More controversy over Southern monuments

It’s really exasperating to read these stories about the conflicts in the South over Southern monuments, in this case, the ongoing verbal battles involving UNC and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. If you read the comments on the article you will see how irrational and uninformed the left (the ‘antis’, who are proud of their venomous loathing for all things related to Southern culture and history) the verbal skirmishes are.

It seems that the anti-Southern fanatics know nothing about the past other than the ‘evils’ of the antebellum South, and the minds of these people are bereft of any common sense, and even worse, they are averse to actually reading factual history. It seems all their learning came from urban legends, probably dubious sources like Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Even Abraham Lincoln referred to Harriet Beecher Stowe as ‘the little lady that started the War [Between the States].’ And though she and others like her, including her crowds of abolitionist female followers, had never set foot in the South, Stowe’s overwrought book was so influential that the fantasy Evil South still lives on in some uninformed minds.

How and where did this sad situation start? In the minds of the antifa types, and the dyed-in-the-wool academics who perpetuate these half-baked ideas about the antebellum South. And they teach nothing about the Reconstruction era.

It’s not possible to even have a common-sense dialogue about these things, though these troubles could ignite real conflict. Feeling runs so high, and the left keeps fueling the flames. It’s as though they are hoping to provoke something more serious than the name-calling and juvenile nonsense. I certainly hope that it doesn’t escalate to more than words. Some violence has happened, thanks to anti-types’ aggression.

There are many facts about the South that cannot even be spoken at the risk of being called a ‘hater’ or whatever insult du jour. And seeing many people de-platformed on various pretexts, vague charges like ‘violating terms of service’, discourages many people online from speaking anything that violates the official Narrative, which is (of course) anti-Southern and anti-White.

And what of those young men at UConn who were arrested for speaking a taboo word in conversation?

The message is we all have to watch our step if we are to be allowed to discuss anything in a public place, or on the internet — or even in a private conversation. And we’re still told that we live in a free country.

As for the anti-South crowd, why are they still fighting battles over things that happened almost 3 centuries ago? Why are they trying to punish Southrons for things that were done by people that are long dead, and why are those who claim to be victims, even now, after many generations have lived and died since that time? Nobody today has owned or ‘mistreated’ slaves, and no Americans have been enslaved in this country for hundreds of years. Where is the justice in this; these things cannot be made a perpetual vendetta — except when it comes to the WBTS; the [White] South can never be absolved, apparently, and there’s no Statute of Limitations.

Incidentally, the people of the South are treated as criminals when it comes to the hysteria over the supposed ‘monstrous’ deeds for which they are blamed. The anti-South, anti-White accusers on that comment thread are obviously closed-minded, like all such people, and will not open their eyes and ears and ”minds” to facts.

The whole subject is basically taboo; the rabid antis emerge from the woodwork anytime they catch someone violating the ‘Narrative’ of victimhood, and of the perpetual guilt of White Southrons.

Yet, if the Southron slaveholders (including most of our Founding Fathers) so mistreated their slaves, why did slaves have a longer life expectancy than most Europeans of that time? Why did they live as long as most Whites in America, and longer than their African ancestors? There are statistics that show this to be fact. But in many peoples’ imaginations, they can never recover from the ”legacy” of their servitude.

Now there are many Americans who refer to Thomas Jefferson as a ‘rapist’ of slaves, with no evidence (much less, proof) to verify this slander. Now even our Founding Fathers, whose ideals are now being junked and trampled on, are tried posthumously and judged unjustly, their names and reputations destroyed for the most part, along with those monuments and statues. I hear the Stone Mountain monument is to be made subordinate to MLK et al, just as a slap in the face to Southrons.

Will the coming generations take a stand in favor of truth, and for justice to our ancestors and our heroes? I can neither sympathize with, nor understand those who want to discard the Battle Flag because it is a catalyst for controversy.

There’s no advantage in trying to appease, or mollify the South-haters. They love hating the South, and wallowing in their delusion of being morally superior, while the South is forced to accept being the scapegoat, and compelled to acquiesce in being the guilty party in the bloodshed of the WBTS. Half a million people, at least, lost their lives, and many were maimed, and left with lifelong impairments. The South also lost many civilians as the Northern Armies swept through the South. The people of the South in many cases lost all their possessions — homes, livestock, crops, family heirlooms, etc. Some of my ancestors were left destitute though they had been prosperous. But in many cases the older generations who lived through this, passed on the individual stories of the War, and the aftermath, which is not taught in schools. The real-life stories that individuals preserved and passed on are otherwise ignored.

