Remember the halcyon days when HBO was commonly known as Home Box Office and was best known for its endless re-running of The Beastmaster at all hours of the day and night? The success of The Sopranos granted them access to the realm of sophistication – some might say sophistry, including yours truly. Over the preceding decade and a half, the channel has gotten used to garnering its share of Emmys, and you don’t do that unless you make continual obeisance to the politically correct Dagon. Wishing to retain its status as the cultural Pharos of aging boomers too adverse to making the jump to Netflix original series, HBO had high hopes indeed for its hard-hitting white-guilting alternate history series Confederate. The premise was bold: the War for Southern Independence having been fought to a draw, Dixie retained her sovereignty – and her peculiar institution of African servitude – to the present day, along with the region’s planter culture, the resultant clashes with abolitionists, an underground railroad, etc. (It stands to reason the South must not have embarked upon industrialization in those 150+ years for this system to have remained economically viable, but never mind that. We’re in a fantasy land, after all.) Well, kiss my grits! A more original scenario was never heard of! Well, unless you overlook the fact that this is an obvious retread of the HBO-produced movie Fatherland, another dystopian ‘what-if’ extravaganza from twenty-five years ago, this time focusing on the ramifications of Germany winning World War II and occupying Britain. Hey, a tyranny’s a tyranny, right? Just substitute bullwhips for Lugers as cudgels of oppression and let’s get shooting this puppy! The fact that this exact premise was also trotted out for the recent series The Man in the High Castle certainly helps with the recognition factor, too.
Except a wee little roadblock has been erected before the show’s producers could make it to the green light. Turns out that, post-Charlotteville, there seems to be a disgusted backlash against yet one more Southern revisionist smear job, with the result that the chatter online says that the show might not receive its premiere for another two years. Maybe David O. Selznick could get away with such a lull between conception and completion when he first acquired the rights to Gone With the Wind in the mid 30s, but that just doesn’t cut the tofu anymore in today’s ADHD-afflicted fansphere. Any other project would have to be considered DOA with this kind of a lag time to contend with unless, like George Lucas, you can subsist off of Star Wars–level merchandising royalties in a sixteen-year drought between prequels. And I haven’t seen too many Alexander Stephens action figures flying off the shelf at my local Toys R Us lately.
But I predict this series will see the light of day yet, though it be far into the future. Why? It’s not just about crass dollars and cents – this is an educational venture. Not educational in the sense of providing anything resembling a thoughtful discourse on the pros and cons of New World slavery, but as yet another exercise in brainwashing a cowed white populace drunk on the ignorance of coerced humanitarianism. What better way to keep these knobs chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ into the future than by presenting in high-definition in the comfort of their depressing living rooms the salacious details of a society in which such lives supposedly did not matter? Liberals love to lecture the rest of us on ‘the lessons of history’. Why not turn them into the right kind of historians by parading eye-popping black degradations before their glazed yet transfixed eyes, rather than sending them to a dusty scriptorium full of musty hate literature? Rest assured: when these types snarl ‘do some research!’ at your insensitive privileged honky hide, they truly believe that by engorging themselves on some mass media product promoting ’emancipation to all and to all a white fright’ they have qualified themselves to speak competently on this subject.
The process of antebellum re-education, like so much else, got underway in that decade of cheerfully respectable sacrilege, the 1950s.
Prior to that decade, Dixie’s slaveholding culture was rarely depicted in literature and cinema as systematically evil and each individual slaveowner a beast. The turmoil that befell her was rightly portrayed as emanating from outside alien forces: opportunistic lucre-mad Yankeedom (Uncle Tom’s Cabin), perfidious abolitionism and black liberation (Birth of a Nation), Sherman’s rape of the Georgian countryside (Gone with the Wind). The brutal slaveowner, though a common literary trope, was presumed to be an aberration within a fully functional, Christian society – even the emancipationist polemic Uncle Tom’s Cabin didn’t go so far as to suggest lusts for succulent Nubian flesh and flayed backsides were the defining characteristics of white planter society. The setting was considered suitable for children. Can you imagine a modern youngster’s novel containing a passage such as that found in G.A. Henty’s With Lee in Virginia, chapter II – subtitled ‘Buying a Slave’?
Had he been a man of pleasant manners, he would gradually have made his way; but he was evidently not a gentleman. The habits of trade stuck to him, and in a very short time there were rumors that the slaves, whom he had bought with the property, found him a harsh and cruel master. This in itself would have been sufficient to bring him disrepute in Virginia, where as a rule the slaves were treated with great kindness, and indeed considered their position to be infinitely superior to that of the poorer class of whites.
And just a reminder: all the Henty novels are still in print. Stock up today, before SJWs purchase them in bulk and pulp them, that the world might be made a better place.
On the silver screen, the predominant image of the plantation was one of idyllic harmony. Unrealistic? Of course, but at the same time indicative of the lack of an underlying agenda at play in depicting the period. (This didn’t stop movies set in modern times from impugning the South, though. Hollywood might have been hesitant at engaging in historical revisionism in the 30s, but it was still thoroughly Bolshevik at heart.) The subject matter was considered appropriate for light treatment, and it was not at all uncommon to find musicals set in this milieu – 1930’s Dixiana being a representative example – complete with the now-unthinkable imagery of happy blacks singing in the cotton fields while they’re busy with their picking. Notoriously, Walt Disney saw nothing harmful in adapting the Uncle Remus stories into his family film Song of the South – a movie whose antebellum setting has always been disputed, as it’s never made explicitly clear exactly when it was set – and, for all the predictable sturm und drang raised against it by the race hustlers of the era, several black reviewers at the time saw nothing offensive in it either. One such luminary called its black detractors peddlers of ‘unadulterated hogwash symptomatic of the unfortunate racial neurosis that seems to be gripping so many of our humorless brethren these days.’1 I myself viewed the movie in a theater during its 1986 re-release, and there being an insufficiency of SJWs in that oh-so-reactionary time, the theater was not reduced to cinders and ashes the following day.
Well, that was fun while it lasted. By the mid-50s, with two internationalist wars under its belt, America was definitely in a more cynical and desensitized mood, the shiny veneer of the boom years notwithstanding. Happily, this also coincided with the burgeoning civil rights movement, whose confrontations were being broadcast into the nation’s living rooms in the vivid black and white shades Zenith could provide. A market was developing for lurid exploitation of Southern planter culture that could be consumed with a clear conscience, as such contained ‘redeeming social value’. Enter one of the works that defined the Marxist interpretation of the times: Kyle Onstott’s 1957 bestselling novel Mandingo.
Following in the wake of the rapid loosening of mores aided and abetted by such institutions as Harlequin Romance, Playboy magazine, and the Kinsey Institute, Mandingo was pure sleaze with a decidedly Frankfurt School-inspired subtext. None of that happy ‘Zip-a-dee-doo-dah‘ stuff here. This portrayal of the early nineteenth-century South featured a drunken white massa using a slave boy as a footstool to drain the rheumatism out of his gouty feet, that selfsame massa cavorting with the shapely black wenches serving as the kitchen help, his whippings of their menfolk until their vertebrae were gleaning white, the purchase of a pricey Mandingo buck for the purpose of bare-knuckle fighting, the buck’s cavorting with the mistress of the house behind locked doors, a self-loathing and possibly homosexual white son, brandings, poisonings, a slave’s miscarriage (‘She slunk her sucker’), and a myriad of other abominations. Had these been actual planters, their blatant debauchery would have earned them a vigorous tarring and feathering and a riding out of town on a rail, but who cares? The book was an instant success, spawning an entire series of sequels and imitators well into the 1980s. Their continuing popularity ensured the box office success of the belated 1975 movie adaptation, a loathsome piece of anti-white exploitation which Quentin Tarantino undoubtedly saw numerous times in his formative years.
The prurient imagery of the book was met with great controversy at the time, but served its larger purpose well: to taint the minds of a populace already benumbed with MLK coverage in regards to the unmitigated holocaust that was the peculiar institution. It served the same purpose that Nazi-themed S&M paperback porn did in Israel at the same time. Given its content, it’s very, very difficult to find a copy these days, and almost impossible to find an unabridged copy, but the blurb on the back of the paperback edition of Mandingo‘s first sequel Drum sets an identical high-minded tone:
The world of DRUM is a world of brutality, lust, and miscegenation…where chained slaves are sold like cattle…where prize specimens, male and female, are chosen to work in exotic bordellos and on slave-breeding plantations…where masters, drunk with the power of life and death, force their slaves to entertain them with unspeakable acts.2
As you can see, we’re not talking Shelby Foote here. And throughout the text, Onstott uses his undeniable talents for Marxist sensationalism to glorify the ugly and the profane:
White men, Tamboura had discovered, were his enemies. He was suddenly aware of the vast, unbridgable gulf between black and white. A white man could be kind if he wanted something. Mongo Don had wanted to paint him and he was kind; Captain MacPherson wanted to sell him, so he was kind. Tangley was kind because he wanted something, too, but just what it was, Tamboura did not understand. (page 77.)
Babouin was an ill-formed beast of a man with the preposterous claim that he had been fathered by a gorilla in Africa. However, when one looked at him, the claim did not seem so unlikely, for the fellow looked enough like an ape to have been the offspring of one…His head was small and mongoloid with a low forehead and huge prognathous jaws. Small yellow eyes squinted out from under overhanging brows and the fact that both ears had been chewed off added nothing to his appearance. (page 257.)
To scar every slave with lashes would certainly put a stigma on the Falconhurst breed. To kill them would be useless, for although slaves were essentially cattle, unlike steers they were worthless when dead for neither their flesh nor their hides were marketable. (page 429.)
These, of course, being passages suitable for a family page, you can well imagine what depths the rest of the book plunges into. Yet, if you were to show some of these passages to the likes of Joel McDurmon and his minions, would they be able to identify it as a fictional account? It is extremely unlikely. The horrors depicted in Mandingo and Drum would put Solzhenitsyn to shame, and thus radical egalitarians would latch onto these sagas as gospel truth, adhering as they do to their confirmation bias. And just as Jewish polemicists have shamelessly usurped many of the mournful episodes related by Solzhenitsyn for use in their own Holocaust™, so too have blacks usurped many of Mandingo‘s vignettes as part of their ‘experience’…also to Jewry’s advantage, as part of their multi-billion dollar bereavement industry. Though virtually forgotten today, Kyle Onstott definitely deserves a place of honor in the Disinfo Agent Hall of Fame.3
Well, such tripe might be savory enough fare for your commonplace pervert who frequents cinemas where raincoats are required, but that just won’t do for the mainstream liberal hoi polloi, you realize! Theirs being a more refined plateau of perversion, they are naturally on the lookout for more in the vein of profundity. What good’s an interracial sex scene without a dose of existentialism to make the entire exercise even more futile, after all? This niche was quickly filled. In the wake of the ongoing Mandingorgy, a ‘serious’ slavery metanarrative (or, to be more succinct, agenda-driven fiction) made its mark: William Styron’s 1967 bestseller (aren’t they all?) The Confessions of Nat Turner.
This was important stuff, let me tell you. In depicting an imaginary account of the factual Nat Turner uprising in 1831 Virginia – and aided immeasurably by the fact that the protagonist left behind virtually no record of his character traits, allowing a whimsical author to concoct whatever fantastic image of him was desired, like a child playing around with a Mr. Potato Head – Styron was able to give his artistic pretensions free rein. And given that this was the era in which MLK was attaining legendary status, and also the era that the Black Panthers began their campaigns of mayhem, he thought it would serve his purpose best to combine the two into one composite character. Thus, the Ned Turner of the novel is an itinerant slave lay preacher with messianic tendencies that compel him towards leading a sloppy yet deadly rebellion against all the whites in his area. And yes indeed, he does spend the entirety of the novel lusting after various white women. Why do you ask?
Yet Styron displays considerably more guile than Onstott does in implementing his vision. Nat is our first-person narrator throughout, and isn’t he an erudite sort? He always has a six-bit word or twenty on hand to express his innermost angst, and being a most put-upon brutha, he expresses such constantly. Here he expostulates on the hell he endured toiling for one of the many, many masters he circulates through in the course of the novel:
In the mornings I sweated for the Reverend Eppes, chopping wood, toting water, sweeping, whitewashing the outer timbers of the house and the church – an unending task not made easier by the fact that the whitewash often froze on the brush. After midday dinner (we bowed our heads together in blessing and then ate in silence in the kitchen, he on the single chair, I crouched on my haunches on the floor, devouring a meal that was unvaryingly terrible – fatback and corn pone drenched in molasses – but at least abundant: in that fearsome weather my protector could not afford to have his labor source lose power through meager victualing) there would come a rattling of wagon wheels outside on the frozen rutted ground, and a cry: “It’s me, George Dunn, Parson! I’ve got the nigger this afternoon!” And off I would go to the Dunn place three miles away at the edge of the pine-woods, there to work for another six hours felling trees, burning brush, emptying privies, shelling corn or performing any of a dozen low and muscle-wrenching chores it might strike a doomed, chilblained red-necked Baptist farmer needed doing. (pg. 235)4
As you might perceive, a virulent anti-Christian theme runs throughout the novel – not in the least because the Reverend Eppes is eventually revealed to be a rapacious homosexual with designs on big black Nat. This, obviously, being before the Stonewall riots raised all our consciousness yet again. In another parallel to the phony MLK, this does not stop Turner from adopting the mien of a man of a cloth and preaching incendiary dialect-laden sermons to his fellow Africans:
“My brothers,” I said in a gentler tone, “many of you has been to church with yo’ mastahs and mist’esses at the Whitehead church or up Shiloh way or down at Nebo or Mount Moriah. Most of you hasn’t got no religion. That’s awright. White man’s religion don’t teach nothin’ to black folk except to obey ole mastah and live humble – walk light and talk small. That’s awright. But them of you that recollects they Bible teachin’ knows about Israel in Egypt an’ the peoples that was kept in bondage. Them peoples was Jewish peoples an’ they had names just like us black folk – like you right there, Nathan, an’ you, Joe – Joe is a Jewish name – an’ you there, Daniel. Them Jews was just like the black folk. They had to sweat they fool asses off fo’ ole Pharoah. That white man had them Jews haulin’ wood an’ pullin’ rock and thrashin’ corn an’ makin’ bricks until they was near ’bout dead an’ didn’t git no penny for none of it neither, like ev’y livin’ mothah’s son of us, them Jews was in bondage. (page 295)
It would appear Styron decided that throwing in a little Malcolm X and Elie Wiesel into this composite character would be rather fitting, as well. Christianity, being the white debbil’s fabrication to keep blacks and Jews in their place, is only fit as a platform for subversion, and Turner takes this espionage to its inevitable conclusion in the novel’s climax:
I had laid my fingers on the haft of the ax again – dismayed at my irresolution and clumsiness, trembling in every bone – when there now took place that unforeseen act which would linger in my mind during whatever remaining days I was granted the power of memory…Will hurled his body into the narrow space between myself and Travis, and his small black shape seemed to grow immense, somehow amorous, enveloping Travis’s night-shirted figure in a brief embrace, almost as if he had joined him in a lascivious dance. There were no words spoken as Will and Travis met thus in the torchlight glare; only Miss Sarah’s scream, rising now to an even higher pitch of delirium, informed me of the true nature of the anxious coupling. So quickly that it took a moment for me to realize that the flash of light I glimpsed was from one of the hatchets, honed to an exquisite edge. I saw Will’s arm go skyward, all black resistless sinew, and come down, go up again, and down, up and down once more, then he jumped backward and away, parted company with this companion he had so intimately clasped, and it was at that instant that Travis’s head, gushing blood from a matrix of pulpy crimson flesh, rolled from his neck and fell to the floor with a single bounce, then lay still. (pg. 369)
All right, I believe that’s more than enough. Needless to say, the only difference between this torture porn and that found in Mandingo is the gushing (appropriate!) reviews bestowed upon the former from New York Times reviewers with Ashkenazi surnames. And gush did they all, as this offal was awarded the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and established Styron’s literary reputation among liberal wannabe aesthetes. He would later write the novel Sophie’s Choice, about a Polish Catholic woman hashing out her inner turmoil over her harrowing experiences in Auschwitz with her Jewish lover in Brooklyn, before both commit mutual suicide at book’s end. Did I mention Styron was a native Southerner?
