Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 31, 2018

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

Defending the Monuments:

And thus Defending our Western Christian Heritage


Within the past several days three of my penned essays have been published widely; respectively, by THE ABBEVILLE INSTITUTE, THE UNZ REVIEW, and CHRONICLES MAGAZINE. And so, over the next couple of days, I will pass them on to you (and encourage that you patronize those journals).  Abbeville and Unz are online magazines, and Chronicles publishes a handsome print magazine each month, but also has a Web presence.

The article in Chronicles, titled “Cultural Marxism and Race” (June 2018 print issue), is the second piece I’ve had featured in that distinguished Old Right journal (the first one, “That Royal Wedding, Reverend Michael Curry, and the End of England,” was published online only, May 23). The Unz Review essay (May 31) is a version of the MY CORNER posting from yesterday, “Roseanne Barr, Uncle Remus, and the Multicultural Politically-Correct Briar Patch.” 

But today I pass on the long essay that came out yesterday via The Abbeville Institute. It is titled, “Defending the Monuments,” and it’s a detailed defense of the endangered Confederate monuments being threatened by the frenzied social justice warriors of the Left who now have enlisted the support of most of the Democratic Party and even some wimpish Republicans in the efforts to remove these symbols of our heritage.

It is an edited version of comments I submitted to the North Carolina Historical Commission several months ago in defense specifically of the three Confederate monuments located on Capitol Square in Raleigh, North Carolina. A few of you may have seen it back then, but most of you probably not. With it I offer some additional background and extensive commentary on what has been going on in this debate.

I hope that this essay, which goes into great detail on the situation in North Carolina, will serve not only as a defense in my native state, but will also assist those in other states, and not just about Confederate symbols that dot our landscape. For it is not just those monuments to Lee and Jackson that are now under severe attack. Indeed, it is ALL of the “inconvenient history” that does not fit the painfully narrow and Procrustean ideological framework being imposed on us by the cultural Marxists who now dominate academia and our public education, the media, and, increasingly, our politics.

You see, it is those Confederate monuments and symbols, those flags of the Confederacy, those reminders that are seen as the easiest and, therefore, first targets—but they are just that, the first. And Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, and dozens and hundreds more targets of the cultural Marxist blitzkrieg are out there. The goal of the powerful cultural Leftist offensive is the total remaking of America, and that means that ALL symbols, markers, flags, and monuments to anything that doesn’t fit their narrative and agenda must be done away with, removed, at best placed in an inaccessible museum, away from the eyes of the general public, and most assuredly away from the curious eyes of school age children.

My question to superficially sympathetic friends and relatives has been always this:


Will you let your legislator know how you feel? Will you express your views at the next election (and in particular, in North Carolina for governor, since Governor Roy Cooper has collaborated in a cowardly fashion with those Leftist cultural barbarians)? And if you are a male and a descendant in any way of a Confederate soldier or official, will you become a part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and join the concerted effort to stop the Revolution and preserve our heritage?

When the barbarians will have succeeded, it will be too late….

So I pass that essay on today. It is longer than most that I remit to you, but I hope that it will be useful, and I urge you to pass it on. The other publications will follow.



 Defending the Monuments

By Boyd Cathey on May 30, 2018

After the Charleston shooting in 2015, all across the old Confederacy memorials, monuments, flags and other symbols of the South’s Confederate history came under renewed and severe assault. It seemed that the last vestiges of that heritage might be swept away in a paroxysm of politically-driven outrage and media-hyped efforts to purge the landscape of those symbols.

In many ways North Carolina became ground zero for these efforts.  But the Tar Heel State also witnessed a pushback from defenders of the state’s heritage who organized successfully and were able, for the moment at least, to fend off the worst of those attacks. Most significantly, working with a conservative and Republican General Assembly, the state’s Sons of Confederate Veterans division, was able to secure passage of one of the nation’s strongest Monuments Protection Laws [NC General Statute 100-2.1].

Passed almost unnoticed and with minimal opposition in 2015, that legislation has proven to be a major road block for the social justice warriors intent on a cultural and historical “cleansing” of the Old North State. Indeed, the frustration of many of the more exalted and self-proclaimed Marxists has resulted in direct action such as the violent destruction of the Durham, NC, monument to Confederate veterans by gangs associated with the Communist Workers World Party. [see, “8 now face charges in toppling of Confederate statue in Durham”]

The razor-thin election of Democrat Roy Cooper as North Carolina’s governor in 2016 brought new impetus to efforts to “do something” about the hundreds of monuments honoring North Carolina’s some 125,000 Confederate veterans and their sacrifices. The Cooper administration selected as its primary target perhaps the most prominent and visible of all such monuments in the state, three iconic monuments  on Capitol Square surrounding the state’s historic 1840 State Capitol: the Henry Wyatt Monument, the Monument to North Carolina Women of the Confederacy, and the giant Confederate Monument facing Hillsborough Street.

But how to get around–to get past–the 2015 Monuments Protection Law?

Although offering strong protection for all of North Carolina’s historic monuments, markers and symbols on public property, the Monuments Protection Law did permit certain, very specific and limited exemptions for road construction, for repair, and because of public safety. It was those exemptions to which Governor Cooper and his team looked.

Given authority to receive and review such proposed exemptions is the North Carolina Historical Commission, which has purview in such cases [cf. North Carolina G.S. 100-2.1; G.S. 143B-63-65; and G.S. 121-12]. And it was to the Commission at its meeting on September 22, 2017, that Cooper’s administration made its proposal to take down the three monuments on Capitol Square and relocate them to the Bentonville Battlefield, near rural Newton Grove. The governor made his proposal based in an interpretation of the 2015 law, specifically section G.S. 100-2.1 (C) (3), which permits exceptions to the law if, “An object of remembrance for which a building inspector or similar official has determined poses a threat to public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition.

At its September 2017 meeting the Commission deferred all action; instead, it named a select committee of its members to examine the law and history, and to collect comments and opinions of academics and the public, and to report back at a full meeting in April 2018. A public hearing was held on March 21, 2018, at which monument supporters greatly predominated. And over 7,000 comments were collected by the end of March when the comment period was closed.

The North Carolina Division of the SCV contracted with a prominent constitutional attorney to prepare its case defending the location of the monuments under state law, and many others weighed in with strong arguments.

The following is a prepared statement I submitted (slightly edited) to both the members of the North Carolina Historical Commission and its select committee:


Despite all the debate over the meaning and history of the monuments, the primary consideration here is a legal one. If Governor Roy Cooper’s proposal to remove the three targeted monuments from Capitol (Union) Square cannot be legally entertained under the Monuments Protection Act of 2015 [G.S. 100-2.1], then all subsequent debate and discussion, while certainly important and significant in defining meaning and history, will remain secondary to the specific question before the Commission, and the Commission will be incapable of acting on the proposal.

Let’s take a closer look at the law. It was enacted with very specific provisions incorporated into its sections affecting all of North Carolina’s existent historic “objects of remembrance,”  monuments, works of art, and memorials situated on public property, protecting them from hastily and rashly considered or politically motivated action. The language and intent of the legislative authors actually recalls the originally proposed Monuments Protection Bill of more than a decade ago, proposed by the late Senator Hamilton Horton of Winston-Salem. Let us also recall that the 2015 legislation was passed unanimously by the North Carolina Senate.

With particular reference to the role of the North Carolina Historical Commission detailed in Section 100.2.1 (a), while the General Assembly specified that the Commission must give its approval prior to any removal, relocation or alteration of any monument, the Commission is also strictly limited in its possible action, as the law states, “except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section.”

That subsection (b) clearly states: A monument on public property may only be relocated, either permanently or temporarily, if either of the following two conditions apply:

(1) For the preservation of the monument (in the sense that natural or physical decay, or other natural effects are causing it damage);

(2) When public construction projects, highways, etc. would impact it in its present location.

But, if either of these two reasons are invoked, then the following rules must apply:

***An object of remembrance that is temporarily relocated shall be returned to its original location within 90 days of completion of the project that required its temporary removal;

***An object of remembrance that is permanently relocated shall be relocated to a site of similar prominence, honor, visibility, availability, and access that are within the boundaries of the jurisdiction from which it was relocated;

*** And, an object of remembrance may not be relocated to a museum, cemetery, or mausoleum unless it was originally placed at such a location.

The three exceptions to this section are contained in subsection (c):

*Concerning highway historical markers;

*Relating to private monuments placed on public property where there is a legal, written agreement governing potential removal or relocation;

*And in regard to a monument where a building inspector/equivalent official has determined that the monument has become a public safety hazard (through natural physical effects).

Let me summarize. Except for, (1) preservation or needed repair to monuments on Capitol Square, or (2) because of road and/or building construction that would affect them detrimentally, or (3) due to certification that a monument represents a clear public safety hazard because of its intrinsic physical condition, the North Carolina Historical Commission is not empowered legally to approve or initiate any action in regard to monuments under G.S. 100.2.1. Moreover, if permanentrelocation is proposed, the new location must be “of similar prominence, honor, visibility, availability, and access that are within the boundaries of the jurisdiction from which it was relocated.”

