Ever since the rise of Ben Carson in the GOP standings, white conservatives have embraced their Great Black Hope by contrasting his real blackness to that of our sitting President, Barack Obama. A few weeks ago, Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to claim Obama isn’t a “real black president” and that Carson could truly bridge the racial divide in this country. Shortly afterwards, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and Eric Bolling said criticism of Carson’s comments about Muslims were “racist attacks” that Obama wouldn’t receive. O’Reilly also had Carson on earlier this month where they both complained that progressives don’t like a conservative real black man. (Let us not forget about Ann Coulter’s comments a few years ago when she said “our blacks are so much better than theirs.”)
Piggybacking on this narrative, National Review senior editor and Fox News contributor Jonah Goldberg penned an article that stated that surging GOP Presidential candidate Ben Carson is “authentically more African-American than Barack Obama” because both of Carson’s parents are black and Carson experienced more hardship growing up. Goldberg also used the simplistic tactic of claiming that because the Republican Party has a black man leading in the polls, it is patently untrue that any racism exists within the party. In fact, it is the liberals and progressives who are the real racists, than you very much!
One could argue that he’s even more authentically African-American than Barack Obama, given that Obama’s mother was white and he was raised in part by his white grandparents. In his autobiography, Obama writes at length about how he grew up outside the traditional African-American experience — in Hawaii and Indonesia — and how he consciously chose to adopt a black identity when he was in college
Meanwhile, Carson grew up in Detroit, the son of a very poor, very hard-working single mother. His tale of rising from poverty to become the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital is one of the most inspiring rags-to-riches stories of the last half-century. (Cuba Gooding Jr. played Carson in the movie about his life.) He was a towering figure in the black community in Baltimore and nationally — at least, until he became a Republican politician.
And that probably explains why his race seems to be such a non-issue for the media. The New York Times is even reluctant to refer to him as a doctor. The Federalist reports that Jill Biden, who has a doctorate in education, is three times more likely to be referred to as “Dr.” in the Times as brain surgeon Carson. If the Times did that to a black Democrat, charges of racism would be thick in the air.
Goldberg finished up by saying only Democrats and liberals have a problem with race and identity politics, while conservatives are completely comfortable with those of all types. In Goldberg’s opinion, liberal policies are what hurts most minorities, and it is the constant race hustling of the left that keeps the black man down. It is only going to be by the right presenting truly authentic representatives of their race or ethnicity, like Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, that minorities in this country will truly flourish.
As one would expect, seeing a white Jewish guy weigh in and point out who is “authentically” black didn’t go over so well on Twitter.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) October 30, 2015
Soft spoken, docile, delusional black is the only real black to a bigot like Jonah Goldberg https://t.co/bKiSmcclxO
— Denali Parton (@eclecticbrotha) October 30, 2015
The general consensus on Jonah Goldberg seems to be “not today Satan.” ?
— Imani Gandy Corn (@AngryBlackLady) October 30, 2015
Just a note to my fellow white people. If you’re about to compare two black people to decide which one is blacker, don’t. (cc: @JonahNRO)
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) October 30, 2015
I’d LOVE to get an explanation from @JonahNRO about what the phrase “authentically white” would mean. or if that’s a nonsense phrase, why.
— a lone shrill shriek (@theshrillest) October 30, 2015
Shorter Jonah Goldberg: Another way to think about Ben Carson is to apply Nuremberg Laws, but for black people! pic.twitter.com/drbuIXmhHw
— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) October 30, 2015
Remember, we still have an entire year left of this shit. November 2016 can’t get here fast enough.