Danny P Ocean and His Magical General Lee
Written by Danny P Ocean on June 23, 2015
Sometime in the early 80s I was a Dukes of Hazzard fan. Not just any old fan, I was possibly the biggest fan of the Duke boys who wasn’t white. I was such a big fan that one year for Christmas all I asked for was some Dukes of Hazzard action figures and the General Lee. And my mom being the greatest Ma Dukes to walk the face of the Earth made sure I had my very own Dukes of Hazzard toys to open up that cold Christmas morning. I played with them and played with them, oblivious to the fact that the car I played with was named the General Lee and on the roof of it was the Confederate Flag. All I cared about was that the good ole boys were there in my living room ready to join in on the battle with Star Wars and GI Joe.
Now looking back from my adult, grown as hell mind state I have to question….. why was I (an African-American) playing with some old toys with racist overtones on them? I can understand me wanting to play with them because at that point I didn’t read The Autobiography of Malcolm X yet, or listened to Public Enemy, X-Clan, or BDP. I was just a young nappy-headed cat wanting what I saw on TV. But Ma Dukes should have put a halt to that shit. She being a lady who grew up in the South should have schooled me on just what the Dukes of Hazard represented.
However, I don’t fault my mother for turning a blind eye on my toys. For all I know she didn’t want to let her son down, knowing how much I was excited to play with Bo and Luke Duke. She just did what millions of other Americans did, tried to ignore the racist overtones that was in clear view during the late 70s and 80s.
I said all of that to say I can understand why some African-Americans back then played the blind eye when it came to the Southern racism, but what are our excuse today? Why did it take 9 African-Americans to die for the Confederate Flag to all of a sudden become not cool? How can we as a society condone the symbol of Southern oppression just last week, while now act as if the hands of the devil himself knitted the flag? America has a serious problem when it comes to racism that only seems to be getting worse over time.
The Confederate Flag should have been banished from Southern states long before the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Imagine if all of the Blacks that lived in a state that proudly displayed the Confederate Flag got up and moved out of the state. How do you think that would affect the states economy? I know that is extreme isn’t it? OK how about young African-American professionals bypassing those states and choosing more welcoming pastures. What I’m saying is African-Americans as a people should have did something about the Confederate Flag a long time ago.
We can only blame ourselves for the fact that in 2015 some states feel comfortable enough to wave the Confederate Flag. But White Amerikkka you don’t get off easy yourself. You should be tired of waiting until after something pops off to get in the media and cry about how change needs to happen, only to forget about the dialogue once something else more news worthy comes along. Racism is a discussion that you need to have among your own before you can come to the table with others to discuss how to get along. White privilege is the realist shit since MC Ren and that is your cross you will have to carry.
So where does this leave us? I don’t know. I am sure the recent negative feedback on the Confederate Flag will fade over time. In the upcoming weeks I am sure another altercation between a civilian and police officer will occur. Or a Presidential candidate will say something stupid. Or perhaps a natural disaster will pop up. In other words something will come along that will divert our attention from this topic, because one thing we should all know is that news come and go. Once this fades away and the Confederate Flag hate fad cools off someone, somewhere will green light a new and improved Dukes of Hazzard. And some African-American child somewhere, at sometime will play with his General Lee one cold Christmas morning.