They’re Out of Their Cotton-Picking Minds!

Now, I don’t watch FOX News. In fact, I don’t even have cable – I got rid of it several years ago and went to a leaf antenna and streaming. However, I must say that the reaction to a comment by FOX contributor David Bossie to “Democratic strategist” Joel Payne that he was “out of his cotton-picking mind” is way out of proportion. Payne, who is of African ancestry, took offense at the comment because “my relatives picked cotton.” My response to that is – so fucking what? I picked my cotton, my daddy did, my mother did, my brother did and my sisters did and so did my grandmother, aunts and uncles, not to mention my neighbors. In fact, if you lived in the rural South prior to the 1960s when the use of mechanical cotton pickers became widespread and were able to get to the fields, you picked cotton. Picking cotton was so much a part of the culture that rural schools had split “vacations,” with school starting back in July for six weeks, then getting out for “cotton picking” in the fall.

Payne’s reaction is that of a northern black person with little real knowledge of the South and of the practices before his time. (He’s also a “Democratic strategist,” which says a lot.) Black northerners have been attributing racial prejudice to sayings common in the South for decades. For example, when I was in the Air Force, I had a roommate who was a mulatto from Harlem – his father was “Irish” and his mother was black. The first thing he said to me when we met was that I had better not ever call him nigger – as if I ever had any attention of doing so. (“Nigger” was known to be considered by blacks as synonymous with a “sorry” white person. Incidentally, the term “white trash” originated with slaves who used it to refer to poor whites with no land or slaves of their own.) That, however, is not my point. He went on a trip as a student with a sergeant instructor from Georgia who, like most Southerners, had a habit of calling everyone “boy.” My roommate took umbrage, but the sergeant, who lived across the hall from us, sat him down and explained that everyone in the South called each other “boy” and “girl” regardless of whether they were white or black. Although we never became friends, at least he seemed to understand that everyone wasn’t looking down on him after that.

It seems that blacks in the North have concocted a number of mistaken ideas. An example is the term “soul food” which came about in the 1960s when blacks from the South opened restaurants in New York and other northern cities and called their fare “soul food” at a time when blacks had started referring to certain forms of music and black culture as “soul.” In truth, what is now commonly called soul food is actually nothing but rural Southern cooking. Rural people in the South, white and black, made full use of the animals they slaughtered and grew crops foreign to northerners such as collard and turnip greens. Hog intestines were cleaned and called chitlins, which is short for chitterlings. White families ate them, as did blacks. Personally, I love chitlins the way my mother fixed them. She breaded and fried them and we ate them with her biscuits. Catfish were practically a delicacy at our house (blacks were famous for eating “rough fish” such as carp and buffalo.)

Payne seems to have taken exception to Bossie’s comment because his grandparents were sharecroppers. Again, so what? Share cropping was a means by which people who owned no land of their own could make a crop and living, and large numbers of sharecroppers were white. Sharecropping was a means of allowing a landowner to get full use of their land. Before farming became mechanized, a single family could farm some forty acres. Although it’s commonly believed – apparently especially by blacks – that sharecropping came along after the Civil War, the practice actually dates back for centuries and was and still is common in many parts of the world. (There is a difference between a sharecropper and a tenant farmer. Sharecroppers are laborers who provide the labor to raise a crop for a share while a tenant farmer rents the land from the landowner and provides everything necessary to raise a crop. Tenant farming is common today – my own land is rented to local farmers to raise a crop each year.) Sharecroppers were provided everything they needed by the landowner, including a house and plot of land where they could grow their own food and raise hogs and maintain a cow or two for milk.

There is a common misconception that picking cotton is hard work. Actually, while cotton-picking by hand is tedious, it’s not particularly hard and its definitely not backbreaking. Personally, I’d much rather pick cotton out in the open fall air then work in a foundry or factory. Cotton-picking is not a constant, year-long task. Cotton becomes ripe for picking in late summer or early fall, depending on the length of the growing season and when the crop is planted, and is picked over a 6-8 week period. The image of slaves or sharecroppers laboring in the fields from dusk to dawn 365 days a year is false; the actual days spent in the field for cotton-picking is more like 65 days, if that.