And yet ‘reparations’ are still being discussed. I say the South has long since paid for the alleged atrocities for which they are still accused. And now there are probably more people who are recently arrived in the South, who have no roots in the South, and who can never understand the history.

When even the native-born American is also mostly ignorant of the facts, what hope is there of the history ever being understood, or our forefathers’ story even getting a hearing?

Yet somehow we, those of us who care for our heritage, have got to find a way, without any appeasement, of getting the real story told to those who are unaware of the reality.

Problems posting comments

I’ve heard that some of you have had problems posting comments. I’ve mentioned that I had persistent problems with this myself, and I’ve attempted to get some help from tech support, but so far I haven’t got the problem solved. I do apologize, and I have given feedback very recently so maybe there will be a solution. I hope. Otherwise I might have to change platforms.

I do value comments and I hope this doesn’t mean losing readers.

On pity

I happened to come across this story via a link from Bruce Charlton’s blog. It is about a Norwegian Christian evangelist who was robbed and beaten.

I had only just read the story and then came across blog pieces by both Bruce Charlton and Francis Berger. The commentary by both is worth reading and pondering and it was very relevant to the story of what happened to the evangelist.

“They wanted to take me to a friend who they said had injured his foot and was now waiting to be picked up to be taken to the emergency room. I trusted them and joined them. They took me to a backyard. They were very nice and I couldn’t believe they would deceive me,” says Fløttum.

He says that when they entered the backyard, they pushed him down a cellar staircase before hitting and kicking him in the face. He tried to protect himself, but did not strike them.”

The young evangelist displayed the usual naivete about the people who assaulted him, as they pretended they needed help of some sort, but then proceeded to beat and rob him. It seems many Christians behave this way and then wonder why they were maltreated. Most Christians seem to believe that Christianity is mostly about being ‘nice’, and as with this young man, talks of praying with and for those who brutalized him.

Maybe it’s the influence of pop psychology and the felt need to announce either forgiveness for the assailants, or prayer for them, but it seems victims of this kind of crime always imply they ”pity” those who hurt them.

It may be cynical of me, but it always seems to me as a kind of virtue signaling, to talk of pity for someone who has committed a crime against us or someone we love. Maybe — probably — the person who says he pities his enemy, and likely he means it. I have no doubt that this evangelist, Fløttum, is sincere in trying to witness to his assailants, but at some point reality has to intrude; people who do violence to an innocent person are ‘enemies’ and should be kept at arms’ length.

Today’s Christians seem to have forgotten that they are told to be ”wise as serpents, and harmless as doves,” . Being ‘wise as serpents’ surely implies being appropriately wary.

From Francis Berger’s blog piece:

Evil relishes using the virtue of compassion against us. Evil often asks us to open our hearts, to become more lenient, generous, understanding, and accommodating. It offers a display of suffering, misfortune, or injustice and asks us sympathize and commiserate with it. This is an emotionally manipulative appeal to our sense of goodness and benevolence. At the very least, evil demands we be kind and understanding toward it; evil wants use to be nice. But niceness, like pity, is not a virtue. Nonetheless, evil brands as cruel those who refuse to partake in this coerced emotional outpouring.

And this, of course, is a factor in the troubling news headlines, and it’s a big part of why Western populations seem to be so passive and so unwilling to acknowledge the fact that the whole world is not our ‘friend’.

Government efforts to save money

Who or what is being saved?

The new government rules on Food Stamps’, requiring able-bodied, unemployed people under 50 to take some kind of work in exchange for benefits, will go into effect in April, 2020. According to Sheryl Atkisson’s article, this measure will save “us” $5.5 billion. Quite a sum, right?

This of course is welcome news to those who favor stopping any aid to ‘deadbeats’, but oddly, the same people seem to cheer cutting spending mostly for benefits to Americans, but the same critics rarely complain of aid to immigrants, legal and otherwise. But the $5.5 billion? Will that go back in the pockets of struggling taxpayers?

And– wait a minute — that @5.5% billion figure is spread over a period of five years. So in reality, it’s a mere drop in the ocean of government spending.

In fact, according to an article in the World Tribune, U.S. taxpayers are paying $60 billion each year for the cost of educating children of illegal immigrants. And that does not include the costs of the millions of legal immigrants, nor does it cover many other related expenses, evidently.

