"CRACKERS Are Crazy!" (((squawk)))
I like names that include an initial and period punctuation. There’s something endearingly thirsty about the flourish; a demand for individuality, emphasized grammatically, that reads like the feel of a necktie being snugly adjusted. A. J. Verdelle, Fred G. Sanford, Weezy F. Baby, Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige, Ursula K. LeGuin, Sterling K. Brown, W.E.B. DuBois, John F. Kennedy, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee. In the case of Lee, perhaps it’s this reveal of the ‘Edward’ in front of the period, that’s made the Charlottesville Virginia statue so vulnerable to contemporary moral outrage? Certainly, it is not because of General Lee’s traitorous and terrorist acts against people within the United States. As a body politic, we’ve long memorialized those qualities as part of the job description for top level executives, elected officials and law enforcement officers, an unfortunate obstacle to the ethical accomplishments of, say, Ida B. Wells. But we’re not talking about her…
Let’s imagine that we are talking about the preservation of the Union, at the hands of the American Civil War, then I am grateful to Mr. Lee’s miscalculations on the battlefield at Gettysburg. I say, let’s keep “the Cracker on a horse,” to turn a Tarantino phrase. Keep them all on their horses, or at the top of the steps on Wall Street, or with a right hand forever tucked into a fitted vest, or with a finger pointed to a horizon of stolen riches. Because we need a visual reminder of our stubborn tendency to elevate mediocrity. Think of it as an educational defense against erasure, in case more states follow the Texas model, and call it the “Triangle Trade” in place of “Transatlantic Human Trafficking during the 16th - 19th Centuries” in textbooks. I propose a sanctuary for African Gray Parrots. A wrought iron flight cage with elevated walkways, providing a perched perspective, and featuring a cacophony of feathered talkers with unusual catch phrases. Or we could mimic a preschool project by coating the offending objects with peanut butter, shaking seed on the surface - massive feeders across the nation.
George Washington Carver would be proud.