As for the use of the term “cotton-picking” as an adjective, the origin is unsure. So, for that matter, is the meaning except that it is used to add emphasis to a statement – for example, “She’s a cotton-picking liar!” Another common use is “Just a cotton-picking minute!” “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind” is another. However, in no way is the use of the term “cotton-picking” derogatory to blacks, as the media often claims. The only connection to blacks is that blacks picked cotton, but so did whites.

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Border Diversion

The news media – and Democrats – have focused their attention over the past few days on the McAllen, Texas area and the Health and Human Services facilities where young children who were brought into the country illegally are being housed until they can be sent to relatives in the United States or returned to their parents, who have been incarcerated for violating US immigration laws. There has been copious handwringing and ain’t it awfuls by people who have no clue about the actual events. What many Americans fail to grasp is that it is no coincidence that this “story” broke almost immediately after the contents of the DOJ Office of the Attorney General report on the Hillary Clinton Email investigation was released. When the report was first released – and before anyone in the media had read it – the “news” was that the report had found no evidence of bias, but then it came out that, in fact, there had  been multiple incidents of demonstrated bias on the part of five senior investigators. That’s when the shit hit the fan and the media realized it had to come up with something to divert attention from the report. They decided to focus on the plight of illegal immigrants who were being charged for Federal crimes and incarcerated, and were separated from their children as a result. The tactic worked, although it’s now coming out that members of the media and left-wing politicians have exaggerated the situation and in some cases, outright lied.

For some time now, thousands of teenagers, mostly from Central America, have been detained along the Mexican border. In recent weeks, there has been a horde of people coming up from Central America, particularly Honduras and El Salvador, with the intent of sneaking across the Rio Grande River into Texas then making their way to cities in hopes of finding employment. When they are caught, some claim that they are seeking asylum, not so much for political reasons but because they claim they are fleeing gang violence or, in the case of women, domestic abuse. Since they are in violation of Federal immigration laws, they are charged and incarcerated until their case can be brought to court. Many illegals are women, who have brought children and grandchildren with them. Dick Durbin, a left-winger from Illinois, claimed these people are coming from “three of the most dangerous countries in the world.” His comment was a lie – those countries don’t even come close to such an assertion. In fact they rank BELOW EVEN THE UNITED STATES, not to mention Mexico.

Now, while the United States does admit people who seek asylum, they – and everyone else – are required to enter the United States at an official port of entry where they present themselves as asylum-seekers to the Homeland Security people at the facility. US law requires that ANYONE who crosses the border, regardless of their citizenship, MUST enter through an official entry point – without exception. In the case of the people currently being detained, they snuck across the border and were apprehended by the Border Patrol. The only thing “new” is that there have been increasing numbers in recent weeks. The leftwing American media has misrepresented the situation. An example is the current TIME magazine cover story, which originally claimed that a little girl shown looking up at President Donald Trump was separated from her mother. In fact, the photograph was taken by a Getty News photographer who was on a ride-a-long with a Border Patrol agent who came across a group of illegals who had just crossed the Rio Grande on a raft. The photo was snapped of the tearful little girl while her mother was being searched. The photo was represented as showing a little girl who was being separated from her mother when, in fact, there was no separation. As a matter of fact, small children under the age of four ARE NOT separated from their parents.

While accounts of children and parents being separated at the border is heart-wrenching, the media’s true intent is to divert the nation’s and the world’s attention away from the DOJ/FBI OIG report on the Hillary Clinton Email investigations and the appearance of the report’s author, Michael Horowitz, before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the resulting firings of Federal agents who exhibited bias toward Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump in communications with other agents. One of those fired was former Deputy for Counterespionage Peter Strzok, who led the Email investigation then took over the investigation of alleged Russian “interference” in the US presidential election. Strzok’s security clearance was stripped from him and he was escorted from FBI Headquarters this past Friday. Horowitz revealed to the Senate committee that Strzok is under investigation for his role in the initiation of the Russia investigation, and the possibility that he used his position because he was biased against Donald Trump. His cohort and alleged lover, Lisa Page, left the FBI a month ago. Of course, there has been little mention of Strzok’s removal in the so-called “mainstream” media because they’re focusing on the “situation” on the border and on the wording on the back of the raincoat First Lady Melanie Trump wore onto the Air Force transport that took her to McAllen, Texas to inspect the facilities where children are housed while their disposition is determined. (Federal policy is to send them to live with relatives who are in the US legally if at all possible. If not, they remain in DHS hands until their parents’ case has been decided then are usually deported along with them.)