Reckonin readers should be aware that our Webmaster, Anne Wilson Smith, has just published an important book, Charlottesville Untold. It is a thoroughly researched and well-written account of what really happened at the famous Charlottesville event of August 2017. Contrary to the media’s made-up story and the politicians’ bandwagon comments, it was not a “deadly white supremacist riot.” It was a classic exercise of anarcho-tyranny in which city and state officials conspired with violent leftist mobs to prevent people who had come to honour General Lee’s monument from assembling and speaking. It in some ways it anticipated January 6, except in this case it was a direct suppression of free speech. The book is available at amazon and other places. The work has already attracted considerable favourable attention and the author has been interviewed on Dissident Mama and Conversation that Matter. Our webmaster has previously published a children’s book on Robert E. Lee.
It is perhaps worth noting that we Southerners are not totally defamed and excluded everywhere. Brit superstar Daniel Craig (the latest 007) in a recent film, “Knives Out,” plays his part with a cultured Southern accent. He is a highly intelligent lead character and does the accent pretty well. There seems no particular reason for the admirable character to be a Southerner.
Our Founding Fathers in their deliberations often referred to “the genius of the people.” It was a concept long familiar in Western civilizational discussions of society and government. What did they mean?
They referred to the particular characteristics of a people that made them an identifiable reality and often a polity. Ways of life, customs, habits, attitudes, economic pursuits, religion, shared values and concepts of government---a common sense of their identity as a people. This was always a factor to be considered by statesmen and philosophers. The “genius of the people” referred to a social reality before government that always had to be taken into account.
The Founders knew that Americans shared something of a common genius, still in formation after the Revolution. They understood that the differences between the people of Massachusetts and South Carolina were significant. They even understood there were differences between Massachusetts and New Hampshire and North and South Carolina. No problem in a confederal union of sovereign states as long as good faith dominated.
By the 20th century a common sense of the genius of the American people had developed. Just think of the Americans of World War II. At home and abroad people had a clear sense of what “American” meant. That is now long gone. There is no genius of a people in Blue America---only a chaos of manners, values, identities, covered by an evil ideology designed to suppress Western civilization at the roots. No real society at all. Some remnants of an American character as we have known it can be found surviving across Red America, but they are besieged by an aggressive Blue State, leaderless, and no longer fully conscious of their identity as a people. Any potential leaders of these people are destroyed by the media or the federal police. There is effectively no real freedom of speech, press, and assembly for them. Walking through the Capitol that is supposed to belong to the people is now insurrection. Leftist mobs suppress others as they please.
What do Americans any longer share? Consumerism, debt, television shows, commercial athletics, a fake and evil idea of the purpose of government, and a completely unresponsive ruling class. Two Presidential candidates, Obama and Madame Clinton, have declared in public that a vast part of the population are hopeless “deplorables.” And these are representatives of what used to be the party of the common man. If Americans had any identity, such insults would have driven their authors into hiding.
But, in fact, such insults go down well with millions of pseudo-intellectuals who like to think of themselves as nobly above the Deplorables. Future historians, if there are any, are likely to attribute the fall of America to a vast proliferation of shallow learning that is puffed up but disguises a lack of knowledge and wisdom. A product of the Great Society’s universalization of higher education. This shallow learning is rife among politicians, journalists, professors. Just listen to their ignorant assertions about history and absurd notions of American omnipotence and virtue in foreign affairs.
What Americans believe and are taught about their history is not bad interpretation. It is a juggernaut of malicious lies. But there can be no history where there is no people. How could we expect immigrant masses from the Third World to know or care anything about the achievements of Americans in founding free institutions and settling a continental wilderness. We no longer have an American history because there is no American people in effective being.
Politicians until recently were seldom statesman, and they were often cynical, deceptive, and corrupt. But they had a tough understanding of how the world really works. Our leaders, congressmen, governors and ranking bureaucrats, now are rich boys without firm character. They lack the life experience that used to be the lot of even affluent youth. Politics is a matter of posturing to the media and vocal interests. Many of them have never worked up a sweat at any real work or been acquainted with any real workers. They have gone to exclusive schools and never had to pinch pennies like most normal folk. They enjoy, unearned, lavish offices and benefits that they assume is their due.
Such people cannot lead a society that expects to survive.
Our intrepid phantom reporter (see “Joe-Biden: Questions the Press Should Ask. . .,” posted last August 9) has managed to get into the Presidential press conference again. He surprises the President with some real questions. (Of course, this could only be true if we had an honest government and an honest media.) I understand the FBI has a warrant out for him for treason and insurrection.
Q. Mr. President, we were all highly concerned about the fate of George Floyd who died in police custody. At the January 6 event in the Capitol a federal policeman shot and killed an unarmed woman in cold blood. Should this policeman be prosecuted like those in the Floyd case?
Q. Mr. President, the Afghan refugees and illegal immigrants at the Southern border are being released into the country. Can we be assured that these people have had the vaccination for Covid that you are requiring for American citizens?
Q. Mr. President, 3 of the 13 American soldiers killed in the Kabul Airport disaster were women. Do you think non-discrimination and equality requires us to send women into war zones?
Q. Mr. President, many people have crticised how the Afghanistan withdrawal was handled. Do you think in hindsight things might have been handled better?
Q. Mr. President, what is your considered opinion about what is happening right now at Del Rio?
It is reported that the yearly median household income in Loudon County, Virginia, full of federal bureaucrats, is about $118,000. It is the richest county in the U.S. The comparable figure for South Carolina is less than $49,000. This explains arrogant talk in high quarters about “deplorables” and tells us a lot of what we need to know about the Evil Empire quartered in Washington.
The rabble cheered and cavorted as General Lee’s monument was destroyed in Richmond. Rabble is the right word. Across this broad land many of us shed tears or gritted our teeth. We are far more numerous than the rabble and a far better class of human beings. Rabble can build nothing. They can only destroy.
It is a simple fact that most White people, from the discovery of Black Africa in the 1500s until well into the 20th century, were “racists” and “White supremacists.” They were simply responding to history and a common sense view of the world around them. It is also true that the leaders and soldiers of the North in the War Between the States were just as “racist” as the Southerners they conquered. The whole business of attacking “racism” by wiping out memory of the Confederacy is a fraud. It is really an attack on Western Civilisation. That is becoming more evident every day. At bottom it has little do with African Americans opposing “racism.” It is a product of the arrogant and dishonest virtue signalling of a certain type of American, which itself is a cover for a radicals’ campaign of social destruction.
Some people seem to be counting on a Republican resurgence in next year’s elections to save the country. It is hard to imagine anything so short-sighted and historically ignorant. The only hope for reform is that the Republicans disappear and are replaced by a genuine opposition party.
It seems our new Chief of Staff of all the armed forces, one Milley, has come out in favour of teaching Critical Race Theory at West Point and has endorsed other “woke” opinions and initiatives.
Who is this disgrace to every person who has ever died or suffered in arms for America in the last two centuries? He is from (you guessed it!) Massachusetts. He did not go to West Point, but to Princeton. It seems his resume' includes every imaginable staff and non-combat command. Never heard a shot fired in anger, was never truly in harm’s way, despite a chest heavy with medals.
Look at that weak, smug face. Compare it with the face of MacArthur or Patton, Grant or Lee. This is no soldier. This is a consummate paper-shuffling, boot-licking, back-stabbing bureaucrat.
Can you imagine Russia, China, or Japan entrusting supreme command to such a creature? I do not think even Britain, France, or Germany are that “woke” as yet. Do you think any potential enemies are shaking in their boots about facing American “rainbow” divisions?
Think about this. When is the last time you heard a press or political discussion of the armed forces’ duty to defend the American homeland and people? What we hear is the insane and criminal babble that we are “defending” Americans by dropping bombs on people on the other side of the world who cannot possibly do us any harm if we are prudent about who enters the homeland. This is incompetence and foolishness at the highest level. And now they have invented a duty of the armed forces to change America into a woke society, while purging all real patriots from the ranks.
Yes, the withdrawal from Afghanistan was a disaster. But so were the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. It could not have ended any other way. A competent and patriotic government would have carried out a skilled action to find and punish those who had done us harm. Instead we invaded two countries under the illusion of bringing “democracy” to a Muslim people. This was a crazy criminal act carried out by most of the ruling elite and supported by a frightening percentage of the people.
This could never have happened in a country whose rulers were motivated by patriotism, facts, and common sense and had any familiarity with history.
One of the big generals recently affirmed that “Robert E. Lee was a traitor.” I forget which one, but one of the top generals that Trump stupidly appointed who then jumped on him with both feet. Where did he learn that business about “treason”? At West Point? I hope not. But any body who has such a simple-minded view of great issues of history and of human affairs is very certainly not qualified to command an army. What if Churchill or Eisenhower and their lieutenants had been that ignorant? We would all be goose-stepping, which is probably what this general would prefer anyway.
Mr. President, isn’t there a disconnect between urging law- abiding citizens to be vaccinated and wear masks and admitting hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated illegal immigrants and dispersing them into the population?
Mr. President, there is a lot of talk these days about Critical Race Theory. I am sure a lot of people, maybe most Americans, do not understand what this is. Could you give us your definition of Critical Race Theory and why it is being required.
Mr. President, should a war break out with Iran, as many seem to expect or want, what do you see as the result? Will it help democracy in the Middle East?
Mr. President, you have said the events of January 6 were as big a threat to democracy as the Civil War. Setting aside that the Confederacy did not want to take over or destroy the U.S. but only wanted to be let alone, how can citizens walking through the Capitol that belongs to the People, be such a terrible threat?
Mr. President, millions of Americans believe that you were not legitimately elected. Why do they think this? What can you say to them?
Given the large role that the Covid sickness has taken in our life, it is strange that we, the public, have almost no certain facts about it.
Is it natural or man-made? If man-made, was it created by the Chinese government or the U.S. government? Is it mutating into possibly more dangerous forms? If so, how effective are vaccines? How prevalent is it? We cannot possibly know because only a fraction of the world population has been tested and tests are not perfect.
How is it best controlled? Different governments have tried different measures with conflicting results. Do masks and lockdowns really do any good? I doubt if there exists and ever can be any proof of this. What is the actual death toll? We know that many deaths have been ascribed to Covid where there were other conditions present. Why do some people die and others have no or only minor symptoms? This seems a vital piece of knowledge that should dictate the response rather than universal measures.
Sensible people know not to trust government “experts” or the media. Indeed, there is a wealth of contradictory opinion among creditable people. The Big Tech arm of the Deep State seems to be busy with massive suppression of opinions challenging the official government line. That in itself shows bad faith and deception. A bad regime does not censor falsehoods, it censors truths that contradict the party line.
What do we know for certain about the “pandemic”? We know that federal control over individual lives has increased greatly and established a bad precedent. We know that the economic situation of millions of middle and working class Americans has been badly damaged. We know that, because of the lockdowns, the wealthiest one percent of the population has increased its holdings by a trillion dollars. We suspect that the Biden bunch contemplates a further and more drastic lockdown.
The Social Justice Warriors who claim that our society is dominated by “whiteness” have a point. It is something intangible in the social atmosphere. It is unintended and unconscious. It reflects a very plain fact. We live in Western Civilisation, the greatest achievement so far of humanity, which was created by white people. You might expect other peoples to show gratitude for participating in its benefits instead of malice.
Wondering: Have millions of people wearing masks saved a single life?
For years now I have been hearing people whine that the Democrats have taken over the elections with immigration and fraud and the Republicans will never win another election. So what? What do you think Mitt, Marco, Kevin, Jeb, Nikki, Michael, Linsey, etc. will do for you if they are elected? The Republican party is not an opposition party, it is merely a collection of politicians hoping for office. Killing off the Republicans will have the positive effect of making room for a real opposition party or parties.
