Kamau Bell to White People: Shame on you, for not being Ashamed Enough!

If you haven’t seen it already, the latest White shaming incident involves Black comedian W. Kamau Bell. He started the whole thing off with this online post:

Donald Trump isn’t a Republican issue or a rich people issue or a human issue. Donald Trump is a white people issue. Whenever Ben Carson says batshit crazy nonsense, Black people rise up, and let him know that he needs to STFU. Whenever Raven-Symone pops off, we put her cap back on. We even handled Rachel Dolezal for you. Yes, we also make jokes and come up with clever memes and hashtags, but at the core of all that is that we are letting these people know that they are embarrassing us as Black people. It is time, white people, for you to finally step up and recognize that you also (even more so) have a responsibility to your race. It is up to you to silence Donald Trump. Don’t just insult him and make fun of him. You have to connect it to your race, Recognize that he is embarrassing you as a white person. Simple snark won’t win here. You have to feel it. You have to use words like “as a white person” and “he is an embarrassment to my race.” Stop acting like Trump isn’t the pinnacle and the result of America’s history and tradition of white supremacy. And again, I don’t care if you had no plans to vote for Trump or anybody, if you are white, he is your problem above all else. Simply put, white people, come get your boy.

He followed this up with a Solon article, in which he doubled down on his original claim, and added a hypocrisy laced explanation as to why he made the claim in the first place. Some on Twitter started a hashtag in response—#WhitesAgainstTrump—and media outlets started reporting on it with titles such as “#WhitesAgainstTrump: Hashtag Used After Comedian Asks White Voters to Take Responsibility for Trump.”

Besides the obvious problems of racial invalidation and simple Black racial hubris of a Black person telling White people how they should feel, and what they should do about it, Bell’s attack here is exceptionally hypocritical and brings the forces of White shaming and melanocentrism into sharp focus. When reading the original post, I was struck by Bell’s claim that Black people keep other Black people in line so White people should keep other White people in line. The glaring problem here is the people Bell thinks each race should keep “in line” and the reasons why they should be “kept in line”.

The Blacks and Part-Blacks Bell mentions—namely Carson and Raven-Symone—were attacked by other Blacks who thought they were speaking out against the best interests of Blacks. Carson has been roundly attacked by other Blacks for allegedly furthering White interests, and Raven-Symone was similarly taken to task by Blacks only when she made a comment that they thought was insulting to Blacks. The very same Solon, as well as others, ran several pieces against Carson making such claims (see here, here, and here). Raven-Symone was criticized for the same reason (see here).

The Black response to Rachel Dolezal, the White woman trying to pass as part-Black, was for similar—but much more reprehensible and hateful—reasons: she was accused of using the Black identity as a White person for her own personal benefit among other things. The whole Dolezal saga really demonstrates the ugliness of anti-White hatred very well, but that’s not what we’re talking about right now. Blacks did not attack Dolezal because she betrayed her own White people by spewing hatred against them and seeking to hurt them; nor did they attack her because she was so ashamed of being White that she tried to be Black instead, and they did not attack the culture of White shaming that led her to do this. They attacked her because they thought she was cheapening Blackness, cheating actual Blacks out of privileged positions, and speaking wrongly in a Black voice (see for example here, here, and here). In other words, they attacked her because they thought that, in the words of one Black writer, her falsehood had “hurt Black people.”

As Bell himself illustrates, Black people only attack other Blacks and part-Blacks when they do or say something that the Black community thinks is anti-Black. They never get after Blacks—of whom Bell is a fine example—who say things that are viciously anti-White, or that they think are pro-Black. In contrast, Bell wants White people to police other White people who say or do things that Black people think are pro-White, or anti-Black. He wants both Blacks and Whites to attack any person who espouses pro-White positions, or whom the Black community happens to think espouses pro-White positions. In other words, he is sick and tired of doing all the hating by himself. He thinks that pro-White or ostensibly pro-White people should be hated and attacked not just by non-White people but by other White people to. He wants White people to be ashamed of their Whiteness every time other White people don’t tell them to be ashamed of their Whiteness. His message is: “Shame on you, White people, when you don’t respond to someone’s lack of shaming you by shaming yourself”.

What Bell is actually saying is that he, as a Black person, is not satisfied that in the business of hating White people, non-White people have taken a leading role: poor abused non-Whites! They are forced by White people to hate White people all by themselves. How evil of White people not to hate themselves so that they can take some of the load of hating off of Black people. How Racist that Black people have to hate White people without White people’s help!

He is not happy with a situation where he alleges that all the shaming and hurting of White people that goes on in society must be performed by non-White people. He is, in other words, angry that more White people aren’t out on the street corner actively advocating that everyone hate them.  In this Bell displays not only a shocking anti-White hatred, but his non-White entitlement: that he thinks he has the right to tell White people to help him hate them better, by self-shameing anytime another prominent White person fails to do so, is nothing but raw Black entitlement. And if that were not enough, that he actually thinks to tell White people to “take responsibility” in his Solon response proves it.

This is the single most hypocritical thing any non-White person could ever say to a White person. White people know all too well about the harmful consequences and the destruction of self-concept that come from being loaded down with the responsibility that belongs to others. Having to take the responsibility and the punishments for other’s wrongs is the central White experience in the world today. Bell even acknowledges briefly the harm –he calls it “psychic trauma”—that this does to White people. But his virulent melanocentrism means he fails to take note of this salient fact. Bell wants White people to not only endure this psychic trauma that non-White people like himself force on them, but he also wants them to watch and make sure they are inflicting it on themselves and each other whenever some non-White person like Bell tells them they ought to.

It is a further vicious insult that Bell claims that the examples he gives prove that the Black community has taken responsibility for its own. Bell does not mention a single time when the Black community “took responsibility” when one of them failed to ask them to take responsibility for something. As he himself illustrates, the Black community is allergic to responsibility with such an intensity that the only people they care to attack are those that ask them to actually step up and take responsibility, or whom they think have somehow implied that they have some responsibility to take.

Attacking those who tell you to take your responsibility is not taking responsibility. That any melanosupremacist like Bell even thinks he can tell White people to take responsibility is patently offensive and the pinnacle of hypocrisy. Non-White people like Bell spend a lifetime shirking responsibility and casting all of their own responsibility unjustly onto the backs of White people. They are master’s at responsibility evasion, finding some way to accuse White people of being responsible for anything they don’t like about the Black community and the world in general. Someone who is such an expert at scapegoating others has no right to tell anyone else to take responsibility.

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