The formerly innocent term “whiteness” now has a racist connotation. And ideologues are actually demanding that whiteness be eliminated. I don't know how whiteness could be eliminated but it would certainly involve drastic alterations to western civilization. Actually, social justice ideologues are already characterizing western civilization as a harbinger of racism and white supremacy.
Ideologues want us to think that racism and white supremacy are our most serious problems but they aren't. Far worse problems include unchecked immigration, affordable health care, violent crime, and weakening of marriage and family. But media and cultural elites are so fixated on racism and white supremacy that they are unable to address other problems.
I won't even try to catalog the countless forms of racism that media claims to have discovered over the years. Reporting racist incidents seems to have become media's primary function. And media wants us to think that accusations of racism come solely from the black community. There are indeed numerous blacks who have made a career out of race hustling. But many reports of racial incidents are being put forth by caucasian cultural elites.
Cultural elites seem to think that eradicating whiteness would improve society and uplift blacks. Whites not only have unearned privileges but have created a society that perpetuates their privileges to the detriment of others.
All of us encounter slights and discourtesies in workplaces, shops, and government agencies but when a minority is the recipient and the perpetrator is white it is automatically labeled as racist. But do all white/black encounters involve racism or could some encounters be just ordinary non-racial clashes. Minor everyday unpleasant encounters shouldn't be construed as racist simply because a white and a black were involved.
In the past, if you researched racism you would usually find a description something like this: Race determines individual traits and abilities and some races are deemed superior to others. Recently Merriam-Webster updated its definition of racism to suit the times. “The systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another.”
If elites can convince the public that oppression of minorities now pervades our entire society, then massive governmental corrections to our way of life can be justified. Also, if this systemic oppression of minorities can be blamed on white supremacy, calls for the elimination of whiteness may escalate.
The controlling establishment has not only changed our government structure but has created a new language to accommodate the change. This new language is confusing, even intimidating, to the public as new meanings have been assigned to old words. Social Justice is now used to describe an egalitarian society. Other refurbished words are equality, equity, inclusion and diversity.
If words were still used in their original sense, unity would be more important than diversity. But elites have semantically altered the term “diversity” making it the quintessential core of our societal values. Of course, the meaning of the word has changed; diversity now means “cultural diversity.” The goal of cultural diversity (formerly multiculturalism) is the equality of all groups. But regardless of how much is done to make groups equal, members insist on more changes.
Since the dawn of civilization some folks have accomplished more than others. Until the current age it was believed that some people had stronger work ethics and other energetic traits that made them successful. But elites insist that accomplishments are not the result of individual effort. They maintain that society favors some groups and restrains others. White folks are currently designated as society's most favored group and white privilege is claimed to be detrimental to other groups especially blacks.
White privilege and white racism are regarded as the cause of most of society's problems. In fact, current establishment thinking holds that were it not for white privilege and white racism, equality of all groups might be achieved. Equal outcomes for all is the goal of the Left who believe it is important enough to be mandated by government. Actually, quite a bit of legislation has already been passed to insure equal outcomes. Rarely discussed is the fact that lifting up one group often involves lowering another group.
Decades of hyping the need for across the board equality has seriously altered our leadership and our society. In fact, claiming to promote equality has boosted the careers of many politicos. It has so empowered the establishment, that they are on the level with monarchs. (I prefer the term monarchy to the term totalitarianism.) The establishment represents our King and Queen but its power is appropriated not inherited. We even have a royal family, albeit an unconventional grouping, created by media hype rather than a bloodline; Jeff Bezos, Nancy Pelosi, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and so on.
To make us to think we still have a Democratic republic, the public is allowed to vote. But votes are processed by establishment apparatuses which essentially predetermine election results. Mainstream media dutifully covers up suspected voting malfeasance. And to placate the citizenry, the establishment stays out of local elections.
The Founding Fathers didn't consider that the republic they created would someday end. But that ending is consistent with the concept that democratic republics generally have a lifespan of around 200 years. America has essentially gone full circle and assumed the characteristics of the monarchy it rejected in 1776.
Let me begin with a reference to a short-lived psychology discipline known as Phrenology. In the mid-1800s, phrenology hypothesized that a person's mental attributes and behaviors could be predicted by the size, shape, and irregularities of their skull. Phrenology was fashionable in Victorian England's secular environment; elites wanted a non-religious explanation of behavior.