Governor Cooper’s proposal for removal and relocation is submitted under this third exception, suggesting that the monuments represent a clear public safety hazard. Yet, his proposal directly contradicts the considered legal view of the very legislators of the General Assembly who enacted the 2015 law.  In interpreting a law it is the intent and meaning invested by the legislators that must be considered the benchmark and standard for interpretation. This is long-standing constitutional jurisprudential practice, confirmed and sanctified by our judicial system.

In the specific case of Governor Cooper’s proposal, both President Pro-Tem of the North Carolina Senate, Senator Phil Berger, and Speaker of the House, Representative Tim Moore (with the concurrence of two dozen additional House of Representatives legislators), that is, those who enacted the law, have publicly stated in the strongest terms, more than once, that the governor’s proposal does not fulfill the conditions nor does it fulfill the intent laid down in the third exception (Cf., Senator Phil Berger’s full statement, “Berger Calls on Cooper to Withdraw Unlawful Request to State Historical Commission,”  published on September 21, 2017, and Speaker Tim Moore, on September 22, 2017, as quoted by WRAL-TV, “Legislative leaders warn Cooper, commission on statue removal”).

The key wording of the law in exception three includes “public safety hazard.” That is, that a monument has become a physical hazard to the public; it does not mean that members of the public, for instance, demonstrators, have become a “hazard to the monument.” This later case is a situation of potential vandalism, and not a natural “public safety hazard” envisaged or covered by the law.

Additionally, the proposed relocation of the monuments to the Bentonville Battlefield cannot in any way satisfy the requirement that the new location be of equal prominence and visibility as the North Carolina State Capitol. Although a State Historic Site, Bentonville is off the beaten track and lacks the much greater visibility, access, and prominence of the North Carolina State Capitol. During the biennium, 2012-2014, the State Capitol building was visited by 191,730 visitors, while Bentonville was visited by 91,665, less than half the number for the Capitol (Biennial Report, 2012-2014. The North Carolina Office of Archives and History. Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 2015, p. 95). But the number for the State Capitol does not factor in the hundreds of thousands of citizens who walk through the grounds of the Capitol each year and thus are able to view the monuments on the grounds.

Senator Berger’s summary words on this point to the governor (September 21, 2017) are definitive and must be considered as such: “The North Carolina Historical Commission does not even have the authority to grant your request, and it would likely lose in court if and when North Carolinians sued over the removal of the monuments….The North Carolina Historical Commission cannot legally grant your request.”

Additionally, there is confirmation of this legal opinion from the attorneys of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who, when importuned to submit a similar proposal to the North Carolina Historical Commission for the removal of the “Silent Sam” monument at the University under the third exception of a “public safety hazard,” rejected the request.  To quote from a report and legal opinion cited in The News & Observer (“UNC trustee leaders defend Folt for not removing Silent Sam Confederate statue,” August 25, 2017): “Through advice from its legal counsel and that of the UNC system, university leaders reached the conclusion that they do not have the authority to take down the monument.” I should also point out that this opinion is shared by even those who wish the monuments removed. The Greensboro News-Record, no defender of the monuments, in a prominent editorial (“Monuments hold a protected place,”  January 18, 2018), admitted that Senator Berger’s legal interpretation, as lawgiver, and the intent of the law, make it practically impossible to remove the monuments using the reasoning of the governor.

Given this essential and fundamental information, the governor’s proposal to remove the three monuments that memorialize the experiences of as many as 125,000 North Carolinians in the brutal conflict of 1861-1865 does not satisfy the conditions clearly set down in law.

A second consideration, and one that I expect will draw much more comment, concerns the erection and meaning of the monuments.  There are numerous references collected on the ncpediaand by docsouth web sites, offering details surrounding the erection of those monuments. That debate, like all debate regarding our national and state iconography, will in all likelihood continue to rage. But, and I say this with over thirty years of detailed research and investigation into those symbols erected by our ancestors, there is one overriding fact that should be understood: over the past history of our state, the facts haven’t changed; but the interpretations have.

One hundred years ago prominent “establishment” historians such as Charles Beard and Avery Craven, and North Carolina’s own R. D. W. Connor (the nation’s first National Archivist) could variously envisage the 1861-1865 war as essentially about economics or perhaps constitutional principles, fought by good and sincere men on both sides. In recent years, opinion has reflected the views generally of those leftist historians such as Eric Foner, that the war was specifically and uniquely about slavery and racism. But the essential facts haven’t changed, even if much of historical opinion has.

