George Floyd

Should We Stop Streaming Gone With the Wind?

No, we should interrogate its persistent popularity and our relationship to it as forcefully as possible.

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We live in censorious times, with potentially offensive content being yanked by nervous providers and people being fired for editorial decisions that might have provoked little or no outcry even a few months ago. The long-running reality show Cops has been canceled in the wake of widespread protests over the police killing of George Floyd and The New York Times cashiered its opinion page editor after he published a controversial column by Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.). Elmer Fudd has been stripped of his guns in a new slate of Looney Tunes cartoons airing on HBO Max, a new premium streaming service that has also pulled Gone With the Wind, the 1939 movie that has sold more tickets in America than any other, from its rotation.

In a statement, the management of HBO Max said, "These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible." The announcement came just a day after John Ridley, who won an Oscar for writing the screenplay for 12 Years a Slave (2013), took to the op-ed pages of the Los Angeles Times with a request that the service "please consider removing Gone With the Wind from your rotation of films." The movie, he said,

"glorifies the antebellum south. It is a film that, when it is not ignoring the horrors of slavery, pauses only to perpetuate some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color.

It is a film that, as part of the narrative of the 'Lost Cause,' romanticizes the Confederacy in a way that continues to give legitimacy to the notion that the secessionist movement was something more, or better, or more noble than what it was—a bloody insurrection to maintain the 'right' to own, sell and buy human beings."

For all that, Ridley insists that he doesn't "believe in censorship…. I would just ask, after a respectful amount of time has passed, that the film be re-introduced to the HBO Max platform along with other films that give a more broad-based and complete picture of what slavery and the Confederacy truly were."

There's no reason to question Ridley's sincerity about censorship. His characterization of Gone With the Wind is accurate, too. The novel, published in 1936, and the movie represent the apogee of the Southern cultural revival of the early 20th century that included the objectively pro-Ku Klux Klan novel The Clansman and the movie made from it, The Birth of a Nation (which was the highest-grossing movie in America until Gone With the Wind).

If anything, what's odd is Ridley's narrow focus on a new, relatively small platform. The movie is still listed for streaming or purchase at YouTube, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes, and Amazon (which also sells various versions of the novel, one of the best-selling and most-beloved works of fiction in American history). But Gone With the Wind, both the book and the film, have been deeply problematic since their creations. Or, more accurately, their immense and continuing popularity has been deeply problematic and in many ways, we are confronting issues about racism more openly in the current moment than at any time since the mid-1960s.

Rather than shunting it aside for the time being—HBO Max has signaled that it would stream the movie again at some undefined point in the future, with proper denunciations and context in place—I'd argue that it's the perfect time to pair Gone With the Wind's insanely unhistorical yet continuously popular depiction of happy, well-treated slaves with movies such as 12 Years a Slave and Django Unchained, which foreground the physical brutality and torture that actually maintained the peculiar institution. Why did the son of Lithuanian Jews, David O. Selznick, invest so much into the recreation of an antebellum world that would have been undoubtedly hostile to his own ancestors? Why did people such as my mother, born in 1927 to poor Italian immigrants, identify with Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled, pampered daughter of a plantation owner? How do we deal with the fact that so much of our national culture traffics in awful, repellent racial and gender stereotypes, often in ways we barely even acknowledge? (Try reading The Great Gatsby with an eye on its anti-Semitism and fear of black people and immigrants, for example.)

In "Gone With the Wind: The Feminization of the Anti-Tom Novel," an essay in the 1982 collection What Was Literature?, the literary critic Leslie Fiedler elevates Margaret Mitchell's potboiler novel to the status of art even as he denounces its depiction of an explicitly racist America that no longer exists. He argues that Mitchell, the "literary heir" to the unapologetically white supremacist Thomas Dixon, effectively revised the great American anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and created a character in Scarlett who for better or worse is as archetypal as Captain Ahab, Natty Bumppo, or Hester Prynne. To will away her hold on America's collective unconscious is probably smart corporate policy for HBO Max but to understand why she persists is likely a precondition for successfully working through what remains of racism in America.

To acknowledge a work as significant is not to ratify its author's (or audience's) moral universe. Gone With the Wind is at once the high-water mark of a delusional version of the South and an acknowledgment that it had been thoroughly defeated by the forces of liberal modernity. At the close of the book and the movie, Rhett Butler leaves not just Scarlett but the United States because Reconstruction Atlanta is "too new for me, too raw." The racial and class hierarchy he symbolically embodied and succeeded in has been replaced by individualism, capitalism, and the ability to rise and reinvent oneself afforded by urbanization. Scarlett is, against Mitchell's own inclinations, the heroine of the book because she alone among its characters adapts to a world radically different than the one in which she was born.

There are lessons to be drawn from critically engaging our cultural past, especially at moments of tension and conflict. We are working overtime to police speech and expression across a seemingly infinite number of dimensions. The urge, however well-intentioned and temporary, to shoo it away rarely leads to resolution and instead forestalls the sort of reckoning that is already long overdue.

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  1. All entertainment that doesn’t conform to current political correctness must be censored and banned lest it offend someone. Freedom of speech means being free from anything that might possibly be offensive to someone in a protected class. Not in a protected class? Fuck off. Nobody cares.

    1. The left is the real American Taliban. Who is destroying statues, history, etc? Them.

      1. Tolerance means not tolerating intolerance. To be truly tolerant, one must exercise maximum intolerance towards anything or anyone that disagrees with the political left.

        1. Everyone hail the new Censitivity.

          1. Perfect, you should copyright that.

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            2. Trademark it, I don’t think you can copyright a word you made up. But how will one profit from it??

      2. EXCELLENT analogy!

      3. That’s only because the Right would never allow a Charles Darwin statue to be erected on public land to begin with.

        1. Look at this asshole making up random shit again.

        2. How about getting government out of the art business, as well as the naming public buildings business, the naming of roads business, etc.?

    2. There are only two things I can’t stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures, and the Dutch.

      1. +1 Goldmember.

      2. The way I heard it was: “Two kinds of people I can’t stand: bigots and [word I can no longer say or even quote to anyone in any forum if I want to keep my job].”

        1. Caucasians?

    3. “All entertainment that doesn’t conform to current political correctness must be censored and banned lest it offend someone.”

