The mob is out in full force. It wasn't enough for them to pressure many southern states to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from state property - which should have been done a long time ago - but those against the flag have applied pressure to several corporations to also begin refusing to sell the flag at their stores. Retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Ebay have taken Confederate items off of their websites and out of their stores and have banned the future sale of these items. Warner Bros has even recently announced that they would remove the Confederate flag from any and all future licensed Dukes of Hazzard products. OK. The General Lee was taking the flag hysteria a bit too far, but in all honesty anyone who wanted to complete their General Lee model with a proper Confederate flag decal would be able to find them. Now, however, it seems that the show itself is being erased from our culture.
Cable television network TV Land, a subsidiary of Nickelodeon, has recently announced that they have removed "The Dukes of Hazzard" from their television line-up, citing the recent controversy over the Confederate flag as the reason. This is where we honestly need to take a step back and ask these people if they are using any sort of common sense when they make these decisions. While Bo and Luke may be running from the law in every single episode, they are two of the most clean cut and honorable twenty-somethings who have ever been on television. There isn't a racist bone in either of their bodies, and the show depicted them on several occasions interacting with black characters who weren't written or treated any different than white characters. They were just characters who happened to be played by black actors, and the Dukes always treated them like people who happened to be black.
This is a prime lesson in context. Is the Confederate flag often used to represent white supremacy and the idea that blacks should be sent back to the fields "where they belong"? Absolutely. Is it the flag of a failed rebellion against the United States? Absolutely. However, were the Dukes racist? No. Does it at all follow that they painted that flag on their car to demonstrate any sort of racist attitude, or even any allegiance to the former Confederate States of America? Absolutely not. The Dukes were Americans, they loved America, and while they may have had ancestors who fought and died in the Civil War on the Confederate side - and they understandably want to honor those soldiers - the Dukes are far from treacherous.
So why the big push to excise the Confederate flag from our society after 150 years? Is it because Dylann Roof seemed to hold the Confederate flag in high regard and then shot nine African-Americans in a church in South Carolina? The Ku Klux Klan has been marching with that flag since its inception immediately after the Civil War, and they have killed far more than nine people and we never had this reaction before. Is it because the flag represents racism and we are just too evolved to allow this symbol of hatred to continue? Well, right now on both Amazon and Ebay - two retailers who have banned the Confederate flag - you can purchase Che Guevara merchandise, including Cuban flags with his face on them. Che Guevara has been recorded as making any number of disparaging remarks against black people. Just two of those quotes:
“The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese.”
“The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations.”
So why can you buy merchandise from a man who said these things, and murdered many of his own people, but you can't buy a Confederate flag from these retailers? Is it because the Confederacy was our enemy? Well, most people would consider the USSR our arch-enemy and you can buy a Soviet flag on Ebay. Ah, but we never really fought the Soviet Union in battle. The Confederacy killed our people on the battlefield. That must be why, right? Well, if it is, then why can you buy a Japanese flag on Ebay? Until 9-11, the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese was the worst attack on America soil in US history. Oh, and you can also buy a British flag and they also killed our soldiers in battle. Thankfully, Ebay seems to have the sense enough that you can't buy an Islamic State flag, so maybe that's something.