A couple of days before the start of the school year, my school underwent a round of indoctrination professional development: the dreaded diversity, equity, and inclusion training ($5 subs got a sneak peek of my handwritten notes earlier this week, which I uploaded as a digitized PDF). As these things go, it wasn’t terrible, but there was plenty of social justice buzz words, and a subtle, implied anti-white bias to it. Really, it was an anti-Truth and objectivity bias.
This Saturday, permit me to be your guide through the harrowing world of corporate-style diversity training in the Year of Our Wokeness Two-Thousand and Twenty C.E. (because “A.D.” is discriminatory against non-Christians, even though the B.C.E./C.E. dating system is still based on the Birth of Jesus Christ!).
I first found out about him and his controversial essay from NR, back when I was a devout print subscriber, amid the heady days when campus protests were novel enough to be terrifying. NR ran a little blurb about Williams College cancelling a scheduled talk from Derb, and I’ve been listening to his podcast—an entertaining mix of news, science, political and cultural commentary, and updates on the president of Turkmenistan—ever since.
A major part of American history was, of course, slavery. As I typed that sentence, I nearly wrote “the unfortunate legacy of slavery,” though we’re still living that, just not in the way the race-baiters and social justice warriors claim.
But phrases like “the unfortunate legacy of slavery” have become incredibly cliched. It and similar phrases (“slavery is our great national sin”) act as magic talismans, incantations that, when invoked, protect the speaker (presumably) from the ultimate curse, the label of “racist.”
Of course, slavery was wrong, and slavery is immoral. It was our great national sin (paid for, as Lincoln pointed out in his Second Inaugural Address, with the blood “drawn by the sword” in the American Civil War). It continues to have an “unfortunate legacy,” in that race-baiting charlatans continue to blame it for virtually every pathology in black American culture.
Dang it… I screwed up the incantation with that last bit. I’d better kiss my job goodbye right now.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the changing, dying rural communities I observed on a trip through western South Carolina. You’re not supposed to say as much, but I don’t like that the culture and the world I grew up in are changing. I’m not sure when it became taboo to say, “This is my home and these are my kin,” but apparently that’s no longer acceptable if you’re a conservative Christian in the American South, especially if you’re a white man.
Around the time I wrote that post, I stumbled upon two excellent posts from the Abbeville Institute that express that sentiment beautifully. One, “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Leslie Alexander, is a poetic, heartbreaking glimpse at a personal sense of alienation: the writer, a Louisiana native with deep roots, finds herself adrift in Dallas, a land that lacks not only has “no regional culture here—one of common language, mores and manners–there is not even an American one.”
The other, from Nicole Williams, is a more technical and historical dive into the emergence of the “New South,” the story of how an economically devastated postbellum region, in a search for economic opportunity, ultimately sold its culture and identity for a mess of pottage. The title says it all: “What Price Prosperity?”
Hard to believe that in sixty-four days, we’ll have reached one year of daily posts here at The Portly Politico. In that time, I’ve done my fair share of exposing one of my least favorite activities: self-righteous virtue-signalling.
So, what better way to signal my virtue in exposing virtue-signalling than by feature virtue-signalling for today’s Lazy Sunday?
Without further ado, here are my selfless, virtuous contributions:
“Self-Righteous Virtue-Signalling Lives On” – This post looked an egregious National Review piece by Nicholas Frankovich in the wake of the Covington Catholic situation. That seems like a distant memory now, but it was one of my battles in the never-ending culture wars. The issue was that Frankovich, in his zeal to show to a Left that hates him that conservatives can gang up on themselves, threw innocent children under the bus. Disgusting.
“Tom Steyer’s Belt” – I love to rant about television commercials. Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer has a series of them he runs on Hulu, in which he’s wearing a ridiculous belt that makes him look like the old hippie he is. This dumpy, stoop-shouldered elite tries to jazz up his look with some multiculturalism by wearing a Kenyan belt—sartorial signalling at its worst.
“The Dirty Pierre” – Mitt Romney is the Establishment Republican King of Virtue-Signalling now that John McCain, the loathsome Arizona Senator and necromancer, is dead. His “Pierre Delecto” Twitter account, which Romney used to defend himself against online detractors, rather than being a man and doing it as himself, is a despicable, cowardly example of a man who wants the Left to love him. They never will, Mitt!
That’s it for this week! It’s a muggy Sunday in South Carolina—typical Halloween weather for us. D’oh!
A major theme—perhaps clumsily conveyed—of yesterday’s post was that Americans should be able to keep their culture and local identity without shame. As I noted, struggling rural communities are particularly susceptible to being swept away by large-scale immigration, legal or otherwise. Thus, we see small South Carolina towns gradually hispanicize, turning into little replicas of various Latin American cultures, rather than the old Southern culture that predominated.
One often hears that Americans should be tolerant and open-minded to other cultures, and to extend maximum understanding and patience. That is a generous and worthy view: I don’t expect the Chinese foreign exchange students at our school to speak accent-less English and understand liberty their first day off the plane. In that instance, we go out of our way to attempt to understand the cultural background from which those students came.
It’s another matter, though, when it involves the permanent or long-term relocation of foreign aliens to our land. Remember the expression, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do?” That rule always seems to apply to Americans—who are routinely criticized for being uncouth abroad—but never to any other ethnic group, and especially not to cultures outside of the West.
It’s an enduring frustration of mine: one-way cosmopolitanism.
When I was in college, I formed this ridiculous pseudo-band with a suitemate of mine (who has, apparently, now gone down some dark roads) called Blasphemy’s Belt, which my bio on another band’s website refers to as an “electro-pop humor duo.” I can’t remember how we came up with the name—our music wasn’t particularly or purposefully blasphemous (or good), and while we wore belts, they weren’t outrageous (just to keep our pants up)—but it was apparently catchy enough that people picked up on it.
The Belt never performed live, other than for an annoyed roommate, and a highly grating pop-up concert (at least, that’s what hipsters would call it nowadays) on our floor’s study room, but we generated enough buzz to get people to vote for us in a “Best of Columbia” survey in The Free Times. We didn’t win anything, but it was an object lesson in how enough hype can make people believe you have substance when you really don’t.