So You Want to Ban Gone with the Wind?

DATELINE: Goose-stepping Left Wingers

polar opposites

Scarlett and Mammy as diametric moral opposites.

We have now reached the point of philistine fatuity from the politically correct police squad. There has been a question raised in the New York Times about the racism and Confederate flags used in the classic epic American movie, Gone With the Wind.

Yes, political hacks now wonder if your home video ought to be burned, banned, and otherwise refuted. Please tell the hoi polloi how any suggestion of banning the book or movie version of GWTW puts distance between the Nazi regime of Hitler where banned books were burned and American literature.

Suggestions have mounted that the pre-Intermission waving of the Confederate flag over the wounded and dead Johnny Rebs at the train station is some kind of celebration. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You might also say that the flag commentary is as much to show the waste of human life over a misguided cause.

Those who see slavery in the movie and book as being endorsed are the kind of functional illiterates now graduating from a poor and pathetic American education system. In point of fact, Mammy is the spiritual center of the tale, a counterpoint to the rapacious and greedy Scarlett who destroys everyone in her path.

So much for putting privileged white people on a pedestal.

When Scarlett slugs Prissy the maid for her ineptitude, you cannot say that it shows the cruelty of slavery. It shows what happens to people under stress and how one spoiled bitch acts.

Gone with the Wind is historical soap opera, grandeur and grandiose combined, indeed showing how a generation of Southerners were living with delusions of grandeur. How can that be an endorsement of a lifestyle?

The marvelous Hattie McDaniel played domestics throughout her career—and shocked audiences by winning an Oscar for playing a slave in 1939. It is historic in many ways, flying in the face of discrimination and prejudice. She was a committed actress, not a slave and not a servant. If she suffered racism, it is all the more important her work be seen.

Those who do not learn from history probably went to bad public schools, or worse, went to private schools where they didn’t have to learn anything they didn’t want. Having taught at private and public colleges, we know of what we speak.

You may as well try to ban the American songbook because Stephen Foster glorified the lazy, hazy days of the Confederacy. You might as well ban the Band for singing “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

Where does the madness end?

 

 

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