In examining in detail the contemporary accounts presented for why those monuments were erected, including newspaper accounts, speeches  and memoirs, the overwhelming sentiment expressed by such organizations as the Ladies’ Memorial Association (later the United Daughters of the Confederacy) and the United Confederate Veterans is one to honor the veterans, many of whom were dying off during that exact period. I would suggest that this has been a consistent practice in American history—South and North, usually forty or fifty years after the conclusion of a major conflict: erecting monuments and other symbols to honor its wizened veterans, most in their 80s or 90s. It occurred after World War II and more recently after the Vietnam conflict (e.g., the Vietnam Monument on Capitol Square).

The accusation has been made that those who erected the monuments did so to celebrate racism and its triumph legally, specifically in the form of Jim Crow legislation. However, certain researchers have also pointed out that the suggested congruence and symmetry between the enactment of Jim Crow legislation and the erection of monuments to the Confederate dead are misplaced and historically questionable, as researcher Michael Armstrong, in an investigative essay for The Abbeville Institute, published on October 11, 2017, has detailed. (“Why Were Confederate Monuments Built?”)

The example that is uniformly cited to prove a racist origin is a racially-hateful remark made by Julian Carr at the unveiling of the “Silent Sam” monument at UNC-Chapel Hill. Yet, Carr’s comments, which are discordant with the rest of his 3,200 word speech, are contextually out of place. While they do represent a racially-charged aside, they stand out as real exceptions to the meaning invested by the organizers and supporters of that monument, a meaning that is quite clearly to honor veterans and their sacrifices, and not to celebrate slavery or the evils of racism.

The issues surrounding the erection of the monuments and the individuals and groups responsible, and the views and attitudes of those persons, I would suggest, should also be seen in historical context. Even among some of those not identified as staunch defenders of Confederate heritage, there is a recognition that removal and/or relocation of symbols of our past presents considerable and serious dangers for a full understanding of our history. In reference here, I would cite three thoughtful essays by noted and prominent writers, each highly respected across this state and nationally.

The first is by Professor Peter Coclanis, the Albert R. Newsome Distinguished Professor of History at UNC-Chapel Hill (“Julian Carr did wrong, but also a good deal right). Dr. Coclanis and journalist Rob Christensen (“The complex origins of Confederate monuments), take a much more nuanced and careful view of the historical period and of the life and work of Julian Carr, pictured these days as a bigoted, reactionary racist, but who, in fact, was much more complex, a “progressive” individual much devoted to the improvement of the lives of all North Carolinians.  And the third item is by Pulitzer Prize-winning Tar Heel Edwin Yoder (“A misguided name-changing cult among UNC schools”), in reference to the renaming of Saunders Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill, once again stressing the contextual complexity and the error of judging past history with a single reductionist and presentist historical viewpoint as the only measure.

Let me add to this consideration the opinion of Professor Alfred Brophy, the Reef C. Ivey II Professor of Law, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who in a long, heavily-documented essay, specifically on the renaming of the William Simkins dormitory at the University of Texas (“The Law and Morality of Building Renaming”), despite sharing a belief that Confederate monuments may project a hurtful imagery and symbolism to portions of our population, believes that the existence of such symbols in positions of prominence may be of greater value than their relocation or removal:

To continue the analogy to regime changes and monuments that attempt to establish a controversial interpretation of history, one might think of Confederate monuments. When they were placed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, one purpose—in addition to honoring family members—may have been to establish a pro-Confederate history. They put that version of history in conspicuous places. But I wonder if politics—150 years after the Civil War began—has so changed that the monuments are not so much about organizing political space. Maybe the monuments have themselves become a testimony to history and part of the historical landscape rather than a positive effort to remake how we think about history…. That particular exercise in forgetting points out the reason why I have come full circle, back to my youthful opposition to renaming. As I see the calculus now, removal of a name threatens our memory of the past.

And he adds an example closer to home, in respect to a dormitory named for Justice Thomas Ruffin on the UNC campus. Ruffin defended slavery from the state’s highest judicial bench, yet Professor Brophy, weighing the pain and hurt occasioned by his decisions, also believes:  “I think we should keep his name on the dormitory on the University of North Carolina campus because it is part of our history and because we should remember that there was a time when his ideas were triumphant… I hope that those who ask for changes will also investigate whether the cause of promotion of knowledge of our past is best accomplished by removal of a name or whether removal facilitates, instead, the process of forgetting.”

