We might have called this episode ‘Tom Brady’s Many Hats: from MAGA to performative anti-racism,” but then again it’s not a stretch to see why we called it A Toxic Brand instead. Sixes, right? Products have brands. Players have brands. Leagues have brands. Politicians have brands. Identity groups have brands. So it’s not such a big surprise when we say that history itself becomes a brand. Among Donald Trump’s final acts before leaving the White House was the branding of his ‘1776 Commission’ presidential advisory committee’s report on American history. Right up there with Trump Steaks and Trump University, it seems the 1776 Commission report is headed to the dustbin of toxic brands, but that’s not to say that the white identitarian brand of history is itself going away. Listen in to Episode 37 to hear us discuss the toxic branding of history.
It’s angry. It’s fragile. It’s toxic. And it’s trending. Like history itself was trademarked. That’s why we here at HAG call it: History ™
When is history not about the past? When it becomes a toxic brand. This toxic history brand comes straight from the syrup factory and it seems to be everywhere these days, from rural backwaters like Harrison, Arkansas to leafy suburbs like North Ogden, Utah; from the wine country of Bordeaux, France, to the historic port city of Bristol, England. According to the corporate marketers at Jeep, it is even centered somewhere in the dusty middle of the Kansas prairie, where a Christian cross embossed American flag map and cowboy hat wearin’ dude named Bruce will tell ya all about it. It’s a mighty popular history brand for folks who want no fuss over facts, see diversity as division, and prefer their history colored in a lighter shade of pale.
Join the intrepid HAG news team as we take you on a hemisphere hopping tour of the white identitarian history offensive that is festering in public squares and roiling in political chambers, uniting Arkansas intellectuals and Parisian rednecks alike. Neither new or improved, this is the big hat belt buckle brand of white identity history.
To hear Episode 37 A Toxic Brand, click on the link below:
Sources Referenced and Items of Interest
Norimitsu Onishi, “Will American Ideas Tear France Apart? Some of Its Leaders Think So” (2/09/2021 New York Times)
Celine Castronuovo, Utah school will no longer allow parents to opt students out of Black History Month curriculum” (2/6/21 The Hill)
Max Brantley, “Social studies teachers object to Republican cancel-culture bills (1/25/2021)
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death (1969)
Salman Rushdie, “What Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” Tells Us Now” (1/13/2019 The New Yorker)
Betsy Morais, “The Neverending Campaign to Ban ‘Slaughterhouse Five'” (8/12/2011 The Atlantic)
“Doing history is like working with a loaded gun. It’s not safe.”Josh Weiner