Reminiscent of those 19th Century phrenologists, are today's social justice activists who maintain that white skin indicates that a person is racist. This “white skin indicates racism” concept results from decades of media-created forms of white racism, each a little more extreme and a little more inclusive. Media has woven the various forms of white racism it has created into “systemic racism.” They want us to believe that all whites are racists and white racism has mushroomed into a culture-wide phenomenon.
“Woke.” is the term for those who unconditionally accept the concept of “systemic racism.” These woke types also maintain that systemic racism is much more than a malady diagnosed by social scientists. They claim it is as well-grounded as a phenomenon of nature such as gravity and tides. And, as it is caused by white folks, it can only be eliminated by eliminating Whiteness. That is the goal of Wokeness.
The Woke movement has had some success in demeaning Whiteness. Consider the online racial discrimination training seminar formerly used by the Coca-Cola company. The theme of the seminar was “Try To Be Less White.” In order “to be less white” employees would have to compromise their principles and accept the establishment's white racism accusations at face value.
After the lengthy civil rights movement and the myriad of racial legislation it produced, it was claimed that America was a post-racial society. Such a claim was inimical to the race-obsessed establishment who responded with the ”Critical Race Theory. ” This theory posits that races don't actually exist but are merely social constructs. Consequently equality would be easily attained were it not being blocked by a white supremacist societal structure designed to hold back minorities.
A successful aspect of the crusade to eliminate whiteness is the demolishing and renaming of monuments and other tributes to famous white heroes and leaders. As there was little resistance to the destruction of Confederate memorabilia, tributes to other famous whites were soon targeted. Founding fathers, presidents, and other notable figures were discredited because of even a meager involvement, direct or indirect, with slavery or racism. Roughly 200 memorials to notable white figures have been eradicated or altered in recent years and the process continues.
Will the momentum of ongoing monument eradications ultimately decimate Mount Rushmore, America's symbolic shrine ? Many, including South Dakota's governor Kristi Noem , adamantly claim that Mount Rushmore will not be harmed. But other statues of the presidents depicted on Mount Rushmore have been demolished or vandalized. And a planned Mount Rushmore 2020 Fourth of July celebration was characterized as “a rally glorifying white supremacy.”
A precursor to the fate of Mount Rushmore is Georgia's Stone Mountain. This carving, actually larger that Mount Rushmore, depicts Confederate leaders: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis. This carving has long been verbally attacked and targeted for removal. Stacey Abrams, a Georgia Democratic political organizer and darling of the Left, made this condemnation of Stone Mountain: “We must never celebrate those who defended slavery and tried to destroy the Union… the visible image of Stone Mountain’s edifice remains a blight on our state and should be removed,”
I maintain that if Stone Mountain goes Mount Rushmore won't be far behind.
I can remember when people with conflicting political opinions could debate their differences. Sometimes discussions of sensitive issues might become heated but the concept of “different opinion” held firm. Also, if you searched news media sources you could usually find the other side of the story. But you will not encounter differing opinions in today's mainstream media. Media outlets no longer report news but simply promote political agendas.
Media's refusal to properly investigate claims of voter fraud in the recent presidential election is a case in point. Without scrutinizing any of the numerous assertions of voting irregularities, media simply declared that Joe Biden was elected President – and he was elected fairly by voters. Not only does media refuse to look into instances of suspected voting irregularities but it exempts the Biden/Harris administration from the usual scrutiny the public expects from what was once called “the Fourth Estate.”
The new administration maintains that opinions differing from what they espouse pose a threat to society and must be cleansed. To cleanse society of objectionable opinions, Democrats propose to “deprogram” citizens who are perceived as holding them. To understand the magnitude of this “deprogramming” we should recall that almost 74 million Americans voted against the Democratic regime and consequently harbor opinions that are out of favor. To change opposing opinions would involve a level of massive deprogramming that has never been attempted in the USA.
Reconstruction of the South after the Civil War was restricted to eleven states. To radically and expeditiously replace a long-standing social philosophy and structure, those states had to be placed under military rule. Of course, for wide-spread social changes to succeed they must be implemented diplomatically rather than coerced. Consequently Reconstruction failed.
Reconstruction barely survived a dozen years and the next major social experiment, Prohibition, only last a year longer. Once again, an expedited change to a centuries old tradition could not be sustained. Yet the latest major social experiment involves deprogramming almost half of the populace, ridding them of long-held socio/political opinions.
One of the techniques suggested for deprogramming a significant segment of society are “Reeducation Camps.” I'm not making this up. Sending millions of Americans to “Reeducation Camps” is being seriously considered. That can't be done, of course, but it indicates the mindset of Leftist elites. They think deprogramming is possible because Democrats control news media, academia, Big Tech, Hollywood and TV entertainers, etc.
Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia also controlled what information the public was allowed to hear. Media reports were rigidly partisan and alternative news sites were not permitted. Now that Democrats control the public's sources of information, we can expect increasingly one-sided news reports and censoring of dissent. This is a continuation of the erasing history movement; eliminating anything that doesn't conform with Left-Wing social justice theories.
The new administration thinks it can create a political structure where only Democrats can be elected to national offices. They are optimistic about controlling elections as a result of their success in rigging the recent presidential election and not permitting investigations into voting irregularities. To justify their election contrivances, Democrats will fall back on the hackneyed social flaws; racism, sexism, and homophobia.
With their newly acquired power, instead of demanding equal opportunities for minorities, they will demand equal outcomes. That will require serious deprogramming of the opposition.
With Donald Trump leaving office, the establishment (the Swamp) is recovering its control of the country, assisted by a biased mainstream media. The establishment demonstrated its power by rigging the 2020 election. Media maintains that those who claim the 2020 election was stolen are conspiracy kooks but there are too many questionable voting incidents that haven't been resolved. The stealing of the 2020 election might set a precedent wherein future presidents will be selected by the establishment rather than voters.
The stolen election put Leftist Democrats in control of the government and they are committed to changing our current culture into a Postmodernism society wherein diversity will replace meritocracy. Two classic examples of diversity replacing meritocracy are Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi. Neither is qualified for leadership positions. But both are recipients of inordinate media adulation. The first minority or member of a previously underrepresented group achieving a prominent position always receives excessive, usually undeserved, media praise. Media also approves of their performance in office whether warranted or not.
It is generally understood that Joe Biden is only a temporary president who will step aside so Kamala Harris can move into the Oval Office. In the past, no president held positions so radical that their implementation would drastically alter our customary way of life. So after elections, everyone could return to business as usual. But a Kamala Harris presidency could overturn our institutions, economic system, and social classes.
As a senator, Kamala Harris cosponsored the Confederate Monument Removal Act which prohibited statues of persons associated with the Confederacy from being displayed in the U.S. Capitol. This eclectic bill failed to pass. But, as president, we can expect Kamala Harris to step up attacks on the Confederacy.
Kamala Harris claims that she celebrated Kwanzaa throughout her childhood and continues to celebrate it as an adult. Although Kwanzaa is a 1966 American creation, it supposedly celebrates ancient African values during the seven days following Christmas. Some insist that celebrating Kwanzaa doesn't lessen the importance of the Christmas Season but Kwanzaa's seven day celebration eviscerates the 12 days of Christmas, traditionally extending from December 25 to January 5. We can expect Kwanzaa to replace Christmas in a Kamala Harris White House.
As the first female Speaker of the House, media exaggerates Nancy Pelosi's skills and glosses over her paucity of attainments. In addition to her lack of accomplishments, the self-focused Pelosi often speaks and behaves in ways that conflict with the dignity and decorum expected of a Speaker of the House. But media never criticizes her, not even when this classless woman took advantage of television coverage and ripped up President Trump's SOTU speech. Can you imagine media's reaction if Speaker John Boehner had ripped up one of President Obama's SOTU speeches ?
Speaker Pelosi gets media attention largely for symbolic acts rather than acts of substance. On her own volition, Pelosi removed statues of Confederate leaders from the U.S. Capitol. Justifying her act, Pelosi stated: “There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy.”
Pelosi's support comes primarily from media rather than fellow Democrats. In fact her 2021 re-election as Speaker was in such doubt that Pelosi had to encourage Representatives testing positive for Coronavirus to break their quarantine in order to vote for her. In return for another vote, Pelosi agreed to let a member of the Intelligence Committee stay on that sensitive committee after his involvement with a suspected Chinese spy was disclosed.