Let me suggest, in conclusion, that the real reason for this proposal has nothing to do with finding a better or more appropriate place for the targeted monuments. Rather, it involves politics and a particular ideological interpretation of the factual record that these monuments—their presence—equals a defense of slavery, and, in fact, racism. If this is the standard that is now adopted for memorials, then nearly every monument on Capitol Square must, logically, be removed, including the monuments to Presidents Washington, Jackson, Polk, and Johnson, and to the North Carolina governors, all of whom could be considered racists or defenders of racism. Even the Vietnam Veterans monument has become a target, as there are those who see American involvement in Vietnam as an example of “racism.”

Our question, then, must be: where would such a process inevitably end? Already plaques honoring George Washington (e.g., Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia) have been removed, and efforts are underway to banish Christopher Columbus and Father Junipero Serra (in California) and rename our military institutions that bear the names of Confederate generals. And Presidents Jefferson and Jackson have also begun to suffer erasure and exile. The list seems to increase almost daily.

Certainly, it is understandable given the torturous history of race relations in this nation that some of our citizens may feel offended by those symbols. Yet, for millions of Tar Heel citizens—an overwhelming majority in every poll taken on this issue—those monuments are memorials to real ancestors, flesh and blood men and women who suffered and died, and not icons celebrating slavery or racism. (For the polls, see: Elon UniversityMeredith College, and Marist College.)

The Monuments Protection Law was enacted precisely to prevent such rash action as is being proposed—action which would denude us of a full understanding and representation of our history. We may not like what we see, we may find parts of our past hurtful, even offensive; each of us may find this or that event or person not to our liking. Yet, would it not be much better to take a broader view, and incorporate those memorials and symbols into our instruction and the education we provide to our citizens?

That is the true and wise spirit of North Carolina and the spirit that, I would suggest, mirrors the overwhelming sentiment of the citizens of this state, as well as enacted law.


The original date for a consideration of the select committee’s report to the full North Carolina Historical Commission was to be sometime in April of 2018; that month has long past, and May will soon be past as well, but thus far there has been no news of a scheduled meeting of the Commission. Various explanations and rumors continue to surface as reasons for this delay: first, that the enormous number of comments and their consideration has caused the postponement. Then, some have speculated that the Commission, which still has a majority of members appointed by Republican Governor Pat McCrory, may be waiting for new appointments. Finally, others have suggested that the Commission members, like the attorneys for the University of North Carolina system, comprehend that they cannot take positive action on Cooper’s proposal and are looking for ways to compensate for a negative decision (perhaps additional signage around existent monuments?).

In any event, the future decision of the North Carolina Historical Commission and whatever legal (or legislative) action that may follow will have enormous consequences not just for the Tar Heel State but for monument and heritage defense all across the South.

About Boyd Cathey

Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

Roseanne Barr, Uncle Remus and the Multicultural Politically Correct Briar Patch


I’ve never been much of a fan of Roseanne Barr. I never watched her earlier sitcom, Roseanne (1988-1997), but, then, I normally don’t watch much network television either. Unlike some conservatives I wasn’t that excited by the renewal of the show by ABC in mid-season in 2017, and I am not that surprised that the program would be cancelled, given Barr’s past “shock jock” role among entertainers.

Yet there is something woefully amiss here, and it is not just the piously hypocritical piled-on condemnations coming from the Mainstream Media left, or the long-faced jeremiads and nervous attempts at dissociation from Roseanne (after praising her recent on-screen jabs at the far left) coming from the Neocon media. The tweet Barr made about former Obama advisor,  Valerie Jarrett, that Jarrett was the “baby” of   “the Muslim Brotherhood & the Planet of the Apes” (Jarrett is black and was born in Iran), was stupid, not funny, and, of course, “insensitive” by today’s p-c standards. But was it any more insensitive than previous over-the-top comments she has made? Was it really “racist,” or is it just one more indication of the rapidly advancing politically-correct goal posts about race (and gender) that our contemporary culture posits as dogmatic, especially if the comment comes from someone not part of the “authorized Left”?


          -In 1990 Roseanne sang the National Anthem at a San Diego Padres versus Cincinnati Reds baseball game, purposefully out of tune and “screechy,” then spitting and grabbing her crotch, for which she was roundly condemned (including by President George H. W. Bush);

          -In 2009 she posed as Adolf Hitler for the Jewish satirical magazine,  Heeb, in a feature titled, “That Oven Feeling,” holding a tray of burnt gingerbread cookies she called “burnt Jew cookies” (Barr is Jewish herself). Again, she was slammed for what many considered “anti-semitism”;

          -In 2014 she tweeted the home address and phone number of George Zimmerman, who was found innocent in the killing of Trayvon Martin, stating that “no one can hide anymore…If Zimmerman isn't arrested I'll r[oute] his address again – maybe go 2 his house myself.”

