|Folk Musicians in Washington Square, April 1962|
Television may be a wasteland, but it can at least offer a bellwether for things to come.
Case in point.
A few months ago, I saw a PBS music special that took place in Seattle. It was about the folk music explosion in the sixties, and was hosted by one of the more favorite bands of that era. Several of the most famous figures were introduced, and of course, many of the most iconic songs of this genre were sung that night. For a 'folkie" like me, it was a trip down memory lane.
Three things struck me about the presentation.
One was that the direct connection between folk music and the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movement, as betrayed by the lyrics. Almost all of the songs were inspirational protest songs that pressed all the right — or shall I say — "left" emotional buttons.
Second was the fact that the songs were composed and sung by White people.
And thirdly, everyone in the packed audience was White — as far as I could see — and while the overwhelming number were pathetic boomers like myself, there were several young faces who obviously represent the new generation of Social Justice Crusaders, ready no doubt to pick up and carry the torch. Again, their pigmentation was white.
All of this made me realize something that I did not appreciate at the time. 60's folk music was the voice of ascendant Cultural Marxism, of "alienated" young Whites who for the most part were raised in comfortable middle-class environments. They were struggling to find their identity. So what better way to make a statement than to attach themselves to a cause that identified with The Other? A cause that offered itself as a critique of the lifestyle and the background that afforded them the leisure to strum a guitar and call out against social injustice.
But folk music did not give voice to the mood of Black people. That mood was not one of sweetness and self-righteousness, but of anger and rage that presaged the ugly and nasty character of rap music. 60's folk music was a White phenomenon. It was decidedly not a Black thing.
Having come to this realization, I turned the channel to an NHL hockey game played in Los Angeles, the home of White Hollywood liberals. Once again, I found the images of the spectators more interesting than the game itself. When the cameras panned the audience, all I saw was a sea of White faces, some of them belonging to celebrities.
So like folk music, ice hockey is an expression of White culture. Almost without exception, it is a game played by Whites and watched by Whites.
|The Hollywood vision of racial harmony: Danny Glover and Mel Gibson|
All of which suggests that even after 50 years of social engineering, grassroots America remains segregated. This is not the America that the media likes to portray. No, their America is the America that resembles Paul McCartney's keyboard, where ebony and ivory live in "perfect harmony." It is the world of biracial newscasters and sports panels and Hollywood movies, where Black and White folks are seen to work together, like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover did in their cop movies. It is a fake world created with deliberate intent. TV shows like Star Trek and "I Spy" with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby led the way in modelling such a future. A future which went beyond civil rights for Blacks to a future where racial differences go completely unnoticed.
But here we are in 2016, a half century later, and we have yet to live in this future. Why?
The Progressive party line is that "we have made progress" but "a lot remains to be done" and will be done. "We shall overcome some day."
Those who challenge this view have another answer. We have not made substantial progress because it cannot and will not be done. Not on the ground. Not among ordinary people. The White fantasy of the folk music culture was based on many presumptions, most central of which is that Black people really want to "hang" with White people. They want to embrace our way of life, our culture — or what remains of it. They want to dress and sing and speak like Whites, and live next door to Whites in affluent White middle class enclaves. The Huxtable family on the Cosby Show presented the perfect articulation of this alleged ambition. It is not about Blacks simply wanting "a piece of the action," a fair share of material prosperity, but of wanting to be like and with White Americans. Really?
If anything, it seems that more White Americans favour integration than Blacks. If they don't want to live alongside them, many want to mimic them. White youth have embraced the culture of the Black American 'lumpenproletariat'. Their music, their lingo, and their affectations. They wear baseball caps with the brim facing backwards, and baggy pants and sneakers. They generate their own rap music and mouth Black slang like "bro." And they practice the sexual morality practiced in Black ghettoes, now gone viral. It is all part of what Charles Murray called "The Coming Apart of White America." It is a society that cannot be fixed by fair taxation, economic equality, full employment or more social programs alone. The problem runs much deeper than that.
|Taking Wiggerism to new heights: Rachel Dolezal|
Meanwhile, many White women, sensing where the wind is blowing, have decided to jump ship and abandon the 'White Star' line. Some of them seek out millionaire Black athletes and celebrities, or the apparent strong masculinity that feminized White male culture no longer represents. Others, like Rachel Dolezal, even attempt to become Black. That should tell you something, but some don't want to hear what it is.
That is what was so amusing about the bewilderment of Black TV commentators who could not understand why anyone like Rachel Dolezal would want to become a member of a downtrodden minority that still suffers from persecution, discrimination, racial profiling and police violence. These Black observers do not get it. The Rachel Dolezals of White America understand what they do not: the 'downtrodden' minority is on the way up, while the White majority is manifestly on its way down. But they are not the only observers who don't get it. White politicians don't get it either — or pretend not to get it. Acknowledging politically inconvenient truths can get you unelected in a hurry.
Recently, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton — among the most consummate and cynical opportunists of them all — playing up to her 'African-American' constituency, spoke about African-American mothers who were afraid for their sons' safety on the streets, with the obvious implication that bigoted White cops presented the only menace, rather than the more prevalent violence from other Black youth. But most tellingly, she did not talk about the fear that many White parents feel about the safety of their sons and daughters — on the streets from you-know-who.
Black spokesmen cannot see through the fog of their own mythology and propaganda, the fog of "White Privilege" and "Black Lives Matter." When presented with the ubiquitous policies of reverse discrimination, hiring quotas, imposed 'diversity', and the failure of a great many Blacks to advance up the ladder without 'affirmative' action, they fall back on "the legacy of slavery," and the persistent need for remedial favoritism. It's a narrative that White liberals are eager to parrot, for they too know where the wind is blowing. They covet social status, hoping to earn or keep a place in the new multicultural hierarchy. No wonder they dare not consider the statistics of Black-on-White crime vs. White-on-Black crime. Facts that if mentioned would not only be incendiary, but definitely fatal to their careers.
The folk music of White boomerism is a spent force, long obsolete. The social injustice they sung about is now a two way street. In other words, social 'injustice cuts both ways'. At this rate, however, it will soon cut only one way. Soon White Lives won't 'matter' at all — and Peter, Paul and Mary will be consigned to a museum to reside alongside the Confederate Battle Flag.
Something to sing about, this Land of "Ours."