So saving a billion or so per year is more important than cutting the huge costs of educating the world’s children — and at what point did we suddenly become responsible for the world’s children (or the whole world’s elderly, etc.)? But those costs are downplayed and rarely mentioned, either by ‘official sources’ or by the average American citizen.

Where do our priorities lie?

Is nothing sacred?

This is the kind of post I dislike writing, because it’s not usually my nature to want to sound as though I’m scolding. I don’t think the people who read this blog are in need of scolding on the points I am about to make — besides which, I’d rather write to you as peers and as friends, not as my students. So this is not for the regular readers (if any) but about the ”conservatives” who are found around the internet. Some, in their behavior, are often indistinguishable from the leftists, who pride themselves on being transgressive.

So I hope I can be excused for venting here. I wonder if I can get an Amen?

It seems there’s no subject that isn’t considered joke fodder on certain ”conservative” forums (and blogs, too). I’ve seen the grimmest and most disturbing news stories provide material for bad jokes, with seemingly everybody trying to outdo each other in gross, or even blasphemous “humor.” Many of the ‘wits’ who resort to the crude ‘comedy’ are self-identified (or should that be ‘self-styled’?) Christians, as well as being ‘right-wing.’

I’ve seen flippant threads about gruesome murders, cannibalism, and now this.

Is it any wonder I rarely look in on that forum these days? Their politics, mostly ‘cuckservative’ in nature, and their fondness for ‘DR3’ pleadings, are enough to annoy me into staying clear of the place. But beyond that, it’s become distressing to realize that our folk are becoming so jaded and unshockable that they can joke about something like the subject of that article. Suppose the parents of the young woman in question happened to read these comments, or to hear about them from someone? I suppose if that were known, they would joke and laugh about that, too.

Remember when those articles appeared a while back about the ‘experts’ and the leftist wreckers promoting anthropophagy? I’d rather not say the more well-known name. Well, that too was treated as one big joke, rather than provoking shock, which is just what should be the reaction of a civilized person. But all the comments I read were the usual stale, hackneyed jokes about ‘fava beans and a nice Chianti.’ By the way, I recognized the ‘fava-beans-and-Chianti’ jokes as being from that movie Silence of the Lambs, though I never saw it — so often do people make the same old tired ‘jokes’ containing that phrase.

People like to defend those jokes as being just ‘black humor’, and a coping mechanism, just trying to lighten things up when disturbing subject matter is discussed, etc., etc. Always some kind of ‘psychological’ pseudo-explanation is offered up for every bad habit or quality people exhibit.

Personally I can laugh at a little black humor; it’s not anything new, but there are limits; some things are not fitting subjects to be discussed in civilized or mixed company, much less to be the material for jokes.

Nothing is sacred, it seems, nothing is taboo anymore. What becomes of a society which appears to be shedding every inhibition, erasing every taboo, allowing people to transgress all the rules that governed civilized societies.

I think we have crossed the line from a civilized society already, for the most part. And it’s hardly necessary to say that the left has been the main source of this kind of deliberate and systematic shattering of all our former taboos. But it can’t all be blamed on the left; as we can see online, where people are emboldened by anonymity, that the ”right” has aided and abetted the left in tolerating this profanation of everything. Online we can find ‘right-wing’ people using gutter language — the ‘F-word’ and the ‘C-word’ (both of them, all of them). And it’s not merely the crude words which were once used only in anger or for strong emphasis, but now are just used habitually or to strike a pose) but it’s also the use of obscene imagery when ordinary metaphors would do the job just as well. I don’t want to be explicit, but what I mean is metaphors involving “knee pads”, ”vaseline”, certain orifices, etc. All involve perverted acts. But this is ordinary language even on blogs whose bloggers say they are Christian. But it should not be just Christians who should want to use non-vulgar language.

The English language, for those who know it well enough, is a very rich language. Now, modern ‘experts’ say it’s impossible to count the words in a language; after all, no language can be ‘superior’ to another; linguistic ‘supremacy’ might be implied, and we can’t have that! But back in the Era of Sanity, in my college linguistics class, we were told that about 700,000 words were part of a fluent English speaker’s vocabulary, and that is a rich store of words from which we can choose. Our language is full of nuance and varying ‘hues’. We can express ourselves without falling back on crude language and metaphors. We don’t have to use the vocabulary of perversion to get our meanings across. We can talk or write like civilized adults.

