From it being named after a Confederate general to having the Confederate flag right there on the paint job, it’s been a beacon of outrage for those that hate everything the Old South stood for during Civil War times.
But even though there have always been haters, the animosity towards the car and the show (for celebrating those symbols) has only grown more intense as the U.S. grows more racially aware.
The latest controversy involving the car happened earlier this week when a NYC cop’s recreation of the General Lee was kicked off NYPD property, mounting a protest that has some calling The Dukes of Hazzard and its most iconic contribution a “symbol of racism.”
“It’s a symbol of racism, really if you think about it,” said one man upon hearing the news that a cop owned it.
Another, Michael Wynn of Washington Heights, agreed.
“I would feel uncomfortable driving that. If I was a cop, I would feel very uncomfortable,” he said.
A spokesman for the department issued a statement that “due to the fact that its presence at the NYPD facility may be considered offensive and/or inappropriate, the registered owner is being instructed that the car should not be parked on NYPD property.”
The owner, known to be a major Dukes ofHazzard fan, is said to have only driven the car “a couple of times” to the precinct.
The original General Lee was driven by Bo and Luke Duke on the classic series. It was a 1969 Dodge Charger that got the Duke boys out of plenty of scraps, complete with its “Dixie”-playing horn.
As for the police officer who owns the version you see in the image above, it’s more likely to get him in to plenty of scraps, but an attorney that CBS New York spoke to when reporting the story believes it will be the First Amendment that gets him out of it.
“Government must remain neutral to any viewpoint or idea, and allow the expression of ideas — even if the vast majority of the community considers the idea dangerous, offensive, wrong, and evil,” said Nadine Strossen, a civil rights attorney with the New York Law School.
She added that the First Amendment “clearly protects” the police officer.
But what do you think, readers? Dukes of Hazzard fan or no, should the officer have the right to drive his General Lee to work? Sound off in the comments section.