      I agree. Times change and for great works of literature to remain relevant, they too must change. But that’s not banning or censoring. Homer’s works (The Odyssey, The Iliad) are constantly being renewed with hundreds if not thousands of translations over the centuries.

      I read Rieu’s translation of Homer first published in 1945 as a ‘Penguin Classic.’ It might be a little trouble to get it now as there are dozens of more modern translations available that have been brought to market to supplant it. Not because Rieu’s version has been banned or censored, but the modern versions are more relevant. More politically correct, to borrow your terms.

      1. I propose we rewrite Huck Finn so it refers to Jim as “bro.”

        1. There was a professor at Auburn University who edited Huck Finn and took out all the Nwords. His next project was to take all the synthesizers out of Tom Sawyer

            1. Truly a work of great cultural import. I congratulate you on your taste.

        2. That would certainly be a possibility. Look at the various versions, film and written, of Alice in Wonderland. They vary greatly, some are tailored more for children, and there’s even a porno version on film.

          The classic works of art are not timeless. They need occasional renewal to remain relevant to a mass audience.

          1. From that point of view I can agree. But to censor classics because someone might be offended? Nope. I can’t get on board.

            1. “But to censor classics because someone might be offended?”

              I think many people are offended by American works of the mid 20th century and before. Coming out with newer versions that are more in line with modern sensibilities is not censorship. It’s what the market demands. For scholars, the original versions of Gone With the Wind etc, will always be available. For the mass market, I can see them being replaced.

              Look at another film adaptation of a novel: Pride & Prejudice. There are dozens of film and TV versions out there since the first adaptation in 1940, screenplay by Aldous Huxley. This adaptation hasn’t been censored. Modern audience want to see something tailored to their sensibilities. They will probably see the 2005 version. In another 10 years, there will almost certainly be another version made to supplant that one.

              1. Remakes for modern audiences doesn’t require banning the originals.

                1. My point exactly. Scholars and completists will always be able to find the version that interests them.

              2. Here’s hoping someone reworks this analogy and your post very soon

              3. Coming out with “new versions” is not censorship. Getting rid of the OLD versions while only keeping your politically correct version is censorship.

                Who is to say that all things must remain relevant to modern times? Would that be YOUR definition of relevant or just that it agrees with your political opinion? Updating Huck Finn would be stupid and dishonest. Sam Clemmens grew up in the time he writes about, and his opinions [pretty liberal for the times], the stories that he told, and the narrative that he put on the characters told at least how he understood his own times. Not to mention that I’ve yet to see anyone who wanted to ban the book who actually UNDERSTOOD the book, more than just the surface story that is told. There is a huge context there that would shock a lot of people.

                The fact is that when you lose your original version of anything, you at the very least lose the context in which it was originally produced. As a lover of foreign films, old films and literary works, what is said, how it is produced tells me FAR more about the culture of the time it was written than the time which they reference. In 1939, Gone With The Wind wasn’t touted as being a documentary or an honest version of the 1860s, so why criticize it on that basis?

                There are however, literary sections that did deal with horrific situations in a more honest fashion than the overall story portends. What IS completely honest about the movie is that it absolutely IS symbolic of the life and times of 1939, and the end of an era that included some people who actually went through those times. 99% of what we produce today has little to no relevance to the truth, and that would include “stories” based on actual events of OUR time such as docudramas.

                Funny thing is that I’ve got a collection of history books that were published 100-200 years ago. Not only has history been “updated” since then in many cases, the dissection of that history and the commentary on it reveals a far more accurate picture of the times in which they were written than any lesson you could learn from the story that it presents.

          2. “Timeless” and “relevant to a mass audience” are not the same thing. Especially since the latter tends to be code for “stuff that patronizing liberal whites approve of for minorities”

            1. “Timeless” and “relevant to a mass audience” are not the same thing.”

              Exactly my point. Times change. Audiences change.

          3. You are arguing that works of art should be changed to suite whatever your dumb ass sensibilities are. Changing a translation is not the same as changing the text you fucking half wit. The text in the original Greek remains the same. The translation changes because we decide there is a better way to convey the meaning to modern readers. That is not the same as censoring.

            It terrifies me that people as stupid as you are exist. Your existence is an affront to all humanity.

            1. “You are arguing that works of art should be changed to suite whatever your dumb ass sensibilities are.”

              No, they are changed. I’m not talking about should or should not. I leave that decision up to adapters and translators. They presumably are reacting to market forces.

              “The translation changes because we decide there is a better way to convey the meaning to modern readers. That is not the same as censoring. ”

              You seem to understand me completely. I couldn’t have stated it better myself. I don’t understand your hostility and contempt for me, someone you agree with. Don’t bother to try to explain though. Let’s quit while we’re ahead.

      2. My copies of The Illiad and The Odyssey are also the Rieu versions. I guess they are really good ones since they’re still around. But I can’t really compare them to any others since they’re the only ones I’ve ever read.

        1. The earliest versions of Homers’ books we have are dated 2200 years after Homer’s death, if Homer actually existed at all. I’ll guess that Homer wouldn’t have recognized this books well over 2 millennia later.

      3. Times change and for great works of literature to remain relevant, they too must change. But that’s not banning or censoring.
        1. HBO refusing to show a work because they disagree with its message is censorship.
        2. In this case, the “problem” the censors have with GWTW is not that it has become irrelevant, but that lots of people still find it relevant, one way or another, and want to watch it again and again.
        3. What Hollywood has forgotten is that moviegoers don’t go see a classic film because it’s relevant, or woke, or has great CGI. What they want is a good story. And whatever it’s relevance or faults or inaccuracies, GWTW is a great story about memorable characters played by accomplished actors.

        1. “1. HBO refusing to show a work because they disagree with its message is censorship.”

          Broadcasters, publishers etc can’t accommodate all works of art. They have to make editorial decisions. Some works become dated. They are the obvious choices to cut. I saw a video of a Sam Kinison performance recently on youtube. Very dated even though it was from the 80s. Watch it before it’s pulled.

          ” but that lots of people still find it relevant, one way or another, and want to watch it again and again”

          If it’s so popular, then maybe a remake is overdue. Pride & Prejudice has been done and redone many times over, as I pointed out earlier. Maybe a porno version will come out, as has been done with Alice in Wonderland.

