Friday, March 2, 2007

The Shadow of Pride - As of late, much has been made over the comments of Kenneth Eng, a 20-something Asian American science-fiction writer who was responsible for a pseudo-satirical column entitled, "Why I Hate Blacks," that appeared in the February 23 issue of the San Francisco-based AsianWeek. In his piece, the self-described "Asian Supremacist" provided "a list of reasons why we should discriminate against blacks." Eng commented that blacks are "weak-willed," and noted that African Americans "are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years." He went on to say that it was "unbelievable that it took them that long to fight back."

Mr. Eng also expressed his opinion that blacks are "easy to coerce," given that many African Americans are Christians, even as he asks "wasn't Christianity the religion that the whites forced upon them?" (If there is any irony left in this world, it is that Mr. Eng's column appeared beneath a photograph from 1977 depicting the activity of the East Coast Asian American Student Union in support of the end of South African apartheid.)

Predictably, Mr. Eng's column created much consternation amongst civil rights types. According to,

Leaders at the Asian American Justice Center, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Coalition for Asian Pacific Americans and other groups are circulating a petition denouncing the column as "irresponsible journalism, blatantly racist, replete with stereotypes, and deeply hurtful to African Americans."
Not to be outdone, after a meeting with AsianWeek's editor-at-large, NAACP President Bruce Gordon said that "[t]hese types of remarks widen the racial divide and further promote negative stereotypes." And as might be expected, Mr. Eng has been suspended from writing for the paper.

Although it was expected that this would be a source of concern for the civil rights community, the national reaction is also illustrative of several larger issues. To begin with, it's interesting that there was no similar uproar when Eng wrote pieces entitled "Proof that Whites Inherently Hate Us" and "Why I Hate Asians." Both communities seemed to be able to go on with their lives without obsessing on a column written by a heretofore unknown in a relatively obscure newsweekly. For whatever reason, a week could barely pass between the publication of "Why I Hate Blacks" and its becoming a national source of concern.

Perhaps Eng was on to something when he ended his piece by commenting that "It is rather troubling that [blacks] are treated as heroes, but then again, whites will do anything to defend them." To be sure, he is at least half right, for liberal whites have shown that they will do anything to defend blacks from responsibility for their own destinies. As discussed elsewhere, liberalism has infantilized African Americans, and in so doing it has robbed us of any sort of pride of accomplishment. So while whites and fellow Asians were largely able to shrug off Mr. Eng's comments (remember that "Why I Hate Asians" was published in AsianWeek) blacks are frantic to cling to a pride not based on noteworthy achievement, but on white guilt and black indignation.

Black pride, such as it exists, pales in comparison to the substantive (but well-veiled) racial pride expressed by other races by way of their behavior. Indeed, black pride does not influence African Americans to excel in any educational endeavor in any meaningful way. It does not persuade enough of us to marry the co-parents of our children, nor does it cause us to invest for our own futures or for the development of our communities. It does not cause black-on-black violence to cease, and sadly it does not allow us to see each other any differently that the worst white (or Asian) supremacists might view us. In other words, black pride as we know it is merely as shadow of pride.

It was not ever thus; before it became our business how others thought of blacks, we were able to do a great deal for ourselves, our communities and our country. But above all things in this life, culture matters, and when - at the behest of the 1960s countercultural Left - blacks exchanged our culture of pride in our achievements for "pride" in our history of depredation and travail, we lost our opportunity to be truly equal to other races, as supplicant children will never be equal to responsible adults.

After liberalism's onslaught, all that blacks have left is a chattering pride; it is a pride that only makes noise when others make noise about us. As long as we embrace what Dr. Thomas Sowell calls a "touchy pride" to the exclusion of pride in our deeds, we will never be seen as a fully formed people, but a race only fit for ridicule - as the stuff of bad satire.

No comments: