The racist end of folkbum’s reputation
Despite a general decline in the thoughtfulness and general quality of Jay Bullock’s blog folkbum, he is still one of the leading liberal bloggers in the state. The decline of folkbum can be traced directly to his decision to bring additional bloggers.
Last week, one of the other bloggers at Bullock’s blog, “Bert,” really drove folkbum into the gutter. “Bert” called local radio personality James T. Harris “black with an asterisk.”
Harris is a black with an asterisk. Like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Harris reaps personal benefits from his black status for himself by perpetrating the structural disadvantages for fellow blacks. This gets James T. paid and publicized because it is soothing to many whites to hear blacks deny those structural problems are real, or to attack those black leaders who are trying to fix them.
Harris also sounds like a phony black, trying a little too hard to speak the way suburbanites think blacks should sound, as in the quotation above when he throws out “that’s just the way I roll” or “my brother” to a fellow black.
Harris is a conservative with an asterisk. He takes the position all the way down the boilerplate of a conservative for fiduciary reasons. Harris wants pub. That’s why he was doing the video thing at WMCS, and that’s why he grandstanded for the news cameras in a phony rant during the campaign stop for McCain.
If Harris were a dog, he would walk around on two legs. If he were a woman with unusually large breasts, he would show them off in skimpy clothes. Harris sports phony conservative implants because they are unusual on a black man and thereby attract the leering attention of conservatives and their media outlet managers.
Let’s set aside the libelous content regarding the authenticity of Harris’ political positions. I find it utterly amazing that someone would actually judge a person’s character and racial identity on the basis of his politics. I also wonder if “Bert” is even capable of thinking through the implications of what he wrote.
Is “Bert” really saying that one cannot be authentically African American unless they agree with him? Does he really believe that, even then, someone who has the skin of an African American cannot really be a conservative, that it will always be just an act? What constitutes black enough to be authentic? 90% agreement with Bert? 80% agreement with Bert?
Since Harris’ appearance on WMCS was cancelled because of a stupid dispute over a camera, perhaps “Bert” and Bullock can go on Earl Ingram’s show and tell callers whether they are authentically black or not. That ought to go over well, right? They could even do it like the radio commercials for Miller High Life. “Yep, you are living the life of a black man.”
It’s been nearly a week since the blog post went up. I haven’t seen any distancing by Bullock from the post. Instead, Bullock’s very first comment on the post called the Reverend Al Sharpton “a caricature of an African American.” Bullock then defended the post by pointing to an editorial by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that used similar language about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, forgetting the editorial was also attacked as racist at the time. (Will Bullock employ a Senator Robert Byrd defense that just because he was a former Klansman it would be okay for Bullock to suddenly join the Ku Klux Klan?)
Bullock’s continued defense of the indefensible damns whatever remaining credibility his website had. He can claim that it was “Bert” that did the posting, but Bullock has now enabled and defended the post on his website, and he deserves the resulting damage to his reputation.
Meanwhile, “Bert” is supposedly some sort of academic or history teacher somewhere (although it would be hard to guess from the quality of his blog posts). I hope he isn’t setting the standard for race relations there.