Wine Making- The New Racist Hate Crime



By Richard Eber

I’m a little bit frustrated.  It seems everything I write or do in my life is being analyzed by Progressive politicians as being racist or politically incorrect.

Even the hobby of wine making enjoyed by me for 28 years is being challenged by the Left for excluding African Americans from the trade.  According to Tom Wark, who publishes the Fermentation Wine Blog, the industry is inherently racist in enabling minorities  to fill its ranks.

From his pulpit operating the PR firm of Wark Communications, he believes the trade has ended up acting in a racist manor for the following reasons.

1-African-Americans are less exposed to wine due to their drinking habits, which may make it less likely for them to consider wine as a career.

2-Because of the income disparity suffered by African-Americans families, they may not have grown up with wine on their table, and thus had not considered it as a career.

3-Because African-Americans don’t see many people looking like them within the wine industry, they may choose to avoid the industry.

4-Because in many communities where winemaking is prevalent we don’t see large Black communities, there may be fewer African American candidates for jobs at or with wineries that often look locally for hires.

5-Because many positions in the wine industry might require a degree from an institution of higher education, the fact that African-Americans are underrepresented as degree holders may play a role in their underrepresentation in the wine industry.

Basically what Mr. Wark is saying can only be interpreted to mean that because there has historically been little interest by African Americans in the wine industry, this is the fault of those engaging in the trade.  To me this sounds a lot like pretzel logic.  It means that every business or hobby that is underrepresented by any ethnic minority must be racist by definition.

One of the supporters of Wark’s comments said, “Short answer is: the wine industry is racist. Period. End. It’s also extremely elitist. So, add racism to classism. So many in the industry act “woke”, especially following George Floyd’s murder. But, where were they when Eric Garner was killed? Or Philando Castile? Or countless others?

This moron is trying to say that the art of wine making should be done with politics in mind. Such a notion is nonsense. And I always thought Brix (sugar level of grapes) were different from “bricks” thrown at Antifa protests!

As a home winemaker for nearly 30 years, I have gravitated to this hobby because it does not involve Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals; nor anything that could ever be construed as racist.  As a matter of fact people of all races and cultures have joined me in the wine making process for picking to processing.

My friends from West African would take exception with the premises of Wark’s theory. So would the group of Chinese families who I have taught wine making to the last 5 years agree with the notion that producing vino is an elitist pastime?  We must remember that making this fermented beverage has been going on for at least 3000 years without Progressive zealots pointing out it is a racist-highbrow activity.

Outside of being a winemaker who likes fruit forward grapes imparting full flavor with a good finish, I have always enjoyed my hobby because it is apolitical by definition.  It really bugs me that even this seemingly benign activity is now being considered racist.

Wine making is merely “a drop in the bucket” compared with the feeding frenzy of the Left in trying to point the finger of discrimination in all directions.  

For a recent example we can look to Hollywood changing the Academy Awards so they include quotas of African American actors and suitable themes to meet politically correct norms.  Let’s not forget Joe Biden’s view to take on a dark complexioned female to be his running mate.  Now we have new laws proposed in California to assure Women and individuals of color are required to be represented in the corporate board rooms.

Whatever happened to the most qualified being cited for excellence or awards given to best in their field?  I thought the Supreme Court banned Affirmative Action years ago. Apparently laws against looting, assaulting police officers, committing felonies by illegal aliens, or co-operating with Federal Law enforcement agencies are only selectively enforced when convenient.

Even worse the “The Wokes” who control the Democratic Party think it is their duty for the government to deal with any perceived social injustice that collides with their Socialist political agenda. They even asked for their followers to boycott the store Hobby Lobby because their owners are supporters of Donald Trump.  So now a price is to be paid for those who express their free will in a democratic election. 

If the truth be known such conduct as threatening businesses who hold differing opinions are characteristic of what one might find in Putin’s Russia, Communist China, or Iran.  It might come to the point where purchasing a sandwich at Pro Life leaning Chic Fil-A, might be one day considered to be a hate crime.

No one is exempt.  Even a fellow like me who vints a Bordeaux style wine composed of Cabernet, Cab Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot, is under the gun for making racist vino. Perhaps if I changed the label of my creation to “Diversity Blend”, the Progressives will let me off the hook this time.

Unfortunately, there is little chance for me to receive forgiveness from the Left.  When the revolution comes, I will likely be one of the first political malcontents to be arrested  Hopefully the apprehension will be done at my house instead of sardine like living conditions the government is trying to impose on its constituents.


Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

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Mike Murphy
Mike Murphy
3 months ago

What do they mean, not exposed to wine? What about Ripple, Four Roses, Thunderbird, MD 20-20…

Michael A.
Michael A.
3 months ago

So basically you take an endeavor, any endeavor and if there are not Black people involved in it you call it racist. What a (dumb) country we have become.