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There are folks who remind you that are just a neophyte in the game. They are the Ric Flairs and Shawn Michaels of the world sonning an up and coming worker inside the squared circle; John Hope Franklin demonstrating how much history that you do not know (over and over again); Foucault confusing a seminar of first year grad students; Rakim, Jay, Ghost, or Biggie leading a cypher that destroys a Southern crap rapper; or the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church telling Henry Louis Gates Jr. that the Ark of the Covenant and its meaning to Ethiopians is a matter of faith and not proof.
Writing for Joe Feagin's great website Racism Review, Professor Molefi Asante, noted scholar of race and political thought, summed up in elegant and dense prose what I have been trying to communicate for years--much of white racism and patronage towards black conservatives involves a deep and almost pathological projection of what Whiteness wants to believe that black folks is, are, and were. Thus, my oft made illusion that the Herman Cains, Michael Steeles, Juan Williams, Alan Keyes, and the other assorted black mascots of the New Right are race minstrels.
Ultimately, styles make fights, and when I take on black
He is a pro, decades deep in the game. I am a early journeyman. So much to learn, so much.
To point: Who would have thought that popular black conservatives are actually victims of an insidious form of enabling white racism? I am still working this one out because I am afraid to concede that self-hating, racial opportunists may actually be afforded the title of "victim." But Asante's point is so sharp and deft it has already cut me several times.
From "Two Classes of Racism in Two Keys":
There are two general classes of racism that continue to confound most thinkers on the subject because of their subtlety. I have called them racism that praises and racism that blurs, both are equally common and dangerous in modern heterogeneous industrial societies such as the United States.
Racism that praises is a special variety often seen in arenas where white incompetence meets black incompetence. It is particularly true in the cases where the white incompetent holds a position of power or authority and can therefore confer upon the black incompetent a mark of recognition of some type. It is one incompetent praising another as if this is an indication that the praiser is not racist. This is usually done when the praisee is not only incompetent but malevolent against black people. It is the phenomenon that we often see when whites, that are racist, praise right wing or reactionary blacks for opposing equal rights, human dignity, or African resistance to discrimination. They are out front showing that they are as tough on black folks as the most rabid racist. The common parlance used to be “uncle toms” but I believe that the term has limited resonance with contemporary thinking about how racism works. In effect, these black people are victims of an insidious form of racism promoted and prosecuted by white Uncle Sams and Aunt Teresas who believe that they are showing that they are not racist by showering the malevolent and incompetent black with praise. This is the foulest example of racism that praises.
...To say that you do not see me as black is to deny a big part of my identity; it is in fact to claim that if I were black in your imagination certain “other” ideas would haunt our relationship. You know, black is this and black is that, and black can be that, but alas, I do not see you as black. To say that you do not see someone’s color or biology is not a compliment, though it might have been posed as such because of the latent racism, much like the racism by praise where a white person thinks that by supporting black incompetence she is in fact supporting black people, freedom, equality or something, when in fact she is demonstrating a high degree of racism...