Gone with the Wind taught millions around the world about the US Civil War

A few days ago, someone wrote a column suggesting that the movie Gone with the Wind should go away like the Confederate flag. 

Is the movie racist because it tells the story of the Civil War from a Southern perspective?  Or because it shows scenes with the Confederate flag?

I don't think so, but calling everyone and everything racist goes on just a bit too much in our country today.

Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind was published this week in 1936.  It is the story of a Southern woman caught up in the Civil War, from the days of plantations and chivalry to the bloody war and its aftermath.

I read the book and have seen the movie often.  I never felt that it was racist or pretended to be. 

It is the story of a family living in the South.  

How can you tell the story of a plantation owner (and family) without bringing up slavery?  

The story also confirms that many Southerners were very passionate about states' rights.  (I should add that the Founding Fathers were also very passionate about states' rights, a fact that gets overlooked in the way that we teach U.S. history today.)

Gone with the Wind brought the U.S. Civil War to millions around the world who read the various translations of the book.

My introduction to the story was hearing about it from my grandmother, who read the Spanish version in Cuba – i.e. Lo que el viento se llevó.  She told me about the plantations and all of those things that made the South different.  She also told me how Cuba also had slaves to work in the sugar plantations.

Before we go PC crazy and start deleting books and symbols, let's remember that novels often teach a lot of history.

For example. Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls introduced many English-speaking readers to the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s.  It presented the brutal nature of a civil war, where families fight each other and armies bomb their own people.

Gone with the Wind is part of the American story.  Let's count to ten before we start erasing symbols and burning books.  

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.