Joe Biden is a museum quality specimen of a political hack. He has fed at the federal trough for decades, representing a rotten borough, without ever having a real thought about what is right for his country. He always says what he thinks people want to hear. True or false or concern for the consequences never comes into it. Founding Americans would weep with sorrow at such a place-holder ruling the people.
Politics is not the realm of doing good. Millions of insipid, shallow Americans seem to believe that foolishness. Politics is the realm of power, vanity, greed, and deceit.
The hysteria over the demise of George Floyd exposes the dream world and fear of reality of too many Americans. You can almost forgive Europeans because their idea of America is sheriffs walking around with big revolvers. But the Americans refuse to accept the plain reality of what it takes to subdue violent criminals in the big cities today. Though the end result was unfortunate, the Floyd arrest was otherwise no different from what is necessary every day in many places.
Today’s “news reporters” are quite literally unable to distinguish between a fact and their own self-centered feelings. And unable to distinguish between an objectively important issue and a fashionable one. Not to mention that they seem unanimously to suffer from the curse of “a little learning” causing them to think they are of superior wisdom.
Doesn’t it seem to you that our armed forces are now ruled not by soldiers but by ass-kissers and back-stabbers who have successfully climbed the greasy bureaucratic pole?
The billions spent on the armed forces have very little to do with the actual defense of the American people.
What would the men of Guadalcanal and Normandy think of today’s America? I am quite sure they would consider their sacrifice wasted.
Editor's note: Reckonin is interested in all viewpoints about the South today. Therefore we are posting this article by Dr. Plato V. Boston, Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of Diversity at the University of Virginia and Director of that University’s Institute for Reparations.
Enlightened people know that it is an atrocity that the capital of America is named for the racist slaveholder Washington. That name is an almost daily offense to good people around the world. Fortunately, progressive voices in Congress are beginning to pay attention to this problem. Of new names, King City or MLK City seem to have the most support, although there are also supporters of Obama City, Floyd City, and Tubman City who will have their say. Tubman City would be satisfactory for both African-Americans and feminists.
Of course, some of the most backward Republicans who claim they are not racists are already complaining that a changeover will be too expensive.
Along with this change there must be a reconfiguration of the Washington Monument to reflect the true America. It is hard to imagine any more offensive symbol of white privilege. Whether it should be redecorated to reflect black or rainbow sensibilities remains to be decided. Perhaps a redecoration could embody both causes.
A lot is being done to erase America’s evil racist past. The destruction of heinous Confederate symbols is well under way, but much more needs to be done. The memorial to the racist slaveowner Jefferson could be demolished to make place for a new monument to African-American contributions to America.
The North is not immune, but much remains to be done in the South. Virginia has been taking some steps, but that is only a beginning. What could be better than renaming Washington and Lee University for George Floyd as a symbol of repudiation of the flawed American past and the search for enlightened knowledge? And the College of William Mary, instead of being named for two oppressive colonialists, can be named Nat Turner University in honor of the great Virginian who struck one of the first blows against slavery. The Virginia Military Institute, long a bastion of unmitigated evil, should be renamed for President Grant, a great soldier and true friend of African Americans.
Perhaps the greatest need for cleansing is to be found in South Carolina. The college named for the Confederate racist slaveholder Clemson might memorialise instead Denmark Vesey, who was martyred for rebellion against slavery. And the college called The Citadel should be called the Sherman Military Institute after the great commander who liberated that state from oppression.
Of course, we still have a long way to go in cleansing the evil past. Last time I looked there is still a “Calhoun County” in Michigan, as well as many counties, towns and streets in the South carrying that name and other racist designations. And why are the names of notorious racist oppressors of peaceful Hispanic Americans like Houston, Austin, and Jackson still offending?
America geography is studded with names from the languages of Native Americans, often with distorted meanings and spellings---Ohio, Iowa, Minneapolis, Miami, Milwaukee, Omaha, Seattle and countless others. These are clearly the product of white oppression and cultural appropriation of a conquered people. There should be a Presidential commission to decide to what degree these place names should remain as recognition of Native Americans as the original Americans, or should be abolished or changed.
We should all remember that in our struggle against white privilege we are still a long way from declaring “Mission Accomplished.”
Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews