An empty black suit defends anti-white discrimination
An utterly frustrating yet instructive exchange took place tonight on the Lou Dobbs program on CNN. Here’s the video. (Remember, I hardly ever watch TV, so I know far less about such programs than most VFR readers.) Dobbs was interviewing Victor Bolden, the corporation council of the City of New Haven, concerning the suit by 17 white firemen against the city for racial discrimination, which , after six years, is about to go before the U.S. Supreme Court. Bolden, a black man, is the quintessential empty black suit.* In an intense interview that went on for about 15 minutes, with Bolden being repeatedly hit by Dobbs’s open expressions of disbelief, Bolden said literally not one thing of substance. Everything he said was transparent blather. The fellow wore a business suit, he spoke the English language, but there was nobody there.
Actually, Bolden is not at the level of the true empty black suit, because the term denotes a black who manages to appear like an intellectual but isn’t one—Cornel West is a classic example. In the wider sense of the term, however, empty black suit means a black who fills a professional position but doesn’t actually do his job, or, rather, does it in such an inadequate or minimal fashion that in many instances he might as well not be doing it, he’s just going through the motions, while his white co-workers take up the slack. And let’s be frank about it: this is the way millions of blacks are earning their touted middle- and upper middle-class incomes in today’s America.
While this phenomenon is common (and it would be an interesting exercise to compile a list of nationally prominent empty black suits of recent years), it was particularly fitting and appropriate in this case because the City of New Haven has been caught in a most embarrassing and indefensible situation and so needs representatives who can keep talking while saying nothing. Dobbs kept asking Bolden: if the test you gave in 2003 was not acceptable because it discriminated against blacks and only produced white finalists, why haven’t you given any new test or promoted any firemen to lieutenant in the last six years? Bolden’s non-answer answers were amazing to listen to.
As for Lou Dobbs, I have two observations.
On one hand, it is exciting and refreshing to see someone on TV who instinctively senses liberal b.s., scorns it, and forcefully challenges it, as Dobbs did with Bolden.
On the other hand, Dobbs is woefully inadequate because he doesn’t seem capable of cogent criticism of the liberal position. Instinctive rejection of false liberal statements is very welcome, but not nearly enough.
Watching the interview was therefore intensely frustrating. The low level of the discussion on the cable news stations, where even the so-called conservatives are only bouncing off the liberals rather than engaging with and exposing their ideas, is a major reason why I don’t watch television.
Roger G. writes:
How are Dobbs et al. going to criticize the liberal position cogently without speaking the truth about race? And if they speak the truth about race, how are they going to keep their jobs?LA replies:
Well, it’s not necessary to argue for inherent race differences to say that there ought to be a single standard without concern for racial outcome. Neocons and mainstream conservatives used to make that kind of argument all the time.A. Zarkov writes:
Recall one of my prior emails where I pointed out Lou Dobbs abusive conduct towards a caller in his daily radio show. The caller was trying to point out that the academic performance gap between black and white students could never be fully closed because of the difference in IQ between the two groups. Dobbs became incensed, and hurled one personal insult after another at the caller. Even worse Dobbs deleted some of the callers words in the podcast version of the exchange. I replayed it to see how well it matched what the caller actually said. After that show, I have no use for Dobbs. He’s a phony in my opinion.April 14
James N. writes:
The more I think about the term, “empty black suit,” the more it seems that it’s not really right.LA replies:
Great point. But I don’t think your argument takes away from the empty suits idea. It depends on context. Insofar as the real values they are offering to our society are concerned, the people we are speaking about are empty suits, taking up space, receiving handsome salaries and perks and lots of complimentary attention, but giving nothing in return. Insofar as their emptiness contains a substance, they are not empty suits but incompatible, and often alien and hostile, human beings.Joseph Kay, author of the original article “The Empty Black Suit,” writes:
I totally agree with you and would add another point. The “empty suit” might be judged an exercise in partially failed assimilation. And, as such, it applies far beyond blacks. We want people to assimilate to American ideals, and we reward those who make the jump. But for many, the only assimilation is the superficial, outward version. They don the clothing, root for the Mets, and otherwise appear “assimilated,” but this is only partially true.LA replies:
In other words, the suit itself denotes the partial, superficial assimilation that doesn’t go to the whole man. The emptiness of the suit denotes everything about the man that, from our point of view, has not become part of us, is not contributing anything to us, and so is an emptiness; and, from his point of view, is his real self that he is temporarily holding in abeyance until the time comes for him to assert it again.Robert S. writes:
I think Obama himself will turn out to be the ultimate “empty black suit”. Despite being head and shoulders above the man on the Lou Dobbs show, I expect he’ll prove himself to be not very competent at running the US government.Joseph Kay replies:
The suit might be likened to camouflage useful for fooling the enemy. College students often have an “interview suit” when they go out looking for jobs. What I find especially interesting is how blacks honestly believe that they are “fooling” The Man. Actually, as we both know, The Man is just too polite or scared to let on. So, the black continues on convinced that his suit has some mysterious power to fool whitey.LA replies:
I had a little trouble understanding this, so I’ll put into my own words. The black sees the white buying into his act, his suit, and the black assumes that this is because he’s fooling whitey. But the reason whitey is accepting the black is not that he’s fooled, it’s that he’s too polite or scared to tell the black that he sees through him, that he sees his inadequacy.April 15
Joseph Kay writes:
This all relates to what was once called “passing” as in Jews passing for goyim. It is a talent and you, obviously, would have a hard time passing as black.LA writes:
In connection with this topic of whether blacks want the truth from whites or a lie, the below comments from the thread in February about Eric Holder’s race speech may offer further useful angles. I realize my reply to Van Wijk sounds off the wall, especially when I say that blacks want whites to be The Man again, but I think there is something to my idea that blacks want whites to be real with them, which liberalism makes impossible.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 13, 2009 10:21 PM | Send