For those unaware, February is “Black History Month.” A month dedicated to the achievements of black people. Ironically, it's only observed in four predominately white countries: USA, Canada, UK, Netherlands. Why a country that's 2% black (Canada) observes “Black History Month” is somewhat bewildering (like the 95% white school in Vermont that flies the “Black Lives Matter” flag). But, whatever. I assume the purpose is to inform racist white people that black people accomplished a few things, too. How demoralizing that must be for a black person. Basically, “Black History Month” is like a participation trophy for the guy on the championship team who never played.

I believe “Black History Month” was actually conceived with good intentions. It's an evolution of “Negro History Week,” which was created by a black American named Carter Woodson in 1926. He chose the second week of February in honor of the birthday's of Abraham Lincoln (12th) and Frederick Douglass (14th). Woodson's intent was to devote a week out of the year to teach the history of American blacks in public schools with the purpose of establishing a black racial identity. He contended that black history was paramount in the physical survival of the black race:

"If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated. The American Indian left no continuous record. He did not appreciate the value of tradition; and where is he today? The Hebrew keenly appreciated the value of tradition, as is attested by the Bible itself. In spite of worldwide persecution, therefore, he is a great factor in our civilization.”

While Woodson's desire of historical relevance for his people's existence is admirable, his vision has snowballed into a politicized abomination. It's no longer about acknowledging black history for the sake of racial preservation, it's about rewriting history for political correctness.

This recent tweet by black inferiorist Tariq Nasheed (who was humiliated in a recent debate with Jared Taylor) exemplifies my point:

Those familiar with Mr Nasheed know that he's an anti-white activist, and king of the term “suspected white supremacist” (a label he uses for white people). He posts rhetorical nonsense on social media constantly. And it's almost always exaggerated or fabricated in a way that fits his anti-white narrative. But that's just what he does and who he is. So when someone with an obvious agenda like Tariq makes a provocative statement, you take it with a grain of salt and move on.

However, today I just so happened to be reading the Dallas Morning News online and ran across an article titled, “A Slave Taught Jack Daniel How to Make Whiskey...” Unlike Tariq, the Dallas Morning News is a reputable news source; the largest circulated newspaper in Texas. Therefore, if they publish a piece that claims a slave taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey, that undoubtedly adds an element of credibility to the story.

Curious, I read the article. I was hoping to capture that warm fuzzy feeling that white people get when they can feel a little less guilty about slavery. Plus, I wanted to find out how this 150-year-old secret suddenly came to light. Was Tariq actually telling the truth for once?

The article in summary:

Daniel learned how to make the spirit from a slave named Nathan "Nearest" Green, who worked on a farm near where Daniel grew up in Lynchburg, Tenn., according to author Fawn Weaver, who uncovered the story. Green is the country's first documented African-American master distiller, Weaver's research found, and he was first at the helm when Daniel opened his distillery.

Weaver spent more than a year collecting documents and artifacts and speaking to Green's descendants. One, she remembers, was 106 years old.

Both the aged whiskey and upcoming silver version of Uncle Nearest 1856 are created using the Lincoln County Process, a charcoal mellowing filtration method that distinguishes Tennessee whiskey from other bourbons. Charcoal mellowing was Green's specialty, according to Weaver, who traced the process back to its origins in West Africa.

"Whiskey in general, we can track every bit every of it back to the Scottish or the Irish, every aspect of it, except charcoal mellowing," Weaver says. "Why? Because we were property, not people. ... It just came out of thin air, as far as what we've always said."

"People don't mind rewriting history with a story that's positive. They don't want to rewrite history if it's going to put people at odds," Weaver says. "In this case, we're not putting people at odds, we're bringing people together."

Wait. That's it? An author decided to rewrite history because people don't care as long as it's “positive?” That's not journalism, that's fake news! I didn't read one shred of evidence that supports this theory. Not to mention, the entire premise is based on the “research” of a black entrepreneur who has a financial interest in “her” claim: 

Weaver's original plan was to write a book about Uncle Nearest, tell his story through a movie and "cement" his place in history with a network of whiskey bars across America, she says. The mission statement for the Nearest Green Foundation that she incorporated promises to "shine a light on those who have been forgotten." The book and movie are still forthcoming; Weaver nixed the idea to open bars in his honor after speaking with relatives.

Uncle Nearest 1856 is produced by a third-party distillery in Nashville, at least until Weaver can open a proprietary operation. She recently purchased a 270-acre farm in Shelbyville, Tenn., about 20 miles from Lynchburg, that will be the site of a new Nearest Green Distillery, complete with a tasting room, bottling plant and barn-turned-rickhouse where the whiskey will be stored. Plans include planting a 100-acre corn "field of dreams," and revitalizing an onsite arena as a country concert venue.