Opinion polls indicate that only 24 % of the public identify as Liberal whereas over 75% consider themselves to be Conservative or Moderate. Workaday Americans are included in that larger group and Donald Trump gave voice to their opposition to the current state of affairs. They hoped Trump could slow or end decades of detrimental societal changes.
Of course, they knew the Left would strongly disparage attempts to modify the 1960s ideologies it imposed on society.
However, the public couldn't anticipate how extreme the spiteful Left's chastisements of Trump's presidency would become. Even his supporters, congress persons as well as the public, are being vilified and threatened with retribution. Donald Trump's legacy will not be based on his performance as president but on the following he leaves behind - a following that hopefully will become a populist insurrection to mitigate the Democratic assault on traditional values.
This generation of elites is aggressively implementing its version of the ideal society. Existing society must give way to this ideal society: an egalitarian society with a clandestine ruling class. Using the ruse of eliminating racism, various strategies have been employed to justify altering society. A recent strategy involves redefining racism as 'white supremacy.' Activists prefer the term 'white supremacy' because various heretofore innocuous behaviors can be classified as harmful, justifying the expansion of governmental intervention.
Manipulating the public to accept a contentious altering of society involves revising some aspects of history. Today's ideologues have no qualms about changing history to accommodate their agendas. However, before the ubiquitous Wikipedia replaced the Encyclopedia, revising history would have been difficult.
Encyclopedia articles, submitted by learned scholars, were once the public's primary source of history. But the communal sentiments of the 1960s sought a society where everyone was equal. No longer would there be individual differences in skills, talents, intelligence, or work ethics. No one could be better than anyone else. This mindset has continued for several decades, leaving discarded bits of traditional values in its wake.
In such an environment, opinions of average Americans are as valid as those of scholars. So, with help from the Internet, Wikipedia has become the new encyclopedia. Consistent with the egalitarian doctrine, unlettered laymen in the general public submit “facts” to Wikipedia. It doesn't stop there. Wikipedia's “facts” can be edited by anyone accessing its Internet site. Wikipedia has been called “truth by consensus”.
Wikipedia and the Internet have made it possible for a 'cabal' of self-anointed elitists to decide what versions of “facts” the public is allowed to hear and see. Elitist media not only twists facts, but willfully rewrite history. Of course, versions of history can be reinterpreted based on better evidence, newer perspectives, etc. But elitist groups are altering history simply to accommodate fashionable socio/political trends.
Most cable news outlets support Leftist agendas, but the future of these sites is in doubt. Their unconcealed bias has caused the public to lose credence in their reports. There are now only a few reliable media sources who still maintain their independence.
However, largely as a result of camcorders and webcams, alternative media sites can be found on the Internet. Although few in number, these sites are already taking viewers away from previous media sources. On these alternative sites you will find exposures of the Left's bogus history, and learn how entertainment and advertisements are promoting left-wing agendas.
Television advertising portrays America, not as it is, but as the Left wants it to be. Most advertisements feature same sex couples, mixed race couples, and multi-racial families. Viewers are encouraged to conclude that advertisements portray real life and are also influenced to adopt the lifestyles depicted.
A few years ago, the statue of black Jamaican Mary Seacole, was unveiled on the grounds of St Thomas Hospital in London. Florence Nightingale's statue should have rightfully been placed at this site. After volunteering to care for soldiers injured in the Crimean War, Nightingale essentially created the profession of nursing, and established the first nursing school at St Thomas Hospital. Mary Seacole might have been familiar with Jamaican folk and herbal remedies but she had no medical or nursing training and never performed nursing duties. To honor her with a statue rather than Florence Nightingale is inexcusable.
In another outlandish revision of history, black actress Jodie Turner-Smith, will play Anne Boleyn in a three part mini-series about that tragic historical figure. A black Queen Anne adds both diversity and multiculturalism to the Boleyn story. In this version, Anne Boleyn is a feminist who refuses to capitulate to the patriarchy of Tudor England. We suspect the script will imply that Anne's feminism was the catalyst that made her daughter Elizabeth such a successful Queen. Promotional hype bills the film as a “psychological thriller.”
