The Confederate Flag Battle Slips Into Silly Territory

The Confederate Flag needs to be removed from official places of honor, but do we really need to worry about reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard?

Dukes Of Hazzard General Lee

In what I can only describe as an act of supreme silliness, TVLand has announced that it is pulling reruns of The Dukes Of Hazzard from its schedule in apparent response to the recent controversy over the display of the Confederate Flag:

TV Land is putting the General Lee in the garage.

The network confirmed to Speakeasy on Wednesday it is pulling reruns of “The Dukes of Hazzard” from its schedule.

The move comes amid controversy over the Confederate flag following a massacre of nine worshippers at a traditionally black church in Charleston, S.C. The flag is featured prominently on the General Lee, the fiery orange car belonging to the Duke boys, and is a central part of the popular show’s iconography.

A TV Land representative said the network, which is owned by Viacom, declined to comment beyond the fact that the show is being removed from its schedule.

(…)

“The Dukes of Hazzard,” which ran from 1979 to 1985 on CBS, followed the adventures of “good ol’ boys” Bo and Luke Duke as they evaded the corrupt and bumbling Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane and “Boss” Hogg in rural Hazzard County, a fictional region set in Georgia. The show spawned TV movies, an animated series and a 2005 Hollywood adaptation starring Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott and Jessica Simpson.

This whole controversy started, of course, with the murders in Charleston and specifically because many African-Americans, and other Americans, pointed out the fact that Dylan Roof, who carried out that attack, was deeply steeped in a racist ideology that included the symbolism of the Confederate flag and that the same flag was flying in a place of honor at the South Carolina Capitol in Columbia. The fact that the flag was still there, and that it had not been lowered to half staff in honor of the late State Senator Clemanta Pinckney as the other flags on the grounds had, quickly became a cause of controversy and a national news story. Within days after the attack, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was leading a bipartisan group of state leaders in calling for the legislature to remove the flag from the grounds of the Capitol and the movement to reassess official depictions of the flag had moved well beyond South Carolina and eventually led the Governor of Alabama to take his own steps to remove Confederate flags from that state’s Capitol. Beyond the public sector, many top retailers decided to remove Confederate flag items from their stores or online catalogs, and the movement even extended to the National Park Service, which removed some Confederate flag items from gift shops and Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, which took down the Confederate flag that had flown there for many years. Before TVLand announced its scheduled change, Warner Brothers announced that it had canceled licensing agreements for toy reproductions of the General Lee, the iconic car from The Dukes Of Hazzard.

As I said when this all started, it was long past time to take many of these actions, especially since the flag itself has always been a symbol of hatred and racism, not the heritage that many of its backers contend it is. At the same time, though, I have to wonder if we haven’t approached the point of overreaction when it leads a cable network that specialized in broadcasting old television shows to pull reruns because the show in question featured a car that had a Confederate Flag on the roof. I haven’t watched The Dukes Of Hazzard  in years, but from what I remember of it, it wasn’t a show where the flag itself, or racial issues of any kind, played any kind of a role at all. If this show is now unacceptable because of a paint job on a car, then what does that say about shows from an earlier time that actually had content that would be considered controversial today, such as All In The Family or Maude. What about documentaries like Ken Burns’s The Civil War that show Confederate flags constantly? At what point do we draw the line between what’s acceptable and what’s unacceptable?

To me, the line seems exceedingly clear. What’s unacceptable are official displays of the flag by state government in places of honor such as in South Carolina and Alabama, it’s continued presence on the State Flag of Mississippi, and the fact that the George State Flag is basically just the original “Stars & Bars” flag of the Confederacy with the George State Seal imposed on it. The debate over the flag has also started a long overdue discussion in many states about other honors given to the Confederacy or its leaders. Discussions have started in several cities in many states of the former Confederacy regarding statues and other monuments to figures ranging from Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson to Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest. The extent to which these types things need to be reevaluated along with the flag isn’t an easy one, but it’s at least a conversation worth having. Beyond that, some have also questioned the large number of roads, schools, and other official buildings that are named after Confederate figures. These things need to be discussed and many of them probably need to change because it is wholly inappropriate for elected governments in the United States to be flying the banners of a nation that stood for both rebellion and the perpetuation of human slavery or to be honoring someone like Forrest who after the war went on to become a founder of the Ku Klux Klan. Additionally, they need to change because it is understandably offensive to the African-American citizens of these states to see the government that is supposed to be representing them giving honor to the symbols that to this day stand for their repression.