          “And whatever it’s relevance or faults or inaccuracies, GWTW is a great story about memorable characters played by accomplished actors.”

          Somehow the theme music is going through my mind now, but I don’t think I’ve seen it. If I did, it certainly didn’t leave much of an impression. I prefer the films of Kubrick, all of them, and Tarkovsky, most of them. (Kubrick, by the way, withdrew A Clockwork Orange from circulation in Britain from shortly after its release until his death. Concern about its negative influence on society.)

          1. “Broadcasters, publishers etc can’t accommodate all works of art.”

            But you know very well this isn’t the reason why HBO is pulling it. They’ve admitted as much when they say they’ll return it at some future point when it can include “…“historical context and a denouncement of those very (racist) depictions…”

            “If it’s so popular, then maybe a remake is overdue.”

            Huh? Perhaps the original is so good that a remake could never even approach it. Like “Casablanca.” Or “Citizen Kane.”

            “…but I don’t think I’ve seen it.”

            Don’t worry. The woke scolds and unwitting enablers like you will ensure nobody can.

            1. “But you know very well this isn’t the reason why HBO is pulling it. ”

              No I don’t. I didn’t read the article, and I don’t care what HBO streams or doesn’t stream.

              “Perhaps the original is so good that a remake could never even approach it. Like “Casablanca.” Or “Citizen Kane.”

              There’s no guarantee that remakes approach the quality of original works. The Pole Stanislaw Lem wrote one of his better novels, “Solaris” (1961) which Tarkovsky made into the masterpiece of the same name in 1972. Steven Soderberg’s 2002 version of Solaris was a bit of a stinker, despite the involvement of Hollywood heavies like George Clooney and James Cameron.

      4. You’ve got to be kidding.

        Great works of art are great works of art exactly because they DON’T CHANGE….because they’re NOT DESIGNED TO BE TOPICAL AND ‘RELEVANT’ (save to the human condition). They’re Great Works of Art because, through the talents of their creators, they have succeeded in sounding a magical and moving chord which resonates across all the generations. They bring light to what was once dark.

        God no — great works must NEVER change.

        And no, my friend, new translations of Great Works created in languages other than our own do not make the Work more relevant (God forbid); they make them more accurate…closer (as per Translator) to the author’s truest intent & tone.

        Political Correctness (or noonday demonic ‘wokeness’) has absolutely nothing to do with translation (at least any good translation). Never.

        1. “And no, my friend, new translations of Great Works created in languages other than our own do not make the Work more relevant (God forbid); they make them more accurate…closer (as per Translator) to the author’s truest intent & tone.”

          I disagree. New translations aren’t commissioned because publishers decide that the old ones are inaccurate and deviate from the original author’s intent. They are commissioned because a new audience has come into existence and the audience for the old translation has died out.

          “Political Correctness (or noonday demonic ‘wokeness’) has absolutely nothing to do with translation (at least any good translation). Never.”

          I’m not sure about this at all. The King James Bible is full of references to ‘The Lord,’ where Christ is presented not as a carpenter, but as a member of the aristocracy. I’m sure there are modern translations that eschew this forelock tugging language in favor of more modern, egalitarian stylings. I also think post WW2 translations of the bible tend to avoid the term ‘holocaust’ for political reasons.

    4. You know what the irony of them “cancelling” GWTW is, besides the obvious of Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar performance? Despite the pop culture portrayals of the glorification of Scarlett O’Hara and the gauzy Lost Cause backdrop in the movie, she generally gets her comeuppance at every turn. By the end of the story, her whole way of life has been obliterated and she’s basically destitute, her daughter’s died, and she’s been abandoned by both of the men she fell in love with. Rhett Butler even indulges in some post-hoc economic analysis in the dialogue by essentially pointing out in the movie that the South has almost no industrial production, nor the population numbers, to sustain a rebellion if the North decides they want to fight to prevent secession.

      Honestly, any leftist wanting to rub one out to the death of the Confederacy couldn’t pick a better film than Gone With The Wind.

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    6. Exactly. It sure feels a lot better reading the witty, sarcastic and intelligent comments made by so many here as opposed to the trite and stupid bullshit from the Republicrat sheep on MM sites. And you are more inciteful than the writers. Thanks for alleviating the stress.

    7. Gone With the Wind? Historically, grossly inaccurate.
      Django Unchained? Right on the money! says Nick.
      “How do we deal with the fact that so much of our national culture traffics in awful, repellent racial and gender stereotypes, often in ways we barely even acknowledge?” Translation: “I’m Nick Gillespie and I’ve just discovered ‘micro-aggression’ and ‘systemic racism.'”

  2. Too late Nick, your leftist friends have spoken. You sided with them and now you get to be responsible for the results. Sorry.

    1. That is very one-dimensional of you.

      1. Then it’s appropriate for Nick.

    2. nicks far from the worst one here, if he had editorial control this place would be a lot better for it.

      1. This seems to be true. For one, he doesn’t give off the vibe in his writing that he’s really auditioning for a better gig.

        1. Is Mother Jones really a better gig though?

          1. Weigel and McArdle did a bit better than that. So did Balko.

  3. There’s no reason to question Ridley’s sincerity about censorship.

    If you say so. Anyone honestly against censorship trusts the consumer to either be able to discern for himself the content’s messaging validity, or through open debate learn opposing sides to whatever the problematic content is supposedly glorifying. (I suppose an HBO trigger warning counts as the latter.)

  4. So we’re back to being good with the 50s anti Communist Hollywood blacklist?

    1. The Blacklist was hardly as all-encompassing as this bullshit is.

      1. Nor as effective.

    2. Add in a heaping dose of Stalin and Mao, sprinkled with McCarthy, and that’s the complete recipe for this toxic stew.

      1. “Add in a heaping dose of Stalin”

        More accurate is Lenin if you are looking for censorious communists. It was Lenin who banned Dostoevsky. Stalin (a published poet) brought him back into print. I tend to agree with Nabokov’s views on Dostoevsky rather than Ayn Rand’s who ranked him as one of the two greatest novelists. Stalin also loved his books despite Dostoevsky’s anti-Western religious fanaticism.

        1. I’d say sending dissidents to death counts as censorship. But, please feel free to continue splitting hairs.

          1. “I’d say sending dissidents to death counts as censorship.”

