Saturday, October 16, 2021

October 16, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

        When Big Brother Reigns Supreme:  

          The California Example

 


Friends,

I had just written my essay, “New Study Finds White Rice to be Racist,” when I spotted a news article out of California. While my piece on white rice was only satire, that article from the Far Left Coast reported on something that actually has occurred, a new law passed by the lunatics in the California legislature and signed by that equally lunatic Governor Gavin Newsom. The “White Rice is Racist” piece was picked up by the Abbeville Institute (October 5, 2021), and, sure enough, even though I indicated with a note at the end that it was satire, which I thought obvious from the text, several friends wrote me thinking that what I recounted was, in fact, really happening. But the California news, on the other hand, is true.

It seems the aberrations and excesses of “wokeness” and “anti-racism” have become so extreme that almost any account, including the most insanely ridiculous, is now not only imaginable, but entirely possible in our fatally sick society. Indeed, the land of “nuts, flakes, and fruits” (AKA California) had done it once again.

Woke Governor Newsome inked new legislation which will ban all off-road gas-powered engines by January 1, 2024.

Let me repeat that and let it sink in: Governor Newsome inked a new law which will ban all off-road gas-powered engines by January 1, 2024.

Newsome added in a press release (October 9): “In a time when the state and country are more divided than ever, this legislative session reminds us what we can accomplish together. I am thankful for our partners in the state Legislature who furthered our efforts to tackle the state’s most persistent challenges – together, we took action to address those challenges head-on, implementing historic legislation and the California Comeback Plan to hit fast forward on our state’s recovery. What we’re doing here in California is unprecedented in both nature and scale. We will come back from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”

Think of the consequences for small business, specifically for landscape operations and for merchandisers of gas-powered equipment. All of them will have to either purchase (or sell) new, expensive battery-run equipment or have present machinery completely retrofitted if they hope to survive. And many simply will not make the transition.

The vice-president of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, Andrew Bray, responded, declaring “companies are going to have to completely retrofit their entire workshops to be able to handle this massive change in voltage so they’re going to be charged every day,” according to a Los Angeles Times report. The expense will be exorbitant.

In addition to increased costs,  “a three-person landscaping crew will need to carry 30 to 40 fully charged batteries to power its equipment during a full day’s work,” according to Bray.

The new law is expected to affect nearly 50,000 small businesses, according to The Washington Examiner. It noted that California’s budget includes $30 million for professional landscapers and gardeners to quit using gas-powered equipment, but that it would not be enough to cover the full costs.

But there will be additional consequences for millions of other Californians who possess gas-powered lawn tractors and mowers, and gas trimmers. They will be effectively banned, forcing users to junk their equipment and purchase in most cases far less effective battery-operated devices. That John Deere mower you forked over $2,700 for will be effectively useless, and you will be out that $2,700. Welcome to California!

And what about other gas-powered vehicles, the ATVs and off-road motorcycles? Will we now see new, special “off-road enforcement” agents of government snooping around to make certain that we don’t violate Newsome’s new law? Will we go to jail for running our lawn mowers?

Of course, the Nancy Pelosis and Adam Schiffs who live in those enclosed mega-mansions in high-rent districts of the state and, in fact, couldn’t give a damn about the rapidly shrinking middle class in the state, won’t suffer. They won’t feel the pain or see the changes, since they hire dirt poor Mexican immigrants, recipients of California’s over-extended and welcoming “safety net.”

And they won’t notice that thousands of middle class Californians, some of whom whose families have been there since the 1848 Gold Rush, are now packing up their depleted bags and moving to Arizona, Texas, or maybe Idaho. In fact, California is fast becoming a state with essentially just two classes: a super-rich leftist elite and millions of poor Hispanics who flock to the state for its generous, immigrant-oriented benefits.

I have a good friend who went to California in 1987; he began a catering business and built it into a going concern. Yet, he is not wealthy by California standards. His very modest home—about the size of mine—is now on the market for a couple of million inflated dollars. He is moving his entire operation to Phoenix, and inviting his employees and their families to go with him. He’s had enough of “the greening of the Golden State” with its insanely high taxes and insurance rates, rampant crime even in the once-quiet neighborhood where he lives, the multitude of regulations that suppress and destroy small business and individual enterprise, extremist environmental legislation which has had horrendous effects, and “woke” and failing schools. California’s leaders are turning the state into a virtual authoritarian oligarchy…. In other words, an emerging “animal farm” which makes George Orwell’s dystopian novels seem tame, where the horrid face of “Big Brother” now appears in the person of Gavin Newsom, Nancy Pelosi, and Adam Schiff, and brags: “What we’re doing here in California is unprecedented in both nature and scale.

