Most of you are well aware that Ben
"Cooter" Jones is a descendant of Confederate Veterans, and a fierce
defender of our history and heritage, something very rare among
celebrities today. You might not know that he and Ms. Alma are also
dear friends and steadfast supporters of the Virginia Flaggers.
When we heard yesterday that he was having trouble with his stores' website, we contacted him immediately to offer our assistance, and true to form, by the end of the conversation, he wound up boosting my spirits and encouraging me, instead of the other way around. :)
Please take a look at the video message from Ben below, followed by his latest correspondence. By the end of the weekend, all Confederate flag merchandise will be removed from his website. PLEASE KNOW that this is TEMPORARY while his folks work to move to a new platform.
In the meantime, we are asking our supporters to go to the site and order something BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEKEND to show Ben how much we appreciate EVERYTHING he does for our Cause, AND to help pay for the transition to the new site, which will be costly.
PLEASE take a moment to visit the website here... https://cootersplace.com/pages/shop-cooters
or give them a call and place your order over the phone...
Message from Ben Jones AKA "Cooter"
My daddy used to tell me, "Don't put your business in the street..." He was an old-school railroad man. He mostly kept his opinions to himself, and he had a traditional sense of what should be private.
But in show business and in politics, two careers I've had in which I'd like to think I have been reasonably successful, what you do and think becomes public, and even the things that should be private have a way of "getting out there."
So as much as I like to keep my business "close to the vest" we have suddenly found ourselves in a position in which I must speak out and also ask for the support of our friends and fans. For the last few years, our online business has been handled by a company called "Shopify", which is based up in Canada. Its a big internet outfit and works in many countries. But like so much business in the digital age, it does not have a personal touch.
Out of nowhere, totally unexpected, an unsigned e-mail arrived from Shopify which informed us that we were in violation of their "hateful content" policy, and if we didn't remove everything with the Confederate Battle Flag on it within 10 days, they were going to pull the plug on our business, basically putting our internet shop out of business.
You can probably guess what my response is. We have a really distinguished attorney, a man of character and intellect. He is dealing with that aspect of it, letting them know that this is a punitive action on their part and an unexpected body blow to our company. We will be pursuing this as a legal matter, while at the same time telling "Shopify" to "fold it four ways, tie a ribbon around it, and put it where the moon don't shine!" That is nicest way I can put it.
For we are Christian people. The Flag is a Christian Cross, the Crucifixion Cross of St. Andrew, who was thought to be Christ's first Disciple. It is a symbol which has been used for 2,000 years in his honor and memory. We honor the spirit and sacrifice of all of the South's people, and I share the blood of my African brothers and sisters. The Dukes of Hazzard has a huge African-American following, and that audience has enjoyed the sweet nature and good fun of our show as much as anyone in the 40+ nations where our show has been seen, for over 40 years now.
As one who was deeply involved in the Civil RIghts Movement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and as one who is descended from a slave, and as one who personally knows and cares about hundreds of our African/American fans, I am offended close to the point of rage at this latest example of narrow minded sanctimony and political correctness. It is dividing our nation on a daily basis. It is wrong, and the people behind it are wrong.
So we are transferring everything to another internet web host. But that is an enormous job and will take some time. In the meanwhile, we've put all our merchandise with images of our beloved flag on sale. The sale will last through Monday, Oct. 12th. By then we'll say goodbye to Shopify.
The truly intolerant and narrow minded bigots are those who have no idea about the good hearts and the undying love of those of us who side with Uncle Jesse rather than George Soros. What kind of people would we be if we just caved to these self-righteous and narrow minded people?
Unlike these boneheads, we understand our culture, our heritage, and the great and colorblind television show that has made millions of friends around the world, who understand that our show is about people looking out for one another, regardless of their color or age or politics or whether or not they are poor or are millionaires. Hazzard Nation is a loving bunch of people who are not impressed by the latest political idiocy.
Hang in there,
Ben Jones aka "Cooter"
Now, here is how Shopify defines "Hateful Content".
Hateful content: You may not use the Services to promote or condone hate or violence against people based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, medical condition, veteran status or other forms of discriminatory intolerance. You may not use the Services to promote or support organizations, platforms or people that: (i) promote or condone such hate; or (ii) threaten or condone violence to further a cause.
Does that sound like us to you?? Seems to me that we do is the opposite of "hateful content".