And these are just a few of her more controversial escapades. She has a long history of pronouncing and propagating off-the-wall conspiracy theories, and what some critics have called “extreme satire” with “shock value.”

Yet none of those instances, none of that history, produced the kind of swift and definitive action like what the ABC Network took in less than three hours after Barr’s offending tweet.

Conservative pundits on Fox were quick to condemn her but raise the specter of a double standard: if Roseanne was being axed why had not such severe action been taken against any number of other comedians, in particular those who had at times viciously attacked President Trump or his supporters? 

Leftist “Comedian” Kathy Griffin had held up, notoriously, a facsimile of the bloody, severed head of Trump back in 2017, and although she apologized at the time, by April of 2018 she had withdrawn her apology defiantly:

“I take the apology back,” she said during an appearance Monday on “The View.” She then punctuated her statement with an expletive directed at Trump. She also said she was…not sorry for her attacks on Trump’s oldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, whom she referred to as “Eddie Munster and date rape.” “Look, I’m not holding back on this family,” said the 57-year-old comic. “This president is different and I have been through the mill and so now I’m back on the road.” []

Despite an initial worry that her antics might endanger her career, apparently that was not the case…after all the target was Trump and the mostly-white “deplorables.” And in such instances, you can get away, almost literally, with murder.

The reasons for this, I would suggest, are wrapped up in America’s current and increasingly mad descent into and embrace of the culturally dominant Marxist template on race (as well as on gender). One can get away with holding a model of Donald Trump’s severed head or intimating how satisfying it would be if the president were to get killed: there are few limits indeed to such satire and “humor.” But venture into anything remotely related to race, even humorously or inadvertently, especially if the offender is not part of the “authorized Leftist establishment,” and the results are a veritable death sentence, followed by exile to the remotest gulag in Siberia.

This latest incident comes as the media establishment is consciously attempting to throttle free speech—most recently actions taken by PayPal, by Google, by Facebook, by Amazon and by other major Internet sites to both block access to sites that these lords of the Net consider to be “racist, sexist, extremist, and Neo-Confederate,” and to prevent Internet financial transactions for them.

Starbucks, that gathering site for leftist latte’ sippers and hip Millenials, just closed for a day to require its employees to undergo “race sensitivity training.” What had happened to occasion this was that two black men had entered a Starbucks to use the rest room facilities. They were informed that facilities were only for customers. Quickly the incident mushroomed into an example of “racial prejudice,” despite the fact that there are many restaurants that have a similar policy. Can you imagine the same thing occurring if the men had been white?

Just in recent weeks we have heard (Fox News) that at the University of Michigan (and on perhaps another 200 campuses), zealous “social justice warrior” students have been instructed by the university administration to report (anonymously of course) if they overhear another student making “racist,” “sexist,” or “homophobic” remarks, even if those conversations are private.

And increasingly a worker in a business who happens to let slip a word or comment vaguely considered “racist” by someone standing near, can be terminated, or, perhaps even worse, made to sit through interminable “sensitivity” sessions organized by that company’s EEOC bureaucrats.

Back when I was gainfully employed by the North Carolina State Archives, I recall an incident that illustrates this so very well, and with accompanying irony.  It began with a committee of senior archivists meeting to discuss the accession of a major haul of government records. Those records were a jumble, that is, totally unorganized and which would require major arrangement and description, and quite a bit of time dedicated to them to make them usable. One member of the committee—by no means at all a right wing type—casually mentioned that he hoped we would “not get thrown into that briar patch,” approximating and paraphrasing language and imagery that shows up in the famous Joel Chandler Harris literary folktale collection, Uncle Remus.

Well, you would have thought that Sheriff “Bull” Connor himself had risen up from his grave, from Selma, Alabama, with Billy clubs, water hoses, and angry German shepherd dogs! One woman on the committee, a black lady, immediately accused the offending fellow archivist of “racism” and “employing racist stereotypes” and showing “hatred.”  Instead of attempting to calm matters and assure the offended archivist that certainly no insult was intended, the head of the committee panicked. And no manner of explanations from the archivist who made the comment would suffice to assuage the lady’s perceived “racist” insult.