            Why are you defending Lenin?

  5. It’s unabashedly one of my favorite movies. You’d think feminists would love that one all the men are basically portrayed as useless, crazy, drunk or stupid besides Clark Gable. This women dismissed as naive and silly, drags everyone around her through what is a literal societal apocalypse through wit, guile and stone cold balls. Is she flawed yes she’s driven by a childish drive and longing to try to get back to forgone time that’s long past to never return. By the time she realizes this she’s driven away lost everyone she cared and loved for It’s a classic tragedy. Also the moral center of the movie is a black woman who won an oscar for her role. It’s a fucking period piece for fucks sake.

    1. The film basically makes the point the only reason Scarlett is able to succeed is because of her flaws everyone else gets the Antebellum is over except for her. She is a tragic character. This is so dumb.

      1. I agree with everything you say, but I want to add that it is wonderfully acted as well. The scene where Rhett puts his hands on the sides of Scarlett’s head, threatening to crush her skull, is a masterpiece of acting by Vivian Leigh without saying a word. You see real fear cross her face only to be quickly replaced by resolve as she decides to turn on Rhett and call his bluff. And I also agree that Mammy is the most moral character in the story-the only one who calls out Scarlett and Rhett for their foolishness.

      2. I grew up in the area Gone With the Wind was supposedly based in. Our football team played at Tara Stadium and Twelve Oaks Stadium. I knew a family that named all 12 kids after characters from the book. I tried reading the book but gave up when it took half a page to describe the horse. I admittedly have only seen the movie once. I personally think Scarlett is a first-rate bitch. I think the movie is so well liked because she is strong lead that is beloved by the men in her life as she uses them to get her way. Some see it as tragic that she doesn’t realize how to love others. Some see it as empowering that she doesn’t let others hold her back. The “After all tomorrow is another day” became a symbol of women just continuing to deal with the shit they have to deal with in their lives. The reality was it was popular because most of us like Scarlett O’Hara are selfish creatures that were only seeing our part of the story. We care about watching Scarlett and really just weren’t caring about the other people in the story our what there plight was.

        1. well yes scarlett is a total selfish bitch.

          1. Vivian Leigh is fvckin gorgeous, so there’s that

        2. You grew up in the 1860s and 1870s?

        3. I watched it when I was 17 over 30 years ago. Quite the epic film.

          Even at the age I understood it gave a fictional account of another side of a unique moment in American history. What do people expect? That a reality that once existed should be erased?

          And we have the gall to make fun of the Dark Ages?

          Watching the family slowly fall apart because of war was poetic and beautiful art.

          Leigh played the role of the bitch so well and Gable finally letting her go at the end with the ‘don’t give a damn’ was cathartic.

          Maybe there’s a lesson in that.

          Maybe people really need to hit back hard and say ‘I don’t give a damn’ and give people like Ridley a big fuck you.

          My father came from Italy too. He went down with his middle finger up.

    2. One of my favorites too. I’ve also read the book three times. Most people who criticize it probably know nothing about it.

  6. Unlike the South in GWTW, I’m sure our Republic will survive this minor posturing by HBO Max.

    As both Obi-Wan and police detective Lieutenant Frank Drebin indicated, “Move along…nothing to see here.”

    1. If only that were true.

      Company after company is paying what amounts to extortion money to the woke mob. People are losing their jobs by simply stating that they’re going to use their 2A rights to defend themselves and their property from looters. Law enforcement – instead of being made better – is being dismantled, so that criminals can be confronted with social workers ready to hug it out when they commit their crimes. This action is relatively minor in and of itself, but it’s in actuality, just another drop in the rapidly filling bucket.

  7. It is a film that…continues to give legitimacy to the notion that the secessionist movement was something more, or better, or more noble than what it was—a bloody insurrection to maintain the ‘right’ to own, sell and buy human beings.

    So he begins with an utterly unchallenged, false premise, then proceeds to beg that the movie with the first black Oscar winner be thrown down the memory hole. But he doesn’t believe in censorship?

    1. It’s not censorship when the neo-marxists do it. Only nazis burn books. Communists redistribute bourgeoisie propaganda into the flames.

  8. “No, we should interrogate ”

    OMFG just come out as an SJW already

    1. “His characterization of Gone With the Wind is accurate, too”

      Oh ok you did never mind.

  9. We are working overtime to police speech and expression

    Take your cavalier use of the pronoun “We” and shove it up your ass.

  10. You can’t find The Vapors pop-punk classic video for Turning Japanese on YouTube anymore–just lip-synced “live” performances and Kirstin Dunst.

    Check it out here, while you still can:

    https://vimeo.com/284449766

    It’s like in Nineteen Eighty-Four and Rollerball.
    If the past isn’t digitized, it’s like it never happened. I’ve noticed that there isn’t much on the internet from the Rodney King riots, since they happened before consumer internet became a thing and news organizations started organizing their content for digital consumption.

    This has happened before. We only have a fraction of the literature of Greece and Rome–and all it took was for someone to not bother to copy it into the new format.

    1. It gets better.

      There has a been a marked push to rewrite this history of punk and other subjects related to the time. Not critique, not re-evaluation, not even difference of opinion.

      Rewriting the whole damn history.

      And even pointing out glaring omissions, obvious falsehoods, and a suspicious political slant, it is tabulated for those who weren’t there or don’t know any better. It is the 1619 Project writ large for culture in general. In fact, this current generation is the only I can think of that is doing PR during the damn event. It is almost as if the perception matters more than the thing itself.

      I almost hope every artifact from that time period is destroyed and no trace is left behind. It’s one thing to be demonized. It is quite another to be a dead puppet to some political cause.

    2. Turning Japanese was still there a few months ago. What happened?

    3. I’m rarely surprised reading a comments section, but a Mod revival band reference did it. The Vapors were a good one, though. Not as good as The Jam, The Chords, or The Risk, but much less arrogant and insufferable as Secret Affair.

      A missed genre of music, but at least Facebook didn’t ban Mod like they did with Skinhead yesterday. One of the black members of The Specials was caught up in that ZuckSuck fuckery.

    4. “We only have a fraction of the literature of Greece and Rome–and all it took was for someone to not bother to copy it into the new format.”

