“History Does Not Repeat Itself But It Rhymes” is an apt way to put the cultural trends I’m witnessing in contemporary society. I liken the extreme positions that leaders and the elite media class are propping up to the temperance movement of a century ago.
Before diving in, I’d like to set the record straight that was much to be said of the temperance movement. The photo I chose is not meant to mock or poke fun of it, rather to highlight the level of moral sophistication and pearl clutching this photo so wonderfully embodies. In these stern faced women I see many a contemporary “liberal” bearing a similar standard.
While we can debate the merits of alcohol prohibition, history has left us with 2 undeniable facts: the movement was short lived and ultimately a failure. Hindsight, of course, is 20/20.
Speaking of 20/20, as we enter the early 2020s, I’ll argue that society finds itself in a new temperance movement, which in my opinion is more sinister than an attempt to curb alcohol consumption. I liken our contemporary temperance movement to the prohibition of expression: the drowning out of the common voice that goes against elitist narratives on a myriad of topics: the pandemic, gender, comedy and “equity” are just a few examples I’ll touch upon.
Similar to the temperance movement of a century ago, the proposed solutions are reactionary, poorly thought out and lead to many unintended consequences that only make society worse, not better. Remember, the mafia was born during prohibition and besides some good movies and NASCAR, I can’t say society was better off as a result of our 20th century moral panic.
Hitting the Delete Key on Aspects of Contemporary Society
In a short period of time, we’ve witnessed the elimination of mostly harmless elements of our society in some vein attempt to improve race relations. In the wake of 2020’s summer protests, it was decided, not by myself, not by you the reader, I’m not even sure who made this decision, but Uncle Ben’s rice was the big problem in our society.
Now I can appreciate the assertion that “Uncle Ben” was considered derogatory, but as early as 2007 his namesake was appointed chairman of the board, a position from which he dispensed “grains of wisdom.” Nobody had a problem with Uncle Ben back then in 2007; around 2 years later the first black president would be elected, a milestone for race relations. Wouldn’t that have been the opportune time to perhaps retire old Ben? Apparently not since nobody seemed to have a problem with Uncle Ben during Obama’s two terms. We had to wait until 2020 for the discovery to be made that the true impediment to racial harmony in society could be found in none other than starch section of our supermarket.
The problem I have with the decision to so quickly scrap Uncle Ben’s rice is that the choice lines up perfectly with what a white supremacist would do. Think about it for a moment. If you are a racist in the true sense of the word – not to be confused with how it is used today as a club to attack people – the last thing someone is going to find in your cupboard would be a box of Uncle Ben’s rice.
Not only was the rash decision to cancel Uncle Ben’s rice foolish, it fell perfectly into the laps of the true white supremacists who will be happier to no longer see his namesake when shopping.
Have race relations improved since the removal of Uncle Ben’s? I doubt it. Now that his namesake is gone, what would be a better replacement? It obviously couldn’t be a white chef. I guess you could the new Uncle Ben a female chef but then you ignore the transgender community. And if you decide that Uncle Ben’s 2.0 should be a different race, then it leaves out the others. Perhaps the new corporate sponsor should be Pit Pat!
Taking this a step further, who should decide on the future image of Uncle Ben’s? If it’s a committee of mostly white people then that won’t do. So now a diverse committee must be drafted to select the name but how can we ensure that there are enough delegates? Isn’t unfair to Pacific Islanders and Samoans if they don’t have say about the future of Uncle Ben’s?
It would be one thing if Uncle Ben’s were an isolated incident, in this case I’d turn the tables and say perhaps I should be writing about other things. But it wasn’t just rice. Aunt Jememiah got cancelled along with the woman featured on the Land of Lakes butter boxes. Suddenly the Washington Redskins franchise had to go. Certain Dr. Seuss books were deemed dangerous for children (but not books promoting transgender ideology to young kids who barely understand sexuality).
It wasn’t me who found an issue or I’m sure you the reader, but a small group of out of touch elitists with nothing else better to do than create enemies where none are to be found.
Defund the Police
In the wake of the summer riots, the next thing to get cancelled was the police force. To determine whether or not this is a good idea, you don’t need to try it out on the public, all you need is $20. The experiment is very simple. Take the $20 and buy a copy of Sim City. Go about building your model city with the neat rows of industrial, residential, and commercial areas. Now, when it comes to taxes, move the slider for police all the way to the left so that the department is left without any budget. Or, just don’t build police stations in your city at all. Simply wait and find out what happens to your city.
Why we must perform the same experiment in the real world, with real people is beyond me. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that even lousy police are better than no police. A year after the George Floyd incident, homicides in Minneapolis were up a staggering 89 percent from the previous year; violent crime up 14%. Not only was defund the police one of the most asinine decisions in recent history, it never held any major support from our population as a whole, which is why I mentioned in the beginning that these decisions are not taken by a plurarlity.
As the Pew Research center points out, only 25% of respondents wanted the police to be defunded, with half of that support being “a little.” So the report basically shows that from those who responded to the poll, roughly 12% of the population actually wanted to radically defund the police. This means that a large part of our media apparatus does not represent us and in my opinion should not be paid attention to.
Not only were police called to be defunded but there could be no more positive images of police to be found in society either. The cancellation of Cops and Live PD are once again a silly, emotional reaction that will only worsen the image of police. At least when we had Cops you could judge for yourself as to the extent of police brutality. Now we have to rely on social media to form our opinion of the police, and we can see how that has played out so far.
This once again goes back to where we are in society when the unruly mob quickly decides to make a mess of established institutions. It’s been a banner year for white supremacists who are having a field day knowing that police forces in predominately minority communities are being defunded.
While I’m not a conservative and think Fox News is just as bad as CNN, it is a strange state of affairs that the only advocates for upholding police budgets in mostly Democrat cities are found on the right who aren’t advocating for their constituents. It’s obvious they are pandering to their base, it just so happens that incentives, as perverse as they are align. In any case, it proves that they are propagandists for sure but not bigots. If the hosts of Fox News were truly racist, they would simply ignore the uptick in crime in these cities as most CNN anchors do, after all police budgets were also slashed for minority communities in the South.
Everything and Everyone is Racist in 2021
If the outrage over harmless corporate logos weren’t enough, now everything in contemporary society is racist according to extreme leftist zealots. The term “racism” no longer contains any meaning. It has been reduced to a mere rebuttal by the intellectually weak for an argument they don’t like.
The hypersensitivity about race in nearly all aspects of our society will only set race relations back at least a generation. In fact, this is already happening and it appears to be purely manufactured by the media apparatus of print, television and online articles.
Consider the amazing Substack piece by David Rozado who meticulously outlines the exponential increase in the use of certain terms by mostly left leaning media outlets starting around 2012. As you’ll see, there is a massive increase in the use of phrases like bigotry, misogyny, patriarchy, xenophobia, etc.
The first reaction is to blame Trump for this so it’s worth noting that the prevalence in these terms pre-dated 2016. I think Trump furthered along this division but it would be untrue to accuse him of creating it. Further to the point, this substack article is incredibly valuable because it highlights how propaganda is taking shape in modern times. Speaking of which, one of the best examples of how racism is viewed in contemporary society is the Jussie Smollet debacle.
Jussie Smollet – The Archetype of Faux-Racism
To understand how little racism actually exists in America relative to the past, there is no better example than the Jussie Smollet debacle. When racial equality was extremely poor in the US, let’s say during the 1950’s, Smollet’s story would not have been entertained even if it were true. Fast forward to what I consider the peak of race relations in the US, let’s say the late ’90s to early 2000s and his story wouldn’t be picked up by major news outlets because it was an obvious fabrication. Not only would Smollet’s story not get much viewership in the early 2000’s, enough viewers would see through the bullshit since we didn’t have such an ideological bend to the news back then. In 2021, however, we (the audience) are forced to entertain Smollet’s story, as nonsensical as it sounds, lest we are deemed to be racist for discounting it.
The case of Jesse Smollet sets race relations back for a variety of reasons. First, the corporate media apparatus (CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, NY Times) are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the public as if mass public are fools who can simply be spoonfed untruth. This undermines the credibility of the media since such detractions of the truth should be met with skepticism by any rational thinker. If we are fed a pack of lies about Jesse Smollet (from the media and politicians), or Donald Trump being a Russian asset, then what else are we being lied to about?