As a result, the entire staff was compelled—forced—to sit through a long “racial sensitivity” session, counseling was offered, staged “role play” during the indoctrination was performed, and we were all requested to fill out an “evaluation form” about how we planned to combat on-the-job racism and racist-tinged commentary, humor, etc., etc.

But that was not the end of it. The “incident” went up the chain of command. Later we were once again compelled to attend, but this time in smaller, more intimate sessions in which “interaction” with paid “counselors” took place. My attendance, however, was short lived: during my first encounter I demanded to know how they defined terms. How did they define “racism,” what was “bigotry,” how did we determine what was an innocent comment made off hand, and how did we distinguish that from “racist” behavior? How could we know if a comment we made referring to our state’s Confederate history, for instance, might be considered “racist” by someone overhearing us?

Those counselors looked at me with mounting disgust and frustration—obviously, I should have known that those “devil” terms were whatever the current enforcers of political correctness intended for them to mean. The whole process was, essentially, intended to turn the white staffers, especially white males on staff, into obliging, weak-brained wimps—the latest step in an ongoing process of confirming the template of the culturally Marxist Left on race.

At the end of the first session, I was politely told that I did not have to return for any additional sessions, that I had finished my training…but I can’t help thinking that from then on some higher ups kept a wary eye on me.

Ironic it seems: on one hand we are rigorously told that race is just skin deep, that we aren’t supposed to notice the color of a person’s skin or sex, but rather only his or her character. But at the very same time we are firmly importuned to understand that because of past white oppression and white supremacy, we must compensate for past injustices, engage in reparations of some sort, bend to affirmative action—all based singularly on race!

You may remember that classic comedy, “No Time for Sergeants,” starring Andy Griffith, and you may also recall the scene where Andy’s sergeant informs him that when he sees a female officer that he is looking not at a lady, but only an officer—and then the subsequent hilarity occasioned by Andy’s refusal to acknowledge the femininity of an officer he encounters.

Just like in Andy’s case, this sort of indoctrination was—and is—enough to make any sensible person go totally mad, to engender fear of offending, and to provoke in many recipients a certain kind of paralysis when it comes to social interaction. But, and I witnessed this in my own environment, I think it was intended that way: if not completely to pervert and transform a person’s normal and natural thinking processes, to at the very least render him docile and mentally castrated, unwilling—or more so, unable—to challenge the multiculturalist political correctness that infects our society and our culture, and incapable of resisting the seemingly inevitable latest advance of Big Brother and cultural Marxism.

There are intrepid souls out there who increasingly risk not only this kind of censorship, but even worse penalties. Is not jail time a real possibility in the future for those—for us—who do not conform to the increasingly severe and ideologically weaponized rules and laws that emit from our managerial elites, both seen and unseen? 

My parents never realized how utterly racist they were when they read those fanciful Joel Chandler Harris stories to my sister and me when we were children…or took us to see Walt Disney’s now apparently embargoed The Song of the South.  But, then, we did not live in an “enlightened” society back then….

Monday, May 28, 2018

May 28, 2018

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

One Democratic Voice Calls For a Halt to the Mueller Charade


A short column today—to pass on just one essay, and to wish each of you and your families a rewarding and meaningful Memorial Day.

The essay is by long-time Democratic strategist/pollster and consultant to Bill Clinton, Mark Penn. He’s been showcased on Fox News recently because of an opinion piece he wrote for the Washington web magazine, The Hill—and it’s a commentary that has very much unsettled the Deep State and Establishment along the Potomac: one of their own, one of their inner circle, has broken ranks and, basically, denounced them—the Mueller investigation and the whole “Russians Did It!” canard—as an over-the-top (and clumsy) attempt to defeat the president, to remove him, by non-electoral and unprecedentedly anti-democratic means…a “silent coup.”

Penn has been attacked by all the familiar faces on the Left, from Joe Scarborough to Rachel Maddow: another demonstration that our enemies have completely fallen into paroxysms of sheer ideological lunacy. That one supposedly prominent member of the Democratic Party, even a Clintonista, could make such statements, is unacceptable and must be thwarted, discredited, and denounced.

Voices like those of Mark Penn are becoming rare, a reminder that America is a nation divided, and that division is growing by the day…and it is increasingly irrevocable and unbridgeable. The earnest strategy of the Left (and some Neoconservative supporters of amnesty) is an “ethnic replacement” goal that will diminish to impotency the significance and power of the country’s traditional European-descended majority, while enhancing the power and position of Third World immigrants (illegal and legal, alike). Yet, it is more likely that either the nation itself will break apart into regions of states and “bantustans”—some states, like California, may break apart internally—or there will be civil war, which could well become “hot” and more violent as time advances.