      Probably the best non fiction book I’ve read in the past year or so: ‘The Swerve – How the World Became Modern.’ It’s almost a detective story about a Renaissance collector the rediscovery of Lucretius’ philosophical treatise in verse “On The Nature of Things.”

    5. Honestly, the Kirsten Dunst cover video is way more fun.

  11. Now do Schindler’s List.

    1. Or Spike Jones joints.

  12. It’s just more reason not to subscribe, is all. Censorship is censorship, so matter how it’s packaged. And no, censorship isn’t only a government act.

  13. I never liked GWTW, but always understood its popularity due to its heroine losing everything and keeping on keeping on. The racist culture was not the story. You could have set the same basic plot in any period, any place.

    People can be pretty damned revolting, but I expect most people watching it, at least whites or maybe all non-blacks, concentrated on Scarlet, not the background. Christ, most movies are so irrational and unbelievable, that’s what you have to do anyway. People want entertainment, not an education, otherwise Michael Moore would be making billion dollar blockbusters.

  14. book burners in different costumes.

  15. I can understand a degree of discretion. Another aspect of tolerance is maybe picking the appropriate place and venue. Yeah, sure, 1st Amendment and all that, but wasn’t the same critique given to Westboro Baptist Church when they were protesting? Conclusion- they were being assholes.

    But christalmighty is this moving from consideration to beyond stupid. The same justification could be used for not airing Roots or even 12 Years a Slave as it is just wank material for those who dream of a return to the Antebellum South.

    If these things keep up, it will do more to foment anti-black attitudes than the day and night proclamations of the Aryan Nation.

  16. Anyone remember this from Warner Bros? They certainly got it right, although I wonder if they would take the same path today

    “The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While the following does not represent the Warner Bros. view of today’s society, these shorts are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”

    1. No, they didn’t, and HBO didn’t.

      Even when I was five years old back in the early 70s, I never made the connection that black people acted the way that “Mammy Two Shoes” does in “Tom and Jerry” any more than I believed that a cat could heave a horse out the front door (this appeared in one of the cartoons, of which, I’m still a huge fan of to this day).

      So, all this proves is that the Hollywood crowd is dumber than a five-year-old.

  17. JFC Gillespie it’s a chick flick. That’s why it’s so popular.

    If you have a problem with the people who like it, then take it up with the women of America.

    Oh, and the belief that all slaves in the South were brutally mistreated is just as ridiculous as the belief that all slaves were well-fed and happy. Out of some 3 million slaves there was likely a wide variation in the way they were treated.

    1. Um…THEY WERE SLAVES.

      That alone is not enough for you?!?

      1. “It doesn’t matter how you treat slaves because they’re slaves”
        -apedad

      2. Well, yeah. I’m not disputing that.

        What I’m disputing is Gillespie’s silly idea that the portrayal of slaves in GWTW would never have happened, and that every slave in America on 1860 was beaten, starved, and abused on a daily basis. With millions of slaves and thousands of masters there was probably a wide range of how they were treated. Both scenarios are possible.

        That’s not the same thing as saying “slavery is good”.

  18. Did you compose this column on one knee, both knees or fully prostrate? If you don’t want to read unpleasant things destroy Twitter. If you don’t want to see ugliness ban You Tube. Anyone else feel like a boiled frog?

  19. Lots of messages in GWTW. Rhett shows the arrogance of the South’s “cavaliers” who think any one of them can lick ten Yankee clerks. Ashley posits the only solution to slavery that would have avoided war – gradual emancipation – but doesn’t have the guts to move on it until “after father dies.” But he does have the guts to go out and stop night rider attacks on the black and poor white community. Scarlett goes from a simpering belle of the county to the kind of capitalist entrepreneurship that the South needed to recover from a disaster of its own making, thereby scandalizing all her friends and relatives( except Melanie) who believe work is below them. Yeah, there are dimwitted darkies but anyone who thinks Mammy isn’t the equal or better of a lot of white characters is a fool.

    1. Ooops, I remember now Ashley’s group went out to clean up the criminal scum, black and white, that were preying on everyone. I guess that’s a romanticized version of what the original Klan claimed their purpose was.

    2. The whole idea that GWTW glorifies the antebellum south is just so, so stupid. It’s obviously a tragedy, and not meant to portray any of those things in a positive light. We know that because it was written AFTER the Civil War, and we know how those sentiments turned out for them.

      Honestly, does anyone REALLY watch GWTW and yearn for the good ole days of human slavery? Does anyone in modern American REALLY miss the casual racism? It’s a cultural relic.

      This only shows that progs are completely incapable of critical thought in any way.

      1. The only people who actually believe it glorifies anything do not read the title, or listen to the narrator.
        It literally says “GONE with the wind”.

    3. Mammy is about the only unambiguously admirable character in the film. (Melanie is OK, but she’s not someone I look up to.)

    4. Rhett warned the “cavaliers”
      No, I’m not hinting. I’m saying very plainly that the Yankees are better equipped than we. They’ve got factories, shipyards, coal mines, and a fleet to bottle up our harbors and starve us to death. All we have is cotton … and slaves … and arrogance.

  20. Gone with the Wind is a classic example of American cinema that will be remembered long after the current sjw twitter trash has faded into obscurity.

    1. Not if the New Taliban can burn every copy. Hard to remember what has been turned into dust.

  21. This is why the move to streaming services instead of having your own copy of media has been a dubious development. It has put control of what are able to watch in the hands of companies lacking integrity and are easily spooked.

    1. Yep. Fortunately I have a copy of some of these films (including Song of the South – suck it Disney). I need to look for others while I can.

  22. “There’s no reason to question Ridley’s sincerity about censorship.”

    …stated after discussing his intention to censor a movie…

    I’m glad history is always butterflies and unicorns.

  23. Not on the same scale, but note the evolution of the editing of Caddyshack. Original:
    Ty: You take drugs, Danny?
    Danny: Every day.
    Ty: Good. Then what’s your problem?

    Lacey: You were in the war?
    Ty: Uh…no….Homo. Much better now though

    Early TV version:
    Ty: You take drugs, Danny?
    Danny: No!!!
    Ty: Good. Then what’s your problem?

