As a longtime Washington Redskins fan, I have a deep hatred for their bitter rivals the Dallas Cowboys which goes far beyond just wanting “the ’Boys” to lose on the field. In fact, I’ve often fantasized about what I’d like to see happen to that team from Big D.
In my fantasy, the Cowboys go winless a couple of years, leading to the team folding. All Dallas players are then shipped off to the Himalayas never to be heard from again, along with the stupid, peroxide-saturated Cowboys cheerleaders. Their stadium is torn down and the earth there salted to make sure nothing ever grows on the site again. Team owner Jerry Jones is forced to wear a Redskins jersey and pink leotards each day for the rest of his life and sit on the 50-yard line of every Washington game.
Yes, that’s a far-out fantasy built around eradicating a football team I truly despise, which basically is rooted in jest and not to be taken seriously (although it would be fun to see Jerry Jones in pink leotards). However, there is nothing amusing about what seems to be a similar effort aimed at doing away with everything Southern.
Of course, this began after the horrible killings in Charleston in June by a murderer with Confederate leanings. That tragedy triggered the removal of the Rebel flag from the statehouse in Columbia — an act based in historical ignorance which probably wouldn’t have occurred otherwise.
But the really disturbing thing that has happened in the aftermath of the shootings involves how those who hate the South now are trying to use that incident as a further wedge to attack everything related to its culture.
There have been calls to rename schools that honor individuals such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and to remove Confederate statues and monuments from public grounds along with the flag. Some of those objects have even been vandalized in recent weeks.
The latest example of idiocy was a request this week by a councilman in Winston-Salem, James Taylor (not the cool singer of the same name from Chapel Hill), that the name “Dixie” be dropped from the city’s longtime Dixie Classic Fair.
While Taylor since has backed off from that suggestion, supposedly due to widespread public opposition (“how sweet it is,” in the words of the cool James Taylor), the fact he even made it at all is troubling.
I mean, suppose his idea had gained traction (which wouldn’t have been surprising in today’s political climate), then what?
Could this have led to other uses of the word Dixie also being phased out? Would Dixie cups, a brand that has been around since 1908, been forced to get a new name?
I guess The Dixie Cups, an all-girl pop group originating in the 1960s — which happens to be made up of black members, by the way — could have found its name on the same hit list, albeit not the one occupied by legendary Dixie Cups songs such as “Chapel of Love.”
There might have been a case made for smashing every 45 rpm Dixie Cups record ever produced just to help get rid of that reference.
And you know it wouldn’t have ended there.
Since the South itself is so responsible for slavery and every calamity since — from The Holocaust to uneven tire wear — the generic use of the word south likely would be targeted for demise on the heels of Dixie.
It seems to me that the thing to do is to just go ahead and eliminate the terms south, southern and southerly from our vocabulary altogether and be done with the matter. There is no reason why we can’t get by with only three directions: north, east and west.
While we’re at it, we also should rid the world of place names such as the South Pole, Southern Pines, the states of South Carolina and South Dakota, South Stokes High School, the town of South Boston in Virginia — nothing should be spared to achieve political correctness. And even the popular musical “South Pacific” and the South Beach Diet could be thusly altered since they do contain that name.
Even if all this happened, the South-haters still likely wouldn’t be satisfied. The next step might be declaring everyone speaking with a Southern accent as public enemies.
I keep hoping people in the United States finally will see the light when it comes to political correctness.
In the meantime, it’s safe to say that even the technological geniuses in Silicon Valley could not invent a device to measure the intensity of the rampant stupidity running through America these days.
Tom Joyce is a staff writer for The Mount Airy News. He may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.