Paul Kersey likes to talk about the importance of sports in establishing positive images of black people. He also likes to talk about popular culture, but not much about how blacks in popular culture mirror the role of blacks in sports.
White people’s love of sports is a security hole. If you leave your door unlocked, or your phone or computer unprotected, it is certainly wrong if someone takes advantage of this to harm you. On the other hand you are well-advised to know your weaknesses and guard yourself. If you are so foolish you don’t even know it is a weakness, you are a sheep for the slaughter.
Gene Kelly tells us his mother has advised him to be a clown, for all the dividends it pays. His logic is hard to refute, especially from a guy who sings and dances with such panache-
Not coincidentally, the two guys accompanying him are black. “Be a clown” is advice taken to heart by blacks. “Every black man is an entertainer”, comedian, black power advocate, and riot enthusiast Paul Mooney informs us.
The black man as entertainer has a long history. When the black man couldn’t perform himself, a stand-in was created- the blackface minstrel. The blackface minstrel is hated among blacks, because they regard the portrayals as racist, but I think also on some level simply because of the expropriation of black culture and experience involved. This is a key point- while the blackface performance portrayed blacks as simple, childish, and poorly behaved, it also communicated a simplicity and earthiness of experience that resonated deeply with the audience.
The blackface minstrel represented the elemental man- human desires on a basis mostly free from shame, guilt and other kinds of social expectations. On some level the audience celebrated this simple, joyful, impulse driven person. The audience couldn’t openly identify with the black man at that time- they couldn’t even watch an actual black person performing, not in a legitimate theater anyway, hence the need for a white performer in makeup- but the seed was there.
As barriers for blacks in entertainment came down, the black man could be seen not as a fool, a silly but on some level a fundamentally sympathetic character- but in more respectable and dominant social roles. Finally we reached the sympathetic, and actually heroic portrayal of the black criminal we have in the hip hop culture.
How is it the black man can be seen as the natural man? Well, first we must dispense with the myth of the natural man. Rosseau was confused by the political and religious turmoil of Europe. The truth is, you can’t strip away such things as religion, law, and culture from human beings and find anything without any but the most limited and basic functioning. These things are technologies. They are invented to serve a functional purpose. Ideally they are completely organic, and as invisible to man as water to a fish. But as society changed, they became something not lived but examined, analyzed, and debated, and became a burden as well as a blessing.
If we believe in the natural man, the African is a logical candidate, having the lowest level of law, religion, science, civilization, order, or desire for any of these things of any substantial group of people. To contemplate Africans or black people as a whole is to contemplate horror- which is why we are not shown black people as a whole in this enterprise, only a carefully selected sample. Black culture is really a myth. What we think of as “black” music was mostly written, composed, arranged, and promoted by Jews. The rap group NWA was the brainchild of 60’s pop music impresario Jerry Heller. Black sports are a myth too, basketball being specifically invented as an activity for prep school students in New England to play indoors during the winter. The black athletic hero is a creation of Jewish sports journalists, Howard Cosell first and foremost.
I blame TV, but that’s another post. We have the myth of the natural man; and the black man has been nominated to fill that role. How do we reach back to this blessed state?
Marxism claims to solve this problem but is only another technology, and a pretty poor one. Liberal Protestantism claims to solve this problem by continuously stripping away social identity and discovering not the natural man, but the saved sinner. Both the conscious worker and saved sinner are of course in need of education.
In any case you have created a widespread desire among people, longing for something missing they never actually lost and don’t in any case need. The desire to vicariously experience the natural man is like many other things associated with leftism at bottom a consumer product.
The problem isn’t black people. The problem isn’t even in the people selling negritude- whether in the form of football and basketball players, rappers, singers, or comedians. White people need to give up the myth of the natural man. Life in the state of nature is indeed red of tooth and claw, brutish, nasty, and short. The attacks on all the values of white society- order, discipline, humility, modesty, community responsibility- are attacks on civilization itself.
“The place where there’s non-stop singing and dancing” was Russian slang for the GULAG, per Cancer Ward by Solzhenitsyn. It’s strangely appropriate to our times. A little singing and dancing is a pleasant diversion. More than that, it takes on a desperate, frenetic, sinister air. It represents a desire to blank out disturbing thoughts and ideas with something that will fill the mind with emptiness. The ubiquitousness of the black entertainer- and I include sports figures among these- shows we are indeed in the place of non-stop singing and dancing.