These are the Dukes. Uncle Jesse was the family patriarch. That meant his word was law. He was a kindly Shepherd to a family of Lost Sheep, and under his overalls beat every one of them Ten Commandments.
Everyone’s girl next door was Daisy. Our damsel in distress, but a scrappy defender of the family name. In a western, she’d be draped in cotton calico. Washed up on an Island of castaways, she’d be Mary Ann.
Cousins Bo and Luke were just good ol’ boys. They charmed a countryside of southern gals, honored their heritage, and respected their elders.
(Now, you can see why the show had to be taken off the air.)
The Dukes were God-fearing and law-abiding. If’n there was any law to abide by.
Hazzard was run by the corrupt County Commissioner Boss Hogg and lackey Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane. They played fast and loose with the law; and if there was any ill-gotten gain to be made, you could be sure they had a hand in it. Usually neck-deep in it. And what tickled them more than committing the crime was pinning the blame on those least likely to be involved: The Duke boys.
But to clear their name or help a neighbor do the same, usually required a little redneck rebellion of their own… escaping in a cloud of Confederate dust named for the most legendary of all rebels: General Lee.
Most of Lee’s family sided with the Union. And even though Robert E. opposed slavery, he returned South to his home in Virginia to fend off invaders from the North.
Years earlier, the Lee’s of old Virginia helped shepherd thirteen rebelling colonies into a foundling nation. Back then, All our standards were rebel flags: From the Gadsden flag to the flags of Bennington and Bunker Hill. Later, the Gonzalez flag flown during the Texas revolution against Mexico.
We were at war with King George when General George called on Betsy Ross to hand stitch our infant nation’s original rebel flag: Red and white stripes on a sea of blue ringed with thirteen stars.
However wrong the Confederate cause was, their rebellion was born of a desire to be free from the dictates of a distant power: In 1776 it was Parliament, in 1861 it was Congress. Something even Union loyalists had to admire.
At Appomattox, Grant told Lee to go home and fight no more.
Monuments were dedicated to honor the men that fought on both sides. And to heal a deeply divided nation: Not just state versus state, but brother against brother.
Since then, the Flag of the Confederacy has been taken up as a symbol of defiance by bikers and truckers, and anyone with a gripe against …whatever authority, whether of southern heritage or not.
Not to mention every guitar pickin’ artist from the Grand Ole Opry and Hee-Haw to Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Then one dreary dawn, naval-gazing snowflakes got woke with their panties in a knot.
And statues that bothered no one for hundred and fifty years got toppled in the dead of night. (Anything more pathetic than selfie-snapping millennials dancing and spitting on a lifeless monument… as if it cared?)
History cannot be erased. Just unlearned.
And they weren’t done there. Everything and anything that offended their delicate sensibilities had to go: Columbus Day, Chik-fil-A, God Bless the USA… the innocent with the guilty, condemning the “intolerant” in the name of tolerance.
The Dukes rollicked and rolled through seven prime-time seasons and endless syndicated re-runs, and offended no one until snowflakes told us to be.
Guilty of nothing, least of all hate, the Dukes were chased off the air by the hate of the End-The-Hate haters. A scheme that would’ve made Boss Hogg blush.
“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”
E. B. White
And these are the facts: Racism is born of the heart. It is not a statue. It is not a fast food drive-thru. And it is not a flag painted on an orange car.
Oh, and one more thing: Hate devours itself.
Robespierre, the Boss Hogg of the French revolution, woke the hate-filled mob to get rid of his own “Duke boys”. In the end, the haters got rid of Robespierre.
But before the credits roll, the Dukes boys will clear their name, save the farm, and right any wrongs. And as a bonus, turn the tables on Boss and Roscoe, denying them any benefit from their selfish schemes. We love happy endings.
Welcome to Hazzard County.
Flintstones of Bedrock, USA
The Flintstones may have been prehistoric but at least they made an effort to express themselves (whatever “Yabba dabba doo!” means).
Well, what is democracy? except never having to say your sorry. But then, we’re not. …not a democracy (and not sorry).