Another barn will be converted into a museum called the Nearest Green History Walk, which will spotlight African Americans' contributions to whiskey making, including the charcoal mellowing process.

The only thing I read in the article that could possibly support the author's theory was that Nearest Green was the first documented African-American master distiller (“according to Weaver”). But does that mean that Mr Green “taught” Jack Daniel how to make whiskey? Who's to say Daniel didn't teach Green how to make whiskey and then hired him as his master distiller?

The article does cite a New York Time's piece from 2016 titled, “Jack Daniels Embraces a Hidden Ingredient: Help From a Slave.” Unlike the Dallas Morning New's article, the New York Time's piece doesn't insinuate that a slave “taught” Jack Daniel how to make whiskey, but rather helped in the form of a “hidden ingredient.”

Fair enough. Maybe this piece will provide some empirical insight into the secret recipe:

This year is the 150th anniversary of Jack Daniel’s, and the distillery, home to one of the world’s best-selling whiskeys, is using the occasion to tell a different, more complicated tale. Daniel, the company now says, didn’t learn distilling from Dan Call, but from a man named Nearis Green — one of Call’s slaves.

Frontier history is a gauzy and unreliable pursuit, and Nearis Green’s story — built on oral history and the thinnest of archival trails — may never be definitively proved. Still, the decision to tell it resonates far beyond this small city.

The quote in bold confirms what I had suspected when I initially read Tariq's tweet. It also verifies that this theory is all based on conjecture (ie fake news).

But more importantly, the narrative progression enables us to see how the Left uses its institutions of power (in this case the mainstream media) to shape the perception of their audience. First, the idea was possible. Then that idea was plausible. Finally, the idea was presented as factual. Nothing changed except the headline. These institutions are deceptively willing to use their sphere of influence to pass folklore off as fact.

Nonetheless, the article continues: 

In deciding to talk about Green, Jack Daniel’s may be hoping to get ahead of a collision between the growing popularity of American whiskey among younger drinkers and a heightened awareness of the hidden racial politics behind America’s culinary heritage.

Some also see the move as a savvy marketing tactic. “When you look at the history of Jack Daniel’s, it’s gotten glossier over the years,” said Peter Krass, the author of “Blood and Whiskey: The Life and Times of Jack Daniel.” “In the 1980s, they aimed at yuppies. I could see them taking it to the next level, to millennials, who dig social justice issues.”

That's interesting. So Jack Daniel's could possibly profit if it were suddenly revealed on the 150th anniversary that a slave taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey? Certainly sounds like a strategic marketing tactic. And the revelation would definitely increase publicity. As P.T. Barnum once said, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”

I wondered who else had picked up on this story. I searched and discovered that NPR also did a piece in 2016 titled, “Jack Daniel's Heralds a Slave's Role In Its Origins.”

The NPR article is the most unbiased and insightful of the three articles in reference:

It's not clear exactly what parts of the process Daniel picked up from Green. "There's a lot of mystery there," says Jack Daniel's company historian Nelson Eddy. One book says Green was pastor Call's master distiller.

"We don't know exactly what he taught Jack," Eddy says. "But we do know that Jack had a great deal of respect for that family. Because I think the best part of this story is the photograph."

The photograph he refers to is one that shows Jack Daniel, with a gray goatee, around 1895, surrounded by his crew, including two African-American men believed to be the sons of Nearis Green.

Much of the hoopla about this theory is surrounded by a photograph. It's assumed that the two black men in the photo are the sons of Mr Green. But nobody knows for sure. Oddly enough, only one of the alleged sons is sitting next to Mr Daniel in the photo. He's also the only one in the picture who doesn't have his hat on straight.

I want to reiterate what “Jack Daniel's company historian” stated. There's a photo with about 15 men gathered around Mr Jack Daniel. It's “believed” that the two black men in the photo are Mr Green's sons. And that's “the best part of the story.”

We've already established that Jack Daniel's is embracing this theory. Yet their “company historian” is saying the “best part” of this story is a photograph that may, or may not include two of Mr Green's sons.

The NPR article appropriately ends as follows:

The most prominent keepers of the Jack Daniel's story are the tour guides. They have no script to follow — just a batch of tales to pick from. And not all are convinced that Nearis Green's role is worth mentioning. On the tour I attended, guide Ron Craig didn't bring it up until I asked. He says he only talks about Green if visitors inquire.

"There is no hard truth," Craig says. "I can't tell you exactly for sure what everything was back in the day, and no one else can, either."

To be honest, I don't think it really matters if a slave taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. Maybe he did. Who knows? But that's my point. Nobody knows for sure. It's one thing to have people like Tariq tweeting propaganda to support their agenda. But it's a completely different thing when a reputable news source allows its “journalists” to cite hearsay as fact in an attempt to rewrite history. No matter how you package it, fake news is still fake news.

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