A replica of The General Lee, the signature Dodge Charger from the 1980s television series Dukes of Hazzard, sent Ybia Anderson into a frenzied fit of rage at a classic car show on Saturday, June 17, 2017, part of the Highland Creek Heritage Festival.
"This racist car, with not one but two Confederate flags on it..."
A racist car? I had no idea cars could be racist. I thought the term applied to people.
Anderson recorded that statement as she walked around a replica of The General Lee before she tore into the vehicle’s owner.
"Let me tell you what I want: I want the car gone. I wanted out of sight. It does not belong here. It represents lynching and the death of black people… They hung our people from f***ing trees until their eyes bugged out… This is a racist… This does not belong here."
Unknown and opportunistic Toronto City Councillor Neethan Shan discovered he could make a name for himself by championing Ybia Anderson's outrage. He jumped at the chance and put forward a motion to ban the Confederate flag on Toronto city property.
This is political correctness gone wild, nothing more, except perhaps, a desperate and pathetic bid for political relevance by Councillor Shan.
"I think at some point we have to put our foot down and say what is not acceptable when it comes to symbols of hate."
I am unaware of Confederate flag outbreaks in Toronto, or anywhere else in Canada, for that matter.
“What was concerning was that the issue was never properly responded to. Not from festival officials when a resident at the festival raised her concerns to them, and not from the City of Toronto that seems to not have a clear set of policies or regulations regarding the use of the Confederate flag.”
Why on earth would the city of Toronto have a clear set of policies or regulations regarding the use of the Confederate flag?
The General Lee, the classic car in question, is the customized Dodge charger from the TV series Dukes of Hazzard. It is not a symbol of hate. It's just a car. The Confederate flag emblazoned on its roof is a historical battle flag of America, not a symbol of hate.
“The Dukes of Hazzard was and is no more a show seated in racism than Breaking Bad was a show seated in reality,” said John Schneider, one of the stars of the show.
- The General Lee, sporting a Confederate flag on its roof, is an iconic car from the hit 1980s television series about two Georgia cousins fighting corruption and injustice. The show promoted such horribly outdated values as honesty, courage and chivalry.
- The Confederate flag has absolutely nothing to do with Canada or its history.
- The Confederate flag is a vital and vibrant part of American history, like it or not.
Jerry Rushing, a former whiskey bootlegger and the man whose life inspired the hit television series, said those who call the Confederate flag racist are plain wrong.
'It's just a flag. It doesn't matter to me. If it causes their problem, that's their view."
If people want to interpret the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate they're welcome to do so, but it flies in the face of historical accuracy. It's equivalent to tearing down the statue of General Robert E. Lee (for whom the famous car is named) because he was racist - which is absolute rubbish - but why let facts get in the way of those television cameras, right Councillor Shan?
For those unfamiliar with history, here are just two of many quotes from General Lee sharing his thoughts on slavery.
"Slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country..."
"I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this, as regards Virginia especially, that I would cheerfully have lost all I have lost by the war, and have suffered all I have suffered, to have this object attained."
The issue here is not The General Lee and the Confederate flag painted on its roof. The issue is our pathetically thin skins and insatiable quest for victimhood.
Ybia Anderson is entitled to her opinion. She is also entitled to be offended. Her right of free speech guarantees it and I will defend her right to speak her mind until my dying day.
However, her overblown sense of self-importance, outrage and victimhood because she saw an iconic vehicle from a 25-year-old television series at a classic car show is, in my opinion, over the top. As I stated above, the Duke boys (and the tv series) stood for honesty, courage and chivalry, among other good, old-fashioned values. If Anderson comprehended any of that, she would stop her histrionics in a heartbeat. I would hope so, anyway.
Our world does not understand the concept of freedom of speech. The ever-outraged Left successfully co-opted the principle and the right, and translated it into the Right Not To Be Offended.
News flash: there is no such thing as a right NOT to be offended. Deal with it already.
"Let me tell you what I want: I want the car gone. I wanted out of sight it does not belong here. It represents lynching and the death of black people… They hung our people from f***ing trees until their eyes bugged out… This is a racist… This does not belong here."
Ybia Anderson exercised her right to freedom of expression and her outrage at the “racist car” and all the evils it represented in her mind.
The owner of the car (and the Highland Creek Heritage Festival hosting the classic car show) refused to accede to her demand the car be removed from the site, as is their right. They put on the classic car show. If she didn’t want to see this car she was free to leave at any time.
Her offense does not make her right. It merely makes her offended. Should the rest of the world kowtow to her offense? Not for a second. To do so is foolishness.
"This is not a case of freedom of expression or freedom of speech. It is a symbol of hate that infringes on the well-being of other people in a place that is public, and the place that is publicly funded, in a place that is publicly maintained or supported by the community."
That just makes Councillor Shan sound stupid. This is exactly an issue of free expression and freedom of speech.
You do not have the right to shut me up simply because you don’t like what I say.
You don’t have the right to dictate what can or cannot be painted on a piece of private property, a classic car, either.
Not even if the mere sight of it turns you into a ranting, raving epitome of victimization.