Has black become a term of opprobrium?
I ask because Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell are not viewed as black people. These two leaders seem to me to be the epitome of the American dream --- study, do well in school, work hard and strive for success. America has delivered for both Rice and Powell.
Because they are both in a Republican administration they are no longer seen as black. The same seems to be true of Justice Clarence Thomas. He isn’t black because he is a successful conservative judge.
The pattern I see is that if you follow the American adage to study hard, get a good education and work hard you will succeed in becoming an American success. If you want to be considered “black” you need to fail a bit at the study hard admonition and make good in one of the 20th Century black fields of sports, music or lefty politics.
An example that comes to mind is three professors. Angela Davis and Cornel West are both considered black academics, she because she is a communist and he because he is an anti-Semitic rapper. Thomas Sowell, also a professor, is a prominent academic success but he’s not considered black.
There are dozens of police chiefs and fire chiefs in America who are rarely cited as black success stories. The same is true for two prominent CEO’s, Richard Parsons of Time Warner and Stanley O'Neal CEO of Merrill Lynch.
Then there are ministers. Two Baptists, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are black but the half dozen Catholic, Methodist and Episcopalian bishops in the U.S. with African heritage are not blacks.
The most bizarre phenomenon is acting. Actors who play roles of responsible people, like Bill Cosby or James Earl Jackson are Americans, those few who play roles as bad boys, like Spike Lee, are black.
I’ve worked hard in the civil rights movement every day since I tried to desegregate white barbershops on the south side of Chicago in 1957. The current outcome seems strange to me. Success for people with an African heritage makes them Americans, but the people who are called black successes are in sports, music or are political lefties.
Is this development good or bad?