When I sent my column over to the editor, the statue of the Flyers' good luck charm had only been covered in a black tarp-like fabric. It was still there, and there was a scintilla of hope that it might remain where it belonged, greeting new generations of Flyers fans as they came to enjoy a good game of hockey (although given the way that the Flyers have been playing lately, “good” is a relative term.)
And then, on Easter Sunday morning we learned that the statue had been removed. We don’t know where it is, and probably never will. The same type of cowardice that fueled the middle-of-the-night ferreting away of the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis over three decades ago was behind the kidnapping of Kate’s statue.
Initial shock turned to red-hot anger, and has left a searing scar on the collective fan base of the once proud franchise. As soon as I learned that the Flyers were going to throw Kate under the bus because some hyper-sensitive do-gooders with an advanced and terminal case of white guilt couldn’t deal with the sight of a great and glorious patriot, I renounced them the way Michael Corleone renounced Satan in the last scene of the Godfather. Only I did it more than just three times.
In fact, I spent the weekend telling anyone who would listen how I would never again support the Flyers, and that not only would I root for whoever was playing against them, I would now be a proud Jersey Devils fan. If you check out my Facebook Profile picture, you will find out I am not kidding.
I also happen to be very good friend with the woman who sings the national anthem for the Devils, and I intend to ask her how I can go about getting season tickets (that is, assuming they haven’t thrown a tarp over her which, I am assuming, they have not.)
You might justifiably say that no one really cares if I file for divorce from the team that I have loved since my father bought us playoff seats in the nosebleed section of the Spectrum in 1973. There are many others willing to fill the empty space I’ll leave. But the thing is, I won’t be the only one deserting this heartless conglomerate that only cares about saying the right thing and pandering to the Poobahs of Political Correctness. Actually, we are legion, and we are not a very forgiving bunch.
I think the thing that angers us, if I might presume to speak for those legions, is the virtue signaling of those so-called “privileged classes” who have to be told over and over again how bigoted we really are.
Editorial pages have preached to us about how we must be empathetic and sensitive to the evolution in racial identity, awareness, conflict and offense. We who try and point out that Kate Smith was a woman of incredible decency, patriotism, fortitude and generosity are told that we just don’t “get it,” because she sang some lyrics they don’t like and that apparently make some people uncomfortable.
And when we say we’ve seen the lyrics and we still think that the attack on this good woman is abhorrent, as are the opinions of the people who think it’s OK to trash the dead, we are dismissed as racists, white supremacists, white nationalists, Trump supporters, tone deaf and out of step with changing times.
Well I am here to tell you that I, and if I might be so presumptuous as to continue to speak for the legions and say “we,” think that’s a load of trash.
People who refuse to understand context are generally not worth debating because they are narrow-minded and blinded by their agendas, so I don’t expect my critics to take anything away from this column other than “Christine is a racist.”
But that finger you see me pointing at you should be a wake up call that what happened to Kate Smith today can happen to MLK tomorrow. Why is that? Well, about 50 some years ago, a young gay man (they were called homosexuals then) wrote a letter to the civil rights leader and explained how he was troubled about his sexual orientation. The Reverend King did not tell this young man that he should accept himself and glory in his identity as a homosexual. King actually implied that the young man was psychologically ill, and needed help. He did it, of course, in the kindest of ways.
So who's ready to rename Martin Luther King Drive back to West River Drive?
And then you have Richie Ashburn, who apparently acted in a racist and deeply disrespectful manner toward Jackie Robinson back when Number 42 was the first black man to integrate the majors. Who's ready to help me remove his statue at Citizens Bank Park?
And President Obama used to have a problem with same-sex marriage, until he checked his polling numbers and decided that he was all for the wedded bliss of Adam and Steve. Can we pull down that weird portrait of his from the White House? (or is it too early?)
And George Washington held slaves. Want to take up a collection for the dynamite to blast Mount Rushmore to smithereens?
You see the idiocy of these attempts to whitewash history and the dishonesty of the people who are on that simple-minded crusade?
Don’t let the Poobahs of Political Correctness lead you to believe that it is a good thing that Kate Smith’s statue is gone. Don’t give them that respect, unless each and every one of them is willing to rename a river drive, exile a Hall of Famer, cover up a portrait and detonate TNT on the side of a famous mountain.
Until they admit that they’re ready and willing to do that, follow me in calling them hypocrites and cowards. And let me know if you want to carpool to the Prudential Center for some Devils games.
Christine Flowers is an attorney and Delaware County resident. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.