Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Weeds, Immigration, and Culture

Several years ago, in an effort to improve the quality of the soil in my garden, I bought a truckload of topsoil. It was carefully spread, then tilled and worked into the soil. The original soil and the new topsoil were mixed until they became as one. At first, it was great. The soil was darker and richer looking than the native sandy soil, and the plants that I grew there were bigger and stronger. Then came the weeds.

Hidden in among that rich-looking soil that I brought in to mix with the native soil were weed seeds. Specifically, nut-grass nodules. Here we are, years later, and I am still battling the nut-grass. It spreads its roots deep below the surface, and it stores nutrition in a large nodule deep down in the soil. Just cutting them off at the surface has no lasting effect – the weed springs right back in just a couple of days. Nut-grass must be dug out by the roots, one weed at a time. The nodule must be removed. The root runners must be removed. Everything about the weed must be removed, or it will continue to spread, sap the strength of the plants that are intended to grow there, and eventually they will take over completely.

Removing the weeds and their roots is not a painless process. It disturbs the roots of the garden plants, and it is slow and tedious work. There is no alternative if the garden is to be saved. It must be done.

Culture is a very precious thing, and it must be cared for and defended. A culture – just like agriculture – requires work to maintain. There are no shortcuts. Bringing in, or allowing in, foreign elements into a native culture brings with it serious risks. While on the surface, there may appear to be benefits to mixing cultures, the hidden costs will quickly show up. Like an invasive species in nature that finds no natural enemies, it takes over and the original culture disappears. Forever.


  1. Valerie Protopapas

    Of course, weeds are always a problem but less of a problem than how they happened to appear. We all remember Christ’s parable of the wheat and the tares. According to Our Lord, the tares didn’t just “appear” and neither were they natural to the field in which they grew. They were SOWN by an “Enemy.” A smattering of foreign plants that might be cultivated to the benefit of the farmer (maize, tobacco etc.) is one thing. The deliberate sowing of destructive agents is something else again. At the harvest (the Last Judgment) the wheat will be gathered and the tares burned and thus the problem is addressed — but at that same “harvest” the Enemy who sowed them will also receive the reward of HIS handiwork.

    And so it is with the weeds that have been sown among us in order to destroy our culture (and not just SOUTHERN culture but Western Civilization!); it is not enough to uproot the weeds unless we also destroy the enemy who has planted them among us and who now protects his noxious planting.

    • Stephen Clay McGehee

      As always, you are right on target. Thank you for replying.

  2. Susan Dorris

    We are a nation of “weeds.” Even if you are 100% Native American, you are the offspring of immigrants. I am the daughter of Southerners; my parents’ families came to the United States in the 1600’s. Immigrants made our nation and are still contributing.

    • Stephen Clay McGehee

      While we may be a country of immigrants, we are not a nation of immigrants. There is a difference. A big difference. While I disagree with your statement, I do appreciate that you made your point without resorting to juvenile name-calling. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

      (Also, my apologies for taking so long to approve it. Yours, for some unknown reason, got routed to the spam folder.)

  3. Stephen Clay McGehee

    I’ll repeat here something from the “About” page, and then comment:

    Blog post replies – I’m not here to argue. If you simply want to say I’m wrong, a racist, hateful, etc., then help yourself. I’ll see it so you can get some satisfaction there, but it won’t be published. Been there, done that with other blogs; not going to do it again here. For everyone else, don’t assume that because the hate mail doesn’t get published that it isn’t received. It just goes with the territory.

    Since it’s been a while since I posted something other than strictly gardening, I’ll make an exception and post them. Now, the first two “unpublished” replies received for this post:

    “Holy crap! I read an article about weeds because I am a gardener and interested in such things, and find it is a political/self-righteous diatribe against anything or one that is unlike the author! What a mean and hateful little soul you have.”

