I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but there seems to be lot of purging going on in our world these days. There are those among us who are intent on removing any vestige of our history they find offensive.
This purging has been on full display in recent months as statues honoring men of the past have been pulled down all across our country. Of course some cry, “You don’t understand.” And maybe I don’t fully understand, but heaven knows I am trying.
The thing I find most unsettling is the fact the destruction has become indiscriminant. Once a mountain climber was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. He answered, “Because it’s there.” Some statues have come down, as Forest Gump would say, “for no good reason.”
Heck, what did Christopher Columbus do wrong? Should Ferdinand and Isabella be removed from the pages of history for underwriting his exploration?
Should the ruins of ancient Rome be bulldozed because of the atrocities visited on those the Romans vanquished, including Christians and slaves? Remember Spartacus? Will the day come when I can no longer order a Caesar salad?
Speaking of purging, it is certainly not limited to statues. Aunt Jemima pancake syrup is under attack, and Uncle Ben’s Rice is on its way out. One has to wonder if Martha White flour is next.
Dolly Parton took “Dixie” out of her Stampede, and the Dixie Chicks are no more.
Back in the fall, a major league baseball team removed Kate Smith’s singing of “God Bless America” from their seventh-inning stretch because she sang a song with racial overtones almost 100 years ago. Does anyone understand times change and people change? Which begs the question, will Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll who was a wonderful human being, one day be dethroned because he recorded a rousing rendition of the song “Dixie” more than 50 years ago? And what about Dixie cups? Will they soon be no more?
The Washington Redskins announced they are changing their name even when 90% of Native Americans polled said they were not offended by the use of the name Redskins. How about that? Are the Kansas City Chiefs next? Sometimes I have to stop and ask myself, “Who are these people?” – these restless souls who can’t be satisfied? When we come to a place where we try to remove everything that offends, I am afraid we have entered a deep, dark hole that has no bottom.
And what about America’s team? How about them Cowboys? Are they next? I’ve been thinking about them and the political incorrectness of their nickname. First, as a part of the compound word, you have cow. Cows have ound themselves in ill favor recently. It is theorized by the climate change folks that cow flatulence is responsible for increasing methane gas levels in the atmosphere, which is breaking down the ozone leading to adverse climate change. I kid you not. As a matter of fact, Burger King is currently running a new ad campaign that targets cows for fluctuating. Of course, Burger King is pushing plant-based burgers. So, cow is a bad word.
Secondly, you have the word boy, which is sexist – another stumble into political incorrectness. I thought about calling them the Dallas Cowgirls, but that won’t work. So I came up with is the Dallas Animal Persons. Now that name shouldn’t offend anyone. Unless the animal rights delegation come to consider it animal abuse to use an animal’s name as a nickname for a sports team – especially a sport as violent as football. In which case, the Lions, Panthers, Seahawks and Broncos could be in trouble.
If that should materialize, products like Red Bull energy drinks, Boar’s Head meats, Black Cat firecrackers and heaven help us, the lowly hot dog could be up for renaming. “That’s ridiculous,” you might say. That’s my point, exactly.
Back to the subject of statues being pulled down. May I suggest considering the life of one William Wilberforce (1759-1833) who dedicated his life to one of the noblest of causes in modern history?
May I further suggest that those who are intent on destruction spend some of their time and energy and money erecting a few monuments to those who have made our world better?
Jack McCall is a motivational humorist, Southern storyteller and author. A native Middle Tennessean, he is recognized on the national stage as a certified speaking professional.