Have We Reached Peak Burden Yet?

30 Aug 2016

1b52b3955b99483d6c9fd65f5284825dThe year 2016 saw Disney give Rudyard Kipling a new cinematic boost. Not to be outdone, Rudy Giuliani has gone #FullBurden in an attack on Beyoncé’s performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Here’s Giuliani, according to Politico:

I saved more black lives than any of those people you saw on stage by reducing crime and particularly homicide by 75 percent…Of which, of which maybe 4,000 or 5,000 were African-American young people who are alive today because of the policies I put in effect that weren’t in effect for 35 years…I didn’t fail Harlem. I turned Harlem around. I didn’t fail Bedford-Stuyvesant, I turned it around. Go there now. Go walk in Harlem. Then flash back to 25 years ago and go to Harlem before I was mayor, and one was a place where crime was rampant and no national stores and now there’s a thriving community in Harlem.

Sorry, Bwana, but you are not the first to express such outrage. Here are some comments by Lyndon Johnson, from a 1976 New York Times article, written by Doris Kearns (!):

How is it possible that all these people should be so ungrateful to me after I have given them so much? Take the Negroes. I fought for them from the first day I came into office. I tried to make to possible for every child of every color to grow up in a nice house, to eat a solid breakfast, to attend a decent school, and to get a good and lasting job. I just asked a little in return. Just a little thanks. Just a little appreciation. That’s all.

There’s plenty more to that quote, of course, as the White Savior butthurt runs long and deep. But let’s go back even more, to 1899, and Rudyard Kipling:

Take up the White Man’s burden, Send forth the best ye breed
Go bind your sons to exile, to serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.

It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.





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