It’s amazing that people cannot understand why someone would object to wearing a mask or taking a vaccine when the same media apparatus tries to force us to accept Smollet’s testimony. Further exacerbating the situation is that even politicians must jump on the bandwagon. Although Kamala Harris wasn’t VP when she made the damning tweet above, it’s astonishing someone with such poor judgement is now a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Secondly, entertaining stories that are obviously fake creates a “boy who cried wolf” situation for any future incident with a racial tinge to it. Just like we’ll never eradicate the planet from serial killers or thieves, racism will always exist to an extent. Due to the media’s botching of these incidents, we may miss the mark when an actual racial incident plays out.
Even post-Smollet, the media still hasn’t understood this lesson. As the hosts of the Fifth Column Podcast pointed out in episode #324, it is neither racist nor morally wrong to cast doubt upon Harry Dunn’s claim that he heard over 20 Trump supporters shout racist chants at him on January 6th. Because media outlets have morphed over time into activist outlets for political parties, we must rely on independent media to fill in the gap.
Kmele Foster, a 5th Column co-host and journalist, has offered a $10,000 bounty to anyone who can produce corroborating evidence on Dunn’s claim. After all, with the ubiquity of cell phones in our society, isn’t a bit strange that not a single person in that entire demonstration failed to record video evidence of such a claim? It appears this story has receded into the backdrop, nevertheless we can see that victim portrayal is very much en vogue.
Only in a moral panic of sorts can society run with a story like Jussie Smollet. While the media has moved on, it’s worth a reminder that those who disagreed with the narrative were silenced by social media. Despite the obvious spin, a major faux pas by the media is to assume the public are gullible fools which is why a poll showed that 74% of people didn’t believe his story. In the long run that is good news since it shows people by and large are rational even when fed propaganda and that mainstream outlets are losing credibility.
Nevertheless, let’s not dismiss the dangers of this temperance movement we are witnessing. I would draw your attention to the smattering of Tweets about Smollet above. Note that many of those politicians now occupy the highest positions of office. They are trying to read the political winds (badly) which demonstrates that this temperance movement has serious weight behind it.
Utopias are Dystopias
The main fallback of looking at everything through a racial lens in some twisted utopian vision is that the real world doesn’t work out so nicely, even our planet rotates around the sun imperfectly, how do you expect us humans to then behave?
Look no further than the treatment of black conservatives as a counter example of how the religious zealots treat those who do not conform to their vision. The same people who lead you to believe that diversity and equity are the purest of virtues will be the first to call Condoleezza Rice a solider of white supremacy or caricature Larry Elder as the black face of white supremacy. The irony is that such detractions perfectly describe the original definition of racism. Yet in 2021, it’s not racist in the least to make such claims since victimhood is fully removed from the oppression hierarchy when you find yourself on the other side of the political aisle.
Then there is the dumbest term ever to arise from this movement: LatinX. Only a brainwashed person with a warped education could group all Spanish speaking people under one sombrero (how they see it). Just because someone speaks Spanish doesn’t mean that life, in Cuba for example, remotely mirrors the life of someone from Guatemala, Puerto Rico, or even Spain for that matter. Yet these religious zealots will drop this term in some vein attempt at familiarity when it turns out that Trump gained support from those who identify as “Hispanic” in 2020.
The couple of examples listed above represent a utopian vision of society where humans are put into neat little boxes based on skin pigmentation and sexuality. Society, however, does not function at all in such a way. While discrimination was a major issue in the past, and far worse than it is today, divisions have been erased that were once quite predominant not so long ago. The Irish, Italians, Germans, Jews, and Polish suffered discrimination in America, not to the extent of blacks of course, but were treated in many respects as second class citizens by ruling elites at the time. Now such groups are lumped into the “white” category which is especially comedic in the case of Jews.
By focusing constantly on race, the left leaning media apparatus has simply made life worse for society as a whole in an attempt to create a utopian society. Referencing The Fifth Column again, a common troupe in the show is to listen to NPR and set a countdown to how quickly the top story involves some sort of victimization narrative. Once a center left news source, even NPR has been compromised by the temperance movement which encourages a hyper focus on race, so called inequality and victimization.
Just like cancelling Uncle Ben’s, defunding the police, or any of the other silly measures taken post-George Floyd, the attempt to reform society as the prohibitionists aimed to is doomed to fail.