Beyond that, I think we need to be careful about the kind of historical revisionism we engage in. I’m not particularly troubled by retailers who decide to stop selling Confederate Flag merchandise. That’s their decision to make based on what they think is in their business interests, and they have to worry about speaking to a wide audience of potential consumers. At the same time, I have to wonder why Amazon considers it unacceptable to sell Confederate Flag merchandise while it stills merchandise emblazoned with images of Che Guevara, the Hammer & Sickle of Communism, and the Swastika. These symbols represent regimes and movements that were arguably far worse and far more bloody than the Confederate States Of America. I also think we have to be careful about how we handle the display of that flag in historical settings such as Fort Sumter and other National Parks related to the Civil War. Rather than wiping it from history, it needs to be placed in its proper historical context. And, finally, of all the battles that need to be fought in this country, a battle against Dukes of Hazzard reruns on TvLand would seem to me to be a pretty low priority. There’s a difference between a proper reaction that’s long overdue and silly overreaction, and I think this decision by TVLand may be evidence we’re sliding into silly territory.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Popular Culture, Race and Politics, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    First they took the flag.
    Then they took the Daisy Dukes….

  2. Gavrilo says:

    Boss Hogg was a Democrat.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Frankly,this is just about the only appropriate use of the Confederate Flag I can think of. Really, are there any others?

  4. TheoNott says:

    I agree. Should we stop showing World War 2 films that portray the swastika? There is no reason to discontinue reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard, and I don’t even have much of problem with folks buying Confederate flags at Wal-Mart. If somebody wants to tack up a Confederate flag on their bedroom wall, that’s their right. Having lived for several years in South Carolina, I know that for many locals who display the flag it really isn’t meant as a racist symbol.
    When the state of South Carolina flies the flag outside their capitol, however, it can only take on one meaning, and that is to endorse the ideology for which the Confederacy was established, and to establish the state government as a historical continuation of the Confederate regime. Which is completely unacceptable. That’s this Yankee liberal transplant’s take.

  5. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    “Slips into silly territory?”

    It started in Silly Territory, and since then has gone way off the map of Silly Territory, into the Land Of Make-Believe..

    But it’s served its purpose — it’s given the Social Justice Warriors yet another BS “controversy” they can use to crow about their moral superiority AND avoid the awkward, actually-relevant topics.

    Hell, this is the fifth article on the flag nontroversy on your front page.

  6. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    That´s not a silly decision. That´s a market decision by a private company.

  7. Yes, it’s a marketing decision by a private company.

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t silly.

    I mean, seriously, was anyone even protesting the fact that Dukes of Hazzard was on TVLand? Did anyone even know that Dukes of Hazzard was on TVLand?

  8. PogueMahone says:

    Yep, I watched that show as a young boy… and as a young boy, it was awesome.
    Two things that I remember enjoying about the show:
    1) Daisy Duke is way hot.
    2) The General Lee is a fast car, nothing more

    Now, I have five take-a-ways from the show:
    1) Daisy Duke was way hot.
    2) General Lee was a [enter history lesson] and the producers of the show should not have included the image of the flag.
    3) Corruption in local police and county officials was… actually… kind of on point.
    4) “Good-ol’-boys” who have rebel flags on their cars are almost never a) noble, b) wholesome, and c) never meanin’ no harm.
    5) What? Were there no intact bridges in the whole county?

    The Dukes of Hazzard was a silly show and let’s just leave it at that.

  9. Tony W says:

    I dislike the whitewash this represents. It is good for us all to face up to the fact that in the 1970s this symbol was widely displayed and perceived differently by white folks, who took 45+ years to come around to understand its meaning to others.

  10. JKB says:

    Yes, they need to stop showing that show. Liberals think it is a reality TV show about the South.

  11. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:
    No…that would be Duck Dynasty.

  12. Kylopod says:

    what does that say about shows from an earlier time that actually had content that would be considered controversial today, such as All In The Family or Maude.

    I doubt AITF (of which Maude was simply a spinoff) would be considered anywhere near as controversial today as it was when it first aired in the 1970s. Yes, it did feature a protagonist who casually threw around racial and ethnic slurs you don’t often hear anymore on TV, but virtually everyone knows it’s satire and in roughly the same category as characters like South Park’s Cartman or Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat, where the object is to make fun of racism, not perpetuate it. It isn’t in the same category as a show that casually takes for granted that the main characters have a Confederate Flag.

