"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, April 27, 2007

Is It Because I'm Black? Well, no, it isn't...

I hate to even somewhat disagree with John McWhorter---whom I regard as a giant---re the Magic Negro Theory.

As a gentleman of the right, I must first perform my obligatory tap-dance about "Magic Negro" in reference to Barack Obama. It was originated by a gentleman of the left, so that's the PC cover.

But we must use "Magic Negro" because it's so damned apt. No other riff can do the proposition justice, that white folks will make Sen. Obama our next president because it would serve as a refutation of America's egregious racist past. (And present.)

There's some currency to that: I admit to favorable affirmative action sentiments because black folk have undeniably gotten a crappy deal from America to date, but it's not even about making reparation as much as a hope that we can somehow, as a nation, pull together.

A black US president would be a good thing, domestically and internationally.

But the main reason I oppose affirmative action as a formal policy, whether in government, government contracts, or law or medical schools is that it diminishes genuine black achievement. I worked as a headhunter in the medical field briefly, and let me tell you, people are wary of black surgeons. Black man x might be the greatest surgeon in human history, but as long as affirmative action exists, you can't know by what means he came to hold that scalpel. Somebody still gets through medical school but graduates at the bottom of his class. Nobody wants to play those odds, and don't think black folk haven't figured out the same thing themselves.


So with the tap-dance completed, I think that attributing any significant level of Barack Obama's success so far to his blackness denigrates him. If the GOP is the stupid party (and it is), the Democrats are the foolish party, which fact places Sen. Obama head and shoulders above the rest of the Demo wannabes, each of whom have had their moments of foolishness. He's as handsome as Jack Kennedy, not quite as winningly glib (but it's early yet), has the political philosophy of Jack's dissipated brother Edward, and hasn't made a fool of himself.

A JFK with Ted's politics? Who's also not a self-proved fool? Are you kidding me? That brings ecstasy to this new Democrat core, the victorious-at-last McGovernites.

So, I disagree with the "Negro" part completely. But "Magic" is magic, and Democratically speaking, Obama's got it.

Screw affirmative action, then---mebbe he gets a marginal credit, but that cannot swing a candidate from the minus column into the plus. They'd vote for Barack Obama as surgeon-in-chief even if he had the obstacle of both parents happening to be Caucasian to overcome.

Which makes Barack Obama all the more alarming. He's not the black candidate, or the affirmative action candidate, he's the leftist candidate. He talks JFK, but he walks EMK. Danger, Will Robinson...

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