Elites claim that reinterpreting the past based on contemporary values does not erase history. This reasoning has resulted in the removal of countless national monuments and the renaming of untold streets, buildings, and educational facilities. Will fraudulent revisions of history continue until our cultural identity is eradicated?
I am a member of what is called 'The Silent Generation.' Generations have loosely prescribed, overlapping boundaries but can be characterized by similarities in philosophies and behaviors. Common sense typified the Silent Generation, but that trait is conspicuously absent in succeeding generations. Below are recollections of the Silent Generation and its relation to what followed.
The Silent Generation is that relatively complacent period wedged in between two turbulent societal epochs: the 'Greatest Generation' and 'Baby Boomers.' The Greatest Generation was characterized by hardship, families suffering through the Great Depression and stress-fully uprooted by World War Two. Husbands and grown sons were wounded, permanently handicapped, or killed in action. Women were compelled to do men's work in factories, and goods and services were rationed. But all the hard knocks didn't alter this Generation's love of country.
At the other extreme was the trouble-free society and thriving economy inherited by Baby Boomers. It was a naively idealistic time of protesting, eliminating traditions, and 'social justice.' Boomers tried to replace the existing culture with a counterculture, a Utopian society where everyone was equal. This seemed possible in the 1960s, because differences in achievements were thought to be caused by society rather than individual abilities. Unfortunately, the 1960's society-altering strategies have continued to this day.
The Counterculture dismissed the Silent Generation as “conformists”; a serious insult in 1960s thinking. It is true that there were no serious challenges to the customs of our time, and our college years were used to acquire knowledge and prepare for jobs rather than protesting. Also, we didn't assume we were better informed than our elders. The transition from adolescence to adulthood wasn't drawn out over time as it is today, and before our mid-twenties, we were usually gainfully employed and married with children.
Contrary to hackneyed portrayals of the Silent Generation, we weren't afraid to speak out. But our objections were made with civility, without disrupting city streets, or college campuses. The most popular non-fiction book was Philip Wylie's shrill critique of the era, “Generation of Vipers.” This widely read book found fault with most aspects of society, and readers were split between those who agreed with its arguments and those who disagreed. It was referred to simply as “Vipers” and intellectually it is on a higher level than literary works of following generations.
The construction of the Mt Rushmore sculpture occupied several years of the Silent Generation. There was considerable excitement as likenesses of our most admired presidents emerged from the mountain's granite face. When the sculpture was completed, we felt we had created a lasting work of art for posterity. Little did we know that the presidents depicted and the sculpture itself would become objects of scorn and threatened with eradication.
A highlight of the Silent Generation was the famous Civil War Reunion in 1938. It took place on the first four days of July in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the 75th anniversary of that important battle. Among the Confederate and Union supporters that participated were elderly veterans of the Civil War who were still alive. As part of the ceremony, those representing the Union and the Confederacy stood on opposite sides of a low wall, a significant Gettysburg Battle location, and shook hands over the wall with their opponents. With a crowd estimated at 250,000, President Franklin Roosevelt spoke at the unveiling of the “Eternal Light Peace Memorial.” As of this writing, the 'Peace Memorial' hasn't been demolished by angry mobs or craven politicians.
It is unlikely that an observance like the 1938 Civil War Reunion could take place in today's socio/political environment. In 1938, there was a feeling of unity and Union and Confederacy were essentially viewed comparably. But contemporary interpretations of history malign the Confederacy, and praise the Union.
The Silent Generation was the last generation that had a traditional news media. Television's opinion-based news reports were not widespread at that time. There were television offerings, but programming wasn't 24/7, and TV viewing hadn't become the public's number one pastime, or its sole source of information. Early on, television networks began to define new kinds of social problems – open-ended problems such as sexism, racism, homophobia - problems that no matter how much was done to solve them, more was always needed.
The Silent Generation has been chided for not taking aggressive action to resolve racial discrimination. Admittedly, governmental interference to resolve racism didn't begin until later generations. However, general agreement was reached by the Silent Generation's population on sporadic actions to redress individual acts of bigotry. These measures have been dismissed as piece meal; their collective efforts taking too long to mitigate the effects of racism. However, following the inclusive 1964 anti-discrimination legislation, we have had almost 60 years of governmental-forced compliance with anti-racism regulations to no avail - we have to wonder what the Silent Generation's society-approved corrections would have accomplished if continued for six decades.
Generations gradually phase out rather than end abruptly. But Internet and social media enthusiasts expect precise dates for events. To accommodate them, I designate the 'symbolic' end of the Silent Generation as January 11, 1954. On that date, President Eisenhower appointed former California Governor Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Warren Court was the first judicially activist Supreme Court, with progressive social considerations taking precedence over constitutional interpretations. The long-term effect of the Warren Court's politicized rulings spawned a “Constitutional Revolution”, greatly altered society, and made the Silent Generation obsolete.
In the early 1900s , Will Rogers quipped: “I only know what I read in the papers.” Although newspapers had agendas in those years, their news reports were largely reliable. Over the years, technical advances improved how news is reported, but the reliability of reports has dissipated. Television transformed newscasters into celebrities and their inflated self-importance encouraged opinion-based reporting with little regard for veracity. This trend has continued, and news reports are not only purposely distorted but frequently dishonest.
Mainstream media maintains that rioting, burning, and looting by Black Lives Matter and Antifa are actually “peaceful protests” against a grossly unfair society. But the public doesn't view American society as grossly unfair. Contrariwise, most think mob violence is destroying the substance and civility of our cities.
Elites hope continual rioting will eventually convince the public that American society must be overturned and replaced. That is the establishment's goal. But the public doesn't agree that society is so flawed that it must be eliminated, nor does the public believe that mob violence is benevolently motivated. So elites must either alter the public's negative opinion of rioting or convince the populace that other problems are more important.
To increase the importance of a social problem, the Left usually claims it is racist; that has been the tried-and-true public manipulator for decades. But most of the specious racism stratagems have been thoroughly exploited. However the bigotry of Confederate monuments still has traction.
Most of us think the destruction of our cities by mobs is a more timely and significant issue than Confederate monument removals. But not CNN. To hype the need to remove Confederate monuments, CNN's Chris Cuomo has resurrected Leftist filmmaker Ken Burns. Cuomo's interview-probe into Confederate monument removals elicited these responses from Burns:
“I think we’re in the middle of an enormous reckoning right now in which the anxieties and the pains and the torments of injustice are bubbling up to the surface. It’s very important for people like me, of my complexion, to it be as quiet as possible and to listen. What I know from my reading of history is that the Confederate monuments have to go.”
“They’re an attempt to rewrite history and to essentially celebrate a false narrative about what happened during the Civil War and to send the wink-winks, the dog whistles, as we are fond of saying today, across the generations about what the Civil War was about. It’s so interesting that we’re even having this argument because the people that we memorialize, the nation's forts that are named after Civil War generals ... these are people responsible for the deaths of loyal American citizens.”
Obviously, this so-called interview was simply a venue for Burns to reiterate the Left's prescribed view of the Confederacy. Ken Burns claims his opinions come from his “reading of history.” Based on his comments, I don't get the impression that Burns has actually read history. But if he has, he obviously has only read selective versions. And if Chris Cuomo had demanded valid historical data that supported his opinions, Burns would be hard pressed to supply it.
Burns further states that Confederate monuments “celebrate a false narrative about what happened during the Civil War.” By “false narrative” he means one that deviates from the establishment's interpretation of that era using today's socio/political standards. It would be hard to find a respected historian who would claim that, in the mid 1800s, people risked their lives on battlefields because of their moral opposition to slave labor. However, there is a general consensus among historians that the War was the outgrowth of years of economic and cultural differences between Northern and Southern regions.
Burns's heyday was during the national television era when programming was dominated by the big three networks and PBS. In that era, there was an absence of dissenting views, and programs rarely featured professional historians. Like most TV programs, Burns's films were designed for the masses - and essentially avoided complex issues.
Hopefully, in this age of the Internet, with countless websites, and divergent ideologies, Burns's opinions won't go unchallenged.
