Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wally Butterworth, Professional Jackass

Three years ago, I received some records and tapes from a correspondent who had a long-deceased relative who had been part of the far right wing in the 1950's and 1960's. Among the many absolutely repugnant items in this collection of records and tapes was an album containing two racists screeds by a man named Wally Butterworth. I posted  both sides of the album, as well as the remarkable sleeve that it came in, to the WFMU blog, at that time. You can read about it, and hear it here.

I don't think I really ever expected to hear Wally Butterworth again, but upon opening up a tape that I got from God knows where, I found it contained another one of his lectures, sounding pretty much the same as the other two. And with the radical, racist right making more noise today than in more than 40 years, and being mainstreamed more than at any point in most of our lifetimes, I thought this was a good time to expose this asshole via his own words.

His topic on this recording is Sex Education in the Schools. I have no idea if his information is accurate - some of it does genuinely sound pretty "out there" for grade and high schools, particularly in the time frame that this would have been recorded. But there are two problems with this:

Number one, this faction has proven time and again that there first course of action will be to either make something up whole cloth, or to take a sliver of real information, and fabricate something potentially horrifying around it, unrelated to the truth of the matter.

Number two, and to me even more important, even if Butterworth had many of his facts straight, he has surrounded this information with repeated racist and anti-Semitic references, which are gratuitously attached to subjects, organizations and people who he seems to have brought up solely to slander and insult them.

(Oh, and then there's the section where he suggests - twice - that a certain teacher who did something he finds inappropriate ought to be, um, no longer alive.)

As recently as five years ago, I thought this sort of thing had receded into the background, and that was left of it was being flagged and identified as such by the vast majority of the population. Sadly, the last few years (as indicated in Portland this week) have proven that to have been false hope. When Wally Butterworth spoke these words, he was on the fringe of the fringe. Today, sadly, he'd probably have the opportunity to appear on major TV networks and radio programs.

Download: Wally Butterworth - Sex in Our Public Schools


  1. The audio sounds distorted. He speaks a lot like Paul Harvey, although I know it isn't him.

  2. This rant (and other examples of Wally's garbage) can be found (unfortunately) at the Internet Archive.

  3. I may be in the minority, but I really think it was good to post this "Asinine Racist Anti-Semitic Blowhard F...w..s" stuff. It is, of course, pure racist, bigoted garbage, but it's important to demonstrate to younger folk just how crazy people were in this nation not all that long ago. I cringe at some of the things we said in the '50s and '60s. People need to this listen to this garbage in order to hear just how vile and despicable some people can be.
    Thanks for the post! It's a real wake-up call!

    1. Seconded and thank you for your words, CM!
      Good call on sharing these recordings, Bob.
      Yes, they're distasteful, but they provide plenty of teaching material and historic examples to a new generation of citizens.
      What a treasure trove of recorded material. I'd sure like to talk to you at length re Wally Butterworth, et al, as years ago I used to work with his ilk. It was a real education for yours truly!

  4. This guy is SO right on!