Separate incidents in entertainment news last week highlighted just how deeply blacks are in thrall to the divisive racism of identity politics.
First, ESPN commentator Rob Parker raised viewers’ eyebrows with his astounding musings about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on the show First Take. Parker, who is black, openly questioned whether the black “RG3” is black enough:
Is he a ‘brother,’ or is he a ‘cornball brother’? He’s not really... he’s black, he kinda does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause. He’s not one of us. He’s kinda black, but he’s not really, like, the guy you’d really want to hang out with… I want to find out about him. I don’t know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée, there was all this talk about ‘he’s a Republican,’ which there’s no information at all…
In other words, is he a race traitor? Because that’s at the heart of Parker’s blatantly racist suspicion. Black Democrats – and Parker clearly is one because he obviously considers a black Republican to be a “cornball brother,” which is very derogatory slang – put enormous pressure on fellow blacks to be “down with the cause” or else be written off as “not one of us.” The threatening message to other blacks is: Define yourself by your skin color first and foremost. Don’t think for yourself. Keep racial grievances alive. Then we’ll get along just fine.
To his credit, First Take co-host Stephen A. Smith, who is also black, then took a deep breath and responded that “I’m uncomfortable with where we just went.” He went on to defend RG3’s right to live his life any way he wants: “I don’t judge someone’s blackness based on those kind of things.” This echoes RG3’s own desire to escape the label “black quarterback”: “For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin,” said RG3. “You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality.” That’s the color-blindness advocated by Martin Luther King, Jr., but which doesn’t conform to the race-obsessed politics of Rob Parker and his Democratic comrades.
At last word, ESPN suspended Parker indefinitely for his “inappropriate” remarks, amid some clucks of mild disapproval from mainstream media outlets. Few are calling it what it was – pure, unadulterated racism – because post-civil rights era Americans are still uncomfortable acknowledging that blacks can be racist. Compare this to the howling charges of racism that still dog Rush Limbaugh for saying several years ago that black Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was not being held to the same standards as white quarterbacks by a sports media who wanted a black one to succeed.
Next, Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx, starring as a Civil War-era slave in the Quentin Tarantino revenge fantasy Django Unchained, placed himself at the center of two separate incidents highlighting race. Foxx, who just three weeks ago referred to President Obama as “Our Lord and Savior,” once admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that his childhood experiences with racism left him embittered,
until my friends said, “Foxx, you’ve got to realize not all whites are like that. Don’t fall into that trap.” But from what I experienced growing up, I just couldn't trust whites… It wasn't until I got to California that I had other blacks tell me, “Man, you’ve gotta let that go.” In one sense, I’m glad I had the experiences that I did in Texas, because now I can spot racism in a way that those who grew up in California cannot.
Apparently he still can’t spot it in himself, though. Two weekends ago he hosted Saturday Night Live and got big laughs in his monologue by joking about how his character gets to kill all the white people in the movie: “How great is that?” Great? Imagine if his Django Unchained costar Leonardo DiCaprio were to joke about how great it is that he gets to torture all the black people in the movie.
Foxx followed that up last week by claiming in a Vibe magazine interview that “Every single thing in my life is built around race”:
As a black person it's always racial. I come into this place to do a photo shoot and they got Ritz crackers and cheese. I’ll be like, ain’t this a bitch. Y’all didn't know black people was coming. What’s with all this white sh*t? By the same token, if there is fried chicken and watermelon I'll say ain’t this a bitch? So, no matter what we do as black people it’s always gonna be that.
Every single thing in my life is built around race. I don't necessarily speak it because you can't. But the minute I leave my house, I gotta put my other jacket on and say, ‘‘Hey, Thomas, Julian and Greg.” And I gotta be a certain person… But when I get home my other homies are like, ‘How was your day?’ Well, I only had to be white for at least eight hours today, [or] I only had to be white for four hours. Everything we do is that.
Sure, Foxx is trying to be funny, and black comedians riff on race the way white comedians riff on the war between the sexes. But there is more tragedy here than comedy, because Foxx, like his fellow black Democrats, cannot escape the enslavement of defining himself by the color of his skin.
(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 12/20/12)