Jewish Journal


February 25, 2010

Henry Louis Gates—-Time for Another Beer


Remember Henry Louis Gates?  He’s the Harvard professor who went ballistic when a white Cambridge police officer hand-cuffed him and hauled him off to jail for disorderly conduct.  He had refused to cooperate with officers who thought he might have been involved in home break-in (his home).

Gates offered another story.  The arresting officer was a racist who simply couldn’t believe that a black man lived in a high-priced, Harvard-adjacent neighborhood.  The back-story however was that this cop had no history of bad behavior of any kind and numerous black officers on the force came to his defense.

The cap on the issue was that Obama eventually hosted a White House “happy hour” involving Gates, Vice President Joe Biden, and the arresting officer, Sergeant James Crowley.  They came by, had a beer or two, and talked about their disagreements.  It was a nice media moment, but it glossed over the victim politics and bad behavior exhibited by Gates - one of the country’s best-known and most respected black scholars.

But now there’s new reason to bring Gates back to the table – perhaps for another beer or two – but this time to ask him why the publication he presides over is publishing nasty, bigoted, and just plain dumb-assed racial material?

The Root

is a website operated by the Washington Post and its editor-in-chief is none other than Harvard University’s Henry Louis Gates.  This site features commentaries “from a black perspective” (whatever that is). 

So be it.  But what got my attention, and elevated my blood pressure several notches, was a recent article on

The Root

“Black Folks We’d Like To remove From Black History,” written by Jada Smith. 

For starters, the premise is dumb as a rock. 

But getting beyond that, the writer used the well-known Zora Neale Hurston’s quote that “All my kinfolk ain’t my kinfolk” to act as the catalyst for listing the black people she’d like to erase from the pages of history.  By doing so, Smith dusts off the old and lame notion of race-focused “authentic” black people versus “sell-out Oreos” who insist on wandering away from the racial plantation.  Somebody please tell Smith that it’s 2010, not 1949.

On Smith’s list are discredited politicians (the former Washington D.C. mayor and crack-head, Marion Barry), indicted physicians (Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of presiding over Michael Jackson’s death), reality television “attention-whores” (Omarosa), and clownish rappers (Flavor Flav).

However, also on the list is Michael Steele, the Chair of the Republican National Committee and Clarence Thomas, an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court.  Why Steele?  Apparently she objects to Steele’s Republican Party affiliation and mutters something about him being “the bozo of politics.” But, what’s a sitting Supreme Court Justice doing on this list?  According to Smith, his crime should be obvious—Thomas has the audacity to see the Constitution as a “colorblind” document.

This gives insight into the race-obsessed, victim-based worldview of this writer and others who share her ideology.  People like her think that black people, like Thomas, who insist that judicial fairness and justice rely on race-neutral interpretations of the Constitution are naïve rubes – thus subject to ridicule.

Not yet done embarrassing herself, Smith fleshed out her list by adding, along with others, these individuals:

• Double-murderer, O.J. Simpson
• The mad-man of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe
• Idi Amin, the man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Uganda
• And two ruthless men largely viewed as being responsible for Haiti’s horrid, impoverished state, “Baby Doc” and “Papa Doc”  Duvalier.

So, accomplished, successful men like Michael Steele and Clarence Thomas should be “written out of the race” and put on a list of fools, clowns, criminals and mass-killers. 

Are you kidding me!

Its not enough that those invested in racial identity and racial authenticity see black conservatives as “self-loathing,” now they’re advocating that they be removed completely from history.

We get this nonsense from the very same liberal race advocates and activists who obsessively scold us about the need, no the demand, that we tolerate differences and champion diversity.  They do so until it grates against the racial group-think they adhere to.  They will then turn a blind eye to an inescapable reality; that black people don’t all think alike, nor act alike, and with increasing frequency also reject the victim narrative so often published in

The Root


What’s ironic is that the hyper-sensitive Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates, allowed this on a website he presides over.  I’m willing to sit down with the professor, have a beer or two, and hear his defense of a brain-dead, insulting screed that he allowed into print.  Hey, I’ll even cover the cost of the beers.

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