Like most countries, the United States has flaws that need to be addressed. But a determination must be made regarding which flaws are doing the greatest harm and should be the primary focus of remedial efforts. For too long, mainstream media, academia, and the entertainment field have made that determination without consulting the public. And they have been able to convince a skeptical public of the correctness of their decision. One of the reasons they've had success manipulating the public is the phenomenon known as “dumbing down.” This term is not a recent creation, but actually was coined in the early 1930's movie industry. To attract a larger viewing audience, scriptwriters were told to “dumb down” screen plays “to appeal to those of little education or intelligence.”
When I say the public has been dumbed down, I don't mean they're stupid, but are easily manipulated by media. Since the late 1950s, dumbing down and media hype have had too much influence on the public. To sell an unacceptable social change to the populace, the establishment will claim the change is necessary to accomplish a virtuous goal.
The classic justification for an unwelcome societal change is that it combats “racism.” Over the years media has conjured up numerous forms of racism and finally hit the apex with “systemic racism” - racism so deeply embedded in all aspects of our culture that our entire society must be dismantled and restructured.
Can the establishment dismantle society against the public's wishes? The colonies broke with England to escape rule by a monarch. Consequently, for years the Jeffersonian principle of strong local governments and a weak central government prevailed. In the chaos following the War Between the States, the Lincolnian ideology replaced the Jeffersonian model with a strong central government which has gradually gained more control over the populace than King George ever had over his subjects.
The Founders thought three co-equal branches of government and public elections of congress members would prevent the development of a ruling class. But the government structure and the Constitution the Founders created didn't anticipate the circumstances of the War Between the States and its aftermath. Radical Republicans scrapped Presidents Lincoln and Johnson's minimal conditions plan for readmission of seceded states. And, with the defeated South under military rule, they attempted to punish the region and make it Republican while furtively describing their goal as granting rights to freed slaves..
Contrary to Left-wing historians, Reconstruction accomplished very little, did great harm to the Southern region, and barely survived a dozen years. Local citizens, like subjects under King George, were not allowed any voice in the reconstruction of their region. Eventually, Northern liberators lost enthusiasm and began returning to the Northeast, abandoning freed slaves. The callous treatment of the region by Radical Republicans made the recovery from the dismal war-torn conditions in the South even more difficult. Establishment historians are in something of a quandary. They are obligated to claim that Reconstruction was successful, but they also have to insist that “much more needs to be done.”
That has become the standard rationale of the Left regarding so-called reconstruction efforts - what was done was successful but much more needs to be done. And Leftist media, not the public, decides what “needs to be done.” Media tells us that opportunities for minorities are being hindered by lingering vestiges of Southern heritage. So Confederate monuments must be demolished. But tearing down Confederate monuments has gotten so out-of-hand that states had to pass laws protecting these memorials.
To get around these laws, activists use a semantic device described as “contextualizing.” Plaques are placed at the base of statues that “contextualize” them - explain their true meaning.
Consider these excerpts from a proposed contextualizing of a Confederate memorial in Georgia:“… this monument … bolstered white supremacy and faulty history, suggesting that the cause for the Civil War rested on southern Honor and States Rights—instead of its real catalyst—American slavery. This monument and similar ones also were created to intimidate African Americans and limit their full participation in social and political life of their communities. It fostered a culture of segregation…”
We see that contextualizing actually disparages the meaning of the monument – effectively tearing it down verbally.
Legislative and other societal changes during the civil rights movement (Second Reconstruction) were the most widespread and comprehensive societal corrections in our nation's history. But they didn't prevent Leftists from maintaining that individual racist incidents had worsened into systemic racism – racism so all pervasive that a third and more comprehensive version of Reconstruction is needed to correct it.
Third Reconstruction addresses the entire nation, so “White Privilege” has replaced “Southern bigotry” as the root cause of discrimination. Although we are told that minorities are being held back, we see them as surviving fairly well. We even see minorities highly successful and thriving. So we question the need for additional corrective measures - especially measures that would essentially replace the Founder's vision of America with a Marxist-Leninist structure that will level wealth and resources, creating an egalitarian society without class distinctions.
For most of our country's existence, Americans have been proud of the United States. But during the social upheavals of the 1960s, things began to change. These changes influenced how history was reported. Remember that history is not an exact science like mathematics where 2 plus 2 always equals 4 . The history of events varies depending on the prevailing sentiments of the time, and the ideology of the person doing the reporting. For example, when two nations are at war, each will report events in the way that favors their cause and each will claim that God is on their side.
