I’m not sure how I stumbled onto this blog. I was looking for something on Africa and it was in the search results. Google is a great search engine, but it is not without its weirdness. The post that was linked was this one. I thought it was a joke of some sort so I kept reading. Turns out the blog is by a self-absorbed and possibly unbalanced Brit. At least that’s my take. Maybe it is just very clever satire that I’m too “obtuse” to comprehend. You never know.
But the about me section says it is most likely not an elaborate gag.
I am a computer programmer who has lived mostly in or near New York City. The part of the world that has most shaped my view of it is Uptown Manhattan. Although I tend to think of myself more individually, I am in fact part of the wave of middle-class West Indians who left the city in the 1990s to bring up their children. I have two sons, ages 12 and 14 (as of 2010). After 15 years of marriage I left my wife, Rebecca, on March 1st 2009. I took our two sons. She was growing increasingly violent.
At university I studied computers and ancient Greek. Computers showed me how to make a living, the Greeks showed me how to live. People told me studying ancient Greek was a waste of time, but I learned far more about life and the world from the Greeks than from anything in computers.
In my twenties I was a Marxist, a materialist: If God exists, he does not matter to us. The universe is just matter in motion. In my circles in New York, Christianity was something for old women who did not know much about the world.
Then I got married, had children, settled down. Before I got married I had promised Rebecca that I would read the whole Bible. I did, cover to cover. As a materialist Marxist, no less. I found out it was not the pious fable I had always assumed it was. And so in time I became a Catholic.
West Indian, of course, means black from the Caribbean. They are not typically obsessed with their race, but the better educated are just as solipsistic as American blacks. Looking at the guy’s posts shows me he has a near pathological obsession with his skin. John Derbyshire has written a lot about this phenomenon. He thinks it is an American thing, but it is a worldwide phenomenon. The post-colonial African leaders were educated in the West and brought back with them an obsession with their race.
In a recent radio transmission, Derb said:
For many American blacks, especially elite blacks like the Obamas, nothing exists outside their own blackness. Their blackness is endlessly interesting, endlessly fascinating to them. They can never get enough of thinking about it, talking about it, reading and writing about it.
If they write a book, it’s about their blackness: Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father, for example. If they write a college paper, it’s about their blackness: Mrs Obama’s Princeton thesis, for example, the seven words of whose title contain the word “black” twice. If they read a book, it’s about blackness. I’ve spent many, many hours riding the New York subway. Sitting next to a black person who’s reading a book, I take a peek: two times out of three it’s some black author writing about blackness.
Black black blackety-blackety-black. It fills their consciousness and absorbs their attention. What on earth must it be like to so trapped like that, such a prisoner of your own skin? I can’t imagine. I guess, just as the T-shirt slogan says: It’s a black thing; I wouldn’t understand.
It really is a strange thing. John is mostly right to isolate it as a feature of elite blacks, but you see some of it at the lower levels as well. My own sense is it is a part of the racial solidarity that is so strong with blacks. If you are living a middle-class life as a black person, the only way to keep it black is to talk non-stop about being black. It is an overcompensation to remain loyal to the blood, without walking around with your pants down, playing with yourself like they do in the hood.
It is not just a superficial affectation. The latest post on that blog referenced above is a good example of the studied obsessiveness with being black. If you scan through a course list of an Africa-American studies program, you see the same thing. There’s some history and culture course, but the meat of it critical race theory and its variants. CRT is the theory that a super-secret cabal of pale penis people rig everything to keep the black man down. That sounds insane, but I’m being kind. Here’s the official definition:
“CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society. The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive in the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT uses in examining existing power structures. CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color.”
I’ve written a lot about the need for blacks to drop the racial solidarity as a way to move into the mainstream of American life. That’s why the people in the race rackets are so obsessed with keeping everyone on the reservation. It’s a self-ghettoization that is self-perpetuating, therefore I see no way out of it. Perhaps it becomes so poisonous it just collapses on its own. Maybe when all the old race hustlers from the civil rights era drop dead, the funk will lift. When you have a distinct minority that defines itself by its obsession with being a distinct minority, there’s no reason to think they ever pull out of that spiral.