The White Man's Burden - A revelation

I’m a reasonably well informed individual, and yet until a few minutes ago referencing off a thread in GD, I no idea exactly where this term "The White Man’s Burden" came from.

It’s apparently from a Rudyard Kipling poem that very succiently captures expresses the British Imperialist VIctorian zeitgeist.

Take up the White Man’s burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

Take up the White Man’s burden—
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain,
To seek another’s profit
And work another’s gain.

Take up the White Man’s burden—
The savage wars of peace—
Fill full the mouth of Famine,
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
(The end for others sought)
Watch sloth and heathen folly
Bring all your hope to nought.

Take up the White Man’s burden—
No iron rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper—
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go, make them with your living
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man’s burden,
And reap his old reward—
The blame of those ye better
The hate of those ye guard—
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
“Why brought ye us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?”

Take up the White Man’s burden—
Ye dare not stoop to less—
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness.
By all ye will or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent sullen peoples
Shall weigh your God and you.

Take up the White Man’s burden!
Have done with childish days—
The lightly-proffered laurel,
The easy ungrudged praise:
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers.

Henry Labouchère’s response, 1899:
Pile on the brown man’s burden
To gratify your greed;
Go, clear away the “niggers”
Who progress would impede;
Be very stern, for truly
'Tis useless to be mild
With new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

Pile on the brown man’s burden;
And, if ye rouse his hate,
Meet his old-fashioned reasons
With Maxims up to date.
With shells and dumdum bullets
A hundred times made plain
The brown man’s loss must ever
Imply the white man’s gain.

Pile on the brown man’s burden,
compel him to be free;
Let all your manifestoes
Reek with philanthropy.
And if with heathen folly
He dares your will dispute,
Then, in the name of freedom,
Don’t hesitate to shoot.

Pile on the brown man’s burden,
And if his cry be sore,
That surely need not irk you–
Ye’ve driven slaves before.
Seize on his ports and pastures,
The fields his people tread;
Go make from them your living,
And mark them with his dead.

Pile on the brown man’s burden,
And through the world proclaim
That ye are Freedom’s agent–
There’s no more paying game!
And, should your own past history
Straight in your teeth be thrown,
Retort that independence
Is good for whites alone.

Pile on the Black Man’s Burden.

'Tis nearest at your door;

Why heed long bleeding Cuba,

or dark Hawaii’s shore?

Hail ye your fearless armies,

Which menace feeble folks

Who fight with clubs and arrows

and brook your rifle’s smoke.

Pile on the Black Man’s Burden

His wail with laughter drown

You’ve sealed the Red Man’s problem,

And will take up the Brown,

In vain ye seek to end it,

With bullets, blood or death

Better by far defend it

With honor’s holy breath.

Source: H.T. Johnson, “The Black Man’s Burden,” Voice of Missions, VII (Atlanta: April 1899), 1. Reprinted in Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., Black Americans and the White Man’s Burden, 1898–1903 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press), 1975, 183–184.

There once was a honkey from Nantucket…

I recall from one of Isaac Asimov’s popular histories (words from memory):

From George Orwell’s classic essay on Kipling:

Could there be a thread on any board anywhere with three more stunning, iconic pieces of writing in the first 5 posts? Thanks folks, you have enriched my day. My life, actually.

BTW, astro, here’s another classic Kipling apologetic for imperialism: “A Song of the White Men”.

I don’t agree with it myself, but there’s a school of thought that says Kipling was actually satirizing imperialism with the poem, not lauding it. I don’t know a lot about Kipling’s life or views, but the idea should probably be noted.

And now I see that I got too caught up in reading the poems to realize that the OP’s other quote acknowledged that perspective. :smack:

All aptly posted in the wake of the New Orleans devastation, the most glaring example of this country not doing the right thing by the most vulnerable citizens.

Right. Let’s colonialize New Orleans!

If by “colonialize,” you mean “gentrify,” that may be in the cards.