If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spokenR. Kipling
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools
Blago quotes Kipling! Bloody Marvelous! The Jig's Up; Brass It Out, Old Man!
Kipling, Old Man, was the poet of Empire! Bash the Wogs! Hang Paddy! Ulster will Fight and Uster will be Right! Show 'em Good British Steel!
What? What? Haw, Haw. See here, now.
Governor Blagojevich celebrates the Poet of Diversity; here is Rudyard Kipling's American Notes:
The Chinaman waylays his adversary, and methodically chops him to
pieces with his hatchet. Then the press roars about the brutal
ferocity of the pagan.
The Italian reconstructs his friend with a long knife. The press
complains of the waywardness of the alien.
The Irishman and the native Californian in their hours of
discontent use the revolver, not once, but six times. The press
records the fact, and asks in the next column whether the world
can parallel the progress of San Francisco. The American who
loves his country will tell you that this sort of thing is
confined to the lower classes. Just at present an ex-judge who
was sent to jail by another judge (upon my word I cannot tell
whether these titles mean anything) is breathing red-hot
vengeance against his enemy. The papers have interviewed both
parties, and confidently expect a fatal issue.
Now, let me draw breath and curse the negro waiter, and through
him the negro in service generally. He has been made a citizen
with a vote, consequently both political parties play with him.
But that is neither here nor there. He will commit in one meal
every betise that a senllion fresh from the plow-tail is capable
of, and he will continue to repeat those faults. He is as
complete a heavy-footed, uncomprehending, bungle-fisted fool as
any mem-sahib in the East ever took into her establishment. But
he is according to law a free and independent
citizen--consequently above reproof or criticism. He, and he
alone, in this insane city, will wait at table (the Chinaman
He is untrained, inept, but he will fill the place and draw the
pay. Now, God and his father's fate made him intellectually
inferior to the Oriental. He insists on pretending that he serves
tables by accident--as a sort of amusement. He wishes you to
understand this little fact. You wish to eat your meals, and, if
possible, to have them properly served. He is a big, black, vain
baby and a man rolled into one.
A colored gentleman who insisted on getting me pie when I wanted
something else, demanded information about India. I gave him
some facts about wages.
"Oh, hell!" said he, cheerfully, "that wouldn't keep me in cigars
for a month."
Then he fawned on me for a ten-cent piece. Later he took it upon
himself to pity the natives of India. "Heathens," he called
them--this woolly one, whose race has been the butt of every
comedy on the native stage since the beginning. And I turned and
saw by the head upon his shoulders that he was a Yoruba man, if
there be any truth in ethnological castes. He did his thinking
in English, but he was a Yoruba negro, and the race type had
remained the same throughout his generations. And the room was
full of other races--some that looked exactly like Gallas (but
the trade was never recruited from that side of Africa), some
duplicates of Cameroon heads, and some Kroomen, if ever Kroomen
wore evening dress.
The American does not consider little matters of descent, though
by this time he ought to know all about "damnable heredity." As
a general rule he keeps himself very far from the negro, and says
things about him that are not pretty. There are six million
negroes, more or less, in the States, and they are increasing.
The American, once having made them citizens, cannot unmake them.
He says, in his newspapers, they ought to be elevated by
education. He is trying this, but it is likely to be a long job,
because black blood is much more adhesive than white, and throws
back with annoying persistence. When the negro gets religion he
returns directly as a hiving bee to the first instincts of his
people. Just now a wave of religion is sweeping over some of the
Up to the present two Messiahs and a Daniel have appeared, and
several human sacrifices have been offered up to these
incarnations. The Daniel managed to get three young men, who he
insisted were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, to walk into a
blast furnace, guaranteeing non-combustion. They did not return.
I have seen nothing of this kind, but I have attended a negro
church. They pray, or are caused to pray by themselves in this
country. The congregation were moved by the spirit to groans and
tears, and one of them danced up the aisle to the mourners'
bench. The motive may have been genuine. The movements of the
shaken body were those of a Zanzibar stick dance, such as you see
at Aden on the coal-boats, and even as I watched the people, the
links that bound them to the white man snapped one by one, and I
saw before me the hubshi (woolly hair) praying to a God he did
not understand. Those neatly dressed folk on the benches, and
the gray-headed elder by the window, were savages, neither more
What will the American do with the negro? The South will not
consort with him. In some States miscegenation is a penal
offence. The North is every year less and less in need of his
And he will not disappear. He will continue as a problem. His
friends will urge that he is as good as the white man. His
enemies--well, you can guess what his enemies will do from a
little incident that followed on a recent appointment by the
President. He made a negro an assistant in a post-office
where--think of it!--he had to work at the next desk to a white
girl, the daughter of a colonel, one of the first families of
Georgia's modern chivalry, and all the weary, weary rest of it.
The Southern chivalry howled, and hanged or burned some one in
effigy. Perhaps it was the President, and perhaps it was the
negro--but the principle remains the same. They said it was an
insult. It is not good to be a negro in the land of the free and
the home of the brave.
Actually, Rudyard Old Cock, the Colonists made one President, much like that Paddy some years before . . . Fitzgerald Kennedy something.
I voted for the other chap McCain, but stand damn proud of my country. Now, as to the well-coiffed Governor who spouts your verse - shackles and irons by year's end Old Top.
Sentiments, dear boy, sentiments. Kipling was a Progressive Clean Government Lad. Quite.
Click my post title for Kipling's American Notes.