A review of Southern Scribblings (Red Mill Publishing, 2020) by Brion McClanahan
In an age in which error, falsehood, and perversion are regaled by the politically correct, neo-Marxist as being America’s new normal, Brion McClanahan’s new book, Southern Scribblings, provides Southerners with a compass pointing them back to the tradition of virtue, honor, and the American principles of constitutionally limited government. In so doing, Brion is following in the footsteps of men such as Mel Bradford, who taught us to respect those “permanent things” handed down to us by generations past.
In the age of massive, anti-South, cultural genocide, many ask why America seems to have turned against the Southern tradition with a vengeance. Brion answers this within the first few pages. He observes, “Nationalization creates a crop of drones with an ‘Americanism’ that suggests saying the Pledge of Allegiance makes you an American and that Abraham Lincoln and Hamilton’s state capitalist dream are the greatest parts of American history.” Ah, yes, down with Lee, who declared that “Duty is the most sublime word in the language,” denounce the religiousness of Stonewall Jackson, and proclaim the fidelity to the original Constitution demanded by Calhoun to be nothing less than examples of white supremacy. Duty, honor, and individual responsibility, as espoused by our Southern ancestors, are passé in politically correct America. But Brion will have none of it! He writes in defense of those “permanent things” that always distinguished the South from the North. He understands the South is unique. It is different from its Northern foe. The South emphasizes spiritual values as opposed to the North, which emphasizes materialistic values. These values are so different that we find it hard to understand each other. This difference is a fact of life from the beginning. Brion demonstrates this fact when he quotes an 1859 Selma, Alabama, newspaper editor who described the Yankee as “Self-styled as the apostle of liberty, he has ever claimed for himself the liberty of persecuting all who presumed to differ from him.” This explains a major reason why the liberal North and its Yankee federal government are engaging in their current campaign of anti-Southern cultural genocide.
The book contains 60 chapters divided into five sections. The first section is a collection of articles pertaining to the Southern Tradition. The second section deals with Southern leaders such as Lee and Calhoun. The third section presents secession in a contemporary framework. Southern secession is seen in the light of Brexit and CalExit. The last chapter in this section is appropriately titled, “The Winds of Change.” The fourth section examines the lunacy of political correctness. Project 1619 is the leading example of “historical” lunacy in action. The “intellectual” journalists at the New York Times Magazine reduced American history down to one word, “slavery.” According to this bit of PC madness, slavery is responsible for racism, and of course, it is also a key element in white privilege. And finally, section five, “Yankees, Republicans, and Nationalists,” the ongoing Yankee myth of history, is exposed. My favorite chapter is “The Stupid Empire.”
If you are feeling down in these dark days, if you feel like you know how our ancestors felt during the First Reconstruction, and you need a boost of courage and determination, then get a copy of Southern Scribblings, your favorite beverage, find a cool spot on the veranda, and sit a spell with a fellow Southerner. You will realize that there are more of us than you think.