It’s obvious that it will be more difficult for white individuals to interact with the non-white community when such a landmine of potential hazards has been laid out for them. When a simple hand gesture can get you fired from your job, what do you expect people to do? Times will be very difficult in HR for some time now when it comes to both hiring and firing.
Embracing the New “Bad Religion”
For those who lament that religiosity in America is falling dramatically, I have news for you. This modern day temperance initiative is very much a religious movement. It doesn’t take much contemplation to understand why as nearly all of the examples are shrouded in moral underpinnings.
The highest virtue that the elitist uppercrust projects to society is to renounce one’s racism and if you are white, get on your knees and admit your guilt, something that is quite familiar to anyone raised Catholic. This religious effect is best epitomized by the image above: our nation’s leaders, kneeling while masked up in Kunta Kinte outfits.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not attempting to diminish what happened during the summer of 2020, rather I am showing how the situation was usurped by a corrupt political class in order to retain their grip on power. You have to be naive to look at the above picture and think the likes of Nancy Pelosi are doing this for anything but to maintain power. They’ve sold out to the highest cultural bidder and currently its a rather insane one filled with contradictions.
While professing to care about black lives by changing street signs and photo ops, the leaders featured above do next to nothing in terms of real, sound policy. The lives of most blacks, especially in urban, Democrat run cities, have become worse since 2020. Homicide rates are reaching 20 – 25 year record levels across many of these cities which is a direct result of three factors. The first is the defund the police movement which gave a green light to criminals that their lives would be much easier now. Secondly, some of the more liberal cities like San Francisco and New York City have decriminalized basic criminal acts. Finally, the draconian school closure policies brokered by teacher’s unions simply mean there are more young, bored men on the streets.
Its sacrosanct to speak about it in the major news media but vaccine hesitancy is highest amongst minority groups, especially blacks yet no outreach was ever made by local groups or to my knowledge BLM. An ever porous Southern border means increased competition for low wage jobs, which doesn’t impact the college educated but the most marginalized in society. Finally, minimum wage laws further reduce jobs for minorities as businesses either remove the position, turn to automation, or reduce full time work, to part time.
This newfound religious movement which has seeped into many levels of society has its own caste structure as well. Similar to a religious schism, I’ve pointed out the obvious inconsistency in the treatment of black conservatives who are after all a minority, within a minority as far as representation goes. But they are not the “blessed” minorities, these happen to break down roughly by skin pigmentation and race.
A Brief Examination of the Hierarchy of Victimization
The sorting mechanism though is not as clean as one would find in Gryffindor. Despite the near endless chatter about white supremacy, stories about hate crimes perpetuated by minority groups receive little media attention for obvious reasons. This is especially so in urban areas. Consider that in 2018, there were a total of 69 anti-Jewish hate crimes in New York City; 25 of which were committed by blacks, 2 by Hispanics, and 2 by Asians. The clear take away is that whites are still the most predominant preparators but we shouldn’t discount the black contribution which exceeds their proportion of the population. This is reinforced by a 2016 Anti-Defamation League Survey, the results of which were reported by Reason magazine, concluding that “hostility to Jews seem to be materially more common among American blacks and American Hispanics than among American whites.” The author also stresses that one cannot assume minorities will act upon these prejudices, the point instead being that anti-Semitic crimes cannot solely and forever be attributed to neo Nazis and the Klan.
Asians have also witnessed an increase in hate crimes perpetuated by minority groups, predominantly blacks. Such stories rarely made news during the Trump presidency since the blame was cast on him for his anti China rhetoric and then take on the pandemic. Even prior to 2020, a 2018 Justice Department study showed that blacks perpetuated more hate crimes against Asians than any other racial group (see page 13).
In the utopian vision held by elitists, minority groups themselves cannot hold prejudice. Despite a constant desire to root out racism, we can see that this is a very selective mission. Not does such an approach contradict itself, it’s a disservice to minority groups like Jews or Asians because only stories of white hate crimes make the news or get much attention. Ultimately this results in little being done to correct or help improve prejudice held by minorities.