Indeed. Last December I authored a column, “Triumph of the Pod People,” which was then picked up by LewRockwell.com and widely-diffused. The leftist elites and governing and managerial class in California are effectively “possessed,” in some ways far worse than Linda Blair was in that classic 1973 film, “The Exorcist.” Such folks are, as I wrote back on December 2, 2020, our present-day version of “pod people,” a “race of nomadic extraterrestrial parasites from a dying planet” (who show up in 1956’s cult movie, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”).  They appear as humans in nearly every way, but in fact they are possessed, warped and intellectually disfigured. They are an alien population, intent on destroying our culture and civilization, and replacing it with something far worse than that old form of decrepit Communism, which at least, even with its barbarities, had some roots in human history.

Our modern pod people—not just in California, but now spread out across the nation, in Congress, in the schools, in entertainment, perhaps now occupying the house of a neighbor—cannot be dealt with like traditional opponents. Collaboration with them, uniting with them becomes practically impossible, for they have but one motive and goal: our extinction. And they will accomplish that by any means available. And they are ceaseless and boundless in their efforts.

In the end, we must either separate ourselves from them, cordon them off (or ourselves off), or there will be an internecine bloodbath which will make the Indonesian purge of the country’s Communist Party (1965-1966), in which over one million Reds were executed by the army, seem like child’s play.

Efforts to parlay and collaborate are futile and always end by our side losing. In the end, there is no unity between good and evil, between light and darkness.

And the sooner we learn that, the better.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

                                            October 10, 2021

 

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Our Solemn Task as Southerners

The Introduction to The Land We Love: The South and Its Heritage


                                                                         


 

Friends,

[Back in late 2018 Scuppernong Press published a volume of my essays on the South and Southern history titled The Land We Love: The South and Its Heritage (available via Amazon and most other booksellers). I have been gratified by the reception given to this volume and by the many positive reviews. Below I share my Introduction to the book which I believe can stand on its own as a statement of my principles and of my commitment to my history, my region, and, as the poet Robert Lee Frost once said, “To the truths we keep coming back to.”]

Over the past several years I have been writing essays for several publications and media outlets regarding Southern and Confederate history and heritage, and, in particular, about the growing assault on the symbols of that history and heritage. None of what I wrote—nothing I put into print—should have seemed that unusual or radical. My thoughts and observations could have been put down on paper fifty years ago—even thirty years ago—and I don’t think they would have caused much of a stir or raised an eyebrow for most readers. Of course, much has changed in fifty years, and what was admired, revered, and considered normal then, is, in large part, considered controversial, even hateful, or subject to censorship and banning, now.

The Southland that I grew up in has, indeed, changed in many ways. There are millions of new residents, mostly transplants from the more northerly climes who find our climate, our low taxes, our more relaxed way of life, and our generally more friendly and accommodating people, to their liking. No doubt these newcomers, along with thousands of immigrants, legal and illegal, from south of the border, have effected changes in the South. Yet, I believe that there is still what the late Southern historian, Francis Butler Simkins, once called “the everlasting South,” a South—a land and a people—that subsists and continues to exist, even if at times occulted or not easy to grasp or experience, and even if under severe stress and assault from those who would purge it of its past and exile or extinguish its traditions handed down as a legacy from our ancestors.

The symbols of any society, of any culture—its flags and banners, its monuments to veterans and historical figures, its markers, its street and city names, the names of its schools, even its holidays, and so much more—are public manifestations not just of the history of that society, but represent visibly the beliefs and principles that culture has held—and holds—most dear.  In a real sense as well, they offer an aspirational guide to what the future will be, what will give it structure and sustenance, and what the offspring of this generation will bequeath to the next.

It is that way with any culture which remembers its history. As Mel Bradford once wrote, it is through “remembering who we are” that we come to comprehend how the fullness of that history, that heritage, that legacy have shaped us and given us a richness and distinctiveness of character that make us a people.

When I was doing doctoral work in Spain at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, I came across an observation by the subject of my research, the Spanish traditionalist writer and philosopher, Juan Vazquez de Mella (1862-1928), that I think is universal in its application:

Who has ever seen ‘the individual,’ if not defined by his family, his region, his profession, his language, his inheritance, his faith? Removed from these defining characteristics the individual is an abstraction, and a political system based on an abstraction must either end in despotism or revolution.

Show me a rootless society, point to a society where the sense of community has disappeared, a society deprived of its heritage and the inherited legacy of its customs, its literature, its heroes, its shared beliefs, all that lore passed down not just officially by the state, but from father and mother to son and to daughter—and you have a social anthill, a mass of humans as faceless cogs, reduced to the status of the aimless and amorphous mass of grunting pigs inhabiting George Orwell’s dystopian fantasy novel, Animal Farm -- and susceptible to the beckoning calls and tempting of the first demagogue who appears on the scene, or to the lunacy of an ideology that promises utopia here on earth, but ends in enslaving the inhabitants.

Southerners, among all Americans, have been the most resistant to such Siren calls. As in no other region of the country they have been aware of and suffered the hardships and cruelties of defeat in war, a war between the states which they understood philosophically as a war to preserve the original Constitutional system left to them by the Framers, many of whom were Southerners.

That Southern character and sense of community, if you will, was already in formation long before the bloody conflict of 1861-1865, as I have discussed …in examining the work of Professors Mel Bradford and Richard Beale Davis…. It manifested itself in the early colonial settlements and the creation of colonial communities of likeminded peoples. It derived much of its integrity and nourishment from the Old World, from Europe, in particular, the British Isles, from settlers who brought with them their customs, their mores and religion, their songs and ballads, their legends, and their beliefs, to these shores. As David Hackett Fisher has intimated in his volume, Albion’s Seed (1989), tracing transatlantic migrations from the British Isles, the early inhabitants of the South country came mostly from southern England, colonists who were more apt to have been Cavalier and Royalist supporters in the seventeenth century (and thus favorable to plantation culture), or from the borderlands, from Scotland and the far north of England or Ulster, fiercely independent, but also dedicated to agriculture and a rural way of life.

These cultures gave rise to a uniquely Southern society, a culture that while it would differ over the years about such political issues as representation (e.g., the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829, and the North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1835) or internal improvements, still found much more in common than not. Southern Whiggery may have supported Henry Clay’s “American (or national) system,” but regional and, especially, communal and state identification were never far from the surface.

As Professor Bradford illustrates in his illuminating study, Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution (1993), …at the debates over the framing of the Constitution the Framers basically created a document and a resulting new nation that reflected Southern states’ rights views, a national executive that was in no way like the increasingly centralizing power that emerged in 1865 after four years of war.  And, in fact, that regionalist view was generally held by many national political and intellectual leaders, not just by those from below the Mason-Dixon Line.

It was not so much a radical transformation of Southern thinking and views that propelled the nation on a course to eventual conflict. While it is certainly true that Southerners and their perspectives on what was occurring in the Union hardened and sharpened in intensity in the years leading up to the outbreak of the War Between the States, it must be argued that that intensity was occasioned as a response to increasing assaults, both political and, finally, violent, by their brethren north of the Mason-Dixon, and in particular, from the descendants of those largely Puritan New Englanders. As such historians as Paul Conkin (Puritans and Pragmatists) and Perry Miller (The Life of the Mind in America and The New England Mind) have documented, the intellectual and eventually political influence on America, at least the northern portion of it, by the latter-day inheritors of Puritanism was immense and wide-ranging. And it ran up against a South that, for its part, would undergo what liberal historian, Louis Hartz in his classic volume, The Liberal Tradition in America (1955), called somewhat despectively, a “reactionary enlightenment,” a time of doubling down on those “original intentions” and beliefs that increasingly Southerners felt to be under attack.

It is impossible, of course, to ignore slavery and its effects in the Southern states. The coming of the African slave to American shores would become an important factor both culturally and socially, and eventually, politically in the life of the American republic. Yet, the modern concentration on race and slavery, to the exclusion of all other factors, as the all-important—and often only—determinant in Southern history, both misreads the fullness of that history and turns it, too frequently, into an ideological cudgel with which to damn all of Southern heritage and culture. As Professor Davis has detailed in his massively-documented three-volume work, Intellectual Life in the Colonial South, 1585-1763 (1978), a Southern character—a distinctive Southern personality—was already maturing before the presence of African slavery figured as a disquieting note in Southern history and long before it became an issue debated widely on the national level.

