Like others, I was struck by Master Brook’s op ed in the NYTs today, especially the kicker:
“It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.”
It was classic Bobo. Of course Egypt doesn’t have the tools–they’re not white. His column whitesplains why the Egyptians are doomed–and of course it has something to do with Bobo’s fantasies that there is a White race and that it is the pinnacle of human civilization. In Bobo’s world, great white men created the only institutions and traditions that can lead to success and the only way that the lessor races can improve their lot in life is by following that Anglo-Saxon roadmap. Sadly, in Bobo’s telling, this is a journey that they will never successfully complete without the advice and kindly assistance of their betters.
As always, Bobo skates right up to the line, but leaves just enough ambiguity so that he can claim “who me” if anybody points out his bias for and dedication to white male superiority and privilege.
Which brings me to Paula Deen, a teevee celebrity with none of Brook’s code talkin’ skills. Turns out she uses the word nigger, fantasizes about a slave catered wedding and tries to have a lawsuit thrown out of court because a white person can’t possibly sue her for talkin’ trash about Negroes. Like Brooks, Deen moves though the world with a strong sense of white superiority and privilege. Unlike Brooks, she had no idea about the rules of code talking–and that was her downfall. It seems that using the word “nigger” was the taboo line she crossed, because she had said and done a lot of whack things in the past without any real notice. If Deen had study Bobo, she would have learned not to use that word and the Brookian rules for ways that white folks can talk about their superiority and priviledge without causing blow-back.
Take another example from a couple of weeks ago. Bobo joined E.J. Dionne on NPR for their weekly chat about politics. As they discussed immigration, Bobo whitesplained the concern that all the brown folks were changing America for the worse (emphasis added):
We will have 36 billion new immigrants, 16 – I’m sorry – million additional people. And so the real question is, is this changing our country sociologically and culturally. To me, this has always been the core concern of a lot of opponents and all the other stuff has been window dressing. So now we’re getting down to the core issue.
The notion that immigrants are a threat to fantasies of a white America has been around since before the Nation was founded. The entire notion of race and “whiteness” and white superiority was invented here in America. This myth of white superiority–and not slavery–is the original stain on our Country. Slavery was just a byproduct.
And then there is another recent Bobo column where he triples down on his fear of a brown planet:
Soon, we will no longer be an outpost of Europe, but a nation of mutts, a nation with hundreds of fluid ethnicities from around the world, intermarrying and intermingling. Americans of European descent are already a minority among 5-year-olds. European-Americans will be a minority over all in 30 years at the latest, and probably sooner.
If enacted, the immigration reform bill would accelerate these trends. [snip]
As we stand on the cusp of this New America, it’s understandable to feel some anxiety.
But Bobo being Bobo, he does see a ray of hope–all these new immigrants could join white Americans and embrace their traditional hatred of the blacks:
The most interesting and problematic flashpoint may be between immigrants and African-Americans. We now have this bogus category, “minority,” in which we lump the supposed rainbow coalition of immigrants and blacks. But, in fact, tensions between “minority” groups could soon be more plainly obvious than any solidarity.
The idea that conflicts between non-white folks can be exploited to protect white privilege seems to give Bobo a stiffie. And yet, he is the one who is doomed.
His entire false construction of a superior Anglo-Saxon/Nordic/White/European race and civilization is collapsing under the weight of reality. Deen, Brooks, the Tea Party, the GOP and their fellow travelers are very troubled by this turn of events. They fear living in a world without the benefit of unearned white privilege.
Deen has lost her job for expressing her fear without using code, while Brooks keeps his job because he knows how to use the code as he whitesplains the world.
ps: I’ve been on a walk-about as of late (more about that in another post).