Because Jews, Asians, and South Asians (India) are economically successful in America from a per capita income standpoint, they don’t receive the same attention as other groups do, in essence they are not part of the victim hierarchy, which instead belongs to Muslims, blacks, gay & lesbian, Hispanics, illegal immigrants, and transgender individuals.
Utopias always end in dystopias because the list of the “chosen” people gets very messy, and this occurs because society is very messy. For example, were Pete Buttigieg straight, his name would never leave South Bend, India, the same goes for Rachel Levine, the current head of Health and Human Services in the Biden White House. Of all the medical experts out there, it is indeed quite the coincidence that the head would be transgender, the odds of which defy state lotteries. Just like the pontiffs of old Europe, power and status are doled out only upon those blessed by the religious order. A simple “conversion” can immediately pull one out of the pool of Untouchables into high society as the case of Rachel Levine demonstrates.
And like America’s own Jim Crow South, elevations of status can very much be determined by birth, something happening in radical ways as we speak. In the last years especially reforms are being pushed to reduce testing standards for minorities while simultaneously limiting entrance for other groups as we saw in Harvard where too many Asians were being admitted. The theme is drastically similar: certain groups being elevated, others being excluded. The irony, which is also depressing to comprehend, is that much of the above is performed under the guise of ending racism, or improving diversity, inclusion, or what other religious mantra pops up next.
And just like the Jim Crow South this is incredibly unhealthy. The biggest perversion of this sorting mechanism is that whites are meant to feel guilty and responsible for crimes they had no part of at all, an original sin of sorts. Even if one were the descendant of a planation owner, how could a society bent on equity accuse such a person of a crime they had no part in? While whites are being set to trial for crimes committed generations ago, blacks are simultaneously being stripped of agency and merit. While I see partial benefits in the attention affirmative action programs drew, this is putting the idea on steroids.
I once again harken back to the notion that the result of such radical policies finds itself in direct conclusion with a true white supremacist or bigot. How should a black student feel when they are given an easier test? The message is obvious: because of immutable characteristics which you had no control over, we, the ones in power, have determined that this test is too hard for you. Some universities are even holding separate graduation ceremonies for minority students, once again the message being that we, the ones in power, believe you are too fragile to attend the main ceremony, so let’s segregate a special one for you.
All of this is incredibly unhealthy and unproductive. I would encourage you to listen to the Vice news debate, where you can hear how black conservatives were treated when they decided to join a different party, ie demonstrate agency. Not only are such Harry Potter sorting mechanisms incredibly divisive, they are by nature a massive mess.
The courting of Muslims and immigrants from Mexico by the Democratic party, as one example, will ultimately backfire as both groups hold views in direct contrast to everything described. Anyone with a basic understanding of global religion knows how Muslims feel about homosexuality. Mexicans, by and large, also happen to be more religious, one of the reason I think Trump actually picked up more votes.
On the subject of sexuality it becomes an ever complicated mishmashing of views. Lesbians by and large are marginalized by transgender women; transgender viewpoints by nature default against feminism as both groups are competing for the same spot. Such a coalition is not sustainable, and as I conclude will fade just like the temperance movement of a century ago.
Will the Pendulum Swing Back? Time Will Tell
The sum of what I’ve outlined above is that those who have advocated for everything above feel that their job is accomplished. It’s as if all racism in this country will end now that a few street signs are changed and corporate images “updated.”
Similar to prohibition, the issues that these movements are attempting to resolve are deep rooted and can take years, if not decades to work on. But that’s now how this mob operates, taking short term goals for all the wrong reasons. Putting a black square on Instagram or sharing an article about Cops no longer being aired doesn’t solve anything, it’s purely superficial.
True change requires effort, failure, and plenty of ups and downs along the way. Personally, I am disappointed with the leaders who represent my generation. We had a chance in 2020 to turn around the direction of the country but we allowed the machine to give us the caricature of what the exact same party says is wrong with society: an out of touch old man who is not physically fit to be in office.
The world is changing rapidly and we need real, young leaders to guide us through it. There are some exceptions but most of our young leadership class are too caught up in the moral posturing of this temperance movement to enact change.
Similar to the short life of prohibition, I am confident that this movement will not have lasting impacts on society and as the pendulum swings back we can start the work that is badly needed. Until then, free thought like this will have to be relegated to the speak easys of the Internet.