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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, February 17, 2012

NOT BLACK ENOUGH

"I’ve been called ‘Uncle Tom,’ and I know how that feels."

Whitney Houston died recently, possibly suicide or just from misuse of drugs. This has been a godsend for the Grammies and record company execs, but there's something about her past that only Larry Elder wants to talk about:
But Houston also struggled with something else that black Republicans and black non-Democrats can understand: ridicule and ostracism for “selling out,” or “acting white,” or not being “black enough.”

Ebony, the black monthly magazine, wrote about the then-27-year-old: “Black disc jockeys have chided her for ‘not having soul’ and being ‘too white.’ … She was booed at the Soul Train Music Awards. … It’s enough to drive a good Christian girl to drink, drugs or at least to cursing."
That's right, she was insufficiently "black" and attacked for it. I remember in the 70's when Carlos Santana was attacked for not being Latin enough. He put out a few more songs in Spanish and the comments died down: he'd done his penance and bowed to the racial commissars.

Larry Elder thinks that part of the reason Whitney Houston ended up married to a scumbag who beat her and on drugs was an attempt to fit the black image. And it killed her.

The movie Lock, Stock, and 2 Smoking Barrels has a prominent, very powerful gangster in it that is the film's biggest and most dangerous bad guy. He controls a great deal of crime, and he does it with British style and a West End London accent. And he's black. He just happens to have dark skin, he's still just a British guy, but his ethnic background is African, at least a few generations back.

I remember watching the Olympics a long time ago and seeing a black British athlete interviewed. When he spoke he sounded like John Cleese, not Snoop Dogg. It was shocking and surprising to American ears, at least my young ones. We're so used to blacks so often sounding and acting as a special subculture in the US we don't realize that everywhere else in the world, black guys are as distinct as left-handed or blue-eyed guys. They're just Frenchmen in France and Somalians in Somalia and Taiwanese in Taiwan.

Only in America are blacks supposed to be different, as if they aren't really American but some separate group somehow coexisting in the borders of the US but separate. And in that the Jim Crow Democrats really succeeded: they really did manage to get "separate but equal" established culturally. And they did it with the help of black Americans.

How you look doesn't matter a bit, its how you behave and believe. Guys from Africa are confused by this effect, they tend to really dislike American blacks because they can't seem to figure out what nation they live in or assimilate.

See, Whitney Houston wasn't "black enough" because she didn't speak with the usual Southern Plantation-influenced patter, she didn't sing "black enough" music to match the soul music of her peers. She didn't wear "black enough" clothing. Every black Republican that has lived in the US has been attacked the same way. You aren't really authentically black unless you're a leftist on the plantation. Know your place.

And that's just a shame. Blacks were becoming part of standard American culture, and adding their cultural tone to the nation in the late 60's and that was a good thing. We like it when new influences and people are mixed into our culture - but we want you to become part of America. When Martin Luther King jr was shot, all that seemed to come to an end. Instead of being "American and Proud" they became "Black and Proud" and the split took place.

And the nation has been poorer for it ever since.

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