“I love black people, but I hate niggers!” – Chris Rock
A few weeks ago, Bill O’Reilly went out to dinner with Al Sharpton at one of these soul food restaurants up in Harlem, like the one Queen Latifah worked at in Jungle Fever. The next day, on his syndicated radio program, Bill claimed to have been shocked to find out that eating in a black restaurant wasn’t all that different from eating in, say, an Italian restaurant. There wasn’t anyone shouting, “We need some more ice tea, motherfucker!”
As I mentioned at the time, I was kinda disappointed to learn that this was a case. I mean, on the one hand, I suppose it’s nice to know that black people are behaving themselves in public. But on the other hand, you can’t help but think that a few shouted curse words may have added to the milieu. It’s like going to a white trash restaurant (like a Ponderosa or an Old Country Buffet) here the Midwest. You kinda hope to see an old person eating off of the buffet with their hands or a single mother stuffing chicken in her purse – just to top off the experience.
Oddly enough, it turns out that Bill O’Reilly may have just been around the wrong race of black people. Yes, the wrong race. According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, damn near 4 in 10 black people no longer believe black people can be thought of as a single race.
You can download the report in its entirety and check the key findings bullet point-steez at the Pew website:
The thing is, you know how these polls can be skewed to say all sorts of shit. It’s the reason people are under the impression that only something like 5% of people in this country don’t believe in God. In fact, Juan Williams, the guy Bill O’Reilly was talking to when he made his (not actually) racist statement about his trip up to Harlem, is already over this. In a commentary on these results for NPR, he basically suggests that this is proof that Bill Cosby was right all along. Poor black people will remain in the ghetto forever because they’d rather steal pound cake than find meaningful work.
For what it’s worth, the poll does suggest that an increasing amount of black people do hold Bill Cosby-ish views. For example, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby were the most highly regarded of 14 black newsmakers mentioned in the survey. 87% and 85% of black people felt that the two of them were a good influence on the black community respectively. By contrast, only 17% of blacks said that 50 Cent was a good influence. According to another question in the poll, 53% of black people now believe it’s true that black people that can’t get ahead are mostly responsible for their own condition.
However, I must have been on a three day-long bender the day it was determined that if a majority of black people think something is a good idea, that means it’s true. If anything, this poll just suggests that an growing number of black people – probably as a sheer matter of luck – have finally joined the segment of society that doesn’t live in squalor and filth, and they’re convinced that this is somehow evidence of their superiority over their own brothers and cousins. Meanwhile, if they had the sense that God gave the common furry woodland creature, they’d know that capitalism only works if some group (in our case, black men) exists in a state of permanent subjugation vis a vis the rest of society.
The Juan Williams of the world amongst are suggesting that this is some sort of coup for the black community, that finally black people are beginning to wake up and smell the coffee. Of course I’d beg to differ. If anything, this is a sign that more and more black people are beginning to drink the Kool-Aid. Black people who listen to T.I. may be a stain on the black community, but you know who else is a stain on the black community? Black people who listen to Donnie McClurkin. And it’s the latter I’m worried about much more so than the former.