Blackface-KKK: I Can’t Believe He Did That

Well, well, well… Who woulda thunk it. The Democratic governor of Virginia dressed himself up in blackface or a KKK hood when he was in medical school. I Can’t Believe He Did That!

Yay! Auto-da-fé! À la lanterne! To the Lubyanka! Death to the Kulaks! Set up the struggle session for the class -- oops, race -- enemy!

Earth to lefties: almost all of your sacred revolutions end up eating their own. Sorry about that, Ralph Northam (D-VA).

How hard is it to grasp that nearly all the chaps that have been directing the ritual humiliations for the last 100 years have been totalitarian lefties: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot? With a brief intermission for the “H” word in the 1930s and 1940s.

I mean, anyone with half a brain knows that public naming and shaming is the vilest thing in human culture -- unless it’s the “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” practiced by Britain’s Henry VII and U.S. special prosecutors.

And really, blackface and the KKK are so yesterday.

We are supposed to be ashamed of blackface because it demeaned blacks. And no doubt some good little academic has proved that blackface was a monstrous and white supremacist cultural appropriation of authentic black culture. Nevertheless, minstrelsy was a popular musical form -- popular with whites -- for a hundred years. Why do you think the first talkie was The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson? Racism? My nickel says that the Hollywood bean-counters reckoned that making the first talkie about minstrelsy would lower the risk of the first talking picture. Remember the scene in Singin’ in the Rain where they laughed at the notion of talkies?

Did you know that the very popular "Black and White Minstrel Show" ran on the BBC (Oh No!) from 1958 until 1978 when it was banned for racism? I would say that if James Watson, at 90, gets to be unpersoned for daring to connect race and IQ, then every BBC executive from 1955 to 1985 should be… well, something or other.

And what about jazz clubs? How dare, how dare you ageing white Bernie lookalike hepcats go to jazz clubs and make like you are just as rhythmic as your average black homeboy! Raciss!

And what about Elvis? Wasn’t his music inspired by gospel, country music, and blues? Cultural appropriation and vile mixing up of genres from different races cultures! Okay, that’s it, Elvis. You’re outta here!

Now let us talk about the KKK. The Ku Klux Klan was the street-thug department of the Democratic Party in the Jim Crow South. And, I read recently, its main job was to intimidate whites! It makes sense. The biggest threat to Jim Crow would be soft-hearted white voters, so it was essential to keep them in line. Now that the Jim Crow South is history -- as it was way back in 1984 -- the KKK is a footnote. But the street-thug department of today’s U.S. ruling class, AntiFa, is very much alive, and I suppose its real job is not to beat up far-right white supremacists, but to keep the liberal faithful in line. And just last week I was read about the colectivos, the street thugs of the Maduro regime, “on every street corner” in Caracas.

For me, the worst thing about the KKK is that it culturally appropriated the fraternal organization culture (Masons, Elks, Moose, Eagles, IOOF etc.) and its charming practice of goofy titles -- like the Elks’ Grand Esteemed Leading Knight -- and wacky uniforms, like the Masonic apron. But if you were setting up a ruling-class street-thug outfit in the 19th century, of course you would make it look like a beneficial fraternal organization. Just like our rulers like to make AntiFa look like “mostly peaceful protesters.”

But who cares? The humiliation of blackface is over; African Americans are full citizens now. The horror of the KKK as Southern U.S. colectivos is over; let’s make fun of it.

Why not? Well, we know. The ruling class cares. It cares about telling us what we cannot say and do.

Why should we worry about what a dull liberal pro-abortion anti-racist Democratic governor did when he was a bratty kid in med school? The ruling class has declared racists to be the worst thing in the world, the Beckys all agree, and the whole thing is under control, right?

A ruling class that deserved the name would allow and even secretly encourage baaad stuff. It would know that by condoning dissent and barbed satire it would really be protecting its power project by allowing potential heads of rebellion to show their faces. And, of course, our wise rulers would have read their Shakespeare and know with Olivia reproving her Puritan butler Malvolio that “there is no slander in an allowed fool / Though he do nothing but rail.”

But our rulers are idiots.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.