Children used to be taught that those who used profanity were displaying ignorance; why else resort to the ‘four-letter’ words when other words were far more expressive and nuanced? I think that is a valid criticism, but it’s not the whole story. Usually people adopt crude language in adolescence as an attempt to sound ‘tough’ or street-wise. It does make people sound hard and jaded. Surprisingly (or not), lots of young girls today say they aspire to be (in their words) “badass.” Is that what we are encouraging in them? The school system and the feminist ‘teachers’ feed them this kind of thing, or at the very least, they allow it. And what we tolerate, we get more of.

Nobody wants to enforce standards. And if traditional adults don’t uphold any standards, then who will?

I wonder: does anyone today realize that people once used to be shocked by the gutter language and the cavalier use of the vulgar metaphors — used today even in the presence of very old ladies and little children? Are we proud of our ”frankness” today? Have we all become so hardened and immune to shame or embarrassment that we reject all limits?

The conservative forum I linked to used to be, even ten or fifteen years ago, much more civilized and mature. Once the commenters were people who were able or willing to discuss the news without relying on four-letter words and ugly metaphors. There also used to be mods who enforced rules, and didn’t tolerate the balding Beavises-and-Buttheads, the public who are now middle-aged, yet still adolescents, using their crude words and obscene metaphors.

Our society needs to be rescued from the crude and profane. Rules and standards need reviving, but is it too late for that? There may be too few adults nowadays to pull our society out of the gutter.

'What the Old South can teach us'

The following was published in 1903, written by Cephas Shelburne:

What the Old South Can Teach Us

SIMPLICITY, CULTURE AND BEAUTY IN COLONIAL AND SOUTHERN LIFE

In this busy, rushing, grasping day of commerce Americans might find much instruction and inspiration, and learn a valuable lesson, if they would turn for a moment once in a while to consider the stately, generous and beauty-loving order which marked the later colonial and earlier national period of our history, particularly in the South. The present owes a real debt to the South of the past and to the early colonial period of our history — a debt that cannot be ignored as long as faith, courage, beauty, culture, and unselfish devotion and hospitality may be reckoned among a people’s virtues. Separated from us by the chasm of the heroic “late unpleasantness” and by four decades of time, both the South and North have entirely put the past behind them, except in so far as both may learn from past history. And the range is now long enough for correct perspective.

Shall we not today find something sweet and sound in the South that will yet be a powerful, conservative influence in the republic? “Will it not be strange,” asks, a distinguished biblical scholar and an old-time anti-slavery radical, “if we have to depend, after all, upon the orthodox conservatism of the South?”

The word “Southerner” carries with it as distinctive traits and characteristics as the words Scotchman or Frenchman. Isolated from the ultra-industrial spirit, undisturbed by “isms” of any sort, “born of a stock that planted itself with like vigor and purity nowhere else outside of its island home,” it was bred under separate and unique conditions. And, though the old South is a thing of the past, a new era of freedom has set in, and we are one people and inseparable, the South has left a legacy and memory invaluable to this
generation.

The old Southern life and civilization was full of power and inspiration. At no other time perhaps in the history of America do we find a period so fraught with sincerity, openness and frankness of manner, charm and graces of cultivation. It was a time of simple faith, honesty, and open simplicity. The voice of the scoffer at religion was seldom heard and never heeded in the Southland. There were no disintegrating influences of modern skeptical thought. The conservatism of the South refused to pipe to the mad dance of the times.

While this cultured generation is elsewhere framing artistic prayers to an “eternal not ourselves” or asking unanswerable questions of the “Unknowable’
and puzzling itself over “Two Isaiahs,” everywhere in the Southland there were, and are, earnest men and women reverently thanking God for sunshine and rain, seedtime and harvest, and “into every corner of whose homes shines the light of God by day and by night.”

The old days in the Sonth was a time of faith, of reverence, of simple honesty. In every land but the South good and wise men are mourning the decay of reverence, of the religious spirit. Reverence is the need of our time, of all times. As long as a healthful reverence for the beautiful, the good and true, for God and the manifestations of God, in man remain, we are safe, let creeds change as they may.

