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Tuesday, March 20, 2007
(9:34 AM) | Stephen:
North-South Tensions Still Around

But you knew that, didn't you? Apparently, John Schneider and Tom Wopat, the original Bo and Luke Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard have been disinvited from appearing with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra because of the heavy use of Confederate imagery in the show.

After contracts were signed, the Pops conductor asked the local NAACP their opinion of the show. Faced with the need to either endorse or condemn such a show, they wisely chose to condemn it. What's important to note, however, is that Schneider, Wopat and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra apparently have a long working relationship and have put on this show several times in the past, and the NAACP hasn't made an issue of it. It was only after they were directly asked that they issued an opinion - and it wasn't just a knee-jerk reaction; the local director of the NAACP called the national headquarters of the organization. It sure looks like they were dragged in rather than involving themselves of their own accord. Perhaps people in the Pops organization had their own problems with the show and wanted to make it seem that they were caving to outside pressure.

I'm obviously not fond of the Confederacy, but if you sign a contract, honor the contract. If you have problems with continuing a program, don't continue it. But do it on your own, don't try to make someone else responsible for it.

Other than former Georgia Congressman Ben Jones - who played Cooter on the show, I love that name - I'm not sure of southern reaction to this, if there is much. However, I would like to suggest to anyone that is upset by this decision to remember that The Dukes of Hazzard was not actually the best representation of southern people and culture. Everyone character on the show was completely stupid, even the heroes. If southerners are tired of the stereotypes that persist about them, getting rid of every trace of The Dukes of Hazzard would be a good place to start.

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