    Lacey: You were in the war?
    Ty: Uh…no….Homo. Much better now though

    Today’s TV version:
    Ty: You take drugs, Danny?
    Danny: Every day.
    Ty: Good. Then what’s your problem?

    Lacey: You were in the war?
    Ty: Uh…no….

  24. Timely article, Nick, and thank you.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and what I grew up believing about the trajectory of free, western culture– mainly its permissiveness– is turning out to be entirely wrong.

    The evidence that our culture is becoming more prudish, more censorious and more “conservative” is just too overwhelming to ignore.

    I see case after case of what was often seen as harmless fun, innocent entertainment or a saucy joke being something that literally “couldn’t be done today”. As a kid, things like the Hayes commission were always pointed out as ridiculous (and frightening) examples of industry and cultural censorship from a bygone era– no one lamenting their departure.

    I was recently made aware that Netflix is now censoring, and literally digitally changing movies- often times in inexplicable ways. In Back To the Future II where Marty finds the “Oh La La” magazine, the scene was trimmed down to minimize the depiction of 50s era pinup models that were momentarily on the screen.

    This censorship is everywhere you look. We’re losing liberal, western civilization. It’s time we start calling out these left-wing moralizers.

    1. All I know is that they’ll have to pry my Blazing Saddles disc from my cold dead fingers.

      1. Mel Brooks had some classics.

        That was a good one. Among the others I like.

        2000 year old man recordings which is him and Carl Reiner just riffing.

        Get Smart TV show he produced.

        Young Frankenstein, one of my top favorites ever.

        There are more good ones.

      2. Wait. Wait until they destroy ‘Animal House’.

        I’m telling you ‘Demolition Man’ is our future if we don’t start using back.

        No more Robby ‘to be sure’ and ENB’s ‘you’re crazy’ rubbish.

        You go for the jugular and DEFEND FREE SPEECH.

    2. they run all the organizations that would do the calling out or lampooning. Don’t worry though I’m sure youtube, podcasts, and twitter will remain free of censorship.

      1. “Don’t worry though I’m sure youtube, podcasts, and twitter will remain free of censorship.”

        Until you get too popular with the wrong sorts of people.

    3. I think maybe we coming to a new religious revivalist phase in our cultural cycle. The difference being it is not a Christian revival like the ones in the past, it is a odd mix of fundamentalist secularism and an animism that cannot abide infidels and requires odd and humiliating rituals and confessions of faith.

      1. Gaia is the new Jesus Christ. Replete with evangelists preaching fire and brimstone damnation and offering plates sending money straight into the morality hustler’s pockets. I’ve thought this for years.

    4. My wife and I have been watching reruns of an old TV show from the 90’ss and 00’s for the last few weeks, and literally every episode we remark on how a line, joke, or scene could not be done today without sending cancel culture up in arms at the hateful, intolerant, and bigoted depiction of gays, transpeople, and women.

      The show? Will and Grace. Not kidding.

      1. I binge watched Married With Children. If it is in syndication anywhere, they better cancel it and prepare for some riot action.

      2. If the Cancel culture wants to cancel something that offends them from the past, why not cancel the Democrat Party? They are the ones who owned slaves.

  25. “It was a pleasure to burn….”

  26. “No, we should interrogate its persistent popularity and our relationship to it as forcefully as possible.”

    Anyone who uses “interrogate” this way deserves to be waterboarded. No, not to find out information. Just because he deserves it.

  27. Wait a minute, we are supposed to pair the “insanely unhistorical” GWTW with a more realistic and accurate movie, like Django Unchained?

    1. or ‘the Great?’

  28. Stop streaming anything you don’t want to watch, but I doubt this is intended as a statement of personal choice. If you want to make it impossible for others to see what you don’t like, why not have a good DVD burning? They have already broken a lot of glass and burned businesses, so the comparison with Kristallnacht is already pretty good. DVD burning along with books and electronic media will bring the whole thing into the 21st century.
    The Antifa people are anti-fascist, but have learned a lot from their supposed enemies.

    1. ” If you want to make it impossible for others to see what you don’t like, why not have a good DVD burning?”

      Here’s a link to Ftizhugh’s Cannibals All!:

      https://www.gutenberg.org/files/35481/35481-h/35481-h.htm

      It’s far more offensive to most Americans than anything in Gone with the Wind and much more easily available. It’s also free.

    2. The Antifa people are anti-fascist

      Hahahahahahaha! You actually believe that?

  29. “There’s no reason to question Ridley’s sincerity about censorship.”

    I beg to differ, Nick. I’d rip him up like a pit bull on a poodle.

    He’s a coward. He took a knee.

    Fuck that asshole.

  30. stream the movie again at some undefined point in the future, with proper denunciations and context in place

    How about just requiring the following notice to be aired before *anything* is shown? “Viewer Discretion Is Advised.”

    1. The new sherrif’s a (bell strikes)!

    2. Rich. You’re so cute when you’re naive and sensible.

  31. Let’s go full on with this and have some real fun!

    Let’s ban reruns of the TV series “MASH”. Yes, it may have been generally brave for its time, championing the humanity of women, blacks and gays, but still it is flawed!!! Flawed I tell you!

    Why?

    Because Hawkeye got his nickname from his dad who loved the character of Hawk-eye, in “Last of the Mohecans”, and Hawk-eye (aka Natty Bumpo) always took great pains to mention that, while adopted son and brother to Chingachgook and Uncas, was himself pure white (“not a cross”). So his racism damns himself, his name, and anyone who uses his name, etc. etc. etc.

    Where does this end???

    1. The only sitcom that will be allowed is The Jeffersons.

      1. We were just watching The Jeffersons in Italy yesterday. It’s called I Jeffersons here. I was telling my Italian friends how much more open and free America was back in the 70s when you could take on any subject. But then that was when we had the emotional maturity of adults.

    2. “Let’s ban reruns of the TV series “MASH”. ”

      Have you read the original novel published back in the 1960s? The TV series cleaned up a lot of the novel’s sexist and medicalist tropes.

      1. On my list, along with some other recent classics (Slaughterhouse Five, for example).

        Got a list? I’m thinking of what I’m going to do with my time if I decide to say “F it” when things open back up and just move to the back woods. I’m gonna need some stuff to read.