    For the record, I do not agree with the network’s decision any more than you do. If we start going after old shows, movies, and the like that feature content which looks offensive today, we’d probably end up scrapping the majority of stuff. I don’t want to see networks stop airing Duck Soup just because of Groucho’s cringe-worthy line “That’s when the darkies were born.” That’s not to mention Gone with the Wind. Removing the Confederate Flag from monuments is something I wholeheartedly support, but trying to weed out older books, movies, shows, etc. which offend us smacks of rewriting history. I’ve never supported that kind of move, and the recent tragedy in South Carolina hasn’t made me change my mind.

  13. stonetools says:

    Yeah, this African American has no problems with Dukes of Hazzard reruns-and I don’t know any others who do.
    My Virginian African-American wife wants the Confederate flag gone from all official places, but is OK with the Confederate monuments remaining. She’s not sure about place names ( I am uncertain: Jefferson Davis Highway in VA should go back to being US 1, but the various Robert E Lee High Schools can keep the name. No Nathan Bedford Forrest anything though).
    I think it’s a confusing time right now, and there will be overreaches. But it’s long past time for de-Confederatization of Southern history and the Southern landscape. Its 2015, people.

  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Next, we need to get notorious Klan leader Robert Byrd’s name off of federal buildings.

    Why is the Democratic Party still holding a dinner honoring slave-owner Thomas Jefferson and genocidal racist Andrew Jackson?

    They need to purge Woodrow Wilson from their histories. He was also a notorious racist who re-introduced segregation into the federal workforce.

    If this is the path we’re going down, we need to do it right.

  15. Tillman says:

    Aside from the obvious (battle-flag’s an insidious symbol worth destroying as an object of veneration), I’d argue the flag on the General Lee in the Dukes of Hazzard was probably conveying its most elemental symbolism: rebellion. It flew for rebellion against the United States militarily and then culturo-legally during desegregation/civil rights. For the Duke boys, it’s rebellion against entrenched political interests and their cronies, and the idea of speed limits or river-crossing architecture.

    Then again, I’ve never seen the show and was unaware it was still rerunning somewhere.

  16. Kylopod says:

    @TheoNott:

    Should we stop showing World War 2 films that portray the swastika?

    Again, that’s a poor analogy. As far as I’m aware, none of the Hollywood movies about WWII ever glorified the swastika symbol; it was universally a symbol of the enemy. That’s a very different kettle from the way the Confederate Flag–and indeed the whole Confederate cause–has been portrayed in Hollywood for ages.

  17. Ron Beasley says:

    While I have never seen a single episode of the Dukes of Hazard, but then I have never seen a single episode of 99% of the shows on commercial TV, I agree this is silly.

  18. James Pearce says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Did anyone even know that Dukes of Hazzard was on TVLand?

    The awareness of the Dukes’ placement on the TVLand schedule probably only increased during the rebel flag debate. It’s not that surprising they’d want to remove themselves from the debate.

    Also, I don’t see any kind of “announcement.” Just a confirmation that they took the show out of the schedule. When pressed for comment, they offered none. Rather than some kind of social justice statement, they were hoping no one would notice.

    It’s the Streisand Effect.

  19. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Perhaps you might understand the difference between imperfect men who were a product of their times but still accomplished great things, and a flag that stood for nothing but racism and treason and had all but disappeared from public use until racist segregationists brought it back to prominence as a form of protest against the Civil Rights movement.

    Or, perhaps you might not.

  20. JKB says:

    I’ve just started reading President George W. Bush’s book, ‘Decisions Points’. I found an observation he made in 1975 while visiting his parents overseas to be very descriptive of America today. I left out certain identifying words to help avoid their distraction from the action in the sentences. The missing words are after the excerpt.

    ________ officials had set up indoctrination programs, broadcast propaganda over omnipresent loudspeakers, and sought to stamp out any evidence of _______ ______ history. Mobs of young people lashed out against their elders and attacked the intellectual elite. The society was divided against itself and cascading into anarchy.

    Communist, China’s, ancient

  21. Surreal American says:

    @JKB:

    It’s only fair. Conservatives think Gone With The Wind is a freakin’ documentary.

  22. stonetools says:

    Next, we need to get notorious Klan leader Robert Byrd’s name off of federal buildings.

    I wonder:how long conservatives will think mentioning Robert Byrd’s Klan past is an effective response to liberal criticism of the Republican Party’s current racist practices?
    Well, I guess if you don’t have a better response, you go with the hoary chesnut you have.
    FWIW, I’m in favor of discussions putting things in historical context, not purges.