Certainly, the questions surrounding slavery and the existence of a growing mostly servile black population in a dominant white society would become more visible in the first half of the nineteenth century. The rise of abolitionist sentiment in the northern states, brought on as a kind of zealous evangelical afterbirth of the Puritan tradition, and the pressure to end the slave trade and attempts by Christian reformers either to ameliorate the condition of slaves or advocate for their emancipation, had their effects. Indeed, Southerners, themselves, grappled with the issues, as Professor Eugene Genovese has shown in his various studies, including The World the Slaveholders Made, and more significantly, The Mind of the Master Class. And none more deeply and profoundly than perhaps the greatest of the antebellum theologians of the South, James Henley Thornwell.

Slavery in the antebellum South was not an earlier version of Auschwitz or the Gulag, which is clear and evident from a close examination of the abundant historical record. As Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman in their path-breaking study Time on the Cross (1974) have demonstrated, employing extensive research and careful statistical and economic analysis, “many slaves were encouraged to marry and maintain households, they were given garden plots, the dehumanizing practice of slave breeding was virtually non-existent, the quality of their daily diets and medical care were comparable to the white population, and many trusted slaves were given great responsibility in managing plantations.” In short, the antebellum South was much more akin to a traditional patriarchal society than to a modern totalitarian state.

White Southerners understood that slavery and the presence of a large black population were part of their culture. With that understanding and the historical reality of natural inequality and a “master class,” Southerners dealt with that fact generally honestly according to the best of their comprehension and abilities within the context of the age, as Professor Genovese explains. That the response was not of the moralizing kind of our modern age should not be a surprise to anyone.

Southerners—those who thought deeply about the question—understood that although Almighty God had created all human beings and therefore endowed them with a certain spark of divinity and a certain dignity, human equality of status and opportunity on this earth was chimerical and non-existent. Even the famous words of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” were never intended by the Founders for literal domestic consumption, but rather directed at the parliament in England. The Founders intended that document as a statement of grievances against the Mother Country, and not a charter of natural rights that could and would entail the future aims of egalitarians.

All through the eighteenth century thousands of white folks were brought to the new world as indentured servants, as well. In many cases, that servitude was entered into involuntarily, as a forced arrangement, and one can argue that in some ways its parameters, like other systems of servitude, resembled slavery.  Indeed, slavery, and not just of the African kind, existed throughout the world in colonial times. Historic Christianity, as Thornwell and others pointed out, countenanced its existence, but also with the strict admonition for humane treatment by slaveholders that mirrored the immemorial traditions and teachings of the church, and with the goal of possible future manumission.

In the more than two centuries during which slavery existed not only in what became the Confederate States of America, but in other parts of the nation, slaves were acculturated and made contributions to the country. They were absorbed by that country, as they, in turn, absorbed the European culture and traditions on which it was founded. No longer were they Africans, but Americans—and Southerners. Thousands were eventually manumitted and became “free persons of color,” sometimes landholders (according to census statistics) and even electors in some instances if they held property, as I documented in a thesis presented to the Graduate Faculty of the University of Virginia in June 1971 (“Race, Representation, and Religion: The North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1835”; see: https://libra2.lib.virginia.edu/public_view/zs25x853s )--And all of this before the War Between the States.

In a hierarchical society, as the old South was, both black and white inhabitants lived and existed on various levels, some politically and culturally powerful, others not; some exercising the franchise, but most (blacks and whites), not. And some as slaves, and others not. Yet, even among the servile population there had developed a love and appreciation for the land they lived and worked on, and for their white masters and neighbors. And when war finally came, the overwhelming majority of blacks, freeman and slave alike, resisted the opportunity to take advantage of the situation, and engage in civil insurrection.

I can cite here, as personal examples of this, several letters from my great-great grandfather, Captain Marquis La Fayette Redd, stationed at Aquia Creek, Virginia, along the Potomac in 1861, to his wife, Emily Ann Sidbury Redd, in Onslow County, North Carolina. She was there alone with her young children, surrounded by slaves—but completely trusting and, indeed, secure. Captain Redd, in his correspondence, always finishes his missives declaring: “My love to all my family, both white and black.” [Italics added] The meaning and sincerity—and the bond he felt—are palpable and real, and they were repaid by the entirety of his household. (See, Marquis La Fayette Redd Papers, 1798-1895, PC. 1635, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina)

