Admittedly I grew up in a racist neighborhood. The working class to survive has always relied on love of their own and on hate of all who appear to threaten their own and the little they have. Love gets the good press, but in the real struggle of everyday life on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, hate is a more useful tool for climbing up that ladder. Racism was just one of many hates. Its advantage was that it joined all ethnicities and sexes of one skin color into a battle with those of another skin color so that for a moment they could forget the ethnic and sex battles going on among those of the same skin color. In the end, the winner was always the same and consisted of those watching the battles from on-high on the top rungs of the ladder but never involved in any of the battles — by on-high I mean both socially and spiritually since God never seemed to care either. It was much like the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian in which the Roman soldiers stand by watching the various factions of the Judean Liberation Parties or whatever they called themselves fighting among themselves to the point of physical collapse and then the soldiers easily march in and carry everyone away to prison. I avoided becoming a racist because personally and through reading of history I understood that the opponents were as battered and in as bad a shape as I was if not worse.
However, after decades of avoiding racism, honestly I have to admit it is becoming a viable option because its nature has changed, it is no longer a battle between those at the bottom while the powers watch but it is becoming a technique for becoming and staying a power at the top. Rich white folks that happen to be black still think like rich white folks. There is no “diversity” in claiming otherwise but simply a new school of racism.
In addition to Mr. Coates, the archetypal sycophant of rich white people, I am running into more and more complaints by so-called “leaders” of the Black community such as Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, and Susan Rice complaining that ridicule and insulting treatment of President Obama are motivated by racism and that more blacks are needed in government for “diversity”. This is equivalent to the Bush family complaining that any ridicule of them results from their ancestor arriving in America as an indentured servant and that more rich and powerful ancestors of indentured servants are needed in government for “diversity” of opinion. This is the new racism. These “leaders” have successfully used whatever abilities they have plus their “African American” status to become among the rich and powerful in the United States. Like Mr. Coates, being a “black body” is the best thing that ever happened to them. Though they may have read about racist acts of injustice, I doubt if any of them have ever personally experienced any truly racist act of injustice.
First, these “leaders” and many more seem to have not read any history and have forgotten the recent history of how President Obama came into the presidency with the largest democratic popular vote since FDR plus a majority in both houses of Congress for the first time since the mid-1990’s. He promised to change the system, get us out of war, and received the Nobel Peace Prize simply for being black. Eight years later his primary accomplishment has been to sell the American health system to insurance companies while: leaving millions still uninsured; expanding government warrantless search and seizure power to levels never thought possible; issuing a record number of prosecutions for whistle-blowing thus further expanding government power; establishing regular Thursday meetings to decide what U.S. Citizen he is going to kill by drones this week; leaving Wall Street and its bankers richer than ever while the rest of America is underemployed with lower real wages equivalent to 1970’s income; letting China, Russia, and Islam become world empires again; and allowing despots in judicial robes redefine Western Civilization. For all this, unlike past presidents from John Adams to Bill Clinton (I would include the second George Bush but he deserved the ridicule he got) who did much better with their terms of office, there have been: no assassination attempts or threats (remember four presidents were assassinated in office plus there were two attempts); no insulting nicknames by the news media for him such as “Useless S. Grant”, “Tricky Dick”, “His Rotundity”, “Martin Van Ruin”, “His Accidency”; and no daily television comedy skits showing him to be a stumbling buffoon or indecisive Southern redneck peanut farmer as done with Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Further, unlike Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Johnson, President Obama is still able to walk out in public without ridicule in his second term and has the respect of his party — why is beyond me since he broke all the hopes that led to his winning election except for gay marriage that is of dubious value. As far as I can see based on my reading of presidential history, he is getting off easy for his betraying of the promises and voters that got him in office.
I go on to some of the referenced complaining “leaders”.
My book Between the World and Us establishes Mr. Coates as a spoiled, racist white kid who happens to be black who not only never had a “struggle” in life but was too lazy even to graduate from college despite having it handled to him for free. He now gets rich being a black friend to rich white folks while giving advice to poor black kids guaranteed to keep them poor.
Oprah Winfrey is the embodiment of the stereotypical snake oil salesman and the founder of modern day trash television. The idea that she adds “diversity” to her spawn consisting of the day-time television likes of The Jerry Springer Show, The Jenny Jones Show, The Maury Povich Show, The Montel Williams Show, and Ricki Lake simply because she is black is the new racism. The fact that she gets away with what she does plus gets rich and powerful at it shows the darkest side of human nature and creates nothing but despair that the working class will ever be anything other than pawns in life. No one should care what she says about anything. The fact that she is a regular guest at the White House should be basis enough for justified ridicule of President Obama. Again, being black is the best thing that ever happened to her and by her cries of racism establishes herself as a new school racist.
Susan Rice has the audacity to complain that there are two many “white” people in national security posts thus endangering national security because there is no “diversity of opinion”. Ms. Rice grew up in Washington, D.C. educated in private schools and is the Stanford-educated daughter of a governor of the Federal Reserve System and a Brookings Institute researcher. Adding her or anyone like her to government adds no diversity. To say it does simply because she is black is the new racism and she is a new school racist.
No doubt, given his age, Mr. Powell remembers what real racism is. Whatever he remembers, such does not change the reality of what he is and that he has no basis for pretending that he is anything but a powerful, ambitious, individual whose life goals are power and personal advancement. He was a professional career military officer. If you want real diversity of opinion added to national security policy, add mine based on six years of military experience all across the globe as an enlisted man: as professional career military, Powell was and is willing to sacrifice anyone and anything not for love of country but for the benefit of his career as is true of any professional military officer in any professional military of any country. As an officer in the Korean War he carried out his assigned responsibility to put down black soldiers’ protests and then in Vietnam he was assigned to investigate the My Lai Massacre that he whitewashed as he was expected to do to advance his career. He is not a combat leader of men and never led men in combat, instead he has been a political officer and sycophant his whole life to the powers-that-be — as is true of most career military commissioned officers. When this country in 2001-02 needed his “leadership” the most, Secretary of State Powell and all the joint chiefs of staff instead of standing up to idiot President George Bush and insane Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney with the ridiculous idea of starting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not only did Powell do nothing to stop it but instead helped make the case for it. When the war plans failed, Powell simply resigned from government to take up a multimillion dollar paid position in private industry. He is a successful power-that-be. He used all his resources to advance his career and his fortunes and the fortunes of his family members, including the fact that he was “African American”; without that last fact, he would have been just another white officer responsible for whitewashing the My Lai investigation that once discovered would have and should have ended his military career. The fact is that being black or African-American or whatever he wants to call himself is the best thing that ever happened to him. He might have witnessed or read about racism and racist injustice but he has no personal experience of suffering it.
The same is true of now President Obama. Being black is the best thing that ever happened to President Obama. Otherwise, he would be just another burnout from Hawaii working in some government job waiting for his pension to kick in. He has no business claiming to represent the poor and impoverished, white or black. His wife, a classmate of mine, Michelle Obama worked as a corporate attorney for a large Chicago law firm handling discrimination cases; thus, when one of their corporate or rich clients was sued for discrimination by a woman or black person, they could bring her in to defend and establish their political correctness. Ms. Obama’s father and mother probably knew real racist discrimination, but she and her present family have known and will know nothing but benefits from racism.
These “leaders” provide no diversity of opinion because irrespective of color, sex, sexual orientation, or whatever, these individuals all think and act the same because they are the same, they are not “diverse” simply because they are black. Is that not want racism is, claiming that someone thinks differently because of their skin color? The Obamas, Ophray Winfrey, Colin Powell, and most of the “leaders” of the “African American” community that I have heard complaining about mistreatment of Obama or needed diversity in his administration are individuals who have made it to the top of the ladder and are looking down. They are rich white folk that happen to be black. As with Mr. Coates, they are no threat to any racists out there, are no threat to Wall Street, and are no threat to any status quo or power elite. They are the power elite.
Good for them, but using race to stay in power makes them racist and is the new school of racism. For a more detailed analysis of this issue, I suggest the book The Trouble with Diversity by Walter Benn Michaels and White Trash, The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg.
The personal problem I have with all this is the more these power elite new school racists complain about racism and a need for diversity, the more I am tempted to become an old school racist. The question is, what do I do about it? Become an old school racist after a lifetime of avoiding such?