One more take on the Sargeant, the Professore and the President. Stanley Crouch is honet, smart, and blunt.
Nothing brings out more American madness than race and nothing is more available for exaggeration than the “plight” of black people, especially black men, most especially those now behind bars. They are the most authentic because real black men always run afoul of the law or are forced by poverty to murder, rape, and brutalize other black people when not selling them drugs. Authentic black men are not academic milquetoasts. They wake up angry, they go to bed angry, and they sleep in anger.
But if one listens to conservative race-baiters like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh — professionals who are loons on demand and for pay — one notices that they also live inside of shared toxic exaggerations. Or at least spout them. As they speak of Barack Obama’s supposed hatred of white people, the red seems to grow from their necks and rise under the skin on the backs of their heads until continuing to their faces which then take on the kind of purple white people call “wine stain.” I doubt a brew will calm them down. Nor will a pain killer.
This is a weird moment.
All three beer drinkers have Irish blood in their ancestry.
This moment of ethnic trivia made molten by our media but also unavoidably high profile by Obama’s choosing to answer an inappropriate question about the arrest at the end of a press conference on health care! His choice showed the President to be far more vulnerable to lack of discipline than at nearly any moment during his long, long march to election.
The public confessions of “me and my gal on the side” made by Gov. Mark Sanford and Sen. John Ensign have pulled us closer to a formerly secret Washington, D.C., prayer group on C Street. The Christian group is called, like Charles Manson’s followers, The Family. It has an ominous philosophy that transcends morality with a small first letter in favor of a heavenly Morality out of which God chooses men for the execution of power rather than to act by the standards used to assess men with lesser positions of authority. According to Malcolm X in his Autobiography, this was the explanation Elijah Muhammad gave him to explain having impregnated a few of his young secretaries. As it was once said in the streets, “Either it is what it is, or it ain’t what it ain’t.”
Sgt. Crowley will have been happy every second that he was there. Arresting a Negro doesn’t always get you to the White House.
Both Sanford and Ensign pray—or some would say prey—with those men who gather on C Street. They have been counseled by the group in matters of the spirit and the booty—I mean the body.
Ishmael Reed’s extended diatribe in Counter Punch lays out all of the black complaints most often made about Gates behind his back. Like most academics, the black ones are distinguished more by their cowardice than any dedication to intellectual rigor. Gates has long been under attack for being trendish, for selling out to feminists, to homosexual liberation, and to whatever point of view comes up if aligning himself with it will guarantee his further success. A disreputable brother, mostly because he makes so much goddamn money and is on television more than his mediocre colleagues.
Where Reed’s logic veers into ethnic solidarity rather than substantial ideas or opinions is very obvious, but his charges are much more common than those reading about the Gates arrest would assume because he is so often referred to as “America’s top black intellectual.” Reed correctly asks just who might be the most prominent white intellectual. Hmm. No answer. Silent night.
Now, there we go, a very good point. Who is the smartest white guy? George Will? By Yahweh, no!