Now while this religious revolution is working, some land, some people must stand out as a light, must bear the ark of the covenant. In our boasted industrial and commercial supremacy, in our mad rush for the dollar — when we are forgetting that there are stars in the heavens, flowers in the fields, and beauty in the landscape, and virtues of soul — it is well that some land and people stand a beacon-light, content to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present evil world, and to remember that the kingdom of God and of man is not altogether “meat and drink, but righteousness, joy and peace.”

A thriving, pushing, hustling Northwesterner, just returning from a trip into Old Virginia and the South, in the course of which an “immense ennui” possessed him, remarked, “Oh, the South is behind the times, out of date, a back number.” By which he meant that the material, commercial and industrial interests of the South were not in keeping with that of the Northwest. “But,” he added, “the ‘New South’ is manifesting some life, and is coming up to date.” And by the “New South” and “up to date” is meant that the South of today, the new industrial South, “has joined the procession,” and has turned her mind to the development of her resources, to business, to enterprise, to money-making. By the “New South” is meant the South of today, busy developing coal, timber and mineral lands, drilling oil wells, building factories, towns, cities, railroads, forging to the front — bringing herself up to date.

This is all very well in its way, but to the thoughtful observer it is inadequate, one-sided, unsymmetrical. Along certain finer lines of development, such as beauty, culture and refinement, we are sadly lacking. Our machine-shops, factories, labor-saving tools, railroads and other means of communication, such as the electric telegraph and telephone, and electrical appliances generally are not matched by a mental, spiritual and esthetic progress. The activities have outgrown the finer things of life. The body has out-flourished the soul.

The course taken by our civilization since the war has been toward developing and perfecting the material contents of life; whereas the culture, the mind and heart, the esthetic and ethical nature of our people themselves have by no means progressed in the same degree. It has been a vulgar struggle, a spirit of plutocracy, in which, by slangy phrase, we are told to “join the procession,^’ to “be alive,” “hustle,” “catch on,” “get there, Eli.”

What was finest and best in the old Southern, colonial regime has been eliminated to make room for the materialistic spirit, and a very disagreeable atmosphere has been created for people who value the higher things of life more than money and vulgar display. We have drifted into materialism, a mere struggle for wealth. Money, the almighty dollar, is the circle within which everything moves, the center around which everything revolves. This is our aristocracy, the altar at which we bow, the purpose for which we are educated and live. All else, we are told, is mere sentiment, romance, impractical, “a back number.” Inventions, machinery, the forms of commerce and of finance, industrial training — all these forms of life have developed to an unprecedented degree; yet no one will assert that the mind, the soul, of our people has been thereby correspondingly refined, uplifted and spiritually enriched. The real refinement of living does not go along with this mad rush — certainly has not kept pace with it.

The refinement, manners and culture of today cannot compare favorably with those of former times; and it is certain that intellectual and social life generally has not reached so high a level as in the old colonial and old ante-bellum days. The American genius for beauty, culture, refinement and the fine arts has not kept pace with the advance of a mighty material progress.

Is humanity to be measured by wealth, by power, by material prosperity? We are told to get rich, to fight, to win the game to be smart, to use tact and be up to date. Are these worthy motives? Are the seeds of godlike power in them? There is a sensible debasement of tone, a lowering of our ideals, a marked decline in simplicity, purity and culture as compared with a few generations back. A lit- erary man and student of history gives it as his conviction that “our immediate generation has been sinking of late to meaner ideals, to coarser ways of life, to more vulgar types of literature and art, to more open craving after wealth, and to a more insolent assertion of pride and force.’ “Take the decade which closes the century,’ says Frederick Harrison, ‘can anyone pretend that it equals in power either of the middle decades of the century (1840-1860) in poetry, in literature, in science, in philosophy, in religions, and in manners?”

There needs to be a general awakening and revival along certain finer lines of thought and life. There never was a time in the history of our country when we needed so much to encourage a spirit of beauty, culture and refinement. We need to look to a greater dignity of citizenship, a larger and more fruitful culture, to the best that has been thought and said by the wise and great, and lived by the most refined and cultured. Something yet higher in pitch, and larger in scope, and finer in quality and tone, than this ultra-material progress, is needed to express the fulness of the American life, to voice the aspirations and thought of the American mind, and to perpetuate the memory and glory of American history. Let us pause in this busy rush to look backward once in a while. Speak to the past and it shall teach thee.

Lord, God of hosts, be with us yet. Lest we forget, lest we forget.

Published in Home and Flowers Magazine, March 1903