En Brer Fox, He Lay Low
By Paul H. Yarbrough
Oct 9, 2017
Another Southern city with a rich history has fallen into the wallow of political pus. Who knows who represents the final word on the subject, although when it comes to these miscreants, these political poltroons, it is difficult to rummage through the dung of their dogmatic house to reveal any one germ.
Now Memphis’ Orepheum Theatre Group has banned Gone With the Wind. No surprise really. Like self-important Pharisees the “powers-to-be” raise their self-righteousness beyond levels that angels can reach. These crabbing, pitiful, unlaborious protestors (or just as unlaborious—politicians) must show their care for some group of mankind’s maligned people of some special group of color or trait or position or whatever; though these same Pharisees-claimants insist on the people of the world’s equality.
If all are equal how can there be differences in treatment i.e. how to tell which equal is not equal. But this is the kind of reasoning (or lack of) one is faced with in contemporary society e.g. public education. NOW, I see where Orwell came up with his fairy-tale-farm idea.
One of my personal collection of movies, Song of the South, I watched the other night for the “several-th” time. (my wonderful Louisiana wife of 43 years and I used to love to watch it together). Walt Disney may have been from Chicago but he must have been steered early by noble encouragement. The truth is, Uncle Remus was the smartest guy in the story. A Socratic black man with a walking cane, a story and a song. Eat your heart out Al Sharpton.
However, I doubt this movie will be seen on television (unless my dream of a Southern cable channel ever develops) any time soon. I suspect anyone reading this will know the reason without my going into a P.C. rant (which I don’t mind doing if there are any requests). However, I think copies are available on VHS or DVD for those who beat the online bushes. I also may note that some passing “news” item via the internet, posited it as “Walt Disney’s most (were there a lot?) racist movie ever.”
I had stories read to me at about the time the movie came out (and I saw at the picture show) by my grandmothers of some of the Harris tales of Brer Bear, Brer Fox, et al. And they both read as the stories were written in the dialect of the era where I could feel myself in the story: “Tar Baby ain’t sayin’nothin’, en Brer Fox, he lay low.” And always, I believed that Uncle Remus was a character filled with wisdom, with kindness and with genuine affection for white people who loved him. He didn’t look down on them because a few had once owned slaves. This was the tale: A black (negro) man who was the most profound character in the story.
I read in an obscure anthology I have, The Literature of the South that: “That taken as a whole, his (Harris’) writing did much to reduce the sectional hostility that lingered after the Civil (sic) War.” But if Harris did much to reduce hostility, the present hostility toward all things Southern has taken root for other reasons.
One day in a coffee shop with friends we were coffee-talking about this and that. During the gathering some of the above mentioned observations came up. One of the group, a friend, and a nice guy from New York noted that the reason Gone with the Wind had fallen in the eyes of the nation was because of the crazy political correctness that had permeated society. In general, group agreement followed his comments.
But I asked the following: “What could be more P.C. than GWTW? Read the book. Watch the movie. The wisest character in the story was a black woman–Mammie. The shrewdest business-person in the story was a woman–Scarlett O’hara. The All-South aristocrat, Ashley Wilkes stated that he was going to free his inherited slaves after his father died. The sweetest, kindest most honorable character in the story was a woman–Melanie Wilkes. And the rogue, the scoundrel, was a white male– Rhett Butler.”
What do these P.C. fools want? (There–a rant). Across town from our coffee spot is an office occupied by one of the most pitiful of congressional representatives from among the lowly 435, Shelia Jackson Lee. She makes Prissy look like Plato. But every election she gets 95 percent of the black vote in a mostly black district. And no matter what, she will for as long as she runs. Now, that is what the P.C. crowd wants. They don’t care about wise and kind blacks or advancement for colored people. They care about votes. And they will do anything to attain that goal, including burning the South again, if expedient.
Shelia and the P.C. crowd ain’t never going to punch that Tar-Baby. They know the story. They’re going to be like Brer Fox, and just lay low.
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