Indeed, thousands, perhaps as many as 30,000 black men, and probably many more, enlisted in Confederate ranks during the war, and not just as auxiliaries but fully integrated into regiments, often times voted in, as …is examined in detail by such authors as Ervin Jordan, Jr. in Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia (1995), and Charles Kelly Barrow, J. H. Segars, and R. B. Rosenburg in Black Confederates (2001), and more recently researched by North Carolina Museum of History black historian and curator, Earl Ijames (See, for example, information on his in depth investigations, “NC history museum curator to speak at Civil War Roundtable,” The Kinston Free Press, March 18, 2016, link: http://www.kinston.com/news/20160318/nc-history-museum-curator-earl-ijames-to-speak-at-civil-war-roundtable)

Without the war, would slavery have eventually disappeared, succumbing to the great economic currents and pressures of the later nineteenth century? I think so, and I believe that the former slaves, given that evolution and natural development economically and internationally, would have found their way into a welcoming Southern society, not due to the abrupt results of an incredibly disastrous war or well-intentioned but largely misguided Federal legislation, but rather because of the natural bonds of affection that were already existent and the Christian charity that characterized Southern folk.

When war finally came it not only molded Southern volunteers into an exceptionally fine fighting force—they were, after all, fighting for home and hearth--but brought together Whigs and Democrats, plantation slave owners in the Tidewater and around Natchez and Charleston with small yeoman Scotch-Irish farmers from the Piedmont, most without slaves, but all dedicated to state sovereignty—a concept that even an uneducated backwoodsman could fathom. As even historian James McPherson, not necessarily a partisan of the Confederacy, revealed in his extensive survey of war time letters and diaries of nearly a thousand Union and Confederate soldiers, What They Fought For, 1861-1865. The Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures in Southern History (1994; and later, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought the Civil War, 1997), most soldiers felt a keen sense of patriotic and ideological commitment and attachment to a cause. And for Southerners it was the cause of protecting their rights under the old Constitution, the rights of their states and of their communities and families, which they believed to be imperiled by an aggressive executive, mad with power and a desire to destroy that Constitution.

Much has been written, probably far too much, about the War Between the States. Needless to say, what has been occurring in recent years has as its antecedent that conflict and subsequent history since then. Through it all, through “Reconstruction and Reunion,” through the period during the middle of the twentieth century when it appeared that the South was finally “back in the Union” and its traditions appreciated by all Americans, and later, during the Civil Rights Revolution of the 1960s and beyond when the South became the object, again, of scorn and disapprobation, of  Federal authorities once more enacting a “new Reconstruction,” and with new immigration and social changes, and the effects of national television and such items as the automobile that increased mobility and eliminated distances and, to some degree, differences between communities—through it all there remained the South of our memory and our childhood, on the defensive but still there, still visible, yet capable of sustaining its citizens if they would only seek it and accept its legacy and its inheritance…and defend it against those who wish to extinguish it.

I am reminded of another great Spanish writer and traditionalist, Marcelino Menendez y Pelayo (1856-1912), who warned Spain at the end of the nineteenth century that it was in danger of forfeiting its very credal identity. At that time, in the midst of dissolution that seemed to be affecting his country, he wrote:

Spain, evangelizer of half the world; Spain, hammer of heretics, light of Trent, sword of Rome, cradle of St. Ignatius—this is our greatness and our unity; we have no other. The day it is lost, Spain will return to the anarchy of the tribes and barbarians or the satraps of the Caliphs. To this end we are traveling more or less rapidly, and blind is he who will not see it.  

Menendez y Pelayo’s words could apply analogously to the contemporary South. We have only one enduring body of tradition that has characterized us and sustained us, and it seems to be disappearing before our eyes, almost daily.  Yet, there remains a South to love, a South to defend. There is still an incredibly rich wellspring of history, of literature, in the arts and music and folklore, in regional cuisine, in language, in customs, in so much that binds us and that has held us together since colonial times: it is worth our best efforts and our undying commitment.

There is a wonderfully evocative passage by the novelist William Faulkner that encapsulates the vision that the contemporary son of the South must possess:

For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave -  yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble….[from Intruder in the Dust, 1948]

It is that same spirit—that same dedication—that same inextinguishable hope—that fuels our commitment, and through all the turmoil and sense of loss and anguish, allows us to smile and even relate a funny tale to a friend and still enjoy a fine plate of barbeque and fried chicken, grits and country ham, and greet our neighbors and help them cut down that low-hanging white oak that endangers their work shed.

It is the same spirit that motivated the once-reviled president of the Confederacy to declare after the end of the War to a visitor who remarked that the cause of the Southland was lost and that history had passed us by, that, despite defeat on the field of battle, “the principle for which we contended is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form.”

