The real oppression of blacks

My friend La Shawn Barber writes a review at NRO of what seems to be an important new book: He Talk Like a White Boy, by Joesph Phillips,

"a semi—autobiographical collection of essays about his love for this country and his respect for the 'old school' values that make America strong. Recurring themes are family, faith, and freedom.

The book deals with what seems to me (a self—confessed white man) the primary source of oppression of blacks in present day America.

"...the 'tyranny of opinion'—the idea that a self—anointed group stood at the doors of culture and determined who was or wasn't black enough. As a conservative columnist and speaker, Phillips receives his share of letters and e—mail from members of this group who sling ad hominem attacks (usually anonymously) but rarely deal with the substance of his work. 'In their minds,' he writes, 'I no longer speak like a white boy, I now think like a white boy.'"

Call me a wild optimist, but I am seeing more and more signs that this sort of self—defeating attitude is in retreat. Of course, rap music, BET, Hollywood, and many other purveyors of 'tude continue to work their wiles on the young in particular. But with more and more outstanding African—American candidates serving as visible role models of leadership, with brilliant writers like Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell serving as inspiration for thinkers of any race, and with tireless bloggers like La Shawn, the same logic of assimilation into mainstream culture will work for blacks as has worked for every ethnic group in America. The struggle is far from over. But seeing people like Joseph Phillips take to print gladdens my heart.

Thomas Lifson  6 2 06

My friend La Shawn Barber writes a review at NRO of what seems to be an important new book: He Talk Like a White Boy, by Joesph Phillips,

"a semi—autobiographical collection of essays about his love for this country and his respect for the 'old school' values that make America strong. Recurring themes are family, faith, and freedom.

The book deals with what seems to me (a self—confessed white man) the primary source of oppression of blacks in present day America.

"...the 'tyranny of opinion'—the idea that a self—anointed group stood at the doors of culture and determined who was or wasn't black enough. As a conservative columnist and speaker, Phillips receives his share of letters and e—mail from members of this group who sling ad hominem attacks (usually anonymously) but rarely deal with the substance of his work. 'In their minds,' he writes, 'I no longer speak like a white boy, I now think like a white boy.'"

Call me a wild optimist, but I am seeing more and more signs that this sort of self—defeating attitude is in retreat. Of course, rap music, BET, Hollywood, and many other purveyors of 'tude continue to work their wiles on the young in particular. But with more and more outstanding African—American candidates serving as visible role models of leadership, with brilliant writers like Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell serving as inspiration for thinkers of any race, and with tireless bloggers like La Shawn, the same logic of assimilation into mainstream culture will work for blacks as has worked for every ethnic group in America. The struggle is far from over. But seeing people like Joseph Phillips take to print gladdens my heart.

Thomas Lifson  6 2 06