The Unbearable Whiteness of Pumpkins

Daniel Greenfield,

Our academics, the more useless ones, are on the front lines of the war against all forms of bigotry. Especially those involving pumpkins. They unpack the knapsacks to discover the hidden lurking subtext of everyday life. Especially pumpkins.

This piece of work on “The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins” comes to us from Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt, the John Shelton Reed Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies in the Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Lisa Jordan Powell, a postdoctoral fellow appointed jointly in the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia.

It’s not a joke. Or perhaps it is in the sense that the left has gone so insane that its normalization of ideological madness is a routine sort of joke. 

Here are some of the best parts of “The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins” And remember, this isn’t mental illness. This is what the left’s academia looks like now.

“This article examines the symbolic whiteness associated with pumpkins in the contemporary United States. Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte, a widely circulated essay in McSweeney’s on “Decorative Gourd Season,” pumpkins in aspirational lifestyle magazines, and the reality television show Punkin Chunkin provide entry points into whiteness–pumpkin connections.”

“When considered vis-à-vis violence and activism that incorporated pumpkins, these analyses point toward the perils of equating pumpkins and whiteness.”

“Spaces where actual pumpkins reside differ from spaces in which metaphorical pumpkins are segregated in the social landscape of modern U.S. cultures.”

“Therefore, not only does this article stand as an investigation of the politics of pumpkins, but also it explores the possibilities and potential of interdisciplinary methodologies wedding geography and the humanities. Interdisciplinary pumpkin analyses, however, need to begin with pumpkins in fields and national food chains.”

great-pumpkin-4_small The Unbearable Whiteness of Pumpkins Opinion

“Nevertheless, pumpkins are real, material food plants in addition to being cultural symbols.”

“The U.S. agricultural system’s structure means that workers of many races have likely touched the pumpkin you celebrate”

“Actual pumpkins and the ideas of pumpkins intersect; both stay on the page for the remainder of this article.”

“Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice latte (PSL) in 2003. The company claimed sales of more than 200 million by the start of PSL’s tenth season, noting that fans had established it as “the company’s most popular seasonal beverage of al”l time” Although the PSL was celebrated as a company and cultural success in 2013, one year later it was firmly hitched to discussions of white female identity and consumerism as both a dismissive, rac”ially coded slur and a rallying counterpoint.”

“PSLs are one step further from actual pumpkins. Their fluffiness, lack of substance, and triviality,… make them ultimate luxuries and hence markers of distinction and white privilege “

“We no longer need to consume pumpkins for caloric subsistence. Instead, we demonstrate consumer savvy and gleeful excess by choosing the particular comforts of status-demonstrating Starbucks PSLs.”

“Starbucks PSLs are products of coffee shop culture, with its gendered and racial codes. …find coffee shop culture’s roots in the British Empire of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.”

“Concurrent with women’s entrance were milky, sweet drinks; Ellis called them together the “lactification of the coffee-house.” His odd phrase nonetheless makes visible underlying feminizing and whitening of drinks, spaces, and practices of coffee shops.”

“Lest we rest too comfortably on the female gendering of pumpkins…”

“Food scholars like Levenstein and southern studies scholars like Hale have long argued that U.S. culture’s growing preference for white foods—sugar, flour, bread, or eggs—parallels the tightening of Jim Crow laws after Reconstruction.”

“Genteel, white, upper class, rural or suburban pumpkins coexist with a gritty, expletive-filled diatribe of excess.”

“Whiteness associated with pumpkins marks who resides where on the spectrum of U.S. social power.”

When Ferguson activists wrote RACISM and WHITE PRIVILEGE on pumpkins, they destabilized the whiteness of pumpkins… activists brought pumpkins into a space where racial inequality and instability could not be ignored or glossed over. Their actions made the white privilege encoded in pumpkins explicit.”

Sadly neither Engelhardt nor Powell appear to have seen an actual pumpkin. They’re not white. They’re orange.