August 26, 2018
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
“Silent Sam” and the Fetid Disaster Known as Public Education
Demonstrations by the unruly minions of cultural Marxism continue on the campus of the University of North Carolina.
While our television sets are filled with videos of scraggly, rough-bearded and unkempt Millenial men, and obese and definitely unattractive women, screaming profanities and shouting imprecations about racism, white supremacy, and the dangers of “fascism”—that is, demonstrating for “peace and justice”—there lurks behind those images a deeper, even scarier truth.
Many in the mob of August 20th who toppled the “Silent Sam” monument to University of North Carolina students who volunteered to become Confederate soldiers in 1861-1865—and many who came back on Saturday the 25th—were non-students, itinerant professional militants of various Marxist, Antifa, and Black Lives movements. But many also were students at that institution. And students who have absorbed supposedly the finest public education that money (and mommy and daddy) can buy at one of the most prestigious universities in the South.
There was, for example, student Margarita Sitterson, the granddaughter of former Chancellor of the university, J. Carlyle Sitterson, who boasted of her presence in the lawlessness of August 20th and her active participation in tearing down the monument:
“So basically what happened was there was four banners on each side – well actually one banner on each side, and they were all connected by sticks, and people wrapped rope around the sticks and we pulled back and forth and back and forth until it fell down.” [Peter Abrosca, “Granddaughter of Former UNC Chancellor Admits to Tearing Down Confederate Statue, ‘Silent Sam’,” Big League Politics, August 20, 2018, at: https://bigleaguepolitics.com/watch-granddaughter-of-former-unc-chancellor-admits-to-tearing-down-silent-sam-statue/
Sitterson added: “My grandfather – he went here for college, then he became a professor, then he became a dean [inaudible], then he became chancellor.”
“Sitterson said she was ashamed and that she carried guilt because she is white, and white people owned slaves.”
Notice the narrative: it is an absorbed instructional template and standard that is employed in nearly all university courses about our history, our literature, our politics, and in most other courses taught to our children; it dominates almost totally the curricula of our universities and colleges, just as the University of Alabama Crimson Tide has dominated college football. It posits two measures by which all human history and experience, all human knowledge and expression, are evaluated and, then, (re)interpreted: racial oppression by the white race of black and brown people, and sexual oppression by men of women.
Thus, re-interpreting our history and culture to discover sometimes deeply embedded examples of “racism” and “white supremacy,” and of “male exploitation” and “oppression of women,” has become the central characteristic of our college curricula, the marker and measure by which all academic disciplines now are analyzed and taught.
Analyze a Shakespeare play…say Richard III or The Merchant of Venice; then look for the abasement and “enslavement” of women, or a hidden “racist” reference or overtone—obviously, since Shakespeare was male and white. Or consider operas by Mozart (Abduction from the Seraglio) or Rossini (L’Italiana in Algeri), with their “overt racist hostility to Muslims and women,” such that now in Europe these works are either no longer presented or are banned outright, or their lyrics and action re-written. And, closer to our time, think of the attempts to ban The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, “Gone With the Wind,” and the Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris.
And when these works are discussed in our universities, or portrayed publicly, increasingly it is done with re-interpretations, studied warnings about the implicit racism and misogyny that modern scholarship has discovered in them. Indeed, the very language and traditional expression used to analyze the history and the classic products, the art, and culture of our civilization, have been radically altered, with a whole new, made-up linguistics now employed which effectively cuts us off from the past, while furthering the goals of revolution.
Obviously, students like Margarita Sitterson—the descendant of a famed UNC educator—and thousands more like her, sitting in classes at the mercy of cultural Marxist ideologue professors who do little more than inculcate the theories of “critical race theory” and the “feminization of history”—have already, in most cases, suffered years of poor education and early indoctrination in our public high schools, that is, been “softened up” for this process before entering college.
These are the same students who, while able to describe in excruciating detail what they have been fed about the “racism” and “white oppression” supposedly existent in the United States circa 2018, and the onerous “exploitation of women,” cannot read basic texts or pass basic exams in math, or in English, or in history.
In late 2016 Dr. Walter Williams, the black educator, wrote that “a very large percentage of all incoming freshmen have no business being admitted to college.” On the major College Board test,
“Only 32 percent of white students scored at or above proficient in math, and just 7 percent of black students did. Forty-six percent of white test takers scored proficient in reading, and 17 percent of blacks did. The ACT, another test used for admission to college, produced similar results. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports, in an article titled "A Major Crisis in College Readiness for Black Students," that 34 percent of whites who took the ACT were deemed college-ready in all four areas — English, mathematics, reading and science. For blacks, it was only 6 percent.” [Dr. Walter E. Williams, “Cruelty to Black Students,” CNS News, September 20, 2016, at: http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/walter-e-williams/cruelty-black-students]
As Professor Williams indicates, it is black students, most of whom are unprepared for college life, who suffered most by being boosted by affirmative action and entitlements. But the results for white high school graduates are equally appalling.
And these form the pool of students whose parents fork over anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 a year to our universities to educate them.
For broader confirmation, consider a parallel choice: a career in the United States military. Under President Trump and his signing of a new defense bill, the armed services are instructed to recruit new enlistees—the US Army alone, about 17,500 new recruits every year.
