July 29, 2009

My new Taki column: Gates, Obama, and the Black Overclass

The beginning of my new column in Taki's Magazine:

Countless pundits have debated whether the Henry Louis Gates Jr. brouhaha is about race or class.

In truth, Barack Obama’s maladroit but heartfelt interjection of his own prejudices into the controversy stemmed from a quite precise intersection of race with class. Obama spoke out in defense of Gates’s tantrum because they are both members of the tiny (but increasingly potent) black overclass.

Obama’s feelings of class solidarity haven’t been widely discussed, largely because they are rather boring. In a world bedazzled by black entertainers and athletes, and troubled (but intrigued) by black criminals, the black upper class goes almost unnoticed as they engage in respectable rituals such as relaxing at Martha’s Vineyard, where “Skip” Gates has summered for 27 years and the Obamas will be vacationing next month.

This Affirmative-Actionocracy’s access to power and wealth stems largely from their claim to theoretically represent 40 million African-Americans, particularly the foreboding and puzzling black underclass. Yet, they try to associate with less lofty blacks no more than necessary, and they especially don’t want their daughters to marry them. Hence the constant inward socializing.

Read the rest there and comment on it here.

Thanks to commenters for finding the picture of Henry Louis Gates riding his "adult tricycle" while summering on Martha's Vineyard.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

The man looks like a retard. Can't he ride a real bicycle?

EoT said...

Jesus. I can't get over that picture. Adult tricycle?!?!?

Jeff Williams said...

Every intelligent person ought to be familiar with the Iron Law of Oligarchy.

While not oligarchs on the Goldman Sachs scale, members of the Black Overclass are, despite their quasi-revolutionary rhetoric, allies of those in power. Their job is to make sure that the political support of blacks, after it has been bought, continues to stay bought.

They do good work. One recent poll showed 97% black support for an Obama administration. Even Kim Jong-il doesn't get that kind of loyalty. (Also see "Goldman Sachs $700,000 bonuses, absence of ACORN protests of"). There seems to be no present danger that blacks will be rocking the oligarchs' boat.

Anonymous said...

I can't get over how much he looks like Paul Gottfired!

No one else sees it?

Dennis Mangan said...

Taki's site almost never loads properly. Just now I couldn't get it at all.

Anonymous said...

"While not oligarchs on the Goldman Sachs scale, members of the Black Overclass are, despite their quasi-revolutionary rhetoric, allies of those in power."

And they seem rather light skinned as far as "black" people go.

"They do good work."

At keeping the black underclass from rioting (too much).

Steve Sailer said...

"I can't get over how much he looks like Paul Gottfried!"

Gates looks as much like the distinguished Dr. Gottfried as an African-American gentleman riding a tricycle can look.

Anonymous said...

That picture is now my background on my office PC.

George said...

Wait, is riding a bike one of the those things blacks can't do, like swimming?

Hence the tricycle?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the Iron Law of Oligarchy, James Burnham's hard to find "The Machiavellians" is available as a PDF here:

http://committeeofpublicsafety.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/the-machiavellians/

Anonymous said...

How tall is he? It's hard to hate him when he's on that thing. So adorable!

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve,

This is kindof off topic, but I had just read your brilliant Harry Potter article. If I remember correctlty, Draco and his father are described as dark haired in the book, so here is another case of your blond Hollywood bad boy thesis. Also, check out Radcliffe's background to see what theyre really thinking. Once you learn to expect it, Hollywood culture is replete with this sort of symbolism.

Anonymous said...

Gates has some sort of hip injury that prevents him from riding a regular bicycle. I saw that fact somewhere in the copious news coverage of this recent kerfuffle. So might be quite a jerk and he does look funny on the thing but he's got a valid reason for riding it.

Harry Baldwin said...

I suspect that Gates rides the adult tricycle for the same reason he walks with a cane: one of his legs is shorter than the other as a result of a hip fracture at age 14.

