"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Virus Of Race-Gender-Ethnicity–An Epidemic With Few Signs Of Abating

A new Facebook group whose members of a well-known university would post recipes, favorite restaurants, and ideas about cooking, cuisine, and eating well, got off to a good start.  The posts from alumni all around the country highlighted top-flight, but often lesser-known restaurants in Los Angeles, Washington, and New York.  Older foodies related their discovery of new American cuisine. Experienced travelers wrote comments about Senegalese Thieboudienne, Tunisian Salade Tunisoise, and Turkish Iskembe Corbasi and kokorec, and millennials added ideas to California fusion.

Image result for images turkish kokorec

It was a great idea.  The alumni of the university would all be well-off if not well-to-do, and all would have travelled, experimented with food and wine, would be familiar with the literary traditions of great cuisine, and would all provide lively inputs to the group. Not only that, but the site offered a rare opportunity to share a space untouched by politics, causes, and insistence.  It would be the equivalent of the many art sites on social media which share works of well-known and surprisingly unknown artists in spaces designed for critical comment, appreciation, notation, and information.  It would be an opportunity for those knowledgeable about food to share ideas and impressions without the caustic, often ad hominem criticism found everywhere else.

That idyll lasted for two weeks before infection set in.  One post celebrated a new black chef in Kansas City, said little about the quality or innovativeness of his cooking, nothing about his sourcing, style, and presentation, and nothing at all about how and why his restaurant should be patronized – other than the fact that he was black.  This post defied the principle of the new group – to celebrate cuisine and good food and wine and to share experiences about them – and brought to the group’s attention by now an old chestnut, the presence of a minority member on a previously exclusive stage.

All well and good, but of no concern or interest whatsoever to this demanding group.  What did this black man cook? What were his originalist sources? Was he a Redzepi who foraged, a Jean-Pierre who reduced and combined, a Jose Andres who introduced American to tapas and the ingenuity of Spanish cuisine, an Alice Waters who was the prime mover of locally sourced, organic food, the South Carolina chef who brought low country boil to a Northern audience, or the Alabama cook who believed that chitlins, fatback, and greens could be haute cuisine?  No, he was a black entrepreneur.  Not an entrepreneur entering a highly competitive business – of marginal interest to foodies who know that restaurants come and go – but a black entrepreneur to be celebrated for his ‘courage’, ‘confidence’, and ‘ambition’.

Image result for images redzepi dishes foraged

The story may be of interest to social justice advocates and civil rights campaigners for whom it is indeed important to note the advancement of a member of a racial group which has had few successful forays into the privileged white world; but it has no place in a site devoted to food.  Introducing it not only does an injustice to the black chef – shades of affirmative action, he is forevermore considered first for his race, second for his achievements – but is an insult to an educated audience which is more than well aware of issues of rights and responsibilities and which resents being hammered once again with race-gender-ethnicity.

The issue of multicultural inclusion goes far beyond considerations of race and cuisine.  The most respected estimates of LGBTQ numbers in the US are less than three percent; and the number of transgender or ‘other’ sexualities is a fraction of one percent.  While America is all about tolerance, inclusion, compassion, and respect, there is no mandate to promote such alternatives.  Children in schools should be taught about responsible behavior within a majoritarian heterosexual community – how to develop a strong and confident female or male sexual character; how to understand the fundamental differences between the sexes and how the best sexual relationships are complementary partnerships between social equals but sexual opposites.

The attention paid to fractional sexuality is unwarranted, diversionary, and irresponsible.  By suggesting to young children that they can and should choose their appropriate sexuality is tantamount to assuring sexual confusion where it would never have otherwise occurred.  The gender spectrum is an intellectual farce.

The profusion of television programs, movies, music videos, and media coverage of this fractional population – overtly promoting tolerance and inclusivity – does nothing but sensationalize the very groups it intends to promote and sow confusion in young audiences already emerging with difficulty into an adult world. 

Who watches ‘L Word Mississippi’? Those interested in social history, the fusion of sexual and racial evolution in a hyper-oppressive South? Or the prurient who are attracted by glimpses of lesbian sex? Or worse yet glimpses of stereotypical ‘dykes’ – butch, booted, flannel-shirted, and tough – in the land of hoop skirts, gentility, and Scarlett O’Hara?

Image result for images vivien leigh gone with the wind

The insistent focus on the black experience in the hands of Hollywood and New York producers is either a glorification of the very street culture which is keeping ambitious black families from joining the majority norm mainstream, or a transparent exaggeration of black success.  By the looks of most television productions, black doctors and lawyers are everywhere.  The audience is not so gullible; and while they may sincerely hope for greater racial integration, they know that it will take time, effort, and individual responsibility.

Anyone who understands women or who at least has read the plays of Shakespeare, Ibsen, and Strindberg, knows that women are quite able to take care of themselves.  Tamora, Dionyza, Goneril, Regan, Cleopatra, Gertrude, Volumnia, and Hedda Gabler could more than hold their own in a male-dominant society.  If fact they bested men at every turn.  Of course not all women are as strong, determined and defiant as these heroines; but anyone paying attention understands that women need no help whatsoever.

Image result for images diana rigg as hedda gabler

Therefore the hysteria surrounding ‘sexual abuse’ and ‘toxic masculinity’ falls on deaf ears.  No one paying the least bit of attention needs to be hectored about women’s character, intelligence, or wit.  Which is why the rational intelligentsia is getting fed up with being hammered with charges of misogyny and sexual indifference.

Enough already! We get it.  There is a tipping point in all things statistical.  Once a movement goes overboard and lionizes those who have less and demonize those who deserve more, it is lost.  Progressivism has already entered a Baroque period where it has turned inward on itself, has become self-satisfied and fat-happy, and is headed for the Rococo, a period of excessive excess.

A well-known premier private school in Washington, DC, known for its long history of civil and racial rights, did everything to promote black students.  It engineered an affirmative action program that promoted lesser-qualified black DC students to compete in one of the most academically competitive schools in the region; and ensured that every graduation, academic ceremony, and social event gave prominence to them.  Yet lunchrooms remained as segregated as the old Deep South – the school’s emphasis on black identity made racial integration impossible – and more importantly, there was no fooling the white students.  The affirmative action recruits were simply not up to snuff and therefore ignored.

The reason why the liberal agenda of race-gender-ethnicity is characterized as an epidemic is because it has distorted market-based social evolution – i.e. the survival of the socially fittest.  Progressives for decades have ignored the reasons why racial inequality persists, and have assumed that by making America seem harmoniously pluralistic it would become so.  It has only smoke and mirrors.

The progressive agenda does little to promote the interests of minorities.  Americans today as they have since the beginning of the Republic, know success when they see it – and it has nothing to do with race, gender, or ethnicity.  As soon as minorities adopt and adhere to the principles of the Republic – enterprise, responsibility, courage, compassion, honesty, respect, and hard work – they will become fully American.  Until that time, whether immigrants or citizens, they will be marginalized and ignored.

To make a long story short, leave food and cuisine alone.  For that matter, leave most things American alone.  Our culture will evolve, develop, even mature according to the principles of human nature and society, not political or government intent.

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