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Jonah and the Wail

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 4/11/2015 Robert J. Elisberg
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"One could argue that he's even more authentically African-American than Barack Obama"
--Jonah Goldberg in the National Review, writing about Dr. Ben Carson
Because after all, nobody knows more about being authentically black than Jonah Goldberg. And the National Review.
Years ago, when I first came across Jonah Goldberg who was writing commentaries published in the Los Angeles Times, I wrote two of the more scathing and satirical pieces I've ever done, each after reading the first two of his commentaries.
When I eventually read a third one, I didn't have the heart to write about him any further, because there are only so many ways you can describe a person's soulless mean-spirit and thoughtlessness. I gave up reading his material, as well, because California has a Three Strikes Rule. Over the years, I've occasionally come across his columns by accident. I'll see some egregious, mind-numbing headline, be intrigued by how someone could be so empty-headed and empty-hearted, read a few paragraphs and before my head could explode, stop to check and see who wrote it -- only to discover that it was dear Jonah Goldberg. And move on to something else before a Black Hole sucked all the life out of my existence forcing me to lose faith in humanity that mankind could spawn such a being. It wasn't that it made me angry to read him, but sad that someone could flail around so helplessly searching for a hug. In such desperate need of a personal GPS.
And it's only fitting that the National Review published him here.
Two sources who know and understand the heart and psyche of what it means to be an authentic black person -- or even an inauthentic one -- amidst existing in the whole black experience.
To be fair to Mr. Goldberg, a concept that I can't swear ever enters his consciousness towards those he doesn't agree with, which is pretty much anyone to the left of Attila the Hun, his point was that Barack Obama had a white mother and was raised in part by white grandparents. What that point is supposed to prove I'm not completely sure, other than Mr. Obama likely didn't grow up in an inner-city ghetto and had additional experiences in his life that Dr. Carson didn't.
But I do suspect that pretty much every moment Barack Obama left his home, the rest of the world immediately saw him as authentically black. Which ultimately is one of those "experiences" he had that Dr. Carson didn't -- being set apart and seen as a black person in the middle of Iowa. What was that like? I don't know, but I do get the image of Cary Grant in North by Northwest being chased through corn fields by a murderous crop duster.
(Side note: perhaps to satisfy Mr. Goldberg and the National Review and clarify the matter to society in general, the name of the current protest group should be changed to "Authentic Black Lives Matter.")
The thing is, if Jonah Goldberg and the National Review actually believe this psychobabble about Authentic Blackness being meaningful, think of the waste of the last seven years not only to them, but to the base of the Republican Party and whole of the Tea Party corporation, which could have saved all that time hating Mr. Obama for being black, when it turns out that they didn't have to at all. If he's not Authentically Black, for goodness sake, and merely Inauthentically Black then what was the point of being freaked out by him being president when you merely looked at him?
In the end I'm not sure who Jonah Goldbeg was trying to convince with his "point," whatever it was meant to be. Certainly not his readers and the far-right GOP base, who already have figured out that Barack Obama is Black Enough for them and don't need convincing to actually vote for Dr. Ben Carson because he is, too. Certainly not liberals who weren't about to stop supporting Barack Obama because they suddenly realized he wasn't Authentically Black enough for conservatives. Not even moderates who, being in the middle, likely love the concept of someone being both Black and White. I just get the sense that Jonah Goldberg was simply doing what he always seems to be doing, flailing around out of angst. Against someone not even running for president.
Ultimately, while one "could" make the argument that Jonah Goldberg says "could" be made, the reality is that one "could" make any argument. Whether it makes sense or not. Indeed, if as he says one "could" make the argument, it seems pretty empty that he doesn't, just that he "could."
For that matter, one "could" make the argument that Barack Obama is more Authentically Black than Dr. Ben Carson, because -- having both white and black parents he knows more intimately what it's like for a black person to live in a white world.
And the truth is, when one gets right down to it, Jonah Goldberg doesn't even use the word Black, but rather African-American. So, if we're going to take him at his actual words, rather than his implied ones, then because Barack Obama does, in fact, have parents who are both black and white, then what is more Authentically African and American then that?!!
And therefore one could argue that he's more Authentically African-American than even Jonah Goldberg.

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To read more from Robert J. Elisberg about this or many other matters both large and tidbit small, see Elisberg Industries.

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