The politically correct door has been kicked open regarding the Stars and Bars, battle flag of the Confederacy. Wherever it is displayed, primarily since the late 50s when it was brought out of retirement to protest the Civil Rights movement, it reminds blacks, even Justice Thomas, of slavery, which some whites still believe was O.K., given the Biblical precedent and all. The Clown isn’t a Stars and Bars guy and agrees that it shouldn’t fly over gummit buildings purported to be for all citizens. This latest dust-up does provide, however, an excuse to clean house totally regarding reminders of our Civil War and its cause, particularly anything related to the losing faction. Kicking people while they’re down can be fun, especially when wearing clown shoes.
Brave Americans, many from north of the Mason-Dixon Line, have now stepped forward to demand that military posts named in honor of Confederate generals be changed. The Clown thought that perhaps these patriots might have a point and so he investigated.
The Clown, using his superior investigative journalism and research skills, approached random people on the streets in several U.S. cities and asked them, “What comes to mind when you hear the term ‘Fort Bragg?” Eventually some black person would say, “It makes me feel downtrodden and inferior,” and once in a great while some white would say, “It reminds me that black people, when hearing that term, will feel downtrodden and inferior.” The Latinos would sometimes say, “Well, Fort Bliss should be called Fort Santa Ana, gringo clown.” Most, however, responded “What are you talking about, Bozo?” (I often have to explain that I am not Bozo.)
I did this research in many cities and used all of the Confederacy-linked military installation names. Compiling the thousands of responses, the Clown can report that fully 2.2% of Americans know that any of these ten military installations are named for Confederate generals and a whopping 35% of that group (0.78% of the total) claim to be offended or know of someone who would likely be offended although they, themselves, were not. These data may be ample proof that these military installation names need to be changed as the one thing that will bring racial harmony to this great land, from sea to shining waves of grain.
The Clown has some suggestions. Instead of Fort Hood (in Texas), we could rename it Fort Dusty-Hot Sumbitch? Many a soldier who has billeted there would instantly recognize the location.
Fort Polk in Louisiana could be renamed Fort Malaria, for its practical contributions to understanding the hazards of jungle warfare and biting insects in dozens of varieties.
Fort Benning in Georgia could be called Fort Holy Sh*t, in honor of its infamous Ranger and jump-school training regimens.
Instead of Fort Lee, named for the Confederacy’s most famous general, Robert E. Lee, it could be shortened to Fort Bob. It’s simple and would likely offend very few.
As for Fort Pickett, just leave it as is. Poor George Pickett didn’t make the decision to charge up that hill at Gettysburg, yet he gets the blame. He’s had quite enough punishment. Let him have a fort.
Going beyond the Civil War, there may be an opportunity to be sensitive to our fellow citizens who are insulted and scandalized by those early Americans who were slave owners, yet who are still lionized in our capitals and public spaces.
We could tear down the Jefferson Memorial and put up a much-needed hotel in that neighborhood. Maybe something by Donald Trump.
The term Monroe Doctrine probably causes discomfort among the seven Americans who know who James Monroe was and that he briefly owned slaves in a failed plantation gambit. Perhaps we could rename it the “Keep The Euro Trash Out Doctrine”. Not catchy but very descriptive of the actual doctrine.
Finally, while the PC iron is hot, we could erase all this hoopla around George Washington, founding father, occasional general, Declaration of Independence signer, reluctant Constitutional Convention participant and slave owner.
The Washington Monument, that hideous phallic shaft rising grotesquely across from the White House, surely brings a bitter tear to many a sensitive eye. These people should be protected from the overt racism memorialized on our National Mall. If we can’t tear it down, let’s at least rename it. How about the We’re Number One Obelisk, to honor America’s very special place in the wider universe? It would be like one of those big red foam fingers , only in marble.
And finally, the city of Washington is one gigantic geographic reminder of slavery, bigotry, blasphemy, hypocrisy, cronyism, big money, self-interest, pandering, lousy public education and dysfunction. George, however, can only be blamed for the slavery part. Thousands of normal Washington residents (“plain folks” as politicians call them) awaken daily, bewildered that fate has brought them to this place. Let’s push the re-set button (hey, it worked like a charm with Russia) and rename this former swamp to something less stigmatizing.
Since the name Disneyland is taken and Obamaberg wouldn’t likely heal the nation’s racial rifts anytime soon, I would go with Margaritaville. It has strong brand equity and it’s not a real place anyway.
Observoid of the Day: If Little Miss Muffet married Jimmy Buffet, she would be Mrs. James Buffet. What were you expecting?