“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
As a society, we often make targets of things that aren’t part of an actual problem; it helps us take power back from a situation in which we feel we have none. When bad things happen, we cope by doing everything we can in the postscript to make what happened in the original draft better. However, this often leads to ludicrous results.
In the wake of the Charleston shooting, images were discovered of Dylann Roof posing with the confederate battle flag. This ignited a frenzied debate about the battle flag being flown over a memorial on the South Carolina Capitol grounds. Of course, the nation, grief-stricken as we were–and still are–decided that the flag at the memorial was the cause of all our ills. The flag was Dylann Roof, and taking it down would save us all.
So the battle began—and it still rages. Multiple stores have removed anything and everything with a confederate flag on it. Walmart, eBay, Sears, and Amazon stopped selling all confederate-related merchandise, and Apple even removed all games that contained the flag from their App Store. But that wasn’t enough. Now something downright insane has happened (if the previous wasn’t insane enough). TVLand has pulled all reruns of “The Dukes of Hazzard” from the air.
The Dukes’ car, the General Lee, is marked by a distinctive confederate flag on its top. Because the flag on the top of the General Lee in the late 70’s/early 80’s TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard” caused Dylann Roof to murder nine black people in cold blood, you see. They absolutely had to do something about it!
At this time, we’re fixated; we believe that removing all signs of racism, such as the confederate battle flag, will somehow end the scourge of hatred. So naturally, extending that logic means going as far as to remove reruns of a beloved thirty-year-old television show from the air. Our vision has been reduced to a pinpoint.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the letter X was the next to go. Sorry kids! Texas is now spelled “Tectsas.” That way, no one can possibly be inspired to commit racially-based murder because they won’t have any cultural images with which to pose! It’s asinine.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Dylann Roof was a deeply hateful man, whose hatred was not traceable to something as simple as a flag. He developed an ideology somewhere else, and his mind became entangled in it. He was full of hatred, and that is why he posed with the flag he believed represented that hatred. The flag was not the instigator of anything. It didn’t cause Roof to be racist, it merely existed alongside his already racist ideology.
To think that pulling reruns of “The Dukes of Hazzard” from TVLand is somehow meaningful is the height of insanity, but we’ve developed a pack-mentality on this particular issue, one which will not be stopped until every single item that bears that flag is disappeared. We are immune to reason at this point.
Once the hysteria settles, and we see there’s nothing we can actually do to change what happened, we will realize just how far we went, and how those lengths were not only unnecessary, but desperate.
At this moment, however, insanity is rule.