Brown v Board of Education, not Kipling: The real “white man’s burden”

white-man's-burden

Historians (and other politicians) often “get it wrong”—sometimes by lies, sometimes by ignorance. Following is an explanation of how plenty historians, whether by ignorance or dishonesty, inaccurately report two famous texts: (1) Rudyard Kipling’s excellent poem, The White Man’s Burden, and (2) The U.S. Supreme Court’s terrible decision in the case Brown v. Board of Education (1954)[1]—the court case that “desegregated schools in the United States.”


Contents:
1. The White Man’s Burden
1.1 The Sales Pitch
1.2 Modern Misunderstanding
1.2(a) Haphazard Histrionics
1.2(b) Straw bullets for strawmen
1.2(c) But it’s in the dictionary!
1.2(d) A swift analogy

2. Brown v. Board
2.1 Cult of Brown
2.2 But das racis!
2.3 Reasoning in Brown v. Board
2.4 The real “white man’s burden”

Conclusion
Addendum: The White Man’s Burden, in full
Notes

1. The White Man’s Burden

1.1 The sale’s pitch. You are a salesman. The government hires you to sell a war to your fellow citizens. After much thought, you are ready to present the marketing strategy. Here are the quotes for your ad-campaign to popularize the war:

“Let’s take our best sons and bind them to exile among half-devil-half-child savages!”

“Let’s make our countrymen servants to the needs of captive savages in distant lands!”

“Let’s arduously earn blame, hatred, and ingratitude from those whom we liberate!”

“Cries for ‘freedom’ are no excuse to avoid war!”

Great strategy, right?

1.2 Modern misunderstanding. Well, generations of incompetent historians have attributed those precise, word-for-word, ridiculous ideas to Rudyard Kipling, by the historians’ ridiculous, indefensible analysis of Kipling’s 1899 poem, “The White Man’s burden.”[2]

Read the poem in the addendum, and you should recognize that the “voice” of The White Man’s Burden—is that of the government; the “audience” of The White Man’s Burden—is the commoners whom the government would force into the service of government’s imperialism; and the content of The White Man’s Burden—is Kipling’s perspective on the unflattering way government must describe its imperialism, if government is to describe accurately the effect of imperialism on the commoner.

The poem’s opening stanza satirically shouts “bind your sons to exile”! And everything else in the poem is also clearly critical of the consequences of imperialism. Yet the obviously anti-imperialism satire is pretended to be PRO-imperialism—pretended by incompetent historians, and the political prostitutes whom they birth and who birthed them.

1.2(a) Haphazard Histrionics. Fast-forward 120 years, and the incompetence continues. Fordham University’s History department introduces the poem by describing Kipling as “Britain’s imperial poet.”[3] Johns Hopkins University’s “high quality, peer reviewed” Project Muse states that “Kipling’s aim was to encourage the American government to take over the Philippines.”[4]

1.2(b) Straw bullets for strawmen. Some “scholars” waste even more of their time and embarrass themselves even further. Published as part of an “American Social History Project”[5] at the City University of New York, “American Studies scholar” Jim Zwick applies the same indefensible analysis of Kipling, then mixes into the curriculum[6] various mind-numbing “parodies” of The White Man’s Burden (e.g. The Black Man’s Burden,[7] and The Brown Man’s Burden[8]), and then quotes Mark Twain as saying, “The White Man’s Burden has been sung. Who will sing the Brown Man’s?”[9]

Zwick pretends that Twain is as dumb as Zwick and the rest are (or pretend to be)—pretending that Twain’s quote criticizes Kipling. Meanwhile, Twain was, like Kipling, criticizing the “white man’s burden” pretext for colonialism. In effect, Twain was saying, “Ok, so the government (in order to justify war and conquest) has pretended that white people have a ‘burden’ of civilizing brown men—so what about brown men’s burden of civilizing themselves instead?”

After all: a “burden” is a cost, not a benefit. So the popular analysis that Kipling was saying whites (of the slave-class that would be forced into the conquest) were going to “benefit” from the burden—obviously that’s not what Kipling meant. He meant that the ruling class was inflicting a (sanctimonious) burden on the lower classes—expecting the white peasants to “seek out another’s profit and work for another’s gain,” as Kipling puts it. That “other” was the aristocracy. And Kipling’s over-the-top use of patriotic language was unambiguous mockery.

1.2(c) But it’s in the dictionary! The credulous heroes at Merriam-Webster Dictionary even contributed to the delusions against Kipling, defining White Man’s Burden as “the alleged duty of the white peoples to manage the affairs of the less developed nonwhite peoples.”[10]

1.2(d) A swift analogy. Meanwhile, to say that Kipling’s The White Man’s Burden advocates imperialism is as tone-deaf and analytically unskilled as saying that Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal actually advocates the eating of homeless people.[11]

2. Brown v. Board

2.1 Cult of Brown. Equally ridiculous is how mainstream academics and politicians worship the Supreme Court for its decision in Brown v. Board. I’ll not even provide examples. Just google “Brown v. Board of Education.” You’ll get nothing but laughable reverence for the terrible Court decision.

2.2 But das racis! Of course, plenty pawns of our extremely controlled and strictly distracted dystopia learn to chirp and bleat “racism!” anytime their overlords command. Thus, “racism!” would be the knee-jerk, brain-dead assumption among many who hear someone call Brown v. Board a “terrible decision.” After all: just like the civil war was “good vs evil” (it was not), so too Brown v. Board was about “striking down the racist separate-but-equal doctrine” and “empowering blacks” and other such fantasies. No.

2.3 Reasoning in Brown v. Board. At the end of a case, the Supreme Court gives its ruling in the case—deciding who “wins.” The Court also describes its reasoning for the ruling. Simply put: The Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board, “reasoned” that separate-but-equal was inherently unequal…against negroes…because not being around whites: that makes negro children retarded.

Yes. That was the Supreme Court’s reasoning. Feel free to read it straight from the Brown v. Board court case[12]—on page 494 (don’t worry: the case starts on page 483).

2.4 The real “white man’s burden”. Thus, Brown v. Board of Education was the real “white man’s burden,” in the pop-culture sense: the Court ruling commanded that white people (and black people) must lose their right to free-association, and that white people must instead provide their supreme presence to black people—as a way to prevent retarded black children.

…pretty noble, right?

Conclusion

Plenty people in the world are ignorant of reality. Plenty of the most ignorant people are “highly educated.” This is because academia, far more than never, is just a cult full of weak-minded, credulous losers who are objectively wasting their time (i.e. wasting their life). One example of that ignorance and waste is when “scholars” preach about evil ole Rudyard Kipling and his advocacy of imperialism through his poem, The White Man’s Burden. Another example of that ignorance and waste are the countless scholars and politicians (as well as lawyers, judges, and justices) who worship the racist losers on the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court who wrote the ridiculous decision Brown v. Board of Education. The moral of the story: don’t believe the hype.

Addendum: The White Man’s Burden, in full

Take up the White Man’s burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go send your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need
To wait in heavy harness
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child

Take up the White Man’s burden—
In patience to abide
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple
An hundred times made plain
To seek another’s profit
And work another’s gain.

Take up the White Man’s burden—
The savage wars of peace—
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hope to nought.

Take up the White Man’s burden—
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper—
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go make them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man’s burden—
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard—
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
“Why brought ye us from bondage,
“Our loved Egyptian night?”

Take up the White Man’s burden—
Ye dare not stoop to less—
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your Gods and you.

Take up the White Man’s burden-
Have done with childish days-
The lightly proffered laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

Notes


1. 347 U.S. 483.

2. Kipling, The White Man’s Burden (1899) available at https://www.bartleby.com/364/169.html

3. Paul Halsall, Modern History Sourcebook: Rudyard Kipling, The White Man’s Burden, 1899 (Fordham University 1997), accessed Nov. 2, 2019, https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/Kipling.asp

4. Patrick Brantlinger, Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” and its afterlives (Johns Hopkins University 2007), accessed Nov. 2, 2019, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/209518

5. Jim Zwick, The White Man’s Burden and its critics (CUNY), accessed Nov. 2, 2019, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/505

6. American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, Art, commentary and evidence: Analysis of The White Man’s Burden (CUNY), accessed Nov. 2, 2019, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1502

7. Lulu Baxter Guy, The Black Man’s Burden (CUNY), accessed Nov. 2, 2019, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/749

8. Henry Labouchère, The Brown Man’s Burden (CUNY), accessed Nov. 2, 2019,  https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/751

9. Note 5.

10. White Man’s Burden (Merriam-Webster), accessed Nov. 2, 2019, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20man’s%20burden

11. In his famously infamous 1729 poem, A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift sarcastically dismisses a whole lot of obvious, plausible—but politically unpopular—solutions to the homelessness and hunger in Ireland. In place of those solutions for which Swift’s writing  actually advocates—he says, more or less, “No we cannot do any of these obvious solutions—instead we gotta eat the homeless. That way, there is less hunger—and less homeless people.” The poem is available at https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1080/1080-h/1080-h.htm

12. Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (courtlistener.com), available at https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/105221/brown-v-board-of-education/?q=Brown+v.+Board

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