Special thanks to Renee and to Michael Barnard for posting additional info about the Cincinnati Pops / "Dukes" stink and about John Schneider. Be sure to check it all out on the comments page for the Friday post of this blog.
This story has got some legs, and we're thinkin' we need to just keep those legs a-movin', especially since there's an opportunity to bring an injustice to light.
"This is a benign family show loved by people of all ages and races," Ben Jones, our own beloved Cooter, told the Associated Press in a phone interview on Friday. "I have fought racism and bigotry my whole life and worked in the Civil Rights movement, and there is nothing racist about it."
PRNewswire reported that "in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Jones was arrested several times attempting to integrate segregated facilities. He says he was shot at by the KKK, had a tooth knocked out by a Klansman, and had ammonia thrown in his eyes at a sit-in."
The Associated Press also reported that a statement by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra said that the orchestra has had a long artistic relationship with Schneider and Wopat and had conversations about a possible Dukes of Hazzard-themed program. Umm ... OK ....
Meanwhile, our own Paul Harrington, president of the Canadian Dukes of Hazzard Fan Club, has fired off an email to several folks at the NAACP. "First, I will start off my email and let you know right off, I'm a Native American, living in Ontario, Canada, and I don't agree with allot of things I see or read in the newspapers or even on television or even at the movies today," Paul wrote. "But I don't slander others if I don't understand them. I will ask questions, not do what you have done this week. I treat people how I wanted to be treated, with respect and honour; is that not what we are supposed to do, in our daily lives?? And I don't want to cause any other problems as we all have too many already, but why????"
Paul went on to include the text of the PRNewswire story referenced above, then later in the email said, "'The Dukes of Hazzard' IS NOT, WAS NOT and WILL NEVER be a racist television show. I have done 1000's of car shows, special events, birthday parties and many other events since I bought my General Lee from a magazine back in 1991, and I have never had a problem. Whites, American Indians, colored people (as it is stated on your website) and all other races have made nothing but great comments to myself and my wife through out the years when we have done shows."
Thanks to Paul for speaking up, and remember the links in the Friday post of this blog, below, if you want to also make your feelings known about this topic.