Reading the interview at the Martha's Vineyard Magazine, or other interviews on-line, Gates doesn't sound like an angry black man. He's nowhere near Spike Lee angry. If he's ever had difficulty with the police, he's never mentioned it. He has been accorded every privilege and accolade that a racially guilty society can bestow, including a MacArthur genius grant, and owns a fancy mansion on the Vineyard.

So what was up with his eruption at Sgt. Crowley? Had he already decided to take the earliest opportunity to have an issue with the police, so as to promote his racial profiling project? (Seems unlikely.) Did he simply have a meltdown due to fatigue or perhaps medication? (Likely but boring.) Was there something going on in the house at the time the officer arrived that put him immediately on the defensive, especially when asked if anyone else was in the house? (The most intriguing possibility, but so far only fed by irresponsible internet rumors.)

Anonymous said...

So much of the wealth in the black community is dependent upon who, whom they know as opposed to what they know.

Anonymous said...

To me his Irish roots come through in his appearance. I recall in his roots show he traced some of his ancestry back to Ireland.

l said...

My milkshake brings all the tards to the yard.

Thomas said...

Steve, for years, I've believed in a law of "marginal extremism." In any group that demands solidarity and identifies people as either "in" or "out", the most extreme and virulent members are the people at the very margins of being "in". During WWII, the most fanatical Nazis and Nazi sympathizers were very often non-Germans or Germans far from the Aryan ideal (Hitler being a prime example). You see it in college educated trust-fund Marxists in sympathy with "the workers", blond haired Mechistas who went from Alex to "Alejandro", and a whole lot of nice cocoa and high-yellow skinned kids from the 'burbs who go into African-American studies and start talking like Eldridge Cleaver. Rev. Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Henry Louis Gates, Obama... It's all but universal.

king obama said...

That picture is hilarious.

It make Gates look like the pompous fool that he really is.

Anonymous said...

Good solid article by your standards IMHO, a hard double to the right-center field wall.

"who is the color of the third cup you try to boil out of an Earl Grey teabag"

Hahaha, as a "post-consumer orange pekoe teabag enthusiast" I can confirm she's lighter than my thrice brewed grog. Never seen a pic of her before and had you not told me she was part black I wouldn't have even suspected it. What is she, like 1/4.28E^28th black, or what?

People are going to have to start noticing that the individuals touted as successful "black" Americans are in nearly every case part white, or Fake Black People as I refer to them. What message does that send? That to get an acceptable black person you need to cross breed them with a white person?

dearieme said...

A rich man with one leg shorter than the other can buy an electric bike. I see a lot of them around now. Quite cool for old dears.

Baloo said...

I'm REALLY glad I got rid of MY tricycle.

opal said...

People are going to have to start noticing that the individuals touted as successful "black" Americans are in nearly every case part white, or Fake Black People as I refer to them. What message does that send? That to get an acceptable black person you need to cross breed them with a white person?


Well I really think there is more to this. Lighter "Blacks" seem to be upper class, know how to navigate the system better than your average Black. Having gone to school with many of them, I would say they are not really any brighter, in fact the smartest Black people I know tend to be darker. Maybe they are just more ambitious. They just tend to be chosen (as mates primarily) or put themselves in high profile positions. And yes they have huge chips on their shoulders.

Andrea Nyx Hemera said...

It just goes to show that there are two kinds of racial profiling. Negative profiling for would-be or likely black criminals in the wrong part of town(or even in the inner city where cops are on the look out for potential robbers or drug dealers)--though I would think 'white trash' would also be stopped and patted down in affluent areas. In one suburb where my friend and I were driving through in a beat-up car, we were pulled over and investigated though we didn't do anything.

Anyway, another group of blacks are Positively Racially Profiled for success. The rich liberals(many of them Jewish)in NY, Cambridge, and Chicago obviously spotted Obama as the Will Smith of politics and groomed him and filled his pockets with lots of dough and gave him positive media coverage. So, Obama is the biggest beneficiary of positive racial profiling, something he never complains about though it favors his ilk over others who are more qualified and deserving. Interestingly enough, why is Gates friends with Obama? Isn't Gates bitter about recent African immigrants benefitting from affirmative action over American blacks whose ancestry includes slaves?