  23. John Peabody says:

    This is stolen from Ricochet.com: “In the updated series, the biracial Duke boys will drive a Prius with a rainbow flag emblazoned on the roof. Daisy Duke will be played by Caitlyn Jenner, swapping the short-shorts for a pantsuit, while Martin Sheen’s Uncle Jesse will deliver socialist harangues penned by Aaron Sorkin. Boss Hogg will change his last name to Koch and order Roscoe P. Coltrane to arrest only African-Americans. Everyone involved will cautiously observe the speed limit and use light rail whenever possible.”

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Doug, you found an incredibly rare picture to use here.

    You show the General Lee with the passenger door open.

    In the show, the doors were welded shut, just like a race car, and the Duke Boys always jumped in through the windows.

  25. Franklin says:

    You may not be able to get the toy car anymore, either: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/06/24/no-more-dukes-of-hazzard-toys-with-confederate-flag/29210683/

    Anyway, I agree with almost everybody above. You can guess who I disagree with.

  26. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: Because one was an actual racist who did racist things and the other is a flag on a car?

  27. Pinky says:

    @John Peabody: They forgot the obvious: it’s not moonshine, but biofuel, that the boys are running.

  28. Tillman says:

    @John Peabody: Heh heh. I’ll just leave this here.

    Pitch Meeting:

    “Define ‘realistic’ Dukes of Hazzard reboot.”
    “They mostly just sell weed on facebook.”
    “They drive any?”
    “Absolutely not.”

  29. JKB says:

    Actually Nathan Bedford Forrest did not found the KKK. He did admit to being a member. When he became involved in a failed effort to create a national KKK organization, the KKK in local chapters had been around for years. Forrest’s funeral in Memphis was attended by over 1000 Black mourners.

    If you want to erase Klan and segregationists from buildings and roads, you’d do better to go after Senator Robert Byrd, honored Democrat until his death in 2010, he was an Exalted Cyclops of the Klu Klux Klan, his name adorns pretty every federal project in WV. Oh, don’t forget Woodrow Wilson, who segregated the federal workforce and Navy when he was President. And there is Richard Russell, for whom the Senate Russell office building is named along with many other buildings, a renowned segregationist in the modern era, i.e. the Civil Rights era.

  30. JKB says:

    @stonetools:

    How about this nice modern racist indoctrination from Democrats:

    Compare

    1910 quote from H.L. Mencken at Wikiquote:

    “I admit freely enough that, by careful breeding, supervision of environment and education, extending over many generations, it might be possible to make an appreciable improvement in the stock of the American Negro, for example, but I must maintain that this enterprise would be a ridiculous waste of energy, for there is a high-caste white stock ready at hand, and it is inconceivable that the Negro stock, however carefully it might be nurtured, could ever even remotely approach it. The educated Negro of today is a failure, not because he meets insuperable difficulties in life, but because he is a Negro. He is, in brief, a low-caste man, to the manner born, and he will remain inert and inefficient until fifty generations of him have lived in civilization. And even then, the superior white race will be fifty generations ahead of him.”

    =

    with this from the “White Privilege” conference material:

    One concept in particular – “I earned this through hard work and effort” – is particularly meaningless to black students, according to the manual.

    or this:

    Certain ideals commonly taught in schools are completely foreign to black culture, according to the manual.

    That list includes “independence, self expression, personal choice, individual thinking and achievement (vs. adherence to norms, respect for authority/elders, interdependence, and group consensus and success).”

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Mikey: Perhaps you might understand the difference between imperfect men who were a product of their times but still accomplished great things

    Get back to me when that consideration is offered to non-Democrats.

  32. Tillman says:

    @JKB:

    If you want to erase Klan and segregationists from buildings and roads, you’d do better to go after Senator Robert Byrd, honored Democrat until his death in 2010, he was an Exalted Cyclops of the Klu Klux Klan, his name adorns pretty every federal project in WV.

    So, instead of removing the names of Confederate officers who actively fought the United States, we should go after this guy:

    In 1997, Byrd told an interviewer he would encourage young people to become involved in politics but also warned, “Be sure you avoid the Ku Klux Klan. Don’t get that albatross around your neck. Once you’ve made that mistake, you inhibit your operations in the political arena.” In his last autobiography, Byrd explained that he was a KKK member because he “was sorely afflicted with tunnel vision — a jejune and immature outlook — seeing only what I wanted to see because I thought the Klan could provide an outlet for my talents and ambitions.” Byrd also said, in 2005, “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times … and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.”

    For the 2003–2004 session, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) rated Byrd’s voting record as being 100 percent in line with the NAACP’s position on the 33 Senate bills they evaluated.

    Such an unrepentant racist! (link) Surely he should hop the line in name-axings ahead of bona fide traitors because he’s a Democrat! Unless your reasoning is just more subtle than my brain can ken.

    As an aside, I know D&D is much younger than the KKK, but I don’t think the modern KKK understands how marvelous its office titles sound. Exalted Cyclops? Imperial Wizard? Grand Dragon? What is this, Conan the Barbarian?

  33. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: Yeah, this guy. You’re defending him.

    And it’s more important to go after the modern-day ones — there are still plenty of people who remember and revere the modern-day racists than those who are just names in history books (or Wikipedia, to be more honest).

  34. Modulo Myself says:

    @Tillman:

    Breaking Bad meets Bro Country.

  35. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Next, we need to get notorious Klan leader Robert Byrd’s name off of federal buildings.”

    I know you’ve been away for a while, but did your absence really leave you this desperate for attention?

  36. Joe says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt to name a few. Winston Churchill also springs to mind.

  37. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Get back to me when that consideration is offered to non-Democrats.

    Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Democrat.

  38. gVOR08 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Yes, it’s a marketing decision by a private company.
    That doesn’t mean it isn’t silly.

    Agreed. But it is a reason I don’t care. And why do conservatives hate free enterprise?

  39. Tony W says:

    @JKB:

    (Nathan Bedford Forrest) served as the first Grand Wizard (head of movement) of the Ku Klux Klan, but later distanced himself from the organization.[3]

    – source, Wikipedia

  40. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @James Pearce: I thought we were talking modern figures. You know, the ones who grew up knowing that the Confederacy lost the Civil War and still were for it, not those who were defending the only life they’d ever known.

    Also, you’re behind on your talking points. All the Bad Democrats were magically transmogrified into Republicans in the 1960s, and they took all the bad baggage with them, leaving only the Good Democrats with all the Good Baggage.

    Keep up with the New Truth, comrade.

  41. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    Definition “Silly Territory”: Responding to trollers like JI#13

  42. grumpy realist says:

    If we want something silly, how about the Guacamole-with-peas “controversy”?

    Bored hipster cook trying to be “creative” is my take on it….

    But since President Obama has come out with thumbs-down on it, I’m sure this means all the Republicans will be screaming for the dish…

  43. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You’re defending him.

    No, I’m accusing JKB of adopting warped priorities for a cheap political shot. He’d rather a contemporaneous racist who repented of his ways (as opposed to just apologizing, he apologized and did something about it) have his name struck off buildings than the names of long-dead unrepentant racists. He’s putting forth the nihilistic idea that lack of time passed is a greater measure of cultural opprobrium than anyone’s sense of morality or proportion. I may be cynical, but I’m not that far gone.

    Or he’s making a point about just how widespread Byrd’s name is considering how effective a legislator he was at getting pork for his state. Kind of like how the only monument an invading force in America could tear down in every town would be those to MLK. But I’m not in the mood to be charitable.

    And while that was a neat dig at calling the Democrats the true racists you had there, the point behind it is absurd. Our society venerates all forms of monstrous personality today. For instance, Kim Kardashian (whom I have never doubted is smart) makes money being insipid and boisterous, and has a much larger draw than Cicero in Rome ever had for all his vaunted rhetoric. Names on buildings have a lasting power: fads come and go, but an un-renamed building keeps its name, an Army base named after a Confederate general stays the same. They are given institutional permanence. We should not enshrine things with institutional permanence that, barring a few outliers, will survive most modern racists and their fandoms.

    But thank you for your substantive contribution to the debate. My own critique: I know you think this idea of flipping around the imagined standards of a political movement back on its members constitutes coherent and persuasive argument, but it doesn’t. I’ve learned the hard way, been trying it for years and all it does apparently is make people dislike you. Hypocrisy is overrated, and pointing it out is poor substitute for employing logic.

  44. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You remind me a bit of my time at Toys R Us. My first job at age 16. I worked the doll aisle where one of our big sellers was Baby Go Bye Bye. BGBB rode around in a little pink battery-operated car. You determined the car’s route by setting pegs into a matrix. So many feet, turn left.

    Of course this was 1970 so the technology didn’t exactly work. No matter what you did, Baby Go Bye Bye ended up banging into a wall. And banging into a wall. And banging into a wall. And banging into a wall.

    You, every time you jump into one of these threads.

    You come trotting in all brash confidence holding some scrap of nitwittery you picked up from Hannity or whatever fever swamp blog you read, and you lay it out like a kitty showing off a half-dead mouse. Look: I have something brilliant!

    And then any random passerby eviscerates you effortlessly. You hit a wall. You back up and try again. And hit the wall. And back up and try again and. . . Yes, he’s hit the wall again, folks. It’s little Jenos Go Bye Bye. Little Jenos Go Bye Bye except that he can’t stop hitting the wall long enough to figure out that it is, finally, time to go Bye Bye.

  45. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown: You call it “trolling.” Me, I toss a coin.

    Heads: trying to find the unifying principle at the core of the arguments. It usually boils down to “conservatives bad, Republicans bad.”

    Tails: applying Alinsky Rule 4: ““Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

  46. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    Why we only talk about Robert Byrd? Why not famed segregationist Strom Thurmond?

  47. michael reynolds says:

    Should have included this for you earlier, Jenos.

    Baby Go Bye Bye.

  48. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    (Shrug)

    Robert Byrd owned up to being a racist, admitted he was wrong, and changed his ways a long time ago. We liberals are always willing to welcome conservatives into the fold who admit they’re wrong, repent, and try to do better. (Hey, we’ve recently welcomed tons of people who saw the light on SSM).
    Republicans welcome unrepentent racists who want to keep on being racists.

  49. michael reynolds says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    That’s easy. Largely unrepentant racist, Strom Thurmond, became a Republican. Reformed and redeemed ex-racist Robert Byrd was a Democrat.

  50. Uggh, it’s really easy. Just replace the Confederate flag with a Gadsden flag, which is also southern, also has the “standing up to the gubbiment” symbolism, but doesn’t have all the racial baggage. They can rename the car The General Marrion or something.

  51. Tillman says:

    @grumpy realist: Thought about following Obama on Twitter for his opinions on hummus.

  52. David M says:

    I don’t have a problem with the treason in defense of slavery flag in the Dukes of Hazzard, but the ongoing whitewash of what it means in modern times is problematic. I don’t think it should flown by any governmental or state agency, that’s for sure.

  53. @Stormy Dragon:

    Plus, the snake theme means they can switch from a Dodge Charger to a Dodge Viper, so way cooler car too.

  54. Tyrell says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: Some other network will pick it up – this is still a popular show. I once met “Boss Hogg” (Sorrell Booke) at a charity event. He was very nice. Too bad ” Daisy” wasn’t there.

  55. Mikey says:

    @Tyrell: Interesting things about Sorrell Booke, from his Wikipedia entry:

    Fluent in five languages including Russian and Japanese, Booke earned degrees from both Columbia and Yale universities. He served in the Korean War as a counterintelligence officer.

    Also, the actor wasn’t nearly as rotund as the character–Booke wore a “fat suit” when playing Boss Hogg.

  56. mantis says:

    Folks like Jenos think it’s a knock against the Democratic Party that racists from a past generation saw the error of their ways and stayed in the party. At the same time they think the racists who never changed their views but switched to the Republican Party are national heroes and credits to the GOP.

    That’s all you really need to know about them.

  57. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @Tillman: Scott Lemieux has it covered:

    Washington isn’t on the $1 because he was a slaveholder, but because he was the first (and still one of the best) presidents and also a major leader in the Revolutionary War. Lincoln is widely honored because of his crucial role in preserving the union and smashing the slave power, not because of the belief he held for most of his life that a multiracial democracy was impossible. The Constitution protected slavery, but its sole purpose was not the protection of slavery.

  58. Neil Hudelson says:

    I’m curious what Jenos’s and JKB’s aim is when they point to Byrd (and only Byrd. Over and over again), or post links re: “Univision’s” apology. I can really only think of two scenarios:

    1. They actually believe that Byrd is the standard bearer for racism, or that “Univision” actually apologized, in which case they are ignorant, stupid, or both.

    or

    2. They know those arguments are horsesh*t, but they are hoping it works anyway. In which case they are fundamentally dishonest people.

    Neither is a place I would want to be in. Maybe it’s just my liberal predilection for empathy, but I really do want to understand why someone would want to serially show themselves to be either stupid, dishonest, or both. Do you guys gain something from it?

  59. Grewgills says:

    The rest has been taken care of quite well, but

    And, finally, of all the battles that need to be fought in this country, a battle against Dukes of Hazzard reruns on TvLand would seem to me to be a pretty low priority.

    How on earth do you consider a private network quietly removing this hokey show a battle? No one protested or put any pressure on them to do it, so it doesn’t seem to bear even a passing resemblance to a battle.

  60. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Tails: applying Alinsky Rule 4: ““Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

    Alinsky!

    Drink.

  61. @Grewgills:

    How on earth do you consider a private network quietly removing this hokey show a battle?

    Some battles are the battle of Gettysburg. Some battles are the battle of Anderson.

  62. LiveFree says:

    I will take down the Confederate flag the day that the last Jap flag comes down. We fought those backstabbing bastards and won, but they kept their Meat Ball flag. It has to go as it represents the death of thousands of Americans. And that was just 70 years ago, not 150. remove the Jap flag from American soil’

  63. Tillman says:
  64. grumpy realist says:

    @LiveFree: Who’s putting the Japanese flag up in the US?

    By the way, the present “Rising Sun” flag is different than the WWII one used by the Army and Navy.

  65. @LiveFree:

    The Rising Sun Flag, the Japanese Equivalent of the Confederate Battle Flag, actually is controversial in Japan for nearly the same reasons. Some claim it’s just a symbol of Japanese heritage while other consider it a symbol of racism due to it’s association with extreme nationalists.

  66. mantis says:

    @LiveFree:

    I will take down the Confederate flag

    Is anyone asking you to take down your racist, treasonous flag?

    the day that the last Jap flag comes down.

    The Japanese flag was designed in 1870, 71 years before that country bombed Pearl Harbor. Confederate flags were designed specifically for use by a treasonous rebellion in defense of slavery. If you can’t see the difference between these two scenarios, you’re as dumb as you seem.

    I might also note that the recent events concerning the Confederate flag have been the product of Americans opposing the use of this treasonous, slavery-supporting symbol by our own governments, rather than foreigners imposing their will on us, as you equate it to. You slavery-supporting, treasonous rebel shitbags are an embarrassment to your fellow citizens and your country. That’s why you shouldn’t fly that flag, not because of some misplaced anger at the Japanese, a true non-sequitur.

  67. Grewgills says:

    Why are people responding to what I have to assume is satire with actual arguments?

  68. Tillman says:

    @Grewgills: That’s why I stuck with an ambiguous response. I could’ve responded in the parlance of my generational cohort and made one of those image macros that shows Fry from Futurama squinting off to the right reading “Not sure if sati–“–wait someone already made it.

  69. Gavrilo says:

    Here’s some fun facts about former Klansman/Democratic Senator Robert Byrd:

    1. Byrd was an avowed racist for most of his life. His filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was infamous. By his own admission, he didn’t change his repugnant views until the death of a grandchild in 1982.

    2. Byrd was the Senate Majority Leader from 1977-1981, having been unanimously elected by the Democratic Caucus. Again, this was before he changed his disgusting views about black Americans.

    3. Pat Leahy was elected to the United States Senate in 1975 and voted to make Byrd majority leader. Again, Byrd was still a vile racist in 1977-1981.

    4. As recently as last year, the Democratic Senate Caucus had two other members (Max Baucus and Carl Levin) who voted to make Roberty Byrd Senate Majority leader. Remember, Robert Byrd still a held repellent views on race in 1977-1981.

  70. Cyberats says:

    What everyone forgets through the muddling of history of the Federal Union & despite evidence at hand, that the CSA flag stood for Amendments IX & X of the Bill of Rights of the USA constitution. The degradation of Freedom in this Republic has begun with the end of the Civil War. The confederate flag is a cry out for the return to a Constitutional State, for many people flying it. It has been hijacked by many FBI paid organizations that work for the divide & conquer agenda, namely the KKK. And the current government still spreading lies to comfort the moral high ground of Federal Incorporated. In reality, slaves existed in the north way past the civil war and true segregation was not abolished until 1965, the actual year slavery ended.

  71. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Here’s some fun facts about former Klansman/Democratic Senator Robert Byrd:

    Yes, you’re exactly right – since 1965 and passage of the Civil and Voting Rights acts, the current Republican Party has been home to disaffected resentful white male voters, many of whom were Democrats.

    In fact, as you know, a look at the voting record for both the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act shows that opposition was strongly regionally based, that is Northern Republicans and Democrats voted for the Acts, while Southern legislators generally voted against.