    “Jo” apparently is interested in weeds because she is a gardener. Why is she so mean and hateful toward weeds? Aren’t weeds plants, just like the plants she wants in her garden? Do those weeds not have as much right to grow in her garden as what she planted? Why is she so “mean and hateful” toward weeds? Doesn’t establishing themselves in her garden mean that they belong there? Don’t they have as much right to be there as what came from the seeds she planted?

    No, weeds are removed from a garden because the gardener cares for and nourishes what is planted there, and weeds will destroy those plants. The gardener has an obligation to provide his or her plants a good environment in which to grow. The same holds true for a nation and a culture. I have an obligation to provide my children and my grandchildren the best environment in which to grow, and that extends to all the generations that follow. I love my family and my people, and providing for their future is what is important to me.

    Mean-spirited. Where is Love & Tolerance?

    To “C.M.” I would ask, “Where is the love for your descendants? Or do you only care about yourself by showing all your friends how loving and tolerant you are?” Just as those who came before me worked to make the world a better place for me, I work to make the world a better place for my descendants. Not for others and their descendants, but for my descendants. Each of us must look out for the interests of our selves and our descendants. Others look out for their own interests.

    As for “Tolerance”? it is just another word for being too lazy to take a stand and for lacking the courage to back it up.

    If you are looking for a site that is about gardening and nothing else, then you need to keep looking. The internet is a really big place with lots of great sites that focus solely on gardening. That is not The Southern Agrarian. On the Home page, you’ll see stated very clearly that “Southern Agrarianism is a cultural movement, and that is our primary focus.” Much of what you’ll find here is about growing a garden, raising chickens and ducks and bees, and living an agrarian-based life. The focus, though, is about the cultural aspects of Southern Agrarianism – a very politically incorrect culture in today’s environment.

    The Unsubscribes have already started coming in, and if your primary interest is in raising a garden (being sensitive, of course, to the plight of weeds merely wanting to make your garden their home), then I highly recommend using the Unsubscribe button on the bottom of each email sent out on the list. We will both be happier for it.

  4. Tommy W. Rogers

    Magnificent response to the mean and ugly soul comment. As Dr. Michael Savage expresses it , language, borders, culture — these are basic ingredients of people are important.

  5. Heather

    Very good analogy!! Many people may not want to hear what you are saying, but I, for one, think it is very important. Nobody else will save our culture for us, we need to do it ourselves. And I, for one, really enjoy your blog! Thank you for taking the time to do it. And may God bless you and your family always!

  6. Stephen Clay McGehee

    Tommy and Heather – thank you both for your support. I deeply appreciate it. God HAS richly blessed my family and me.

  7. John

    As always, great post Stephen. Much appreciation and thanks!

    • Stephen Clay McGehee

      Thank you, John – always good to hear from you, sir.

  8. Douglas Helms

    I can tell you from experience that if you don’t manage the weeds, eventually your garden will contain only weeds.
    Ephesians 4:15 says to speak the truth in love, but by doing so you are labeled intolerant by the world. Keep speaking the truth my friend.

    • Stephen Clay McGehee

      I speak from experience in both weeds in the garden and weeds in life. It is an excellent illustration of many parts of life.

      I have been compiling and organizing my collection of great quotes, and will soon start figuring out how to use them on The Southern Agrarian. Word of wisdom must be shared, and the wise will learn from them. Those who cherish that wisdom are the people that Southern Agrarianism attracts, and who I always keep in mind when planning this site.

  9. ProfDIgoryKirke

    Sometimes analogies can be ridiculous, e.g., such as we are a nation of immigrants, as if the more third world this prepared place of great blessing to which the forefathers fled somehow gives foreigners a right to turn these United States into a third world refuse dump, Yep, immigrants still contributing — to crime, to welfare, to the debasing of America.

  10. John

    You cannot tear up ancient rootages and safely plant the tree of liberty in soil that is not native to it. -Woodrow Wilson

    This post reminds me of this quote.

    • Stephen Clay McGehee

      Excellent quote, sir. It works both ways – immigration in, and America’s idea of “Nation building” in which democracy is assumed to be ideal for all people everywhere.

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