John Ridley is the Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay, for 12 Years a Slave. While he is reliably left leaning on such current affairs as same-sex “marriage,” he is on-the-spot with the following commentary on cultural anchors.
Via Esquire Magazine:
…In the forty years since the Deal was brokered, since the Voting Rights Act was signed, there have been successes for blacks. But there are still too many blacks in prison, too many kids aggrandizing the thug life, and way too many African-Americans doing far too little with the opportunities others earned for them.
If we as a race could win the centuries-long war against institutionalized racism, why is it that so many of us cannot secure the advantage after decades of freedom?
The author, last night. Jason Merritt/Getty
That which retards us is the worst of “us,” those who disdain actual ascendancy gained by way of intellectual expansion and physical toil—who instead value the posture of an “urban,” a “street,” a “real” existence, no matter that such a culture threatens to render them extinct.
“Them” being niggers.
I have no qualm about using the word nigger. It is a word. It is in the English lexicon, and no amount of political correctness, no amputation into “the n-word”—as if by the castration of a few letters we should then be able to conceptualize its meaning without feeling its sting—will remove it from reality.
So I say this: It’s time for ascended blacks to wish niggers good luck. Just as whites may be concerned with the good of all citizens but don’t travel their days worrying specifically about the well-being of hillbillies from Appalachia, we need to send niggers on their way. We need to start extolling the most virtuous of ourselves. It is time to celebrate the New Black Americans—those who have sealed the Deal, who aren’t beholden to liberal indulgence any more than they are to the disdain of the hard Right. It is time to praise blacks who are merely undeniable in their individuality and exemplary in their levels of achievement.
This, then, is how the praise begins. We need to burn into our collective memory the event that marked the beginning of our new timeline: an event from early in this millennium that seemed, for its moment in time, auspicious but that is now all but forgotten. It was lost in the ash of fires in Over-the-Rhine. Buried in the rubble of 9/11. But I for one will not let it go, won’t let it get dumped into a potter’s field of U. S. politics. It was too important. Far too significant. It was eleven days when two blacks ran America.
IF THE SITUATION were just slightly altered, Condoleezza Rice might have been, and would have made, a better Mrs. George W. Bush than the current Mrs. George W. Bush. Same as George, Condi’s politics are right. Her worldview is faith based, courtesy of her reverend pops. A protege of Brent Scowcroft’s, she served as a special assistant for national-security affairs to George H. W. Bush, so she was preapproved by Dad. And should anyone posit that a woman of color would not be welcome to Thanksgiving dinner in Kennebunkport, well, Bush brother Jeb had married himself a minority, so even that trail was previously blazed.
But for G. B. the second, much to his credit, his interest in Condi was less about her being a woman, let alone a black woman, and more about her being an accomplished individual.
And Dr. Condi is accomplished as hell: a Ph.D. in poli-sci from the University of Denver. Former provost of Stanford. At thirty-five, barely a kid in Washington years, she was a staffer at the National Security Council. She came onto the foreign-policy train wreck that was the early days of G. W. Bush’s 2000 campaign. Helped mold his malapropism-afflicted worldview into a demicoherent one. After the certification of Bush’s election, Dr. Condi got herself easily appointed as national-security advisor.
Firsts all the way around.
Black America should have been singing hosannas.
But Condi was Republican. So never mind. Never mind she’d spent a lifetime facing down racism. Born in Birmingham at the peak of race hate, Condi was a schoolmate of Denise McNair, one of the “four little girls” bombed to death in September of ’63 at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Niggers and old-school shines couldn’t abide her. Same as with Clarence Thomas, they let her politics obfuscate her accomplishments. They stamped her: Not Officially Black. Bloggers tagged her a “Sally Hemings for the Twenty-first Century.” Left-leaning pundits smeared her with the slurs “Aunt Jemima” and “brown sugar.” Julian Bond, reaching deep into the old-school bag of tricks, turned to rhyme to asperse Dr. Rice’s authenticity: “Just because they are your skin folks, doesn’t mean they’re your kinfolks.”
Then they went back to entertaining themselves with another Wayans-brothers movie….