Undercover Black Man, R.I.P.
(Note, April 3: the discussion continues. See in particular the photo of Mills from the NYT’s obituary.)
David Mills, “Undercover Black Man,” a successful TV writer who made a second career of seeking ways to harm me and got David Horowitz to expel me from FrontPage Magazine for my “racist and objectionable” writings, is dead, having collapsed on the set of a cable television program he was working on.
April 2, 11 p.m.
From the New York Times:Howard Sutherland writes:
I just read in the NYT, which carries his obit today, that your old interlocutor the Undercover Black Man died unexpectedly in New Orleans while working on a new TV show, Treme. He was only 48. Apparently, when he wasn’t fingering you to Horowitz, David Mills was an Emmy-winning TV writer.Dan G. writes:
Regarding the untimely death of David Mills: I’m not one to disrespect the recently deceased, but I was struck upon seeing a photo of the man in this article at his distinctly non-black appearance. I now truly understand his moniker. He probably had less than 25% African DNA and looked about as “black” as the average Bulgarian. Curious, then, that he identified so heavily with blackness and black culture.Dan G. continues:
Oh, I just opened the article you linked to see a picture of Mr. Mills looking slightly more black. Perhaps he was 50/50, with the white side predominating in his appearance. Anyway, he is beyond race at this point. R.I.P.Mark Jaws writes:
David Mills a “black” man? If he was anymore undercover he would have been a snowman. I’d like to see a picture of Mr. Mills’s parents. I know of three instance in which Italians have feigned being Hispanic just to get promoted or into the college of their choice. It is not beyond the realm of possibility—particularly in this age—for a white man to fake being black, just for the doors it will fling open.LA replies:
According to Mills, there is no question of his family’s racial identity. He cited the way his father was held back in his career as a black man as justification for the affirmative action that he, Mills the younger, said he had received in his own life.Robert Vandervoort writes:
You’re very generous to give Mills a Rest in Peace, given what he did to you and your views.Paul K. writes:
The obituary is fascinating. I took a look at his blog a while back and never would have guessed he was a successful writer. It all seemed so trivial. Then, the episode when he curried favor with you, investigating your genealogy, etc., indicated that he was looking for validation from you, in particular, as someone he respected because you speak honestly about race. When he felt you weren’t giving him his due, he became angry and set out to show he could damage you in some way. That’s the kind of behavior I would expect from a loser, not someone who had received recognition for his talents.LA replies:
Yes, good point. And at one point when I said that his bringing me down at FP seemed to be the greatest achievement of his life, Mills retorted that he was a successful writer and boasted that he had made (if I remember this correctly) over a million dollars.April 3
A reader writes:
One thing that should be kept in mind about Mills is that he had a history of trying to do Internet mischief to “white nationalists” both before and after his interaction with you. He inaugurated his blog with his “outing” of Ian Jobling and later uncovered the identity of a white man who had put up a site purporting to be by a black nationalist (if I recall correctly). He also tried to link the author of the Thug Report with “racist” sites based on links on that blog. I only mention these unpleasant matters because I don’t believe his claim that he inaugurated his campaign against you only because he felt you had insulted him.LA replies:
His “outing” of Jobling occurred, as I remember, in December 2006. When he did that, I told him that writers may have perfectly legitimate reasons to conceal their identity which ought to be respected, and that his exposure of Jobling was unethical. That ended our friendly correspondence which had begun in June 2006 with his sending me the historical material on my family that he had discovered on the Web.David B. writes:
The thread about the death of the Undercover Black Man reminded me of an old expression, “Passing for White.” Before around 1965, blacks would call it “passing.”LA replies:
Leaving aside Mills’s sometimes dishonest and unethical campaigns to expose and harm white conservatives, I don’t see that there was anything wrong in his stated racial identity as a black person. What, after all, is a person of mixed black and white racial background supposed to do? A person in America must have some identity, and the reality of the one-drop rule means that partly black people are, generally, “black.” So let’s criticize Mills for the bad things he did, not for the fact of his racial ancestry—that he was of mixed race but called himself black—which was outside his control.LA writes:
The NY Times obituary on Mills describes him as “[a] light-skinned black man whose racial identity was not always evident to those around him.” Well, that’s interesting. If his color and features were so non-black that some people who knew him didn’t think he was black, then I suppose that it could be argued, as some VFR readers have done all along, that there was something dishonest in his designating himself as black. But that still leaves unanswered the question, how should he have designated himself? His parents were “black,” no matter how lightskinned they were. He comes from a “black” family. So he is “black” too. If he called himself white, he would have been criticized for that too, while terms like mulatto, quadroon, and octoroon are not used in modern America. Consider the fact that Obama is universally described as black, though he is half-white. The one-drop rule rules, and probably always will.LA continues:
Here is a photo of MIlls from the Times obit:April 5
Timothy A. writes:
The photos of David Mills and the discussion of his racial identification as black brought to mind a relative of mine (a cousin of my father) who I discovered while doing genealogical research on the ancestry.com website (a site that David Mills apparently frequented, judging by the documents that he sent you—draft cards, ships’ manifests, etc.).LA replies:
“This relative, a first generation American, daughter of German immigrants … “
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 31, 2010 09:22 PM | Send