The Southern Agrarian

Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Tag: southern gentleman

White Privilege – Guilty As Charged

This is a slightly updated version of something I first wrote and published on February 17, 2011. It could be considered an illustration of my personal motto – Not for Our Time, but for All Time. Not for All People, but for Our People – and it remains one of my favorites.


One cannot be a vocal advocate of the Southern people, and our heritage and culture, without encountering the topic of race on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be that way but it is, so it must be confronted head-on.

We have all been hearing recently about the concept of White Privilege – what our accusers seem to define as an unearned, unmerited advantage that Whites have over other races. To that I answer, “Guilty As Charged.”

Let’s look at this White Privilege that gives me an “unfair” advantage over others:

  • I have the privilege of being raised by both my mother and my father in a stable home where drugs, alcohol, and crime never intruded.
  • I have the privilege of being raised by parents who understood the value of education and insisted that I and my siblings take learning seriously.
  • I have the privilege of being taught at an early age that making sacrifices today in order to have something better tomorrow is one of the keys to progress.
  • I have the privilege of having grandparents who taught my parents these same values – and generation upon generation before them.
  • I have the privilege of learning about the Western European culture – the music, the literature, the science, the art – that has enriched the lives of all who care to take advantage of that culture; freely bestowed on all who care for the finer things of mankind.
  • I have the privilege of having a strong work ethic instilled in me from a young age.
  • I have the privilege of being raised in a Christian home and taught about the wholly undeserved love of a God who would sacrifice His only Son to pay for my sins.

All these privileges were given to me, completely undeserved and unearned. They were given to me by the generations that came before me because they put the best interest of their children above all else. If other races or other groups of people choose to live for their own immediate gratification with little thought for the fate and reputation of their descendants, then that is their choice. It is my fondest hope – and expectation – that one day my grandchildren, when accused of White Privilege, will proudly proclaim “Guilty As Charged”.


Edited to add: I recorded this 2 minute video for those who prefer that format. If you would like to share this post among our people, I would be most grateful.

A Personal Motto

Every Southern gentleman, indeed, every man, should have a personal motto – a touchstone that his thoughts and actions can be compared to. Have you set high standards for yourself – and for your family? Are you measuring up to those high standards? Having a personal motto is a way that we can hold ourselves accountable to our core beliefs. As a Christian, I am accountable first to God’s word in The Bible; after that, my motto.

For me, it is the distilled wisdom of my ancestors as I understand it. If they could speak, this is what they would say to me. This is my personal motto.

 

Not for Our Time, but for All Time.
Not for All People, but for Our People.

 

Not for Our Time, but for All Time – This reminds me to take the long term view. The world does not revolve around me. It reminds me that everything does not begin and end with me. It reminds me that I am but one link in a chain that extends back countless generations and will extend into the future with those who come after I am long dead and gone. It is illustrated by planting trees whose shade I will not live to enjoy and whose fruit I will never taste. It is about making sure that those who come after me can enjoy every possible benefit that I can pass along so that they can do the same when it is their turn.

In addition, it is a reminder to keep my eyes on the eternal rather than the temporal. It is the essence of Christianity.  It brings to mind Memento Mori – Latin for “Remember your mortality.” Memento Mori has been a popular theme in art and philosophy since about the 1600’s and is the reason that many paintings from that time include a human skull.

 

Not for All People, but for Our People – Family first. While I wish all the best for everyone, my family always comes first. Always.

Family is a genetic connection. My family is those with whom I have the closest genetic similarities. I see the family as a series of ever larger concentric circles with myself and my closest relatives inside the innermost circle, followed by cousins and aunts and uncles in the next circle, followed by ever more distant relatives. We share the same DNA. It is in our blood. At some point in that series of circles, it changes from Our People to Other People.

Does that mean there is a racial aspect to this? Of course – and without apology. Family is defined, at the most basic level, as sharing the same basic genetics, and those with whom I have the most in common genetically, are those of my own race. I expect other people to show the same preference for their people and for them to consider me as “Other People”. That is how it should be, and any man worthy of his family name would do the same.

Is every one of my race “Our People”? No, it is not as simple and clear-cut as that, since there is also a spiritual/cultural aspect to it. There are some who are genetically close to me, yet we have nothing else in common. The reverse is also true. It cannot be reduced to some sort of skin color test, yet race is a determining factor in whether someone is Our People or Other People.

A personal motto goes to the heart of being a Southern gentleman – honor, loyalty, holding ourselves accountable, knowing what is right and then doing it. What is your personal motto? If you don’t yet know what it is, then take the time to discover it. It took me many months to discover and refine mine. It is well worth the time and effort.

Making the Best of it

The Tolkien quote above is one of my favorites, and it is certainly applicable to the incredible instability in the world today. Life happens, and for the most part, we are just along for the ride.

What matters is what we do with the circumstances we find ourselves in. As for me, I choose to be a Southern gentleman – regardless of the situation. It is my choice, what I do with the current situation. That really came into focus as my wife and I walked through our local Publix grocery store yesterday. The employees were frantically trying to stock the shelves while answering questions about empty shelves, the cashiers were doing their best to explain rationing to customers, and the aisles were crowded. Unlike stories I’ve heard of fights over the last roll of toilet paper, people were calm and polite, but the tension was palpable. It is my choice, so I choose to go out of my way to smile, say “thank you” wherever appropriate, and tell a couple of the employees that I appreciate what they’re doing and what they are going through. It makes a difference, both to them and to me. Another benefit is that it gives us a feeling of control at a time when everything seems to be spinning out of control.

How will we use the additional time spent at home? I hope we think it over carefully and look at it as an opportunity rather than a restriction. As for me, I am lining up a selection of books that I’ve been wanting to read. Not staring at a computer screen, but real paper and ink books – all while enjoying a comfortable chair and a cup of Earl Grey tea. I have a garden that needs tending and planning for next year. The chickens will need food and water, and their eggs need gathering. The blossoms on the peach trees mean there will be pruning to be done, and peaches to harvest.

What is happening right now is something that we will remember for the rest of our lives, and we will recount these times to those too young to remember. Make sure that your memories are good ones and that your regrets are few.

The best example I can think of at the moment, is the memory of one of the recent hurricanes that swept through here, leaving us without power in a house filled with three generations of family. Our daughter-in-law brought her harp to our house, and played it by candlelight and battery lantern. You could almost feel the calm as the hurricane raged outside. Those are the types of memories I want to carry with me from these chaotic times.

Relax. This is going to take a while.

Our daughter-in-law played the harp for us, bring a sense of calm in the middle a hurricane.

New Era Resolutions

The following is based on a post that I wrote on the Confederate Colonel blog in 2012. As many folks are making new year resolutions, perhaps it is time to look deeper than the usual lose a few pounds or quit a bad habit resolutions.

On November 6, 2012, America entered a new era – not because B. Hussein Obama was re-elected, but because a majority of American voters now follow the cult of collectivism that he represents. If this were just another political split, it would be a minor issue to be addressed in the next election. It is not. This represents a cultural split on a massive scale. Our task as Southern Gentlemen is to move as far away from the center as possible. We must stake out our cultural ground so that there can be no doubt as to which camp we belong.

To that end, this is a list of tangible things we can do, presented in no particular order.

  1. Boldly proclaim the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Leading a soul to eternal salvation is a greater accomplishment than anything else in this life.
  2. Live a virtuous life at home, at work, and in public. Always speak the truth. We are ambassadors of our great Southern culture and must serve as an example of what that culture stands for.
  3. Be part of a church that truly believes The Bible 1. as the literal word of God – and acts on it. There are far too many modernist churches that lower standards and try to become like the rest of the world. If you’re in one of those modernist churches, leave and find a real church that is not focused on entertaining the congregation.
  4. Use the power of the spoken and written word to advance the cause of restoring civility to America.
  5. Dress more formally than what is customary in today’s society. It demonstrates a respect for others – and for yourself.
  6. Pay close attention to manners and etiquette, and make them a part of your daily life.
  7. Pray – not a vain repetition, but pray like you are talking directly with The God who created the entire universe, because that’s exactly what you are doing. He listens to “specks of dust” like us.
  8. Seek out like-minded people, and form strong bonds with them.
  9. Treat others with respect. As conditions worsen, there will be those who proudly provided for their families in the past, but find themselves without work or, if they are fortunate, doing menial work. Your turn may come. While those who willingly live off of money stolen from the productive deserve our open contempt, resist the urge unless pressed.
  10. Follow the Boy Scout slogan of “Do a Good Turn Daily”. Find some way to help someone who would not expect it.
  11. Follow the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared”. When hard times come, you can depend on no one but yourself and your closest friends and family.
  12. Produce some of your own food by gardening or small-scale farming, and raising chickens. Those are valuable skills that cannot be learned by just reading a book. It is also the key to our Southern Agrarian culture.
  13. Understand what Southern Agrarianism is by reading I’ll Take My Stand, by Twelve Southerners.
  14. If you are living in an urban area, move to a semi-rural or rural area. The cities are not only increasingly dangerous, they are corrosive to the soul.
  15. Arm yourself and learn and practice to become effective in the defense of yourself and your family. Armed men are free men – disarmed men are slaves.
  16. Turn off the TV, cancel the cable subscription, and disconnect the antenna. TV has done more than anything else to destroy our culture. Don’t allow the filth and propaganda into your home.
  17. Home-school your children and help and support other home-schoolers if you can.
  18. Take control of your future by investing your retirement savings yourself so that the government cannot gain control of it 2.
  19. Make your home more self-sufficient: put in a well, start a garden, own a sewing machine 3 to make and repair your clothes, install a wood heating stove, increase the insulation in your attic.
  20. Secure your home. Rampant crime is just one of the results of a decaying society where civility is no longer revered.
  21. Embrace old-school ways of doing things: use paper and pen rather than an electronic device for taking notes (bonus points for using a fountain pen 4); shave with a double-edge safety razor and brush and mug rather than the latest multi-blade gizmo; resist the temptation to automatically upgrade to the latest technology 5.
  22. Resolve to give no credibility to political correctness. When it comes up, question it and force the source to justify what was said or written. Don’t accept it.
  23. Watch your language. Make a conscious effort to avoid any obscene or profane word coming from your lips. Crude language identifies the speaker with the worst elements of any society. That such language is now commonly used by “celebrities” is reason enough to shun it.
  24. Cherish those who are close to you and resolve to repair any relationships that need repairing. Your family, your spouse, your friends – those are more important now than ever, and will become even more so in the future.
  25. Display the Confederate flag – any one of them – on a regular basis. (see the Code of Confederate Flag Etiquette)
  26. Sharing a meal as a family is a time-honored tradition. Make the extra effort to have a more formal, structured dinner.
  27. Resolve to take away the power that the word “racist” has over us; at the same time, remember to treat all men of every race and creed with the respect they deserve as men and as souls that Jesus died for.
  28. Language is an important part of any culture – the English language is the language of our people. Don’t allow yourself to slip into the sloppy language habits that have become a mark of modern popular culture. Writing and speaking well are the marks of a civilized man. Use correct English in your speech and writing. 6
  29. Collect books – not digital text, but real paper and ink books that can be read without batteries. As the popularity of digital text increases, there are bargains to be found in used books. 7
  30. Carry a pocket knife. A generation ago, every Southern male carried a pocket knife – it was almost a rite of passage. Somewhere along the way, the Nanny-state took over, and an incredibly useful tool came to be viewed as a dangerous weapon and a threat to be banned.
  31. Get out of debt as quickly as possible. Make it a top priority.
  32. Reduce or eliminate your income dependence by laying the foundation for your own business. Find something that you truly enjoy doing and that others are willing to pay for, and acquire the tools and the skills to provide that service or product at a profit. 8
  33. The Christmas season has become the emblem of materialism in America and a brief glance at the mayhem of “Black Friday” shopping will confirm that. Turning away from the greed and materialism is a wonderful opportunity for a family lesson in setting priorities. Rejecting materialism now will make life easier later when it is forced on America by a failing economy.
  34. Find something that you can grow or make at home to give away to others. For some, it is home-canned vegetables or preserves or home-made soap; for my wife and I, it is vanilla extract; for our son, it is egg nog in a variety of flavors. Turn back the clock a bit to a day when people didn’t buy everything from the store, but made it themselves. We also give away much of what our garden produces, and the surplus eggs from our chickens.

This list was inspired by a list posted at The Thinking Housewife blog. What can you add to this list?


Notes:

  1. Finding a church that insists on using only the King James Version is a big step in the right direction
  2. . There are currently efforts under way to nationalize IRA and 401(k) accounts
  3. The old cast iron sewing machines will last for generations. Treadle and hand-crank sewing machines in excellent condition are still readily available – we have several of them in our home.
  4. While a quality fountain pen is not inexpensive, they will last for generations if well cared for. I have my father’s fountain pen that he purchased in the 1950’s. I had it refurbished and it is now as “good as new”.
  5. At the very least, consider using open source software and Linux rather than falling into the Windows/Mac trap.
  6. There are, no doubt, plenty of errors in grammar scattered throughout this blog. If you find them, please let me know so I can correct them.
  7. A first-class library can be assembled by making regular visits to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store.
  8. I spent nine months of evenings and weekends developing the software package that has provided a comfortable living for my family since 1995 – it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.