Somehow I missed Gary Dauphin’s take on John McWhorter. I’m interested in McWhorter about as far as I can throw him, but what I am becoming more interested in are the politics of The New Accomodationism.
Accomodationism refers to the ideology taken up by blacks in the Jim Crow era. Given the pervasive nature of Jim Crow terrorism blacks had to decide whether (and how) to fight, or to go along to get along. This latter strategy involved using various means to change the self-image of black people as well as their image in the minds of whites. It also involved various forms of self-help either through religious, fraternal, professional, or educational institutions, or through various media publications. But the one strategy that was largely disavowed was that of political and economic action against the terrorist regime. The best way for black success was to accept the contours of Jim Crow and to do everything they could to help themselves within those confines (along with getting out of the way of whites).
What we are dealing with now is nothing less than a new form of racial accomodationism. When was the last time that someone posited that structural factors were responsible for black life chances, without qualification? That is, instead of saying “well, we know that some police have it out for black people…but yet and still black crime is real”, saying “some police have it out for black people and we need to figure out how to deal with this.”