And, I trust, it is the same spirit and commitment…concerning the challenges we now face and of how some of our ancestors met them, and their legacy and beliefs, and what they mean and should mean for us.

Friday, October 1, 2021

                                                    October 1, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

New Study Finds White Rice to be Racist

Friends,

The latest major study issued by a blue-ribbon commission on racism infecting American culture comes on the heels of other startling examples which “woke” academia, government and the media have pinpointed during this past year. Indeed, in recent months we have witnessed the Oregon Department of Education explain how traditional mathematics—you know the  2 + 2 = 4 version—is racist and unfairly penalizes  BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, People Of Color] students, and that students should be able to decide for themselves what 2 + 2 actually is, with no correction or interference from a white teacher. A BIPOC child may think the equation equals 5 or maybe 6. For a teacher or professor to admonish the student is blatantly wrong and an indication of toxic white supremacy.

And then there was the credentialed academic and author who claimed that a majority of white people with dogs who let their canine pets stay indoors was a clear indication of “white canine racism” [since BIPOC people tend to be poorer than whites without the wherewithal to offer good indoor housing to their pets].

I have written about these and other cases in MY CORNER back on February 17 of this year.

The number of such reports emitted recently from academia boggles the mind. Almost every day we can read of another instance, another example. And academia embraces such findings with zealous alacrity.

So, when I ran across the following news article, I decided to relay it to readers exactly as it ran: 

HISTORIC WHITE RICE RACISM IS ENDEMIC TO WHITE EUROPEAN CULTURE, RESEARCHERS SAY (UPI – Wednesday September 29, 2021)

(Boston – September 29, 2021) A report issued Tuesday, Sept. 28, labels white rice as an historic and continuing example of “white European colonialism and toxic food racism.”  The report, issued by the Blue-Ribbon Task Force on Food Racism and Inequity, in 108 pages reveals in detail both the history and the effects of white rice in Anglo-European culture, how its consumption became a status symbol utilized by white plantation owners and wealthy classes to emphasize their supremacy and control of society, and the resulting submission of BIPOC peoples.  The report also includes a long chapter on rice-cultivation and the historical use of slave labor and oppressed people in the process.

Dr. Stanwyck Vile, who heads of the International Institute for Food Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness [IIFDEI], chaired the commission, composed of world-renowned experts in the fields of African-American studies, feminism, transgenderism and transphobic deterrence, ableism, and anti-fat theory. Dr. Gladys Hookah-Schmuck, tenured chair of the Black Liberation and Feminist Lesbian and Polyamory Studies program at Baxter University, served as vice-chair.

Interviewed about the findings of the year-long, multi-million dollar study, supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation, Dr. Vile highlighted several of the major points in the report.

“White rice is, you see, white,” he offered. “That was our first very substantial clue that white rice is, well, racist. We spent six months researching that point. You see, there is no equity here. Yes, there is brown rice, but as we all know, it is consigned largely to Chinese restaurants. And that fact is, as they say, a double-whammy: it’s largely limited to Asian establishments and normally not consumed by most people. Brown rice is, then, obviously oppressed and restricted, which is a most definite indication of the white supremacy of white rice.”

At that point Dr. Hookah-Schmuck interjected another important finding and complaint made by the commission report. “We were shocked by the fact that historically there is very little evidence of black rice…and we spent hours and hours scouring manuscripts and recipe books going back to the 13th century, reviewing television cooking programs—we even watched the complete Julia Child series. But, then, we happened upon reruns of Justin Wilson, the Louisiana chef.”

“And everything seemed to fall into place,” she continued. “Wilson,” she revealed with an air of triumphant satisfaction, “was a white male Southerner, from Louisiana, who talked with the kind of accent that you would normally hear employed by Southern racists and Klan members. And he only used white rice. It was all right there.”

It seemed to make sense to the commission members, the connections, the relationships, according to Hookah-Schmuck.

At this point in the interview, Vile interjected: “One of our major findings and recommendations had to do with ‘black rice’ equity. We looked at the history, or I should say the lack of history, of black rice, and we suggested some potential and much-needed remedies to this toxic state of affairs.”

“The only substantial examples of black rice we can find historically,” added Hookah-Schmuck, “are when white race is overcooked and burned, but, you see, that is never intentional, so in no way is that process motivated by social justice concerns and the desire for genuine equity and diversity.”  

Dr. Hookah-Schmuck added that a significant section of the commission’s report is dedicated to proposed methods and federal programs to address this burning question.

“So what we are recommending is that the United States Congress enact a Rice Equity and Diversity Act,” added Vile. “We have communicated with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and explained to her the extreme need for legislation which would set up a national rice civil rights standards board and which would require that in every household where rice is prepared that a substantial portion be blackened by burning. Of course, this would also require a large staff—a rice patrol, as it were—to enforce that regulation, to have the authority to enter any household at dinner time and make certain ‘rice equity’ is carried out.”

Speaker Pelosi, according to Vile and Hookah-Schmuck, was very receptive to the commission’s proposal, and promised to consult with other prominent comgresspeople in the House Democratic Caucus about future legislation. She also hinted that several Republicans, including Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, and perhaps a few others (who did not wish to be labeled “racists”), would co-sponsor such legislation.

Asked about the bad reputation in which burned or black rice is held, its claimed unsavory and non-appetizing flavor and smell, Hookah-Schmuck suggested that such claims come mostly from far right wing extremists. She added that among the commission’s recommendations is a demand for a budgeted re-education of the American public about the delights and tastiness of burned black rice, using the school system and the media.

Although the commission did not make explicit the dollar amount envisaged by commission members to accomplish these ambitious goals, a member did, off the record, volunteer a figure of five to eight trillion dollars, over a ten year period, to be gathered via a value-added tax on all purchases that certifiably white citizens make when they go to the grocery store.

*****

[Now, if you have read this far, you may suspect—rightly—that this purported “news article” is not genuine, a fake. And, at least for the moment, it is. But does anyone doubt after seeing and reading what has happened on college campuses this past year and what is spewed forth daily by our media and political class, that such a finding, such a report might well be in our future? In other words, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised if something like this does happen? After all, this is the giant lunatic asylum—the United States of America, circa 2021—in which we live. BDC]

Sunday, September 26, 2021

                                           September 26, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

National Archives Officially Labels the US Constitution “Racist” and “Offensive”

 



Friends,

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all it was completely logical, the inevitable result of the insane “woke” political correctness that has been building and raging, largely unabated, in the United States now for years. Indeed, in my regular columns and essays I have been writing that this insanity, spread and imposed like a highly contagious and fatal infection—far worse than COVID—would not and could not be stemmed by the pitiful half measures of spineless Republicans and of despicably cowardly “conservatives.”

Yet, the news that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C.,  had begun to re-label the nation’s founding documents, characterizing them as reflecting “racist, sexist, ableist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and xenophobic opinions and attitudes” and being   “discriminatory towards or exclud[ing] diverse views on sexuality, gender, religion, and more, ” still caught me off guard.

We are not talking about secondary copies of the US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or Bill of Rights, those reproductions that you hang on the wall in a school classroom. No, NARA is the official repository of the original documents themselves, of the original copies signed by the Founders and the Framers. It is those priceless and irreplaceable items held by it in trust that the National Archives has decided to label as “outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent [in] views and opinions.”

Accordingly, that agency of the federal government has begun to “re-contextualize” its more than 100 million documents based on a report issued by its Task Force on Racism and issued April 20, 2021. That report declared that NARA and its unique collections are shot through with “structural racism,” including “a Rotunda in our flagship building that lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC [black, indigenous, people of color], women, and other communities.”  Additional examples of structural racism at the National Archives include “legacy descriptions that use racial slurs and harmful language to describe BIPOC communities.” The National Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero accepted the commission’s report and recommendations, and immediately began the work “to transform its exhibits, archival information and descriptions, and policies.”

NARA’s catalogue and labeling are being rewritten—“re-imagined” is the currently popular term to describe the historical legerdemain.  Everything now, including our founding national documents and symbols, must reflect the new consensus, the new revisionist interpretation of American history and all that which will follow: “equity,” reparations, and the eventual and practical disenfranchisement and replacement of “white America.”

 

You may have thought the “1619 Project” just an outrageous outlier, a radical and intellectually dishonest attempt to redo and refashion American history to fit an extreme progressivist “woke” reinterpretation of our past. But that project, lauded and praised by the loudest voices in academia and heralded by the media (including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and most broadcast outlets) already possesses and dominates by and large our educational system, our entertainment industry, and, yes, our political discourse. And it was inevitable that it would reach the National Archives and its precious holdings.

 

The re-imagining of the nation’s foundational documents, then, is entirely logical. It is consistent with “1619,” and reflects the powerful influence such thinking has and exerts over our governing and corporate classes.

