even as a little boy, he was tough as nails. The last time hisrnmother could remember Jesse crying was when he was threernyears old and his father left home for the goldfields of California.rnIn the series, Jesse also has to be taught the use of firearms.rnHe is portrayed as very nervous around guns, and in a criticalrnsituation he freezes and is unable to pull the trigger. The realrnJesse was an accomplished hunter and tracker and an expertrnmarksman by his early teens. By the time he turned 17, he wasrna Confederate guerrilla riding with Bloody Bill Anderson. AsrnAnderson described young Jesse: “Not to have any beard, he isrnthe keenest and cleanest fighter in the command.”rnI probably do not have to tell you that our Indians were alwaysrnperfect. They never killed women or children or innocentrnmen, nor did they scalp or muhlate their victims. They treatedrntheir women honorably and respectfully. Only whites perpetratedrnatrocities and abused women. Story lines that had Indiansrnchasing Pony Express riders were rejected out of hand, althoughrnthere are several true stories of lone Pony Express ridersrnbeing chased by dozens of Indians, suffering terrible wounds,rnand yet miraculously escaping. Great stuff, but not the stuffrnThe Young Riders was made ofrnRecently, I served as a consultant for a major studio doingrnan historical project on California. Again, the politicalrncorrectness was evident on every page of the script. Nearly everyrnscene featured “people of color.” If whites were to bernshown, they had to be part of—in the studio’s words—an “ethnicallyrndiverse” group. For example, four figures representedrnthe miners of a gold town in California. One was black, onernwas Mexican, one was Chinese, and one was white: perfect balancernand perfect nonsense.rnI doubt it will make much difference, but in my notes for thernstudio I provided the federal census for Bodie, about as typicalrna mining town as one could find. The census counted somern5,400 people in the town. Of these, 92 percent were white, 6rnpercent Chinese, 1.9 percent Mexican, and 0.3 percent black.rnI could find no mining town where blacks constituted morernthan one-half of one percent of the populafion. So, yes, blacksrnwere in the gold camps, but in numbers so small as to be almostrninvisible.rnThe Chinese were the only significant non-white group, butrneven they accounted for only six percent of the population inrnBodie and were never much more than that in any camp. Nornmatter: The gold camps will be portrayed as “ethnically diverse,”rnmeaning one-quarter black, one-quarter Mexican, onequarterrnChinese, and one-quarter white.rnWhen it comes to the mining camps of the 19th-centuryrnWest, the term “ethnically diverse” should really be reserved forrnthe different kinds of whites. In Bodie, half of the 5,400 residentsrnwere foreign-born whites. Some 850 had been bom inrnIreland; 750 in Canada; 550 in England, Cornwall, or Wales;rn250 in Germany; 120 in Scotland; 80 in France; and 60 inrnSweden, Denmark, or Norway.rnThen, of course, there were the 2,400 native-born whitesrnfrom various sections of the country. This is what diversityrnmeant in the mining camps of the Old West: Irishmen andrnScots; Cornishmen, Welshmen, and Englishmen; Germansrnand Scandinavians; Frenchmen; New England Yankees; bigcityrnNew Yorkers; Virginia cavaliers; Midwestern farmers;rnTexas Comanche-fighters; and others from all points between.rnWhites simply do not seem to count anymore when it comesrnto such projects. To portray the struggles and achievements ofrnwhites just will not do. Yet California has been more than 90rnpercent white for most of its history as a state, and, as a result,rnmost of those who have struggled and achieved have beenrnwhite.rnI was surprised to see in this latest project that even the Okies,rnexcept for one brief scene, were ignored. At one time, theyrnhad some status as an oppressed victim group and, therefore,rnwere worthy of a sympathefic portrayal, as in John Ford’s epic.rnGrapes ofWrath. Today, being white, they get almost no portrayalrnat all, yet they had a profound effect on the state of Californiarnand had it far, far rougher than any immigrants today.rnBetween 1920 and 1950, some 1.2 million people from therngreater Dust Bowl region arrived in California, most of themrnOkies, Arkies, and Texans. Many areas of the state were fransformed.rnBy 1950, Dust Bowl folk eonsfituted 12 percent of thernstate’s population. In the San Joaquin Valley, they were 22 percentrnof the populafion. Even in Los Angeles, they were morernthan ten percent of the population.rnThey were instantly identifiable by their dress, accents, language,rneountry-westem music, and evangelical Protestantism.rnThey were down-home folk, proud, conscious of their separaternidenfity, ready and willing to fight, and tough. It is no longerrnfashionable or politically correct to mention them, though, becausernthey were white and their necks were burned a deep redrnafter a day in the fields.rnIf network television and the major studios are mostly confrolledrnby the industry’s prevailing ideology of political correctness,rnthe cable channels offer some hope. I have been an interviewrnsubject for some 40 documentaries, including tworndozen episodes of T/ie Real West. Most of the producers I havernworked with have been determined to tell the story straight.rnThey have had real integrity and produced a finished productrnin which I was proud to appear.rnThe Real West first aired on A&E several years ago and quicklyrnbecame the most popular series in the channel’s history. I dornnot know if the series still holds that claim to fame, but it is regularlyrnrerun now on the History Channel. Middle America,rnwhen given the opportunity, consumes real history with a voraciousrnappetite. I cannot tell you the number of people from everyrnregion in the country who have written me over the years,rnpraising the The Real West and thanking me for my work in it.rnActually, real thanks should go to Greystone Communications,rnthe producer of the series, and to the individual producersrnof each episode. I just hope that those producers, as theyrnmove up to bigger and bigger projects, do not compromise theirrnintegrity for the megabuck carrot of Hollywood.rnOf course, I have also worked with documentary producersrnwho have had polifically correct agendas. One such company,rnwhich was doing a series for Ted Turner, filmed me for morernthan two hours at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. Irnwas not far into the interview before I realized that I wasn’t sayingrnwhat the producers wanted to hear. When the documentaryrnaired, I had a very small role in it. What was left of my interviewrnhad been edited to render my comments innocuousrnand generally compatible with the producers’ agenda.rnI shall continue to do my best to tell it sfraight, but I shall alsornkeep my powder dry. The day may come when it will be necessaryrnto take America back. Do not let the Marines’ sacrifice atrnTarawa, or the sacrifice of Americans at any other beachhead orrnfield of battle, be in vain.rn20/CHRONICLESrnrnrn