American race hustlers abound. One can think of Al Sharpton, Van Jones, Jesse Jackson. The new one on the block is Michael Eric Dyson. Obviously he is at least half white, and that makes him more tedious than less. In a way the racism of Malcolm X came from a place of deep and possibly grievance. This guy is a nabob of the chattering classes, a professor of sociology at Georgetown. He appears on talk shows to denounce whiteness, white people, and the baneful effects of both on his precious consciousness.
Let us refer to the words of Thomas Sowell, the American black intellectual, who has fought the ideas of the race hustlers all his life. Speaking in an interview in 2013 in the American Spectator, Sowell had this to say:
AmSpec: Let’s talk about the example of David Hume and the Scots and the path they followed.
Sowell: The role Hume played was one diametrically opposed by that played by most intellectuals as regards ethnic groups that are lagging behind. He wanted the Scots to master the English language. And that’s what they did. There were places all over Scotland that were giving lessons in English. The Scots learned that and it greatly expanded their cultural universe. I don’t know if there were any books in Gaelic in Scotland, and you were unlikely to learn chemistry or anything like that in Gaelic. The Scots came out of nowhere. They were very backward at one point. But from the middle of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century many of the leading British intellectuals came from Scottish ancestry, including John Stuart Mill and Adam Smith.
It was the same with the Czechs in the Hapsburg Empire. If you were a Czech and you wanted to become a doctor or a scientist, chances are you’d find the books you needed in German, but not in Czech. And so, again, you needed to borrow from another culture.
Hume understood that. Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore understood this. The kids there learn English in addition to their native language.
But nowadays you are told to cling to your own culture and glory in its past achievements, real or fictitious. In Czechoslovakia after World War I, when they were doing they were doing the opposite of what Hume had done, intellectuals were lauding the Czech peasant as the purist expression of Czech culture. And the Czech peasant may have been the purist expression of Czech culture, but there wasn’t a damn thing he could teach you that would enable you to become a doctor or a scientist.
None of this race hustling will stop until Americans of good intentions cease to listen to the Dysons, Sharptons, and their ilk. Yet they seem addicted to self flagellation. Why? Therein lies a question whose answer runs deep into the spiritual decadence of the contemporary leftism.
Cultural appropriation is both good and necessary for cultural growth. People like Dyson are too ashamed of their “blackness” – whatever that is – to endure comparison to real standards of accomplishment, which he labels “white”. Dyson fails to understand that we all once to learn those standards of accomplishment ourselves, and in so doing gave up living in our little villages and knowing only our cousins and our clansmen. Charlatans like Dyson keep trying to get American blacks to revel in their cultural and economic failure, and to shift the blame for that failure onto whites. If whites were not around, he would have to shift the blame onto whatever racial or cultural group was dominant. That is the sum and substance of sociology, a collectivist system of blame apportionment and victim worship.
A rational society would fire every sociologist from university teaching positions and send them to work making coffee and sandwiches for people who do useful things.
Michael Eric Dyson is today’s Tedious Wanker.
Sowell, Race Hustlers, and David Hume