If you are to believe anything on facebook, our April fools Day issue was a crime against humanity. According to a very nice Eyewitness news reporter named Joylyn Bukovac, whom I just spoke with over the phone, some nameless person (of course) has reported this paper to the thought police at the Evansville TV station over a satirical piece renaming White County because the word White is racist. It was, as were all April Fools Day revelry in our paper, meant to entertain while pointing out the lunacy that parades around today as enlightenment. I’m afraid this is where we need to be silenced according to some.
You see there are many who believe that changing the name of a sports team, a national holiday or a school, or a military base, or even a county will somehow magically change the way people treat each other or somehow make right some evil from the past.
If we were to change the name of Auschwitz, for example to Sunnydale, would that erase anti semitism or the horror of what occurred there? Of course not. It’s asinine to think it would. A satirical story that reports changing the name of White County to Black County underscores how superficial that thinking is and it is here the rubber meets the road. People do not want to read that much of their well intentioned social engineering is not only not helpful, but leaves real issues at the root of racism hidden behind the hand wringing on facebook over National Indigenous People’s Day. It’s tedious to have your sincerely held beliefs exposed as foolish on April Fool’s Day, but satire has always been a place to begin conversations about actions that actually make a difference in our society. Creating a place for that conversation is the newspaper’s job, and we take it seriously, even on April Fool’s Day. We sincerely hope to make White County a better place to live for everyone and we are certain changing its name will not do it. Let’s hear some better ideas!
Another story in the April Fool’s Day issue reported the monthly meeting of the Angry Mob had been cancelled as they had run out of things about which to be angry. I guess the meeting is back on.
Oh and one other thing, Len Wells DID NOT write the story about White County being renamed in case any members of the Angry Mob were wondering.