But there is a problem: in addition to the fact that many potential candidates are obese, as Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley states:
“…one in four cannot meet minimal educational standards (a high school diploma or GED equivalent), and one in 10 have a criminal history. In plain terms, about 71 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds (the military’s target pool of potential recruits) are disqualified from the minute they enter a recruiting station: that’s 24 million out of 34 million Americans… fully 30 percent of those who have the requisite high school diploma or GED equivalent fail to pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test (the AFQT), which is used to determine math and reading skills….” [Mark Perry, “The Recruitment Problem the Military Doesn’t Want to Talk About,” The American Conservative, August 15, 2018, at: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-recruitment-problem-the-military-doesnt-want-to-talk-about/]
It is any wonder that a rowdy mob, drenched in cultural Marxist gruel that passes for education—a mob turned into raving lunatics by teachers and college professors who are little more than fanatical ideological agents of continuing revolution—now seeks to destroy Confederate symbols and soon to obliterate anything reminding them or us of twenty centuries Western Christian, and yes, white and largely male, culture?
The administrators at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, like the administrators at most colleges throughout the land, have yet to understand this; indeed, many sympathize with the lunatics. And too many political and civic leaders continue to bury their heads in the sand, look the other way, or hope the “problem” will just go away.
But it won’t, for it is like a rapidly-spreading cancer that must be excised and removed…else it kill the host body.
The UNC Board of Governors meets soon to examine what happened at UNC. They must understand that we are in a multilevel cultural war, and on the outcome of this war depends the very existence of our culture and our identity as a civilization.
I pass on just one short essay to accompany this commentary:
Roy Exum: A Face In The Crowd
At least 11 people were arrested or are being sought in Chapel Hill, N.C, on Saturday as a pro-Confederate rally turned sour. And while there were warrants out for even others following Monday’s toppling of a Civil War monument on the University of North Carolina campus, the new thought is that something far more sinister is stirring. We do not know the identities of those arrested, but University Chancellor Carol Folt told us what we already expected – not one in question had any ties to UNC.
Since the Monday night protests, when a statue called “Silent Sam” was desecrated by what first appeared to be a teen-aged back-to-school bash, law enforcement authorities from across the state are telling insiders Monday’s protests didn’t fit the modus operandi … no, this was nothing they had ever seen. Please, UNC, is a liberal-leaning island of ‘free thought’ where somebody is protesting something else all the time, but this was different.
Said one, “This was a carefully-planned and well-staged protest. This doesn’t pass the smell test.”
I should say. While no details are available about those who have been arrested, or are being sought, it is confirmed by various law enforcement groups – including federal agencies -- that the national notoriety might be more of a terrorist attack on the American good. The university begged students not to attend Saturday’s counter-protest so there was hardly the crowd there was on Monday. But, boy oh boy, was there evermore a headliner to give a rousing speech.
How in the heck did Chelsea Manning happen to appear out of thin air; freely admitting she had been paid to deliver a speech? You’ll remember a U.S. Army soldier who was born as Bradley Manning and sold thousands of secrets to our nation’s enemies. In July of 2013, he was convicted by court-martial of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and diplomatic documents.
On the first day after the 35-year sentence, Manning announced she was actually a trans-woman. She had always thought of herself as Chelsea. And – not just that – would begin hormone therapy immediately. Manning was sentenced to 35 years at the military wing in Fort Leavenworth but in May 2017, President Obama granted a full pardon. Chelsea has since devoted herself to various activist causes and has been drawn to the removal of Civil War monuments. After the sensational brawl in Charlottesville (Aug. 17, 2017) Chelsea has been totally involved in blotting away what she says are signs of white supremacy. (Since Charlottesville, it is estimated that 30 Civil War monuments have been removed in the United States.)
No, I know nothing about who finances such changes but every bit as intriguing is who financed Chelsea’s visit to Chapel Hill – the plane, the car, the security and – of course – the passionate speech she delivered.
UNC Board of Governors member Thom Goolsby said in a YouTube video that the well-known “Silent Sam” monument will be placed back on campus within 90 days because it is clearly the law. “A statue was torn down by a violent mob and the police stood by and did nothing as that happened,” Goolsby said of the Aug. 20 incident.
Goolsby is satisfied that the university’s board is investigating and working with school officials to ensure that the “perpetrators are punished, that judgement is sought for their felonious criminal acts.”
Chancellor Folt, stuck in the midst of this firestorm, believes justice must reign. “No matter what you felt about the monument, what happened on Monday night was destruction of state property, and that is not lawful, and someone could have been badly injured. Using the full breadth of state and university processes, we will do our best to identify, and will hold those responsible accountable.”
Manning was unfazed: “I don’t care what the law says … that statue isn’t going up again,” she told reporters Saturday. “Obviously we got to close prisons, we got to deal with ICE, we got to deal with statues like this, we got to deal with white supremacy and all these systemic problems that the criminal justice system, that the immigration system, that the military industrial complex all contribute to,” Manning said.
She even used a monster of comparison: “Having U.S. forces in a country like Iraq killing brown people is effectively a systemic form of white supremacy.”
Raul Jimenez, who was arrested and acquitted in the 2017 episode in Charlottesville, was present in Chapel Hill yesterday as well. He said his only role was to “encourage and support the Chapel Hill protesters." In August 2017, protesters toppled a Confederate statue in Durham. One of the arrested and acquitted for tearing down the monument, Raul Jimenez, was in attendance at Saturday’s protest in Chapel Hill. He said he came to support everyone who has protested in Chapel Hill.
And that’s okay, but where the rub comes is just who exactly sent the people to establish a war zone. Who’s idea? What is the intent? These are the big questions on our college campuses across the country. Capture our young and you capture our future.