It's funny, aint it?
Colonel Parker once said FIND ME A WHITE GUY WHO CAN SING AND DANCE LIKE A BLACK GUY, AND I'LL MAKE A MILLION DOLLARS.

In 2008, it was like FIND ME A BLACK GUY WHO CAN HALF PASS FOR WHITE GUY, AND WE'LL MAKE HIM PRESIDENT.

DAJ said...

People are going to have to start noticing that the individuals touted as successful "black" Americans are in nearly every case part white, or Fake Black People as I refer to them.

Spike Lee, Bob Johnson (first black billionaire), Oprah Winfrey, Marion Barry, Kwame Kilpatrick and his U.S. Congresswoman mother, Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, William Julius Wilson, Bill Cosby, Shonda Rhimes (creator of Grey's Anatomy), many to most members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Ronald McNair, David Satcher, Rod Paige, Al Sharpton, Gene Upshaw, Sean Combs, Star Jones, Will Smith, Alice Walker, Janice Rogers Brown, Ruth Simmons (president of Brown University), Condoleezza Rice, John Singleton, Carol Moseley Braun, Harold Washington, etc.

Yes. I realize that the Talented Tenth disproportionately consists of American blacks who are significantly whiter than normal. However, you should beware of hyperboles, just as I should beware of laundry lists.

Andrea Nyx Hemera said...

Gates looks more like Webster(Emmanuel Lewis)than Paul Gottfried.

Mansizedtarget.com said...

To me the bike looks quite practical, like something you'd see over at "survival blog" or something for the end times. That said, it also looks so bourgeois in the worst way, like the kind of self-indulgent pseudoexercise thing one does when he doesn't have a care in the world, summering on Martha's Vineyard, and generally living a life of gentility and privilege. The problem is not this. I don't begrudge people their wealth and privilege. It's the pretense of victimhood coupled with privilege. It's like when a billionaire starts whinging about his third cousins killed in the Holocaust or some Harvard Professor pretends he's Rodney King.

Concerned Netizen said...

I have friends who ride adult tricycles because of leg problems. This is stupid.

More important is the fact that the interview shows a profoundly damaged mind:

"Don’t you think it looks like a plantation, right off of Beach Road?

Yeah, that’s what I like about it. I love the irony of the neo-plantation look."

Geesh, this is one of the most successful academics in the country, and he's still banging on about slavery. Can't he get over it? No, he won't, because he's encouraged to do it by our crazy media.

Anonymous said...

Another Cambridge policeman: "Come on Sarge, you do know him, you know, the loony on the trike."

Crowley: "Oh yeah, OK OK, got it, I remember now."

Anonymous said...

Caption for the tricycle picture:

"Waaaah, waaaah, daaaaaaddy, that racist Crowley kid was mean to me!"

Anonymous said...

"However, you should beware of hyperboles"

OK, OK, guilty as charged, a well supported reply and I should know better, cheerfully withdrawn. My imagined list consisted of Rick James, Beyonce, and a handful of others.

Anonymous said...

Steve, let's be clear: the so-called black overclass is principally composed of sub-115 IQ welfare-grubbing punks like Obama and Gates.

Both Obama and Gates are the beneficiaries of academic welfare--thus their "class advantage."

Bottom line, neither is talented or necessary.

Polanski

m said...

"So might be quite a jerk and he does look funny on the thing but he's got a valid reason for riding it"

No he doesn't

That tricycle is ridiculous- i got rid of mine when I turned 35 like every other grown man

Stochastic said...

Gates' appearance and demeanor scream Mean Old Man Syndrome--with a Short Guy Syndrome thrown into the mix also. There is probably Small Penis Syndrome at work here also (it's hell to be a black man in America with a small package).

People should realize by now (21st century) that Mean Old Man Syndrome is partly caused by extreme sexual frustration due to impotence. Men who can't get an erection also can't ejaculate. And when the condition persists for extended periods of time these men get abnormally angry, irritable and aggressive. They get testy. Boxers abstain from sex during the training period before a bout because the effect is real.

Older guys should take prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction even if they are not sexually active simply in order to masturbate regularly. Old men who don't do this will end up with some level of Mean Old Man Syndrome.

I, for one, salute the ED drug manufacturers. Some men become impotent early due to poor health and bad habits; in their 40's and 50's. Think about that. Think about the old days when there were no drugs available to help men relieve the pressure. In the old days an older man might live the last several decades of his life without ejaculating a single time due to erectile dysfunction. That situation would logically produce some very testy behavior.

On the other hand some guys like Spike Lee have been angry since the day they were born. Once again I think the sexual angle cannot be over emphasized. Most cases of Angry Young Man Syndrome have a strong sexual component.

The bottom line is that men (and women) who are sexually fulfilled are much less likely to exhibit psychotic anger levels and public outbursts of rage. If they do so, there is probably another medical condition or a brain tumor involved like that famous campus tower shooter in Texas way back when.

Getting laid regularly (or at least masturbating) helps keeps the mood of men mellow and balanced. And it's not just men. When a lady loses her temper in public it is usually because she hasn't had an orgasm in years. Asian culture seems to have a better grip on this reality than the Christian Western culture with its sexual taboos especially regarding masturbation.

Anonymous said...

Thomas, you bring up an interesting point which parallels much of my own thinking:

"Steve, for years, I've believed in a law of "marginal extremism." In any group that demands solidarity and identifies people as either "in" or "out", the most extreme and virulent members are the people at the very margins of being "in". During WWII, the most fanatical Nazis and Nazi sympathizers were very often non-Germans or Germans far from the Aryan ideal (Hitler being a prime example)."

You are basically right. There is also "marginal extremism" in a geographic sense. Having studied the origins of the Nazi party and the 3rd Reich, its apparent that a disproportionate number of the most fanatical Nazis and SS members came from the borderlands in southern Germany, eastern Germany, Austria, and even the tiny German enclaves in Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland.

Being surrounded by non-Germans, these Germans tended to be more race-conscious than the Germans in the north of Germany or central Germany where race-consciousness was largely dormant, due to being surrounded almost exclusively by fellow Germans for hundreds of miles around. Scandinavians are similarly not overtly racist for similar reasons.

And you're right. These same people from the German borderlands were often far from the Nordic-Aryan ideal, with Hitler being a good example, along with Himmler and many others.

It is possible that we may be witnessing a similar phenomenon with Islamic extremism when you consider the many people who are only marginally Arab, but very Muslim, in northern and eastern Africa. These Muslims who live on the periphery of the Islamic-Arab world are quickly swelling the ranks of many terrorist groups and/or waging jihad on neighboring non-Muslims(and sometimes Muslims who happen to be more black).

We see this in Sudan especially, as well as in Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya and many other countries. To "prove" that they are really a part of the mighty Arab-Muslim cultural "empire", they take to extremism more(per capita) than say Egyptians or Saudi Arabians generally. It is possible that the suicide bombers in Iraq may be people who live at the margins of their respective groups as well.

So far, we don't seem to have a lot of problems dealing with these black African and half-black African Islamic terrorists due to their low IQs, general incompetence and lack of education.

Even Osama Bin Laden looks like he may be partially black.

On a related note, it sounds silly, but it would be interesting to do IQ studies on various terrorist and paramilitary groups to see how they compare with one another. Hezbollah seems to be "well-run" as far as terrorist/paramilitary groups go in that they are highly disciplined and regimented. The political wing of Hezbollah has a firm grip on the military wing.

Black African Islamist groups are well-known for their infighting, lack of discipline and lack of political sophistication.

Can this simply be due to IQ differences?

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with Jeff Williams. The extension of this power structure is control of Africa. If you add that the US-Anglo elite still de-facto militarily occupy Germany (and thus Europe), Japan and South-Korea, they control all countries outside of Russia, China (by extension NK), Iran and maybe Venezuela (Cuba). Which is why they fret over those countries so much. The downside of this is that the black elite, and by extension all blacks, are vastly overestimating themselves.

Anonymous said...

"So much of the wealth in the black community is dependent upon who, whom they know as opposed to what they know."


To be fair this applies to an awful lot of people around the world. As nations you can say the Germans, Chinese, Koreans and Japanese are suckers in that they work for their money. Most other people sit on an oil well, diamonds or gold, although digging out the latter is pretty lousy as well, especially if you lack German or Japanese mining tech. Or they have fierce weapons with which to blackmail others. Or they sell drugs (Afghanistan, Bolivia). Hard to tell what's up with the US? They used to have large manufacturing base but seem to become a "knowledge" society, i.e. whom you know.

Unknown said...

Great ongoing postings on the Skip Gates case.

FWIW, I suspect that Steve and a lot of commenters might actually enjoy Gates' memoir "Colored People." I certainly did.

http://bit.ly/KY5KH

Evocative and informative. It's also surprisingly frank and eye-opening about what was good about life as a black person BEFORE the integration days, and about the price that's been paid by black people in the quest for integration.

Anonymous said...

Steve, Did you notice this comment from Gates in The MV article?

"Martha’s Vineyard allows the black upper-middle class to get to know each other, and it allows our children to socialize every day with other black children – and white children – of their same educational and economic backgrounds. This is particularly valuable for mixed-race children: They don’t feel abnormal for being smart and the children of successful people. This performs a very important function within the African American community."

It looks to me like his daughter is mixed, but the important part is that he seems to say that mixed race kids are "smart." Wonder why that could be?

rob said...

I love affirmative actionocracy. The term makes clear both how fragile the class is and that AA only benefits a tiny fraction of blacks, and not the poorest.

Two possibilities: The talented tenth need affirmative action, set asides and diversity. If that's true, the black middle and upper classes would be devastated if AA were ended, so "The negro can not stand on his own two feet." Which means uplift failed.

The other possibility the "Black Overclass" would be just fine without handouts. In that case, they are stealing AA from black people who actually need it, screwing over their own kind for a few trinkets.

Seamus said...

I'm sorry, but "adult tricycle" is one of those oxymorons, like "jumbo shrimp" or "military intelligence."

Anonymous said...

"Getting laid regularly (or at least masturbating) helps keeps the mood of men mellow and balanced. And it's not just men. When a lady loses her temper in public it is usually because she hasn't had an orgasm in years. Asian culture seems to have a better grip on this reality than the Christian Western culture with its sexual taboos especially regarding masturbation."


Where have you been for the last 40 years?

josh said...

Wow! If da bruddas in da ghetto run across the dear prof Gates on that trike...someone be callin' the Cambridge police MIGHTY fast!! He looks like the villain in some 007 movie. "You see Mr. Bond,its all quite simple really...either I get the neutronium,or your precious Picadilly Square is evaporated..." "You bahshtud!!"

Mike said...

On the subject of black writers who have written bookd on the black overclass you missed Lawrence Otis Graham and his book "Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class ".

Anonymous said...

Polanski sez:
Steve, let's be clear: the so-called black overclass is principally composed of sub-115 IQ welfare-grubbing punks like Obama and Gates.


My bet is Obama comes in at 110. What's your's?

Anonymous said...

where is testy on this? i'm beginning to miss the guy!

Anonymous said...

That Gates' photograph would make a great Guy Davenport drawing.

Truth said...

"Wow! If da bruddas in da ghetto run across the dear prof Gates on that trike...someone be callin' the Cambridge police MIGHTY fast!!"

Josh, if you ever run into a life-threating situation in which you have to convince someone that you are white; start talking black.

DYork said...

In a perverse way, the article in a recent edition of New York magazine suggesting the African American community on Martha’s Vineyard was segregationist, elitist and even perhaps racist, was testament to black achievement.