Current versions of history do not portray America favorably or honestly. Some historians imply that in our entire 244 year existence only two significant things occurred : slavery and racism. These historians rarely mention that slavery existed for thousands of years before the birth of Christ and only began to be eliminated in the last 200 years. It was inevitable that thousands of years of slavery all over the globe made its way to the American colonies.
In early America there were few objections to slavery where it existed as abolitionists were only a small percentage of the population. There were, however, objections to slavery's expansion into the Western territories, and these objections were economic rather than moral. The territories wanted to keep out slave labor because it could produce and sell products more cheaply than small family-owned farms. Although the territories opposed slave labor, they often had black codes that excluded blacks from settling there
Today's Left claims that the Confederacy committed acts of rebellion and treason against the United States. But in the mid-1800s, there were only about 30 states, and not the 50 we currently have. ( All states were essentially located east of the Mississippi River, and slavery was legal under the Constitution.) When the Civil War ended, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was arrested, accused of treason and imprisoned. But, after two years of legal wrangling , Union forces begrudgingly admitted that treason couldn't be proved. So Jefferson Davis was released from prison and treason charges were not brought against any other Confederate leaders.
Some current historians wants us to believe that the North was so morally opposed to Southern planters using slave labor that Northern husbands and grown sons were willing to risk their lives on battlefields to prevent it. But if you study history you know that wars are never fought for moral reasons nor are they fought over a single issue. Wars usually occur after economic or territorial conflicts have lingered and festered for long periods.
Midway through the War, as Union forces were not doing well, President Lincoln became concerned that Britain and France might aid the Confederate war effort. Hoping to avert such action was one of the reasons for his issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. It gave the appearance that freeing slaves was a goal of the War which appealed to the anti-slavery sentiments in those two nations. For whatever reason, Britain and France decided to remain neutral.
The Emancipation Proclamation was simply a war measure and actually didn't free any slaves. The four slave states that fought on the side of the Union were exempted from its edicts, and Confederate states were allowed to keep their slaves if they would agree to stop fighting. Also, the issuance of the Proclamation provoked indignation among Union soldiers who felt deceived. They were told they were fighting to “Save the Union” which they were willing to do, but they were reluctant to risk their lives to prevent Southern planters from using slave labor.
The Northeast not only imported the slaves to America, its commercial organizations financed Southern plantations, and Northern textile mills were one of the largest consumers of slave grown cotton. Yet the North is absolved of any culpability with slavery, and the Confederacy is held solely responsible for it. So the North can honor its ancestors, while the South cannot.
Today Confederate memorabilia is being eradicated not just by anti-American terrorists but by self-anointed ideologues who only present one side of the story. So the Confederate Flag can only be interpreted as representing hate and the word “Dixie” is forbidden and the song “Dixie” cannot be played or sung. These are just two examples of innocuous aspects of Southern heritage that have been banned.
These cancel culture zealots want us to believe that this is what the black community wants. Actually blacks are primarily concerned with practical issues like jobs, healthcare, food, and shelter, - not symbolic cultural cleansing.
The Left portrays the Confederate States of America as only plantations and slaves, despite the fact that most ante-bellum Southerners did not own slaves. In fact, before the War there were several hundred thousands of freed slaves in the South, earning their living as tailors, carpenters, barbers, butchers, shoemakers and more. After the War, freed slaves and former masters reunited and negotiated sharecropping arrangements that lasted well into the mechanization of the 1950s.
Descendants of the Confederacy take pride in their ancestors and should be allowed to honor them as New England and other regions honors their ancestors. But the Confederacy is being unfairly disparaged by today's cultural genocide that is also degrading the Founding Fathers and other once-esteemed aspects of American heritage.
Gail Jarvis is a Georgia-based free-lance writer. He attended the University of Alabama and has a degree from Birmingham Southern College. As a CPA/financial consultant, he helped his clients cope with the detrimental effects of misguided governmental intrusiveness. This influenced his writing as did years of witnessing how versions of news and history were distorted for political reasons. Mr. Jarvis is a member of the Society of Independent Southern Historians and his articles have appeared on various websites, magazines, and publications for several organizations. He lives in Coastal Georgia with his wife.