Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Tweeting the Revolution

On Twitter, Mr Sock-it-to-the-Man Chris Rock is angry he's been denied the opportunity to grow up in a mud hut in what is now Angola:
Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks
The powerful have made the elevation of Rock's inept and untrustworthy relatives (the mocking of whom has made him rich) an impossible standard of justice. Detroit is in ruins. Hip hop has gone from coarse to bloodthirsty. And Chris bleats away in between tweets about the Knicks. On Independence Day. Well and safely removed, you can bet, from the ghetto blacks he lampoons. What a dick.

Could it be that Chris Rock doesn't understand the nature of his success? That, after all this time, he still doesn't get they joke? That he doesn't understand the consequences of his observations?

(Upon having his epiphany, fellow millionaire minstrel Dave Chapelle fled to Africa to consult with Lauryn Hill. Ms Hill is probably the least funny person on earth--but one of the few black Americans to actually give Africa an honest try; Chapelle went as if to be exorcised of his talent, and it may have worked.)

I think that over time every good Chris Rock joke will come back to haunt him, if he only has the awareness to catch on. I recall his take on the hyped token Colin Powell from 1996:



He's so busy taking exaggerated offense at white condescension he misses the real insight. Will Chris Rock ever acknowledge how comically wrong he was here? The irony--Chris bellows that despite this condescension white America would never elevate this man (Powell, who would be obscure if he were white; but "edgy" Chris ain't going there!) to the presidency; and then along comes Barack Hussein Obama (who himself thought his political career would be derailed by 9/11). And what is the mantra? "Oh he speaks so well." Rock mimicked the language of condescension perfectly, but understood it less--no mean feat--than the whites who originated it. They meant it. Rock missed it. That should be in the act. Imagine him pacing and shouting like he does, admitting:
"Not only did I get it wrong, but Barack Hussein Obama! Motherfuckin' Hu-ssein, Oh-fucking-Bah-ma! Colin Powell just came off too normal! I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about or white people have just gone crazy!"
He nailed the critique of Obama before Obama, but poor Chris doesn't know, because once Obama showed up Chris became one of the mewling patsies he excoriates.

It's remarkable how universal is the convention that everything must be hedged by the myth of white racism and the denial of black agency. The right-thinker has to compartmentalize aspects of the black American condition in ways he wouldn't when considering other questions, deliberately or subconsciously avoiding inferences he would be allowed if the question wasn't so loaded. Segregation is key!

So when the right-thinker sees, for instance, racial disparity in the professions he can only see discrimination by employers. He forgets that five minutes before he was condemning (with even less authority) the unfair racial disparity in educational achievement! No matter; the existence of a great, stifled class of black professionals, milling about outside the gates, is presumed; just as universities are cut no slack for the sorry state of black and brown high school achievement.

A cynical progressive has to appreciate the durability of disparity--an endless source of demagogy. Even as the earnest among them search out the source of minority underachievement like explorers seeking the source of the Nile (they're somewhere below pre-school by now; see Steve Sailer's Stolen Generation) progressives are conceding nothing. Where there is black failure there is white malice. Anything less acknowledges black inadequacy. When that happens, the scam is up.

But the unsubtle and incurious easily adopt the habits of faith over logic. So it's entirely possible that Chris Rock has been these many years chronicling black buffoonery yet taking it to be of no real consequence and anyone who says it is for a bigot! And because this attitude has been mandated by the convention of our dishonest age, Rock's tepid half-truths pass for coruscating honesty.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, many of them fought on the side of the British during the war of Independence, including some that were allegedly Jefferson's slaves. Since the British lost they could not stay in the States and were resettled in what is now Sierra Leone.

Dennis Dale said...

Let's not forget the free blacks of the North, and even some in the South.

An interesting observation from here:

To some Blacks, emancipation meant not only freedom from slavery but also freedom from work. The Blacks associated any type of labor to a form of slavery. They wanted to live a "life of idleness" which they perceived the white people to do.

Plus ca change.

Nyongesa said...

"Upon having his epiphany, fellow millionaire minstrel Dave Chapelle fled to Africa to consult with Lauryn Hill." Dave Chapelle lucidly describes what led him to re-evaluate the career trajectory he was on, and had the brevity to call a time out, and seek a change. Calling him a minstrel and purposely mischarecterizing his motives and actions, gives insight into your own thinking on the subject.

There's plenty to be said about the Black/white condition in America. And when bloggers like yourself have the temerity to wander into the broad no-mans lands, it benefits us all, but remain legible, it would serve you well to deliver your ideas without superfluous taunts, as they numb non-same-tribe recipients to what your trying to convey.

Dennis Dale said...

Yes. I should be more clear. Dave Chapelle had remarkable success with his skit show parodying the conventional discourse on race (such as the brilliant satire of MTV's Real World, wherein the typical racial mix is reversed, with one woeful white guy among violent, amorous, irresponsible blacks);
at some point Dave realized whites and others were not laughing at the typical, and mythical, subject (silly whites) but at the buffoonery of blacks and--this is important--society's inability to face up to it.
And here they were throwing fifty million bucks at him to keep it up. So Dave fled to Africa to be exorcised (picture Lauryn in African garb, waving a thigh bone over a stoned-looking Chapelle).