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Life's little ironies

By Michael J. Smith on Monday July 27, 2009 12:25 PM

A nice item by Ishmael Reed on Counterpunch about America's "Leading black intellectual" (you mean that's not Cornel West)?

Now that Henry Louis Gates Jr. has gotten a tiny taste of what “the underclass” undergo each day, do you think that he will go easier on them? Lighten up on the tough love lectures?

...[I]t was his Op ed for the Times blaming continued anti-Semitism on African Americans that brought the public intellectual uptown. It was then that Gates was ordained as the pre-eminent African American scholar when, if one polled African-American scholars throughout the nation, Gates would not have ranked among the top twenty five.....

.... Under Tina Brown’s editorship at The New Yorker, Gates was hired to do hatchet jobs on Minister Louis Farrakhan and the late playwright August Wilson.....

Gates is among those leaders who were “given to us,” not only by the white mainstream but also by white progressives. Amy Goodman carries on about Gates and Cornel West like the old Bobby Soxers used to swoon over Sinatra. Last week Rachel Maddow called Gates “the nation’s leading black intellectual.” Who pray tell is the nation’s leading white intellectual, Rachel? How come we can only have one?

Comments (11)

Michael Hureaux Perez:

Are you kidding? I'd like to think that this is one of those "teachable" moments, but as regards this sort of thing, Skip Gates is going to require quite a few more lessons, or so it seems to me.

Dick Gregory's line on Harvard is a keeper...

A "leading Black intellectual"?

Hell, I hadn't even heard of the guy until he was busted. Maybe I just don't spend enough time reading tedious, turgid essays or attending tedious, turgid lectures.

Oh, and given Oprah's penchant for pimping frauds and kooks -- Jenny McCarthy's "Vaccination Causes Autism" freak show, and books like A Million Little Pieces and The Secret -- wouldn't simply being seen with Oprah pretty much disqualify him as an intellectual?

Just saying...

No, no, I think it's because Gates was arrested that he then annointed America's Leading Black Model's Got Talent on Survivor Island or whatever. Going on Oprah is just a formality.

Or rather, Gates is our "leading black intellectual" much in the same way that Joe the Plumber is a "working class spokesman" or Dick Cheney is a "human being."


This is antfucking. Who gives a shit?

Not so sure this is just antfucking. It's damned close to something that might have been scripted.

It sets up a safe intell-ebrity as "TNLBI," which itself underscores the age-old notion that there are intellectuals and then there are black intellectuals, kind of like there is a middle class and an underclass.

This further walls off people like Adolph Reed, Ishmael Reed, and even Cornel West, who have actual things to say, unlike Mr. Gates.

Then, it lets Obammer start with a semi-remark (to please the liberals) then immediately retract it, as is his true nature and pleasing to those he cares about.

Finally, he gets to play National Mediator and undoubtedly peddle the results as his great contribution to healing race relations in this country.

All without moving a single piece of furniture...


What's antfucking? It's not even on urbandictionary.com, which is my sole point of contact with the contemporary world.

Al Schumann:

Antfucking is a focus on the inconsequential.

I'd say it's a variant of flea-fucking. A tempest in a teapot, except even smaller and sillier.


This was pure righteous agitprop theater. Here is a cop in a town-gown urban setting, who allegedly teaches "racial diversity" to other cops (having been the paid victim of many alleged "training" sessions put on by semi-cops, I wonder how well the sergeant spoke about the topic - give a cop a podium, and he thinks he's a perfesser even though he has trouble naming three of the manin contributors to SMBIVA), putting his lowly class position into overdrive when called out by a ridiculous trash-talking ("your mama is outside" - I believe Wilde also used said epithet). Obama dares to rebuke the Cambridge police for arresting a man for doing nothing (couldn't the cop have sold the story of an abusive prof to TMZ), and then weasels his way out by using a classic formation of his having not "calibrated" his words better.
Cheers to class, race, and the power of the police state. It was the feel-stupid event of the summer. And if you don't like these precisely calibrated words from me, your mama's outside.


"Antfucking is a focus on the inconsequential"

whereas aunt fucking
is focusing on the consanguineal

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