John Schnatter is being erased. And, he’s neither the first nor the last person to be erased. We will see more and more of this in the next few years. The tragedy is that it was predicted years ago. The tragedy is that we allow it to happen. The pendulum has swung too far from the center, and that bodes ill for us all.
“The sacred principles of Ingsoc. Newspeak, doublethink, the mutability of the past,” and now, fake news and political correctness. These are the children of our social conscience. These are the dread offspring of George Orwell’s “1984” which – more like vultures than chickens – have come to roost in this country in 2018.
John Schnatter is being erased not only from the corporation he established and nurtured, but also from his charitable works. And George Orwell predicted this. Explore with me, for a moment, the mind of Winston Smith, the anti-hero of “1984.”
It is my hypothesis that John Schnatter was encouraged to use the “n-word” during a corporate training exercise. Nothing in the news reports contradicts that. Further, it is a technique I’ve seen employed in such training as early as a “race relations” course mandated, and offered by a government contractor as early as 1973. There are always “fresh dupes waiting to be seduced,” Winston thought. He was right. No matter how unbelievable are the pronouncements of “racism,” no matter how inconsequential the sound bites offered by politicians, no matter how confusing the statements and contradictions of the president, there are people who continue to be seduced by them.
I was duped in 1973 into using the “n-word,” and watched the instructor’s pleasure as he made an example of me. I will not say John Schnatter was duped, but I will suggest the instructors might have been equally pleased when he fell for what was likely a trap.
The attacks on reason are “so exaggerated and perverse that a child should [be] able to see through [them], and yet they are just plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling that other people, less level-headed than oneself, might be taken in…” Someone who would neither use the n-word or the q-word might easily be led to say them in a training session – but without the euphemisms, “nigger. … queer.”
Winston Smith’s job was to “alter, or, as the official phrase had it, to “rectify” news articles later shown to be incorrect – or inconsistent with current thinking. He did so not only by adjusting numeric predictions, or, “substitution of one piece of nonsense for another,” but also by rewriting history until “the chosen lie would pass into the permanent records and become truth.”
Smith chose to do this with “a piece of pure fantasy.” This included the erasure of a real Comrade Withers, replacing him with a fictitious Comrade Oglivy.
In like manner, the management of “Papa John’s” and the popular press seem to have decided to erase John Schnatter.
But with what is he being replaced?
That is, indeed, the question.
References and notes.
All quotations are from the Kindle edition of George Orwell’s “1984.”
Winston Smith thinks “Ingsoc” might have once been “English socialism.”
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.