There is certainly no shortage of racially-charged stories in the news lately, what with the Tea Party/NAACP episode, and theShirley Sherrod controversy. It seems that racial controversies are cropping up everywhere since, oh, say, January of 2009. And the way many of us react to them is, unfortunately, influenced by many of the myths that persist.
Some of the PC myths that are widely accepted even among 'right-wing' White people are myths such as the following:
'Black people picked all the cotton in the past; thus mentions of cotton and picking cotton are racist by definition. Such mentions refer to slavery and Jim Crow.'
Or this broad claim, which is of fairly recent coinage:
'Blacks/slaves built America. Slaves built D.C., New York, and all the great cities. It was all built on the backs of slaves, who often died in the course of the hard labor involved.'
A variation on this alleges that blacks did all menial jobs and manual labor, while Whites, coddled by something called 'White Privilege', sat back and watched in comfort.
While it's pretty hard to disprove the idea that blacks 'built this country' (although immigrant advocates now claim that immigrants built this country; Whitey was only a spectator) it is hard to prove such a sweeping claim. First of all, blacks are now only about 13 percent of the population. How could such a small percentage of people, who were, pre-WWI, concentrated in the South, take credit for building the cities and anything else of note in this country? Many of the slaves were also agricultural workers and house-servants; were they hired out on Sundays to build skyscrapers and bridges? The whole idea that they were everywhere building this country is absurd.
As for blacks picking all the cotton, the older folks down South will tell you that poor Whites did a great deal of the picking; it was backbreaking, hard work, and the wages were minuscule, but poor Whites worked just as hard as any slave, perhaps harder, because they had to work to house and feed themselves unlike the slaves who had food and shelter guaranteed to them.
These days, of course, many of the former cotton fields are no longer producing cotton; I expect it is all being grown in Pakistan or China or somewhere now, thanks to 'globalism'.
A now-taboo stereotype image of blacks is that of the black shoe-shine man plying his trade in the cities. The fact is there were many White men and boys who shined shoes for a living. I collect old images of daily life, and there are plenty of depictions of poor White boys working as bootblacks and shoe-shine boys. Blacks (and immigrants, for that matter) did not invent hard work, and they didn't do all the lowly jobs.
But speaking of PC mythology, it seems that Sherrod made a public claim that her father was 'lynched' or 'murdered by a White man' and that the crime went unpunished because of prejudice.
Whether this is true or not, I can't judge, but forgive me my skepticism; there have just been too many false claims of 'hate crimes', and these hoaxes have seldom been noted in the controlled media; they prefer to cover up such stories because these hoaxes are awkward for them to deal with. They just don't fit the template of innocent black victimhood and White villainy.
But as to the larger story of lynching, it's a belief among most Whites that blacks were lynched on a grand scale back in the Bad Old Days ''just for being black', or just because Whites were so depraved and hateful.
To hear it told, it would seem that tens of thousands of innocent blacks were lynched for no reason in the days of Jim Crow. However, statistics don't seem to bear that belief out. I invite everybody to search out statistics; I've quoted them here or on the Forum in the past. One fact that needs to be emphasized is that people of all races were lynched. That means White people were lynched by White people. But to acknowledge that would be to cast doubt on the idea that lynchings were always 'race hate crimes.' Such was not the case. In the past here on this blog, I posted text from a news article about a near-lynching in the 1930s in Louisiana. The man who was almost lynched was an accused sex offender, and was apparently White.
The fact is, such things happened in the case of crimes involving sex offenses, especially where children were the victims, or in cases of brutal murders. Whites were not exempted from being lynched.
Almost all such cases involved violent crimes.
The issue was covered in a book review by Dwight D. Murphey at TOQ. Murphey says, in discussing a left-wing author's book on lynchings, that
Robert Zangrando, in his book The NAACP Crusade against Lynching, 1909-1950, indicates a total of 4,742 between 1882 and 1968; Of these, he says, 1,297 were white and 3,445 black; (The New York Times has on at least two occasions reported that all those lynched then were black, but that was the result either of the particular author's dishonesty or sloppiness.)
The number of fewer than 5,000 lynchings over 87 years is hardly "meaningless" when we compare it with the 85 to 100 million victims of Communism estimated by several prominent European scholars in their recent Black Book of Communism. Consider, also, the list published in Insight magazine of just the more recent genocidal killings: Sudan, where 1.5 million plus are dead; Rwanda, where estimates range from 500,000 to 800,000; East Timor, at least 100,000; Sri Lanka, 54,000; Tajikistan, 30,000 to 50,000; Algeria, 70,000 to 80,000; Liberia, 200,000; Chechnya, 80,000; Ethiopia-Eritrea, 10,000 in recent weeks; Iraq, 1 million; and Kosovo, 2,000 prior to the NATO bombing attacks.''
The review is in pdf format at this link.
For us to believe the PC narrative that innocent people were randomly murdered would be to believe that our ancestors, including our parents' and grandparents' generations, were malicious and bloodthirsty people who harmed others for little or no cause, or who would harm someone ''just because of skin color''. I know for a fact that this was not true of most Americans in the North or South. It always shocks me to see how readily most White Americans believe such slanders about their ancestors. I suppose if we are ready to believe our forefathers had such a dark, violent side, why on earth should we be proud of who we are and proud of our forebears? I suppose it must do harm to people's sense of themselves to accept these PC myths about the past.
Another reprehensible myth that is all too widely accepted by many Whites is the idea that ''most blacks have some White ancestry'' -- a notion that I think is exaggerated --and moreover, that this infusion of White DNA into the black gene pool is the result of 'rapist slave owners.' Somehow everybody seems to accept the allegation that slave-owning aristocrats routinely forced their 'attentions' on female slaves. There is little evidence to back up this notion. Presuming that the White genes were introduced back during slavery, why assume that the slave owner was the source? Why not overseers, White field hands, or others at lower levels of society? Methinks far too many people have been influenced by such trash as ''Mandingo''.
The White DNA might also have been more likely infused after emancipation, or during the days when many blacks moved North, where they found more Whites who interacted socially with them.
In any case, I think the amount of White genes among black Americans is greatly overestimated by many people; I've seen some statistics that indicate something like 17 or 18 percent at most.
And along these lines, another myth which is now all but accepted as gospel truth is the rumor about Thomas Jefferson and one of his slaves. I've nearly given up on correcting that one; any protestations on my part are dismissed as being biased because of my Jefferson family origins. So I am afraid that is a lost battle. In any case, the truth is here.
There are still so many politically correct myths that go unchallenged, and I think it's vital that we do our part to try to examine these things and refuse to let them pass without correction.