My new song about the epidemic of political correctness these days. Hope you like it!

What happened to make people so thin-skinned these days? Virtually every person in the world is offended by something. It is getting tedious to check the news everyday and see yet another group claiming to be offended by something inconsequential. And since people can piss and moan on social media about what bothers them, their picayune grievances go out to a worldwide market.

Admittedly, it’s a bit of a conundrum. Things that people used to think were funny, like alcoholism (Otis on the Andy Griffith Show), mental retardation (Crazy Guggenheim on The Jackie Gleason Show) spousal abuse, (the Ralph Kramden character on The Honeymooners) and a slew of ethnic stereotypes on TV, radio and in print, have thankfully faded into the past. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. I believe it also means that they shouldn’t ne ignored. They happened. The mindsets of the past are important to know and understand.

Go to Germany and ask anyone there about the period 1939 to 1945. Many will tell you nothing much happened then but some Germans will admit there was war fought by some evil Germans. Evil Germans? It was most of the country. All revisionist history does is help to ensure that it might be repeated.

The current flap about the Civil War and Confederate battle flag is not surprising. The evil monster that killed 9 people in South Carolina posted a photo online with a Confederate flag. Once the TV news showed it, the image went viral. There were tens of thousands of social media posts drawing a direct correlation between this monster’s photo with the Confederate flag and his 9 murders.

The calls to take down the flags wherever they flew sailed through cyberspace with the speed and ferocity of a Category 5 tornado. People across the globe began looking for places where the flag was displayed. It didn’t take long for some TV junkies to realize that the roof of the General Lee car in the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard was covered by a Confederate Flag design. Within a day, the TV network that had been airing reruns of the show cancelled it. I guess using CG to cover the flag whenever the car was featured was prohibitively expensive.

Wait…the car was called the General Lee. Along with taking down the Confederate flag, it didn’t take the Internet masses long to start demanding that statues of Confederate Generals be taken down. The state of Tennessee even said it was going to plant vision obscuring trees around a prominent General’s statue on Interstate 65. Hey, what happened in America between 1861 and 1865? “Nothing much.”

Slavery was (and is) an abomination. But denying that it happened is simply another kind of abomination. Our Founding Fathers knew the issue would have to be dealt with someday. They couldn’t deal with it during the creation of the Declaration of Independence or Constitution. The South’s economy was built on slavery and they never would have agreed to any document that sought to end it. It’s sad and wrong but it was the way things were. I’m pretty sure Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Franklin and the rest knew that blood would have to be spilled one day to end slavery, but first they had to create a new country. Washington, Jefferson and other Founding Fathers were slave owners themselves. The Civil War was the direct result of their inaction.

While I don’t believe the battle flag of a people who had committed treason should be displayed at public buildings, virtually banning it is to deny history. The Dukes of Hazzard was kind of an entertaining show, in a silly, slapstick way. Did I ever think it was racist? No. If anything, it showed how stupid some white Southerners could be.

While we’re on the topic of racism on TV, consider the casts of TV mega hits like M*A*S*H, Cheers, Fraser, Dynasty, Dallas, Friends and a sea of others. Some guest shots but no black actors in the main casts, not a Confederate flag in sight. And don’t forget The Beverly Hillbillies. The Internet was quick to point out the scenes where Granny was proudly holding the Stars and Bars. Will that be the next classic show banned?

Take a moment and consider Hogan’s Heroes. It was the #1 show in America for almost its entire 6 year run. It showed all the fun our servicemen had while hey were in a German prisoner of war camp. It portrayed the Nazis as bumbling, inept fools, which I like to believe was true. But the reruns are probably safe from cancellation since there were Swastikas but no Confederate flags.

Censorship is often referred to as a very slippery slope. There’s no doubt about that. One wonders where this current flap will end. As I already wrote, I agree with not flying the Confederate flag over public buildings. It’s good that it has come down over many of them already. But a retailer refusing to sell the merchandise, especially an American retailer? I again ask, “What’s next?”

It is illegal to display or sell any Nazi memorabilia in Germany – you know, that place where nothing much happened between 1939 through 1945. We may soon be able to say that about 1861 through 1865 in our own country.

May God bless America, as long as that statement doesn’t offend you.

 

TV Shopping Host and Coach, Musician, Author, Teacher.

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