Too bad the country doesn’t have a military like that of Chile which in 1973, facing the prospect of a Marxist dictatorship under Salvador Allende, took direct patriotic action and saved that nation from Communism.

Penn may well be crying in the wilderness for a time that has long past. Sadly.


Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all


The “deep state” is in a deep state of desperation. With little time left before the Justice Department inspector general’s report becomes public, and with special counsel Robert Mueller having failed to bring down Donald Trump after a year of trying, they know a reckoning is coming.

At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton “matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a yearlong investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.

With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

But it is backfiring. They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a one-time foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. This wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.

In no way would a fourth-hand report from a Maltese professor justify wholesale targeting of four or five members of the Trump campaign. It took Christopher Steele, with his funding concealed through false campaign filings, to be incredibly successful at creating a vast echo chamber around his unverified, fanciful dossier, bouncing it back and forth between the press and the FBI so it appeared that there were multiple sources all coming to the same conclusion.

Time and time again, investigators came up empty. Even several sting operations with an FBI spy we just learned about failed to produce a DeLorean-like video with cash on the table. But rather than close the probe, the deep state just expanded it. All they had were a few isolated contacts with Russians and absolutely nothing related to Trump himself, yet they pressed forward. Egged on by Steele, they simply believed Trump and his team must be dirty. They just needed to dig deep enough.

Perhaps the murkiest event in the timeline is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of a special counsel after he personally recommended Comey’s firing in blistering terms. With Attorney General Jeff Sessions shoved out of the way, Rosenstein and Mueller then ignored their own conflicts and took charge anyway. Rosenstein is a fact witness, and Mueller is a friend of Comey, disqualifying them both.

Flush with 16 prosecutors, including a former lawyer for the Clinton Foundation, and an undisclosed budget, the Mueller investigation has been a scorched-earth effort to investigate the entirety of the Trump campaign, Trump business dealings, the entire administration and now, if it was not Russia, maybe it’s some other country.

The president’s earlier legal team was naive in believing that, when Mueller found nothing, he would just end it. Instead, the less investigators found, the more determined and expansive they became. This president and his team now are on a better road to put appropriate limits on all this.

This process must now be stopped, preferably long before a vote in the Senate. Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again.

Its prosecutions have all been principally to pressure witnesses with unrelated charges and threats to family, or just for a public relations effect, like the indictment of Russian internet trolls. Unfortunately, just like the Doomsday Machine in “Dr. Strangelove” that was supposed to save the world but instead destroys it, the Mueller investigation comes with no “off” switch: You can’t fire Mueller. He needs to be defeated, like Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Clinton.

Finding the “off” switch will not be easy. Step one here is for the Justice Department inspector general report to knock Comey out of the witness box. Next, the full origins of the investigation and its lack of any real intelligence needs to come out in the open. The attorney general, himself the target of a secret investigation, needs to take back his Justice Department. Sessions needs to act quickly, along with U.S. Attorney John Huber, appointed to conduct an internal review of the FBI, on the Comey and McCabe matters following the inspector general report, and then announce an expanded probe into other abuses of power.

The president’s lawyers need to extend their new aggressiveness from words to action, filing complaints with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility on the failure of Mueller and Rosenstein to recuse themselves and going into court to question the tactics of the special counsel, from selective prosecutions on unrelated matters, illegally seizing Government Services Administration emails, covering up the phone texts of FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and operating without a scope approved by the attorney general. (The regulations call for the attorney general to recuse himself from the investigation but appear to still leave him responsible for the scope.)

The final stopper may be the president himself, offering two hours of testimony, perhaps even televised live from the White House. The last time America became obsessed with Russian influence in America was the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. Those ended only when Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) attacked an associate of the U.S. Army counsel, Joseph Welch, and Welch famously responded: “Sir, have you no decency?” In this case, virtually every associate and family member of the president has been subject to smears conveniently leaked to the press.

Stopping Mueller isn’t about one president or one party. It’s about all presidents and all parties. It’s about cleaning out and reforming the deep state so that our intelligence operations are never used against opposing campaigns without the firmest of evidence. It’s about letting people work for campaigns and administrations without needing legal defense funds. It’s about relying on our elections to decide our differences.

Mark Penn served as pollster and adviser to President Clinton from 1995 to 2000, including during his impeachment. He is chairman of the Harris Polland author of “Microtrends Squared.” Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Penn.

  June 10, 2024   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   North Carolina’s Mark Robinson and the Uncontrolled Rage of the Left ...