Mandingo and Confessions therefore both acted as bookends engrafting the popular misconception of slavery firmly within the pointed heads of the populace – one a rank work of gratuitous smut, and the other a rank work of pseudo-profound smut. Both had the audacity to presume a ‘historical’ basis, but what original sources could they have been using? One would be tempted to say the heralded slave narratives compiled in the 1930s, given that they were conducted by sociologists and anthropologists newly graduated from America’s increasingly Marxist university system and remitted via WPA grant money. Alan Lomax, who amassed many slave ballads as part of his publicly-funded compilation of American folk music, was the most renowned of these glorified census takers and was an avowed socialist. Only one problem, though: it has long been widely unreported that the majority of the narratives’ participants portrayed their former lives in a positive light or, at least, in a light that did not reflect on their station one way or the other. The contented servant knows not that he is a pauper. Despite the cajolery of their interviewers, who must have thought pumping octogenarian Africans’ brains for false memories would be a cakewalk, only a handful of the narratives – say, 20% – could be construed as a condemnation of slavery as a whole. This has long been a bugaboo for the Left, who have blamed the disappointing results of their flummery on most of the interviewers being white and thus unable to properly relate to their subjects on an intimate level. Shocking, ain’t it? At any rate, the minority report became the basis for the resultant media Homiedomor over the next 80+ years, and even the ‘serious’ treatments of slavery that followed found it impossible to resist emphasizing the grubbier aspects of their graven image, for purposes of marketability as well as ideology.
As standards were placed into a time capsule and shot off to the dark side of Uranus, never to return again, Hollywood came to call. Seeing the profitable succession of the low Mandingo and ‘high’ Confessions, movies depicting slavery would follow a similar pattern – a mixture of crap for the grindhouse and ‘prestige’ for Cannes, often following hot upon the heels of one another, as trends dictated. 1969 saw the release of the painfully earnest dud Slaves, created by and starring many formerly blacklisted Hollywood figures, followed almost immediately by a junky flurry of movies about escaped slaves fleeing to the Western frontier and sticking it to Whitey out there (Soul Soldier, Charley One-Eye, The Legend of Nigger Charley, etc.) Those who needed a shower after a 3 AM screening of Black Snake could salve their social conscience by viewing the Emmy-award winning The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman on tee vee, starring Cicely Tyson as E.T.’s sister. The theatrical releases of Mandingo and its sequel Drum was followed by another milestone in Southern revisionism: the acclaimed 1977 miniseries Roots, based on the plagiarized novel by black author Alex Haley and which ushered in a brief enthusiasm for genealogical research among whites that their own history and culture presumably could never trigger. Its success would lead to a sequel and imitators such as Freedom Road, starring that great thespian Muhammad Ali. And so on and so forth up to the present. Tarantino’s nihilistic (and Oscar-nominated) Django Unchained served as a hearty warm-up for the sober pretentiousness of the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave , a reboot of Roots, and the irreverently-named Birth of a Nation, a dramatization of (hey!) Nat Turner’s rebellion. Having thus come full circle, I rest my case.
So, whaddaya think? Is it likely that alt-left abolitionists (sorry for the redundancy) such as Trevaris J. Tutt got their enlightened notions on the nature of slavery from actual research from original source materials, or from imbibing lies in print and on celluloid, ‘quality’ or otherwise, over the course of their lives? How many of the aforementioned media products are required reading in the public skoolz, or required viewing during A/V class or a field trip to the multiplex? Are you going to await with bated breath Confederate or any other pop-cultural alternative to your inheritance?
It is ironic indeed that the current obligation among SJWs is to refer to slavery exclusively as ‘chattel’ slavery, relegating the servant to the status of merchandise, when their entire worldview was manufactured in the dream machine of a disreputable publishing house or a movie studio. ‘My People are destroyed for lack of knowledge’, saith the God of all wisdom in Hosea 4:6. And infotainment is no substitute for knowledge.
- Gevinson, Alvin, Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911-1960. University of California Press, pg. 956. From https://infogalactic.com/info/Song_of_the_South#cite_note-Gevinson-40 ↩
- Fawcett Crest paperback reprint, 1962. ↩
- What of the character of the author himself? According to his Goodreads profile, Onstott was ‘the son of a midwestern general store owner, (who) moved to California with his widowed mother in the early 1900s and was a local breeder and judge in regional dog shows. He was an eccentric who was happy with a life of little work, ample cigarettes, and gin. After collaborating with his adopted son on a book on dog breeding, he decided to write a book that would make him rich. Utilizing his son’s anthropology research on West Africa, he handwrote Mandingo and his son served as editor.’ Just the kind of a grubby indolent plagiarizing parasite you would expect to be holed up in an attic in London penning The Communist Manifesto. (First quoted by Ruby Maxa, “The Master of Mandingo”, The Washington Post, July 13, 1975.) ↩
- All passages taken from Signet Books paperback edition, 1968. ↩