashing, which I assume will also claim every Norman Lear show (You think you are a progressive, Norman? HA! You’re a racist who dealt in toxic stereotypes!!!) like “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford and Son,” and “Good Times.” Ah, but #blackhypersensitivitymatters, you know, a lot more than letting people watch Catherine Bach in her shorts.
Meanwhile, the Christopher Columbus monument in Boston’s West End was vandalized…
….to symbolize, well, something. Italians lives don’t matter perhaps. If you eat pizza, you are complicit in the Charleston shooting. If Europeans had never come to North America, then there wouldn’t have been a Confederate flag to paint on car roofs in fictional TV shows dumber that rocks and more harmless than Nerf balls. Something.
There is a point where responsible adults are required to answer this nonsense with, “Just stop it; you’re embarrassing yourselves.” The Third Niggardly Principle helps let us know when that responsibility has attached.
Clearly, TV Land doesn’t think the point has been reached.
It could not be more wrong.