Dukes of Hazzard racist in 2015; A-OK 1979-2014
Reruns of the old TV show The Dukes of Hazzard have been banned by TV Land. Dukes features two Southern rural cousins (who happen to be heterosexuals) named Bo and Luke Duke, who live on the very edges of the law with their cousin Daisy Duke and their uncle Jesse. The problem starts with their car, called the "General Lee," which has a horn that plays "Dixie" and a Confederate flag on top of the car.
In a recent interview with THR, Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider defended the series' use of the flag. "Labeling anyone who has the flag a 'racist' seems unfair to those who are clearly 'never meanin' no harm,'" he said. His co-star Ben Jones has also come out in defense of the flag, saying it represents the "indomitable spirit of independence."
The Parents Television Council... blasted the network and its parent company, Viacom, for "blatant hypocrisy" they say the media company demonstrated.
"When media companies are criticized for marketing programs that glamorize drug and alcohol use, or for sexualizing minors in television programs and movies, or for selling violent entertainment to children – despite overwhelming evidence of harm – or for trivializing rape, child sex abuse and pedophilia, all in the name of 'entertainment,' they are quick to wrap themselves in the banner of Free Speech," wrote PTC president Tim Winter.
If TV Land is willing to pull The Dukes of Hazzard, out of concern for its harmful impact on our society.... they cannot then hide behind the First Amendment to refute the compelling evidence of harm from the violent and sexualized media content they continue to produce and air with impunity."
Most of the episodes feature Bo and Luke getting out of scrapes with the law, but nothing racist. They don't take Daisy to KKK meetings, and Uncle Jesse is not a Grand Wizard of the Klan like Robert Byrd, the former Democratic Senate majority leader whom no one denounces. In fact, the Dukes had a number of GBFs (television-speak for good black friends). I also remember that when I watched the show as a kid, the guest-star villains would usually be a pair of men, frequently one white and one black. I marveled at the complete racial integration of the criminal element. It was like a model for the new South!
And this is the show that TV Land finds too controversial to air. I guess that means
1) CBS was racist for running the show in the first place
2) Daisy Duke was racist for modeling next to the General Lee in her short shorts.
3) Hanna-Barbera, the makers of the Flintstones and the Jetsons, must have hated black people with a passion, because they produced the Dukes of Hazzard cartoon show! (Just think for a moment: how many African-American astronauts were on The Jetsons, or African-American cave men on The Flintstones?)
This comes on top of Apple banning computer games about the civil war that feature a Confederate flag on the cover.
This is political correctness gone amok. No one had the slightest problem with this show when it aired or for 30 years afterwards. Now, all of a sudden, it's racist.
The Confederate flag can certainly be used in hateful, racist ways. But for many people it's about regional pride, not racism, and to outlaw it on shows and games that very, very clearly have nothing to do with racism is political correctness on steroids. No person could watch Dukes and reasonably say the show is about hate or discrimination. It's all about context.
But we live in a time now when new symbols – the illegal alien, the gender self-mutilators, the homosexual activists – are held up as virtuous, while all the old symbols (including the American flag) are just as suddenly pulled down. The Confederate flag is not my particular cup of tea, but banning The Dukes of Hazzard out of claims that it's a racist show is truly ridiculous.
This article was produced by NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.