We have spent a lot of time making fun of law professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander for suggesting that white culture is superior to all other cultures. Humor is, of course, a classic bourgeois way to handle some stupid ass scholarship.
But Wax and Alexander’s culturally imperialist argument received a more overtly racist surfacing by Robert L. Woodson in the Wall Street Journal. Woodson is black, and the premise of his article is that bourgeois slaves were doing things right and… other… slaves were doing the whole “slavery” thing all wrong.
A better life has always been available to those who reject undisciplined and irresponsible behavior, and embrace self-determination and personal responsibility. So-called bourgeois values have always empowered blacks to persevere and overcome bitter oppression. They provided the moral “glue” that held the black community together during the hardest of times.
If a white guy said this, the only people defending him would be Nazis, but because a black guy wrote it, it falls to me to point out that this right here has ALWAYS BEEN the argument deployed by House Negroes to justify their position. I PROMISE YOU that if you went back to 1830 and asked the chuckling HNIC how he can live with himself, he’d say: “Look at my back. It ain’t got no scars because I reject undisciplined and irresponsible behavior. Without me, this whole damn plantation would fall apart. Now please excuse me, it’s time for Master to take a dump and I need to be there to wipe his ass.”
I point out that Woodson’s argument is steeped in the long history of coonery not to denigrate Woodson — his own words have done that far better than I could — I point it out to show that large swaths of Black America have adopted “bourgeois values” from the very beginning. Post emancipation, the bourgeois blacks actually won out. Now, most all of us African-Americans have totally adopted the white man’s cultural norms and are just trying to get our share of the rewards.
The most offensive thing about the arguments from Wax, Alexander, and now Woodson is the suggestion that blacks are somehow NOT already well steeped in bourgeois sensibilities.
The most stupid thing about their arguments is the suggestion that White America actually confronts black people who don’t accept bourgeois culture. Don’t be freaking ridiculous. White Americans aren’t even slightly prepared to deal with a minority population who REJECTS bourgeois norms as Wax and Alexander suggests we do. Those idiots apparently have NO IDEA what America would look like if black people truly didn’t ACCEPT Western Culture.
You think other cultural archetypes react better to the central question presented to African-Americans? You best recognize that African-Americans are bourgeois AF.
“Hey, your people have been enslaved and oppressed for hundreds of years, what are you going to do now?”
Judeo-Christian Culture: “I’m going to change your climate, poison your water, and kill your first born children, then bounce.”
Jedi Culture: “I’m going to train elite warriors to assassinate your leaders, and use my military to kill millions of innocents who happen to live on your space station, twice.”
Black Culture: “I’m going to work, hustle, grind, and grift until I have enough money to take my children to Disney World?”
WHICH ONE SOUNDS MORE BOURGEOIS TO YOU?
Unlike white Americans, I think Israelis can and do appreciate just how LUCKY America is that black people in this country have totally bought into the bourgeois norms of Western society. It DOESN’T have to be this way. Y’all COULD be living in a country where the minority population doesn’t respect the rule of law or the promise that economic advancement will cure all ills.
African-Americans do not fight their oppression by blowing up buses. We don’t suicide bomb the Whole Foods. We don’t GUN DOWN HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE AT A COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL. When plotted against the world stage of how OTHER people react to systemic oppression, perceived or otherwise, we are a DOCILE folk.
Watch this Sunday. Watch how some of the most financially secure black people on the planet stand like bourgeois bitches because the white man told them to.
Oh, you can make an argument that bourgeois culture holds black people back, but not because we don’t share those values. If it holds us back, it’s because the white man has successfully co-opted too many of us (myself included)
into buying the cultural norms he’s selling.
All we’re asking is that the white man apply his rules FAIRLY to all of us… we’re not out here writing our own. It’s like all the white mice got a head start on chasing down the cheese while the black rats were held in a cage, FACTS! When the doors finally unlocked, the bourgeois rats said “FINALLY… if I run really fast, I can still get me some cheese,” 👉🏾instead of “F**k yo’ game, I ain’t playing.”👈🏾
How do you know a black guy like me has totally bought into bourgeois culture? Because I spend more time trying to make money than I do plotting how I’m going to kill you. I’m not going to lie, some days IT’S A CLOSE THING. Some days, I only spend 51 percent of my time trying to advance myself and my family economically and socially, while 49 percent of my time is dedicated to drinking in the dark and praying for God to grant me SUPERPOWERS so I can free my people by decimating white society. I was raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition, after all.
But at the end of the day, I’m a docile, weak, slavishly bourgeois domesticated Negro. I’m not going to do anything but make money and complain.
Y’all better HOPE I stay that way.
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