Occasionally Mark LaFlamme writes a column I find amusing. But his piece on “Cancel Culture” (Sun Journal, June 21) was not one of them.

Rambling and “snarky,” he defends Loony Tunes in one sentence and in the next (tongue in cheek) applauds “the decision to pull that hateful “Gone With the Wind” from the shelves because if you can’t see what life was like in the Civil War era then none of those awful things really happened.”

A little background: as part of this country’s ongoing reckoning with our racist past and present, HBO has temporarily pulled the film. It will return to their options along with some historical context, to situate the film’s racist (and ahistorical) depiction of the antebellum south.

There are other sources for learning about “what life was like in the Civil War era.”

Edward Baptist’s 2014 “The Half has Never Been Told” is grounded in testimonials of the enslaved themselves. The book is an account of the cotton economy – from plantations (which Baptist names “slave labor camps”) to the textile mills of Maine and England. That economy depended on torture to coerce the productivity that built this country’s wealth.

It is not easy reading. It asks the reader to confront realities of our history that underpin demands for justice and reparations.

What’s heartbreaking is how eagerly many choose retreating to the fantasy land of Tara and Scarlet over confronting the actual history of slavery.

Jane Costlow, Auburn


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