I named this article as neutrally as possible to try and encourage people to read the article the whole way through this time. The last time I talked about why the concept of white history month was silly, those who read the article all the way to the end saw the point I was getting at and generally agreed. On the other hand, several people rage-quit my Facebook page, spewing vitriol on the way out. I figure this time, I’ll explain my point a little more in depth and break it down Barney style, so only the dullest people fail to comprehend. I don’t mind losing fans who lack critical thinking and reading comprehension, as those people are more than likely too slow for any of my books or articles. I do mind losing fans to miscommunication, however.
“Your opinion article is so full of shit is is unbearable. Collards..chicken..pork..unsuitable.. it was a main staple for all southerners. I’m glad you wrote it as it allows me to remove you from my feed for being the racist you are… I’m glad you came out.”
I stopped taking this guy seriously the moment he demonstrated his inability to properly punctuate and his difficulty with the ellipsis. He can barely handle grammar; asking him to do a little research and read critically is a Herculean task.
This article sums it up real well:
Soul food has its roots in slavery, when African Americans had to make do with whatever food was available to them. For the next hundred years after the abolition of slavery, most African Americans lived in poverty, so recipes continued to make use of cheaper ingredients. Of course, this isn’t entirely a black/white issue. Historically, there hasn’t been much of a difference between the foods eaten by poor black Southerners and poor white Southerners. John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, once wrote: “The differences between the foods of Black and White Southerners are subtle. More capsicum pepper heat, a heavier hand with salt and pepper and a greater use of offal meat are comparative characteristics of Soul versus Country Cooking.”
This also sums up soul food in a nutshell:
Soul Food is a term used for an ethnic cuisine, food traditionally prepared and eaten by African Americans of the Southern United States. Many of the various dishes and ingredients included in “soul food” are also regional meals and comprise a part of other Southern US cooking, as well. The style of cooking originated during American slavery. African slaves were given only the “leftover” and “undesirable” cuts of meat from their masters (while the white slave owners got the meatiest cuts of ham, roasts, etc.).
We also had only vegetables grown for ourselves. After slavery, many, being poor, could afford only off-cuts of meat, along with offal. Farming, hunting and fishing provided fresh vegetables, fish and wild game, such as possum, rabbit, squirrel and sometimes waterfowl. Africans living in America at the time (and since) more than made do with the food choices we had to work with.
That article lists several items that are used in soul food cooking. After the Civil War, it gained popularity throughout the South, especially amongst the impoverished. One could say that soul food became less a black thing and more a poverty thing over time, though its origins were undeniably rooted in slavery.
And racist? Where in my original article did I espouse any anti-white or anti-any other race views? I can tell you where: I didn’t, because I do not espouse such views. There’s a reason why this mouth breather got his panties in a hitch, but we’ll touch on that later on.
(Paraphrase) “Don’t tell me that there isn’t a white culture! There is totally a white culture! You don’t know what you’re talking about! You racist!”
The last two quotes came from conservative-leaning people. For all their crying about how liberals overuse the race card, they sure don’t mind playing it themselves.
As I mentioned in the first article, no, there is not a universal white culture. Even if we were to remove ethnicity from it, if I gathered a bunch of random white Yankees and a bunch of random white Southerners in a room and asked them what kind of foods they liked, what kind of music they listened to, their political attitudes, what have you, I can guarantee you that there would be little to no consensus, because the culture of the Northern US and the culture of the Southern US are vastly different.
On the other hand, we’ll take one easy example: politics. The overwhelming majority of blacks have voted Democrat for over fifty years, and there have been strong trends with blacks voting with the Democratic party as far back as the FDR Administration. This trend was seen in 2012, when 93% of voting blacks voted for President Obama, and in 2008, when 95% of voting blacks voted for President Obama. The high numbers can be partially attributed to President Obama’s race, but they weren’t voting Republican prior to that: 88% of blacks who voted did so for John Kerry in 2004, 90% of voting blacks voted for Al Gore in 2000, and 84% of voting blacks voted for Bill Clinton in 1996. As you can see, there is a clear consensus amongst the black community politically, to the point where those who do not agree with the consensus are often shunned, as I have personally been a party to.
This is not the only place where a consensus exists in the black community, but for brevity’s sake, I want to continue to the criticism of the first piece that really gave me pause for thought.
“Your own people sold slaves. Blame them as much as you blame ALL whites and we’ll talk. One sided bullshit as usual.”
I must have seen something resembling this argument at least three or four times throughout the back and forth, but this guy particularly stood out, especially given his comments about “As you wrote this, hundreds of blacks just killed each other over drugs, sneakers and disrespect.”
Combine the two and I have reason to believe we found the real racist. We also found the real illiterate dolt, as not once in my original post did I claim all whites were responsible for the Transatlantic Slave Trade. He chose to read it that way because he is an idiot who lacks comprehension.
I have noticed an interesting phenomenon that was demonstrated under this point.
I do not, nor have I ever, held all white people responsible for slavery, especially those who were born after 1865 (which is everybody alive today). It would be impossible for anybody born after 1865 to be party to the Transatlantic Slave Trade due to the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery and indentured servitude. I do not believe anybody who thinks whites need to “own up” to the actions of their ancestors has any sort of ground to stand on.
In short, I think the concept of white guilt is silly and stupid, particularly when I see academic white left-of-center types try to apologize for an institution that they weren’t party to.
Why is it, then, that every time slavery is brought up in a historical study sense, it’s those right-of-center, the ones howling the loudest about white guilt being stupid, the ones shouting that “BLACKS ENSLAVED PEOPLE TOO”?
I’ll tell you why.
For those people, admission that Europeans participated in the Transatlantic Slave Trade means they should feel guilty about something. They are incapable of admitting that Europeans in days past participated in the slave trade without feeling culpable.
The ones who have read this far and have now started to shout “RACIST!!!!”? The shoe fits them, so they’re wearing it and screaming about it. On the other hand, those who are living in 2015 and know that no white person alive today had anything to do with the Transatlantic Slave Trade are nodding their heads, and a few are even putting the dots together, as I have.
Isn’t it funny? The ones who constantly moan about white guilt are actually lending credence to the argument of its existence.
That African tribes enslaved one another had absolutely NOTHING to do with the first article. The first article was the conditions that formed the modern American black culture. That would be like me analyzing a person’s life to find what influenced them into the person they became today, then somebody running in out of the blue, hopping up and down, and shouting, “Their parents had sex!” It’s stupid and it’s irrelevant. It’s also telling in a Freudian manner.
The entire point of the first article was that white people in the United States are not one massive culture, but instead a collection of European cultures. Each of those cultures should be celebrated alongside black American culture. Apparently, some people were incapable of understanding that point. Hopefully, that number has thinned.
I explained to some friends in private my ideal example of multiculturalism in the United States. It was the driving point of the first article, and it is my driving point now. Allow me to share that with you, with some updates.
I want people of a German ethnic background to give a black person bratwurst in exchange for fried chicken and collared greens. I want somebody of Thai ethnicity to give a Mexican person khao man kai in exchange for a carne asada torta. I want somebody from New England to try authentic Creole jambalaya, and somebody from the French Quarter of New Orleans to try some delicious clam chowder.
I want people to share their music with each other. Listen to a little blues, a little metal, a little rap, a little country, a little jazz, a little classic rock. Read about how all of those musical styles came to being. Learn from the history behind them.
I want people to learn about the migrations of every ethnic group we have in the United States, then read about the conditions that caused them to accept Lady Liberty’s offer to take in the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
Then, I want them to stop and realize that nowhere else on this planet will you find so many vastly different ethnic groups living in one geographical entity and, for the most part, peacefully coexisting.
That’s what I want for this country.
Bonus points if you carry a gun and Zen on, as my buddy Seth “Big Baby Jesus” Bailey would say.
Cover image courtesy of Imgur.