  72. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Tails: applying Alinsky Rule 4: ““Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

    Alinsky Rule 666: 43 years from now, when conservatives use my name as a pejorative, most people will think that I was the executive producer of what will come to be called “Reality Shows” perhaps set on the Jersey Shore, perhaps “acted” by overly hormonal, yet strikingly ordinary young people.

  73. I have admittedly only skimmed the comments to this post, but I have to wonder if anyone has noticed the huge blooper in the publicity photo used at the top…..

    The doors of the General Lee were welded shut…..why is there an open door behind Tom Wopat????

    America wants to know!

  74. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: More to the point, how could you choose a picture from this show without Daisy Duke in it? I mean, really, what’s the point?

  75. Grewgills says:

    Jenos Idanian #13 this is the most accurate and salient point I have seen you make in any of the threads about race relations. Kudos.

  76. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: They’re also wearing cowboy hats that are too small.
    @Grewgills: I concur!

  77. Kari Q says:

    @mantis:

    Folks like Jenos think it’s a knock against the Democratic Party that racists from a past generation saw the error of their ways and stayed in the party. At the same time they think the racists who never changed their views but switched to the Republican Party are national heroes and credits to the GOP.

    Of course. The Democrat is a flip-flopper while the Republican continues to stand on principle.

  78. anjin-san says:

    I saw Tom Wopat on Broadway years ago in “City of Angles”. My expectations going in were very low, sort of like “I can’t believe I’m going to to see a play with the Dukes of Hazzard guy in it”.

    Shows what I know. It was a great play, and he was great in it, with a very challenging role.

  79. anjin-san says:

    Alinsky

    I’m a liberal. Most of my friends are liberals.

    And none of us ever talk about Alinsky. Ever. Of all the many strange fetishes of the right, this is up near the top of the list.

  80. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: That was exceptionally well-written. You remind us all just why you’re a highly successful and award-winning author.

    Which also reminds me that you make a very comfortable living off your ability to make the impossible, the wildly improbable, and the downright ridiculous seem very plausible and believable. We should thank you for sharing that gift of yours with all of us here, for free.

    And it also reminds me that, behind your exceptionally well-written diatribes lies a borderline-sociopathic hatred of conservatives and Republicans that you let slip out on very rare occasions.

    But hey, congrats! You got The Dukes of Hazzard pulled off the air because a prop had a sticker. You managed to kill off reruns of a 30-year-old TV show. I can’t quite figure out why that was such a huge national issue or just what that victory is supposed to achieve, but you pulled it off. Yay, you.

  81. Bob @ youngstown says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: ji#13’s book title : “Trolling as a lifestyle”

  82. anjin-san says:

    @little Jenos Go Bye Bye:

    You managed to kill off reruns of a 30-year-old TV show

    Wow. Michael killed the Dukes of Hazzard reruns? I knew he could write, but I had no idea he was that formidable. This explains the rumors of thunder, lightning and a strange blue glow emanating from the Tiburon peninsula.

  83. rodney dill says:

    …they always could just blur out the flag from scenes.

  84. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: If michael had said that, I’d accuse him of lying. As a professional writer, he has no excuse for not realizing that “you” is both a singular and a plural — and, in this case, a collective “you,” referring to all those who made such a huge stink about a stupid symbol that the show was pulled.

    But in your case (and that’s a singular use of “your”), I’ll accept that you are just ignorant of that aspect of the English language.

  85. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @rodney dill: But what would they dub over the “Dixie” that the horn plays? “We shall overcome?” “F Tha Police?”

    I know you primarily do caption contests, rodney, but that could be a fun little alternate…

  86. An Interested Party says:

    Which also reminds me that you make a very comfortable living off your ability to make the impossible, the wildly improbable, and the downright ridiculous seem very plausible and believable.

    Comparing Jenos to Baby Go Bye Bye seems quite plausible and believable without Michael typing a single word…

  87. anjin-san says:

    @little Jenos Go Bye Bye::

    That’s your comeback? Do you have “English Police” emblazoned on the side of the Jenosmobile?

  88. anjin-san says:

    Poor Jenos. If he was one of the clever kids, he could have said something like “Y’all managed to kill off reruns of a 30-year-old TV show”…

  89. Thomas Weaver says:

    I’m sick of some people thinking that removing a flag, a sheet, or a cross is going to change an attitude.
    The fourth is going to see my USA flag flying upside down and if I can find a Confederate flag – it may go to the top of the mast…

  90. rodney dill says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: …Pop Goes the Weasel, of course. And they’d need to dub over someone saying ‘conflagrate’ everytime someone says Confederate.

  91. John says: