Pat Boone: cultural hate from the man who ‘Whitewashed’ Black music

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You have all probably noticed the advertisements recently shown in Montana in which Pat Boone, one of my generation’s popular singers in the 1950s, has been “educating” that same generation — who are now senior citizens — concerning threats posed by President Obama and Sen. Tester to our Medicare system. In those ads, Mr. Boone “informs” us that the Democrats want to cut $500 billion from the Medicare program — oh my!

Upon looking up the facts of the matter, however, what these Democrats actually support is a seven percent reduction in the growth of Medicare costs over the next decade by which they hope to save about $500 billion. Their purpose for this future savings is to help ensure the long-term solvency of Medicare, not to weaken it.

So can it be that the teenage heartthrob of my generation is just trying to scare his senior citizen fans with intentional misrepresentations of the facts so that they will not vote for these two Democrats in November? Since these Democrats are solid supporters of the Medicare program, it appears that Mr. Boone is the one who is trying to weaken it by preventing the reelection of these two Democrats.

Because of an article Mr. Boone wrote in June 2009 (still accessible at, I was not surprised to witness this devious behavior. It appears that Mr. Boone no longer even knows what constitutes a gross misrepresentation when one happens to support his biases.

In the previous article I am referring to, called “The President Without a Country,” Mr. Boone started by “informing us” of a set of statements supposedly made by our then-brand-new President Obama. These included the following: “We’re no longer a Christian nation.” “America has been arrogant.” “After 9/11, America didn’t always live up to her ideals.” And “You might say that America is a Muslim nation.”

So again, oh my! The message is — where did this traitorous person with the funny name and dark skin come from?

Now, if one checks out these alleged quotes of President Obama indicated above (see, one finds that all of them were either selected out of a larger context in which no such thought was being conveyed, or that they were simply fabricated.

In addition, in his article Mr. Boone then went on to relate Edward Hale’s well-known story (which, by the way, is also a piece of fiction) called “A Man without a Country.” In that story, a Mr. Phillip Nolan is found guilty of treason against the USA, and prior to being sentenced cries out, “Damn the United States! I wish I might never hear of the United States again.”

Mr. Boone then suggested that our newly elected president is the modern equivalent of the fictitious Mr. Nolan, who was found guilty of treason and condemned to a life of complete isolation from his country. While all of this is nonsense, of course, I can imagine how well it goes down among the residual cultural bigots of my generation.

With the advantage of hindsight, I now see the person of Pat Boone very differently than I did as a teenager. I can now see that this 1950s pop recording and radio phenomenon is one of several White persons who were able to take the rock-and-roll and even blues tunes and songs that were being born and nurtured by African American singers, songwriters, and musicians in all sorts of clubs — completely under the national pop radar — and recycle them (or “Whitewash” them) nationally in the mouths of White persons such as Pat Boone.

The Caucasian beneficiaries of this trend did not scare or antagonize the pop music national market, as the recording executives and radio programmers thought African Americans did. Thus, to some extent Pat Boone was invented to appeal to a dominantly White national audience that was variously racist or just simply afraid of Americans who came from a different cultural background.

That’s how he started out, and that’s how he appears to be ending up. Mr. Boone now tells various stories in order to spread cultural hate, fear and suspicion within a country that has become one of the world’s most successful and stable undoubtedly because of its long history of continuously increasing cultural diversity.

That diversity has grown ever since the first Europeans forced themselves onto existing American populations over four centuries ago. Concerning any disloyalty to one’s country, Mr. Boone should reread Hale’s book and then ask himself who it is that does not adequately appreciate the gifts that his country and its cultural diversity has provided? Is it not the man who took “Ain’t That a Shame?” and “Tutti Frutti” to the top of the charts?

Eric Grimsrud is a resident of Kalispell, Montana. Thanks to Eric for allowing us to reprint this and to his brother Dave of Zumbrota, Minnesota for bringing it to our attention.

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