        1. These days I’m reading a lot of the ‘noir’ novels of Jim Thompson. They are as dark as anything I’ve read. Check the wikipedia page on Jim Thompson (author) for a decent writeup on the guy.

          He was from Oklahoma and a Leftist, not that you’d notice it from his novels. From the autobiographical ‘Roughneck:’

          I have been pretty critical at times of my native state, Oklahoma. For one thing, I believe it is and always has been the rottenest, politically, in the country. But on the whole I am fond of it and proud of it, and I am quickly annoyed with people who speak disparagingly of “Okies” and make uninformed remarks about the state’s “backwardness.” Where politics is concerned, Oklahoma may be, to use the Brookings Institution phrase, “the heart of Balkan America.” But in many ways it is so far ahead of the majority of the commonwealths as to make comparison pitiful.
          To cite a few statistics, it has more paved roads, more institutions of higher learning, and more playgrounds and parks per population than any state in the union. It has a really effective department of labor – not a mere letterhead conglomeration of spineless hacks. Its department of charities and corrections has long been held up as a model among penal and eleemosynary authorities. Unlike a certain state to the south, Oklahoma does not brag about its achievements – not nearly enough, anyway, in my opinion. Progressiveness, and the good life which is its objective, are considered a citizen’s rightful due. Many of the state’s wealthiest men came there broke and they have not lost touch with, nor sympathy for, those less fortunate than themselves.

    3. Spearchucker Jones didn’t last long.

      1. Spearchucker Jones didn’t last long.

        That is because the writing team learned there were no black MDs in the Korean Conflict. Of course if Cate Blanchett can plan Bob Dylan, Timothy Brown should be able to play a honky.

        1. Spearchucker Jones was introduced in the movie M*A*S*H (1970). He was played by Fred Williamson, noted football player turned actor.

    4. Actually, I’ve noticed that as M*A*S*H became more woke and insufferable, the characters of color disappeared. Spearchucker(who could have just been called by his real first name), Ginger Bayliss. We were left with Kellye.

  32. GWTW is so offensive! We should all unite and denounce it’s depiction of Southern white women as vain, manipulative, self-absorbed, spoiled, gold-digging bitches.

    Seriously, the ability to reason is lost on these types of people. Their attempt to whitewash it demonstrates how they make everything about them. GWTW isn’t about slavery, isn’t about the antebellum South (which is hardly glorified, rather it’s ridiculed.) It isn’t about the Civil War or anything so grand or important. It is about Scarlett. Full stop. The movie is as obsessed with Scarlett as Scarlett is herself. It ain’t about you!

  33. So what are we looking at here fellas? Eventual removal of films from the Library of Congress registry?

    You really need to avoid finding excuses for censorious behavior Nick. And that goes for Reason.

    Ridley shouldn’t dictate what a censor is. They already dictate the narrative enough as it is. Don’t let them also attempt to rationalize away what can’t be rationalized.

    If you remove a piece of art, you’re engaging in censorship. Period.

    People like Ridley – who aren’t men but little cowards – should have the balls to step up and admit it. And if they won’t, then it’s up to us to do it.

    My God, Fahrenheit 911, Brave New World, 1984 and Nurse Ratchet lobotomizing McMuprhy. Here we are playing all this out.

    I was explaining to a friend there’s some sort of French Jacobin reactionary moment going on in the West. You don’t need to kill peasants in the county side to get people in line anymore. Social Media mob rule and tyranny do this just fine by destroying lives.

    What better way to ruin a person than getting them fired from work and depriving them of their income?

    The people who peruse Facebook or whatever dumb platform out there looking for ‘peasants to kill’ or ‘gulags to erect’ are no different than the Brown and Black shirts and Blue Caps of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Soviet Union. Why get your hands dirty busting up a head when you can do it clean in your underwear from your mother’s house?

    You don’t need to be literally in a black shirt to be a Nazi thug. It’s funny, once again, we see the projection in plain site to see. They say Trump is a Nazi but in reality it’s them.

    But like the riots, none of this is happening. Those aren’t ‘riots-riots’ silly! Conservatives aren’t being demonetized on youtube you nut! College campuses aren’t over run with left-wing lunatics and SJW gibberish. Nope.

    It’s all in your head!

    Some people would fit naturally in a blue cap.

    1. Well said; agree completely.

      Welcome to the New Inquisition! Faster and easier and actually much less messy! Cancelled people don’t leave behind a pile of ashes.

  34. “Song of the South” is still available.

  35. You know, you would think fricken celebrities and directors would speak out lest it happen to them.

    Doesn’t anyone realize right now race is the excuse but what if it’s something else and they go after another genre of film?

    Don’t they know they eventually come for them? Don’t they know how this works?

    1. Intellectuals always side with the revolution, because it promises to usher in a progressive utopia.
      Every time the revolution takes power the intellectuals are utterly surprised when they are the first ones hauled off to the reeducation camps, or just lined up and shot.
      Every single time.

      “Those who don’t know history…”

  36. There’s one inescapable reality to all of this microtrauma silliness: All the would-be censors are implying that other people, but not themselves, are just too sensitive for the material. I’m gonna be OK after reading Tom Cotton’s op-ed, but some hypothetical poor innocent will be scarred for life and must be shielded from the dirty, dirty words. In short, I’m smart and you’re dumb, so you should let me police your media consumption. It doesn’t quite work does it?

    1. Where’s the real Tony and what did you do with him?

      But yes. This is how you get an Idiocracy.

      1. I’m pretty sure you get it from Trump voters fucking each other, at least according to the documentary.

        1. Ah. There’s Tony!

          1. Crap. I thought he was dead.

    2. The thing that pisses me off about Tom Cotton is no matter how stupid or insipid anything a Senator said it should be allowed to be published he’s a man in power and a sitting senator. It’s so ridiculous it defies reason. Sort of like the people clamoring to have Donald Trump’s dumbass boomer rants banned from twitter, even if the man is Hitler wouldn’t it behoove the population to know what hitler was thinking? We truly live in the land of the retards.

      1. They start with the premise that censorship actually works at achieving something. Maybe in a really locked-down regime, but I don’t think even at the height of our moral panic will we have the fortitude to really censor stuff in a way that makes a real dent.

  37. HBO is dominated by racists, trying to obliterate the appearance of the first African-American woman to ever win an Oscar.
    Please join me in boycotting HBO, WarnerMedia Entertainment, and all companies that advertise on any of the associated platforms.

