Saturday, January 19, 2013

Uncle Joe's Shack

We have a strange slang word , Uncle Tom, in our language that has come to be a slur to mean according to on-line Merriam-Webster

  1. : a black who is overeager to win the approval of whites (as by obsequious behavior or uncritical acceptance of white values and goals)
  2. : a member of a low-status group who is overly subservient to or cooperative with authority <the worst floor managers and supervisors by far are women … Some of them are regular Uncle Toms— Jane Fonda>
That certainly was not Harriet Beecher Stowe's intent, but that is lost on the prevailing attitudes of the heavily indoctrinated minds of today.  Joan Hedrick discusses a little of how it has come about:

Grafted onto the minstrel tradition, the stage versions of Stowe’s novel often portrayed Stowe’s hero as a shuffling, humorous Sambo. 
The Christ-like pacifism that ennobled Stowe’s Tom appeared to many in the increasingly confrontational racial politics of the twentieth century as subservience, or as James Weldon Johnson wrote in 1912, “foolishly good”—behavior that became branded as “like Uncle Tom.”
Stowe’s literary reputation, very high in the nineteenth century, was also declining as modernist critics viewed the work of Stowe and other politically motivated women writers as “melodramatic” and "sentimental.”

Such critic's views and the slur that gained acceptance are pure poppycock.  Uncle Tom's overt subservience was simply a survival technique in the face of an unbearable situation.  It's no different than people today swallowing their pride, integrity, and opinions to please their masters and keep their job.

Even though Uncle Tom appeared overly subservient, he continued to perform other overt acts of resistance to the evils of slavery in testiment to the power of his faith.  Specifically, he stood his ground refusing to beat other slaves when ordered to do so at a high cost of being severely beaten himself and he refused to give up information on runaways, Cassy and Emmeline, telling his evil master, Legree, that he would rather die than speak.   He stood stoically defiant, refusing to capitulate or run away, always displaying great integrity, courage and faith in the face of adversity.  Though he refuse to run away to seek freedom for himself, he encouraged others to do so and he was neither a snitch or a sell-out. 

As George Shelby spoke about the death of Uncle Tom upon setting his slaves free:

It was on his grave, my friends, that I resolved, before God, that I would never own another slave, while it is possible to free him; that nobody, through me, should ever run the risk of being parted from home and friends, and dying on a lonely plantation, as he died. So, when you rejoice in your freedom, think that you owe it to that good old soul, and pay it back in kindness to his wife and children. Think of your freedom, every time you see uncle tom’s cabin; and let it be a memorial to put you all in mind to follow in his steps, and be as honest and faithful and Christian as he was.”

He built a cabin of faith which became a light for liberty.  Though a fictional creation of Ms Stowe, he was a real man.  He was a leader.

What Makes a Leader?

Uncle Tom's character reminds me of my favorite scene from "Scent of a Woman" where Col Frank Slade defends Charlie with an empassioned speech to the disciplinary board which was addressing a recommendation for his expulsion for similarly refusing to rat-out fellow classmates as Uncle Tom refused to divulge the whereabouts of fellow fugitive slaves:


"As I came in here, I heard those words, cradle of leadership.  Well, when the bough breaks the cradle will fall.  And it has fallen here.  It has fallen.  Makers of men.  Creaters of leaders.  Be very careful what kind of leaders you're producing here." 

I couldn't explain that any better.

What We Have Today - The Building Uncle Joe's Shack

Today, we have people heading the government who call themselves leaders.  They are representatives chosen to uphold the Constitutional basis for law, which unfortunately, all but a precious few totally disregard.  Many graduated from the schools of indoctrination of false ideas where public service is code word for grab all you can for your own self interest.

Now we have Uncle Joe Biden's committee making recommendations to please Dear Leader that resulted in 23 executive orders that sell out our honest law-abiding citizens while doing little more than compel an already bankrupt government to spend even more money on mostly ineffective 'fixes'.  Well, those fixes aren't exactly benign as this article in the Washington Post informs us.  I won't go into all of them here for there are plenty of observations out there like this beauty from Spellchek that hightlight problems with a few of them.

This current crusade is following exactly the same process used by the anti-smokers aligned with government to run their campaign to dehumanize, demonize, and demoralize smokers through the medical community funded by money taken from smokers themselves.  Those anti-smoking campaigns spilled over into property rights issues which resulted in bans in privately owned businesses, thus a taking of private property with no compensation.  They laughed at us fighting those battles that it will spill over into other areas of our lives.  The battles rage on over fatty foods and size of soft drinks, and now the right to bear arms.  The slippery slope is indeed real. 

We have people like Mayor Corey Booker of Newark, NJ, calling for snitches and offering taxpayer cash to the rats.

A simple Google search will show some examples of the increasing frequency of wrong house raids, many based on unreliable informants working for authorities and getting paid by mitigating their own troubles with the law.

The examples go on and on and on and on....

Have we built that rat ship where we're asked constantly to sell out our neighbors and subject them to the disciplinary whims of our slave masters used to increase their power over us?  The current class of politicians acting only for their own self-interest do that quite well.  Uncle Joe is merely one of the DC elite helping to build a shack of bondage, which among other things commandeers the medical community to collect information to rat out their patients.

Where We Need to Go for a Better Tomorrow

Again, there are no such things as "inalienable rights", even those certain rights enshrined in the Constitution's Bill of Rights as I tried to convey with "What the Hell Are Rights Anyway?"  Those rights are indeed fragile as butterfly wings.  There is only struggle to maintain what rights we do have, so struggle we must. 

Let us remember the lessons from Uncle Tom and look upon the shack that Uncle Joe is building to strengthen the tyrannical bonds which enslave us with disdain to give us strength to maintain liberty.

We must not capitulate. We must not sell out our neighbors into the bonds of tyranny. The path chosen, if the right path, will not be easy as Col Slade reminded us is always "too damn hard." It never will be easy to do the right thing and though the political elite keep complaining about how hard their job is, they never seem to ever go down the right path.  Speak out and give them directions.  Most importantly, we need to follow that path ourselves and fight for the freedom of others as well as for our own.

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