It’s another Black History Month and at Ole Miss the iconic statue of Civil Rights icon James Meredith was draped—by someone—with a noose, which is the wrong kind of icon, and makes people crazy.[Vandals put noose on Ole Miss statue of James Meredith; he speaks out, By Paresh Dave, LA Times, February 18, 2014]
If this turns out to be a "hoax crime"—if the students who did the draping turn out to be minorities—nothing will be done to them, it will just be another exercise in consciousness raising. There was an earlier example on the occasion of the 40thanniversary of the famous desegregation: Another Fake Hate Crime - The Real Race Scandal In Mississippi, By Michelle Malkin on December 17, 2002.
But if the students who did it are white—the authorities have three white suspects—then their lives will be ruined. They could be sent to jail, on the theory that the noose constitutes a credible threat—which it doesn’t—or deprived of any chance for a higher education.
See “Hate Crimes”: Washington’s War Against White Working Class Dissent, and 2011 Campus "Hate Crime" Hoax Season About To Begin, by Nicholas Stix for details.
It may be that before America can talk rationally about race, the generation that remembers segregation will have to die off.
But we’re never going to be allowed to forget it. There’s a burgeoning industry of anti-white remembrance.
As VDARE.com letters editor, I answer questions from readers about pieces we’ve run. This came in recently:
I read a column/article several years ago concerning the book Roots, and how it was exposed as a complete work of fiction. I did not print it out at the time and a few years later I did a search for it so that I could.
I did not find it, but did find another that stated basically the same thing, that Haley's book was complete fiction and that he had even plagiarized from another book, and had not even destroyed his notes.
Now I cannot find either of these columns. Have they been removed from the site, or am I just not typing in the correct words to search by? Thank you for your time.
We never remove anything from VDARE.com, our entire archives are freely available. However, we never did a full article on the Alex Haley plagiarism/fraud thing. We linked to something on the subject in an old Sam Francis column.
The guiltfest was sponsored by an organization calling itself the "Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation" after the late black writer who cranked out the book Roots back in the 1970s, a work purporting to explore the author's racial heritage in Africa and early America but which was later shown to have been mostly fabrication, …
The Annapolis Guilt Wallow, October 4, 2004
At the time, I added a link on the words "mostly fabrication" to NBC Perpetuates Roots Cover-up By Angela Zemla, AIM, February 11, 2002. That link is still good, scroll past the garbled HTML codes.
A more recent overview is Jack Kerwick's column Alex Haley’s Fraudulent Roots, on BeliefNet, March 2012, on the 35th Anniversary of the TV miniseries.
Briefly, Haley claimed to descended from a Gambian slave named Kunta Kinte, who had remembered some scraps of his native language and passed them on to his descendants.
That led Haley to go to Gambia to search for the site of the village his ancestor had come from, and a local elder told him, yes, they had an oral tradition—handed down by word of mouth for 200 years—of losing a man called Kunta Kinte to slave traders.
There's no reason to believe the old man was telling the truth—there was money in the "Yes, your ancestor came from here", and none in "No, never heard of him."
And Haley lied about the history of slavery, minimizing the role of native African slave traders.
He also plagiarized large chunks of his book from The African, a work of fiction written by Harold Courlander, a white novelist. Courlander was awarded $650, 000 by a court in 1979—worth over $2 million today.
And as far as Haley’s personal connection to the American pre-Civil War characters in the (fictional) plantation story is concerned, here's what Kerwick says:
His plagiarism aside, as professional genealogists Gary B. and Elizabeth Shown Mills have demonstrated beyond a doubt, Haley’s claims to the contrary aside, there is no formal documentation to corroborate “the oral tradition” regarding his family history. Moreover, the very documentation to which he refers—“plantation records, wills, census records”—repudiates this tradition. The Mills are to the point: “In truth, those same plantation records, wills, and censuses cited by Mr. Haley not only fail to document his story, but they contradict each and every pre-Civil War statement of Afro-American lineage in Roots” (emphases original)!
So, yes, complete fiction. Haley was a black descendent of slaves living in America, his family had an oral tradition about their ancestor, and that's all that we know for sure.
This Roots myth was exposed in 1977 by Jack Ottoway in the London Times, by Harold Courlander in court in 1979, and by genealogists Gary B. and Elizabeth Shown Mills in 1984.[ PDF] It was exposed by Philip Nobile in "Uncovering Roots," Village Voice, February 23, 1993, exposed by Thomas Sowell in 2002, exposed again by Jack Cashill in 2005, and continues to be exposed on a regular basis, most recently right here, by me.
It makes no difference. The book Roots is still in print, the 1977 miniseries is still on video, it’s shown on television, taught to school classes, available with one-click on your Kindle or Amazon video player. The main Amazon page for the book says this: “See all 92 formats and editions.”
And now the History Channel is planning a remake. [History To Remake Iconic ‘Roots’ Miniseries, By Nellie Andreeva, November 5, 2013]
In Time Magazine, James Poniewozik said that from the critics' point of view, a remake is pointless, but because “Whatever you thought of the Trayvon Martin case and verdict, the ugliness around it proved, if it needed proving, that there is nothing ‘post-racial’ about America.”
And therefore we need more white-bashing movies. As an instance of how far we’ve come from the James Meredith days, another Poniewozik example of racism is not enough black, female stars on Saturday Night Live.
Poniewozik did not mention Haley's plagiarism etc. [History’s Roots Remake: Probably Unnecessary, Possibly Worth It Anyway | A new version of the 1977 classic might not be as good. But if it gets people talking, it could still do good. November 06, 2013]
All of them are based on some degree of lying about the past, and all of them are very successful.
But Roots is where this started. And we’re never going to be allowed to forget it.
James Fulford [Email him] is a writer and editor for VDARE.com.