Sunday, December 07, 2008

Goodbye, Uncle Tom

One happy side-effect of the election of our new, fascist, mixed-race commander-in-chief is that it seems to have virtually ended diatribes about how America is allegedly racist. Even the terrible toad Jesse Jackson has morphed into an exultant Grim Weeper. I've noticed an extra hop in the step of black friends, acquaintances and workers. A warmer smile. A little better service, even. I don't think it's my imagination.

Even better than a possible death knell of imaginary racism is an ostensive contempt for Uncle Tom-ism. So-called black leaders are pronouncing with greater confidence the need to move up and be proud of moving up, doing business and being proud of doing business, dressing for success instead of parading in underwear. To give the wonderful Bill Cosby credit, he was doing this before it became cool in the last month, but the chorus has followed. Newspaper columnists are no longer tight-lipped about their agreement with Mr. Cosby. One of the high officials at Morehouse College in Atlanta (historically black college) publicly announced yesterday that he wants students to get "in the zone": no cursing, no sagging pants, no use of the word "niggas." He wants a "Renaissance man" who is "well-read, well-traveled, well-spoken, well-dressed and well-balanced."

Renaissance man!! Imagine hearing such a wonderful and noble phrase from the leader of a black college just one year ago, ante-Obama. Imagine a brave man having said it one year ago and the backlash of contempt that would've followed, as if black men and women needed to be allegedly like their white counterparts.

No. Not anymore. If I'm not being too optimistic, we seem to finally be past our past in this country. Not completely, of course, but pretty damned close. Obversely, perhaps the whites who have lived under "white guilt" will move along as well. The gates are open. All bets are off. Let the tide roll in and remain high.

As we Objectivists know, career is the life-blood of self-esteem. Work is one's connection to the world, the thing that provides tangible, palpable reality to one's self, to one's values, to one's identity, to one's self-esteem. Now, blacks can have that identity without qualms, without worrying that they will be maligned with the sobrequet of "Uncle Tom." What a liberation! They can feel the full pride of their chosen profession and walk proudly in the knowledge that what they do is what they are. Those of us who are of races that have not lived under such psychological oppression will benefit from the concomitant good will of our fellow humans with black skin.

I loathe Mr. Obama's politics, and so I may generalize and say that I loathe his ethics, his morality -- him. I wish his obvious "stature" were well-placed in liberty. It is not. But I thank him for finally giving eulogy to Harriet Beecher Stowe's obsequious slave and what he has ironically come to represent.

I so I say, "Goodbye, Uncle Tom." May you rest in history.

2 comments:

mikepklake said...

Great article....my only hope is that while attending The Black Achievment Awards....or a N.A.A.C.P meeting.....or even better....The Black Music Artist Awards.....that someone will stand up and say.....ENOUGH! If I saw an advertisement for the White Achievment Awards or etc..... I would stand in defiance against such ignorance. It's time for our fellow black Americans to do the same. But......maybe that's just me.

David Elmore said...

Great point about so-called "black" awards, which suggest that the regular awards somehow skip over black people and also imply racial profiling, as if race is somehow an indicator of "self" and identity.