Were the hit television series “The Dukes of Hazzard” filmed today rather than three decades ago, the “authorities” constantly chasing the Duke brothers around rural Georgia would not be a crooked county commissioner and a half-wit sheriff. Instead, Bo and Luke’s Confederate flag-adorned Dodge Charger would be pursued by an armada of eco-friendly Priuses, driven by a pack of seething social justice warriors who want nothing more than to send the “racist” brothers to jail for daring to display a hate symbol.
Unfortunately for the Duke Boys, today these are authorities even they cannot escape, as we saw last week when Warner Brothers opted to cancel production of die-cast replicas and vehicle model kits of their iconic “General Lee” – another of many knee-jerk reactions to the outcry against the Confederate flag following the mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
In the immediate aftermath of the Charleston mass murder, two distinct groups formed. One community rallied together in a display of compassion and forgiveness; a response rare in today’s society, where rioting and looting have come to be the “new normal” responses to perceived racial injustices. The other group, consisting primarily of outsiders, saw the shooting rampage as a catalyst for political action, and immediately launched a mass campaign of retroactive political correctness.
Rather than blame the tragedy on the demented actions of a lone coward with a twisted worldview, this PC group wasted no time blaming guns, “hate speech,” and “hate” symbols for the attack. The bandwagon was rolling. To avoid charges of being on the side of “racist rednecks,” Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Etsy quickly banned any and all products featuring the Confederate flag. Soon, other Confederate-linked objects were on the chopping block; including monuments, street names, and license plates.
As the movement gathered steam, the scope of the retroactive cleansing swept far beyond the Civil War era; taking in such icons as America’s Founding Fathers who, in the eyes of the PC Warlords, were “racist” and therefore unqualified to be memorialized, whether in marble statues or on paper currency.
This Retro PC drive, however, presents problems. For one thing, reviewing the line-up of portraits currently adorning America’s national currency, one must question who, if anyone, could possibly meet the Left’s high purity standards for 21st-Century political correctness?
George Washington ($1 bill) clearly would not make the cut. Although our first President orchestrated the military defeat of the then-mighty British Empire, and provided the political glue that kept the nascent country from descending into chaos, this Virginia landowner was himself a slave owner.
Thomas Jefferson ($2 bill), author of the Virginia Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and founder of the University of Virginia, must in the eyes of the rabid PC police, be similarly stripped of the honor of appearing on our currency; for he, too, was a Virginia landowner who owned slaves.
Even “Honest Abe” Lincoln ($5 bill), despite being credited with ending slavery, actually freed no slaves with his Emancipation Proclamation and adamantly opposed basic civil rights for freed blacks such as voting, serving on a jury, holding public office, and intermarrying with whites. So sorry, Mr. Lincoln.
America’s very first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton ($10 bill), currently in line to be stripped from his position of honor on the bill by the Obama Administration, was a notorious womanizer and was involved in the country’s first “sex scandal.” Then there is Andrew Jackson ($20 bill), already much maligned even before the Charleston shooting, who is responsible for the shameful “Trail of Tears” and other improper treatment of Native Americans.
Good old Ulysses (“U.S.”) Grant ($50 bill), Civil War hero and our 19th President, certainly wouldn’t make the PC cut. Not only was he an alcoholic, but he presided over an Administration riddled with corruption; we cannot now condone that sort of untoward behavior.
And, like Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin ($100), though an early opponent of slavery, would be roundly accused of misogynistic womanizing by today’s feminists; a fatal flaw in our politically correct century.
Perhaps we could replace Jefferson with President William Henry Harrison, who only served a single month in office; not long enough to have committed any fatal PC errors? But even short-tenured Harrison would likely fall prey to the PC purists because of his serving as a military leader fighting against the Indians in the early 19th Century.
At the end of the day, probably it would be safest simply to remove human visages from our currency and replace them with illustrations of inanimate or non-human things. Perhaps a lovely landscape from Yellowstone National Park rather than the unsmiling face of a former, racist president. Or an unsmiling “emoji” digital messaging icon as a non-controversial replacement for Washington. Other bills could be adorned with lovely – and scandal-free – pictures of native American birds.
Of course, even if we were to remove all of the “old, dead white men” from America’s currency, it likely would still not be enough to appease the forces of social justice screeching to sterilize American history. After all, in the opinion of these zealots, even our country’s flag is emblematic of an oppressive, racist mindset. “The American flag has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism,” read a resolution passed in March by student “leaders” at the University of California, Irvine.
To such crazies, America is racist at its core, and there is nothing about the country of which to be so proud as to place on our currency. So, what to do? Perhaps a national flag of purist white – signifying nothing offensive. Come to think of it, a white flag of surrender might suit the current Administration just fine.