Is Mom’s Apple Pie a Symbol of Oppression?
There is nothing more American than mom’s apple pie. The image of the hot sugar-crusted pie is a happy memory for countless Americans. Variations of this tasty dessert belong to all American mothers regardless of race or ethnic origin.
Leave it to progressive demagogues to find a way to tear down this cultural icon. They cannot let an apple be an apple. They deconstruct an apple pie to always find a hidden racist or oppressive narrative.
The Left rejects the truth that apple pie is just an easy-to-make dessert. Instead, it denounces what it calls “food injustice.” This sour exercise consists of tracing food origins and reading oppressive narratives into them. These same people will look at modern food chains and find exploitive labor and other practices embedded in their production processes.
Perhaps because it is an American icon, the Left’s food police attack the apple, claiming it is guilty of genocide. In the kangaroo court of food injustice, no one is allowed to speak in the apple’s defense.
Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World’s Food System (Brooklyn: Melville House, 2012), makes a ruthless case against the apple and apple pie.
In an article in the Guardian, he claims the apple has nothing American about it. The fruit tree was imported from Europe and imposed upon the natives. Its introduction was part of “a vast and ongoing genocide of indigenous people.”
The Apple as an Oppressive Tool
The author does not even allow Europeans to claim the apple as their own. Long ago, apples came from central Asia and found their way into Europe through trade (and presumably without genocide). The apple became an important food in both Asia and Europe for millennia. For centuries, the apple steered clear of offending and oppressing people.
The case against the apple gets serious with its introduction into America by the hated Spaniards in the early sixteenth century. Patel claims the fruit became a tool of colonization wherever it went. The apple could not remain an apple. It became a sign of occupation, not healthy nourishment. Pioneers and settlers imposed it on the peoples they oppressed.
Things got worse for the apple as it took root and flourished in the native soil of the English colonies. Colonial officials saw the trees as a sure sign that the land had been “improved” and taken from the wilderness. The author says the trees became “markers of colonized property” and symbolized intruders who uprooted indigenous communities.
Unlike the leftist theorists, most colonials saw only apple trees. They were unaware of their crime. Indeed, the apple can claim it is the most cultivated fruit worldwide, celebrated by all peoples and cultures. Wherever it goes, it has kept the doctor away with its health benefits and excellent taste. In America, the Europeans introduced the tree (that crossed with the native crabapple) to secure an abundant and varied food supply to inhabitants that often experienced food insecurity. Alas, nothing about the apple’s many benefits is allowed in its defense.
Not the Apple but Property
However, a closer look reveals that the real culprit on the docket at food injustice court is not the poor apple. The Left hates property, not the apple. Patel presents the damning evidence by claiming that “apple trees had become markers of civilization, which is to say property.”
Rousseau could not have said it better. Cursed be all property that establishes civilization wherever it takes hold! Cursed be all apple trees that mark a property, making it beautiful and productive!
Property is the foundation for a civilization that provides stability for the family and allows traditions to flourish. Private property is where apples can be produced, homes with mothers can be built, and pie recipes can be handed down.
The Abolition of Private Property
That is why the Left hates private property, which it calls “theft.” Property lies at the center of its class struggle dialectic between the haves and have nots. Marx said that his whole doctrine could be summarized as the abolition of private property.
When put in the context of an attack on private property, the poor apple’s framing and canceling make sense. The Left’s narratives turn all property markers into instruments of oppression. It hates all signs of Christian civilization that work to improve fallen human nature. All situations of tribal egalitarian misery are turned into idyllic fantasies of the “noble savage.” In its desire to level everything, the left leaves no stone unturned or apple tree standing.
The charges against the apple are absurd. However, this is no laughing matter as the radical Left is deadly serious. Nothing escapes the cruel tyranny of the food injustice thugs, not even mom’s apple pie.
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