Tags: dukes | hazzard | senate | race

30 Years Later, Dukes of Hazzard an Issue in Senate Race

Friday, 17 May 2013 04:01 PM

By Dan Weil

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Former Rep. Ben Jones has ripped his old friend Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., for keeping him out of a fundraiser for Markey's Senate campaign.

A Markey campaign staffer gave the boot to Jones, who played mechanic Cooter Davenport on the 1980s TV show "Dukes of Hazzard," after the campaign learned he has defended the Confederate flag. Jones was going to play with his band at the Markey event.

The "General Lee" — the Dodge Charger featured in "Dukes" — had a Confederate flag design on its roof, and Jones publicly objected to NASCAR's decision to cancel a planned parade lap by the car at a race last year because of the flag.

"It isn’t every day that one makes preparations to go and play music for some friends but instead ends up being portrayed in the national press and on the Internet as some sort of antediluvian racist who should not be seen in the company of someone aspiring to the Senate," Jones wrote in response.

"But that’s what happened to me Tuesday," added Jones, who sat in Congress as a Democrat from Georgia from 1989-93.

"It seems to me, Eddie, that in this Internet world you and Al Gore invented, things are being simplified to the point of idiocy," he says.

"So rather than having a serious discussion about the use of symbols, and the context of symbols, and the meaning of symbols, the argument has been boiled down to something like this: 'Rebel flag bad. Racist! Me good. Not racist!'"

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