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Harvard Law professor
Randall Kennedy, a specialist in telling white people exactly what he
thinks they want to hear, continues to ride high on the Best Sell-Out
lists, his bank account swelled by proceeds from "Nigger: The Strange
Career of a Troublesome Word." Kennedy's own career appears to
be based on playing the role of surrogate to white racists, who fear
to mouth the dreaded N-word themselves, but love reading about it from
the perspective of a Black man who hates African Americans even more
than they do.
Dr. Martin Kilson,
professor of political science and the first Black to achieve tenure
at Harvard, in 1968, brilliantly dissected Kennedy's pathological profiteering
in the June 27 issue of this publication. Kilson's diagnosis - the dictionary
defines the word to mean, "the art or act of identifying a disease
from its signs and symptoms" - is that "Kennedy's core purpose
in producing 'Nigger' was to assist White Americans in feeling comfortable
with using the epithet 'nigger.'"
that Kennedy was guilty of inciting white bucks to run amuck in the
Ivy League. We sent out a news release:
Dr. Kilson blamed
Kennedy for a series of Harvard campus postings of e-mail messages
containing the racial slur. The incidents provoked demonstrations
by hundreds of students, led by the Harvard Black Law Students Association,
in March and April. Kilson said the events "were set in motion
the intellectually bizarre idea propagated in this book
no sense of responsibility for the vicious racial fires he has cynically
ignited," said Dr. Kilson, He described Kennedy's book as "tantamount
to tossing a match at a gasoline-soaked building."
The Kilson release
got lots of attention, including coverage among the only media that
Kennedy respects: the big white press. Kennedy clearly does not consider
himself answerable in any respect to other Black people, but he does
answer the phone when the Boston Globe calls. Staff writer Stephanie
Stoughton reported, July 8:
Kilson's critique, Kennedy called it "silly, inaccurate, poorly
researched, a sad commentary on Professor Kilson." Among his
issues with the latest criticism is Kilson's assumption that there
is a connection between Kennedy's book and the [Harvard 'nigger']
incidents. "Let's suppose there is a relationship," he said.
"So what? So I'm not supposed to write a book because someone
might put it to bad use?"
researched? Kennedy is one of those "public intellectuals"
who act the fool in the full light of day. Dr. Kilson read the book
and a number of related articles in the New York Times and the Boston
Globe. He quotes the author's words. Kennedy damns himself with his
own voice. Kennedy flatters himself by imagining that his book is heavy
What Kennedy really
objects to is Dr. Kilson's clear exposition of where Kennedy fits within
the shameful ranks of those who make careers out of defaming their fellow
African Americans. He and the rest of his cash-and-carry crowd should
prepare for much more of the same medicine. Kilson's contribution to
The Black Commentator was excerpted from his "The Making of Black
Intellectuals: Studies on the African-American Intelligentsia,"
a work of two decades that will be published early next year.
In this grand,
two-volume study, Kilson shows Kennedy to be a dim light on the desolate
right rim of the constellation of Black political thought.
Or, as a reader
named Von offered in an e-mail to :
Mr. Randall is
a selfish fool, and making a lot of money at the expense of his people
and his heritage. He's truly playing into the hand of the many whites
who have been dying to use the "N" word. Whites will now
think it's politically correct.
The NAACP's Pre-emptive
The goal of treachery
is to surprise the victim. Certainly, the NAACP could not have predicted,
back in 1999, that the new century's most aggressive popularizer of
the word "nigger" would be a Black law professor from Harvard
University. Rather, the civil rights organization had its eyes on the
usual suspects among white hate groups when it registered nigger.com
as a domain name, along with other permutations of the word.
to make sure these domain names would not be used for derogatory purposes,"
NAACP director of communications John White told Wired News, three years
ago. "We are the oldest civil rights organization and it is within
our charter to reduce hate in whatever way we can."
League used a similar strategy to deny Jew-haters access to domains
such as kike.com, .net and .org. However, ADL spokeswoman Elizabeth
Coleman admitted that any attempt to corner the market on hate names
amounts to "a symbolic gesture."
The Gay and Lesbian
Alliance Against Defamation decided that taking "fag" and
other slurs out of online circulation wasn't worth the money. "We'd
rather focus on spending our limited funds on responding to defamation,"
said GLAAD's Will Doherty.
Gone in a Flash
Watts, the four-term Black Republican Congressman from a mostly white,
conservative Oklahoma district, is retiring at the age of 44. His departure
will have no substantive political effect whatsoever. Nevertheless,
his party will miss him.
Watts spent all but the first two of his eight years on Capitol Hill
as the GOP's lone Black representative in the House. The former football
player must have withered under the endless photographic demands made
on his person, the only loyal Black body available. Each congressional
occasion of "conservative compassion" demanded his presence
- photos with everyone. No Republican "outreach" event was
complete without J.C. Watts on the marquee. Flash! Flash! Flash! A man
could catch a sunburn like this! It must have been maddening.
The only threat
Watts ever represented was to the decorum of the Congressional Black
Caucus. When Watts was swept into office on the Newt Gingrich tide of
1994, Black Democrats dreaded having to figure out which rules of etiquette
apply when the enemy starts taking his meals in your living room. Thankfully,
the youthful lawmaker expressed no interest in joining the CBC.
The Caucus need
not have worried. Watts was too busy posing for pictures to spend time
with the brothers and sisters of the opposition. He was his party's
After just two
terms in the House, Watts became the GOP's fourth-ranking member. Don't
believe for a second that his breathtaking ascent was undeserved. This
man worked! What other congressperson had had his picture taken
with every other Republican in the House? Not one, I wager! What other
colleague's picture could a Utah congressman show to the three Black
Mormon Republicans back in Salt Lake City? Only J.C. would suffice.
As chairman of
the House Republican Conference, Watts was in charge of communications,
which meant - more pictures. One can hardly imagine the strain.
Watts was the executive in charge of producing messages praising the
congressional GOP's record of racial inclusion. Yet, he was also required
to play a featured role in every publicity package. Producer, director,
the only Black actor - don't tell me the man didn't have talent.
Wired News: Who
Owns the N-Word Dot Com?
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