So, I guess we've gotta talk about that burning cross in Erick Erickson's yard. It's not a literal burning cross, and if it was, it's not the sort of thing you'd put up in your own yard, unless it's yet another one of Candace Owens's desperate cries for help.

Twitter

It's important to point out that this was seemingly a well-intentioned, decent act that Erickson utterly ruined. His kids' classmates built some crosses and sold them to other God-adoring people ahead of Palm Sunday, which I always forget is a thing. Yet it is! They're using the proceeds to support local hospitals fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Erickson lives in Georgia, a state that has Brian Kemp as a governor and could use all the help it can get right now. I'm not going to knock the kids' efforts. It's just unfortunate that Erickson, the apparent star of “My Sitcom Dad's A Moron," thought he could improve on the kids' work: “I added the lights." Then the genius posted photographic evidence of his cluelessness on Instagram and Twitter. This — and Erickson's general obnoxiousness — is probably why his black neighbors don't invite him to their cookouts.


The pressing question is why Erickson didn't notice he'd Klanned up this cross. Clark Griswold Erickson took a photo from several feet away, and it never occurred to him that the cross had a certain terror-inducing, fiery glow. Maybe he just fondly recalls Madonna's controversial "Like a Prayer" video. She danced in front of several burning crosses, but she also hooked up with a black Jesus so the non-Klan message was clearer.

Ku Klux Klan Cross Lighting www.youtube.com

I screen-captured Erickson's original tweet, because I presumed he'd delete it once the friends I assume he has told him he'd made a fool of himself. It was still up almost a day later, and conservatives were predictably defending Erickson in his mentions and on their own pages.

Yes, liberals are the ones who suck because we are perverting something innocent that was obviously never intended to offend. I personally don't think Erickson deliberately set out to insult minorities with his literally inflammatory imagery. But that's not the point. Innocence isn't always good. Sometimes it's downright offensive. Besides, if gay people's very existence offends Erickson, he should appreciate how much the existence of a flaming cross might offend black people who aren't ignorant bigots.

Adults who live in this country and boast of its exceptionalism have some moral obligation to recall its worst moments, as well. In 2017, Erickson opposed removing Confederate monuments for the same BS reasons conservatives always give for continuing to insult black people.

ERICKSON: History is as it is. Expunging it for the sake of one group's offense that it happened is only discarding the lessons it should teach. We are not the Taliban, cleansing everything that even hints at violation of our strict religious dogma.

Yes, Erickson really said that Confederate monuments only offend one little insignificant group. Well, Georgia still has at least 174 racist traitor monuments. History has not been expunged! That means Erickson is on the hook for remembering it. Hell, as folks have pointed out, Erickson posted this photo on April 4, which is the anniversary of Atlanta-native Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Maybe next year, Erickson might put some more thought into not being so thoughtless.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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