  38. I’m old enough to remember when liberals were the ones standing up for free speech, especially against conservatives who wanted to ban movies, or remove books from libraries. Liberals found the ACLU for God’s sake.

    Now they want to suppress speech they don’t agree with- labeling it ‘dangerous’ in some instances. This has got to stop somewhere.

    1. How about November? That work for you?

      1. It’s better than October.

  39. I bought a bunch of DVDs (they still exist!) to watch during all this lockdown silliness.
    I watched Gone With The Wind (first time ever for me) immediately after watching Roots. It did feel very strange going from one to the other.
    I didn’t get around to watching Django Unchained until a month later, though.

    Anyway, the one thing I know for sure now is that Gone With The Wind isn’t nearly as racist as Africa Screams, which I saw a couple of weeks later.

  40. They can shut up until they yank Uncle Ben’s and Aunt Jemimah from store shelves and shiit down KFC (in addition to appropriating Black cuisine, Colonel Sanders was almost George Wallace’s running mate for crying out loud!)

  41. Let’s all just ignore the fact that the first black person win an oscar, Hattie McDaniel, won it for her work in this movie. It’s considered “racist” by today’s standards so fuck it, let’s just erase it from history. Wouldn’t want to learn anything from it, that’s just crazy talk.

  42. Ignoring history won’t change history.

  43. Gillespie, I don’t need a lecture from you or from HBO. Fuck off.

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  44. “But Gone With the Wind, both the book and the film, have been deeply problematic since their creations. Or, more accurately, their immense and continuing popularity has been deeply problematic and in many ways, we are confronting issues about racism more openly in the current moment than at any time since the mid-1960s.”

    No, they haven’t, Gillespie, you pretentious phony piece of shit. It’s just a goddamned movie, a work of fiction, a VERY POPULAR WORK OF FICTION FOR GENERATIONS, you pseudo-intellectual turd.

    You and Ridley are the assholes who should be CENSORED!

    Eat shit and die — both of you.

  45. Slavery is our history as is ignorance.

    If the new enlightenment involves the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth then we really need a documentary or movie, the caliber of Gone with the wind, about the thousands of black slave owners who demonstrated that slavery was about capitalism and business, not racism.

  46. That was weird. I attended a lecture by Leslie Fiedler on GWTW back in the early 80s and came away with only half of Nick’s opinion on it. It’s the greatest work of 20th century American literature, yes, but there is nothing “problematic” about its persistent popularity.

  47. The Sheriff is a near..censor that

  48. every one knows that Gone With The Wind has zero to do with race and everything to do with orgasm,, if you dont you are not watching the last part of the movie.. or reading the last chapter of the book. Try to censor that. oohhhh ahhhhh. oohhh ahhhhh

  49. Damnatio Memoriae!

    Erase it all; whitewash it; sandblast it; bury it and forget it. If the Past offends thee, pluck it out…rewrite it, overwrite it; make it New & Fresh & Completely Woke Tapioca. Why not!

    We are, today, so much better than the billions who have preceded us. We are so much smarter; so much more enlightened; so much wiser! We Yertles sit atop our mountain of compliant Turtles: “We’re king of the birds! And king of the bees!
    We’re king of the butterflies! King of the air! Ah, us! What a throne! What a wonderful chair! We’re Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous we! For we are the ruler of all that we see!”

    And clearly when we see Scarlett & Rhett & hear “Quitting Time!” we almost, pretty much vomit all over our Doc Martens. “Oh Yuck!” we say. How can it be? How can it be that a film made 81 years ago….from a book written 84 years ago…which fictionalized & dramatized & sensationalized an American era which occurred 160 years ago….all this done by an author long dead, performed by actors long dead….how can it be that it so completely & utterly fails when measured against our Sacred Yertle Wokeness!???

    What were they thinking?!!!!!

    But never mind — we’ll just wipe it all out. Stop playing it; forbid reading it; remove it from the libraries and all the movie channel rotations. And while we’re at it we might as well cancel Clark and Vivien & long-suffering Leslie. And can we get a list of names of everyone who has ever seen it??

    We feel sure they need to be Re-Educated! It’s for their own good, you know.

    May we recommend the Ludovico Technique?

    1. The progs want to erase the same past that they always punish us for.

  50. “Let us interrogate…as forcefully as possible….its persistent popularity”?????

    Hmmmm. Perhaps interrogate, a la Abu Ghraib?
    That’s a pretty forceful kind of interrogation: “Are you now or have you ever been someone who actually enjoyed “GWTW” (in either text or cinematic form)? Have you ever laughed at the “Quitting Time” dialogue….or enjoyed the long and lingering shots of Plantation sunsets??? Have you wept with Scarlett or winced with Rhett? ….. And have you yet repented? Have you declared your sins? Do you have a hair shirt?

    So yes, absolutely, let us put the American Public to the Question….(perhaps you, yourself, as Torquemada?)! I’m sure if we’re persistent enough we can effectively ‘urge’ all who still enjoy that spectacular to regret they ever laid eyes on Tara.

    A few auto-da-fe’s here or there….some nasty heretics cancelled and incinerated at some convenient stake: I predict our next ‘forceful interrogation’ of each other’s tastes, preferences, enjoyments, and pleasures (just to make sure they’re proper and approved) will be so much easier!

    In East Germany, they say, where ‘forceful interrogation’ was a way of life, they kept files on 5.6M people (assembled quite nicely by about 200K informers). I suspect that the New Amerika can beat those records without even breaking a sweat!

    1. Is there a place where people value sharing fact and reality regardless of content?

      The velvet chains of ignorance as comforting as they may seem become thorny when recognized for what they are.

      If you are the slightest bit uncomfortable discussing ANY subject you are wearing those chains. You are both slave and slaver.

  51. Where are all the black voices in all of this reworking of culture? It seems it’s always the white Left that continues to call the shots with political correctness, and ironically capitalize from it. Why won’t the corporate-run media, such as Amazon’s Washington Post, allow black Americans in on their editorial decisions regarding BLM? Why not put these changes up for referendum and allow only black Americans to vote? Are white Leftists afraid of the results?

    1. So the hashtag should read “only black lives matter”.

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