 

But what is truly scandalous, and appalling, about what is occurring is that opposition to this outrage has been largely muted, with very little news of it in the media.

 

You would think, would you not, after all the hullabaloo about the “1619 Project” and the disgustingly weak and embarrassingly contradictory actions of the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees (majority Republican) regarding the hiring of (and tenure for) the Project’s main author, Nikole Hannah-Jones, as Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, that this latest assault on the nation’s historical past and identity would have been met by fierce opposition and an outcry from conservatives?

 

Yet only forty-four Republican members (no Democrats) in the US House of Representatives sent a protest to National Archivist Ferreiro, as reported by The Federalist. Those lawmakers called on NARA to remove the warnings on this nation’s original documents and cease politicizing them.

 

Their communication continued:

 

“We are deeply concerned by the National Archives Record Administration’s ‘harmful content’ warning displayed on the Archives’ cataloged website, including on seminal documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution…”

 

But where are the other 168 GOP House members? Where is the voice of the Senate Republican Caucus? Of Mitch McConnell? And others?

 

Certainly, if polled I’m sure they would declare their formal opposition—they may have already done so. But where is their concerted action, other than a few easily forgotten words or fatuous protests?

 

Over the last few years I have written that the efforts to take down Confederate monuments, most egregiously perhaps the recent disgraceful removal of the Lee Monument in Richmond, were just a first step in a major process of fanatical hatred for and redefinition of American history. It is not only the physical monuments themselves, but what they symbolize, that has to be destroyed and extinguished. And the hysterical campaign to erase those monuments honoring the Confederate dead is just the first part of this effort.

 

There is a recent documentary, “How the Monuments Came Down,” produced by the Virginia Film Office and widely distributed by PBS which makes this goal crystal clear. Removal of the monuments is only the easiest, hanging fruit, as it were. There is much more to come until, as one of the commentators declares, “we have rooted out entirely white supremacy and systemic racism.”

 

In their national campaign to erase anything that offends them, the “woke” lunatics have counted upon the benevolence of the establishment Republican Party and very prominent members of what is laughably termed “the conservative movement.” Either by studied inaction or active encouragement, the Rich Lowry types (editor of National Review) and the near-unanimity of the apparatchik pundits on Fox News have cheered on the destruction of Confederate monuments, while simultaneously praising Martin Luther King Jr. as a “true conservative,” despite his embrace of Marxism and a genuinely Communist praxis on various occasions (for example, his address honoring Communist W. E. B. DuBois, February 23, 1968). Their response to the madness griping the nation is to apologize to the Left and whine with a form of virtue signaling: “Look at me! I condemn those Confederate symbols, just like you! Please don’t call me a racist…oh, will you still invite me to one of your swank cocktail parties on New York’s Upper East Side? Please!”

 

Back on June 16, 2020, I compared the pusillanimous response of our established conservative movement, what my friend Dr. Paul Gottfried calls “Con Inc.,” to a scene in the classic film, “Waterloo” (1970):

 

“The response of those supposed ‘conservative’ defenders of American traditions to the fanatical tsunami of violent revolutionary lunacy reminds me of the scene in the film “Waterloo” (1970), when an illiterate private in the Duke of Wellington’s army who has engaged in plunder and stolen a young pig, cautions the pig not to squeal, not to alert those around him of his plunder (a capital offense under military rules). ‘Be quiet,’ he tells the pig, ‘and I’ll only eat half of you!’ ” 

 

Whether the craven response by Congress and national conservative leaders, or, more locally, the action of a Republican Gerald Kivett in Sampson County, North Carolina, member of the county commissioners, who made the successful motion to remove the Confederate monument in that largely rural county, it amounts to the same thing: cowardice, the fear of being labeled a racist and perhaps being “cancelled,” hoping to stave off something worse, but at base a lack of conviction and faith.

 

All the apologies and virtue-signaling of the GOP and Con Inc. will not save them or those other symbols of traditional American history. The three-piece suit enablers only encourage the madness, embolden it, and in the end their response, or failure to respond, will not spare them. After Lee, it must be Washington, Jefferson, perhaps changing the name of the US capital?  The list of culpables is endless.

 

The Revolution is not mollified by weakness and groveling. Offering up half a pig will kill the pig, as it will kill what is left of this country.

October 16, 2021   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey           When Big Brother Reigns Supreme:             The California Example ...