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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

So Why Can't I Be A Black Leader?

Oliver Willis is not pleased with the Millions More March (link via Misha):

think it’s past time for there to be a changing of the guard in black leadership in America. People like Farrakhan, Sharpton and Jackson are no better than hustlers, bigots, and crooks. There are hundreds of black leaders who believe in improving the lives of black Americans, and America in general, but the media keeps giving time to the Axis of Irrelevancy.

At Daily Kos, Markos Zuniga responds in a rambling post. One remark deserves attention:

I have no opinion on the specifics -- I'm not African American, I don't consider it my business to tell them who should "lead" them.

I'm a white American guy, and I do consider it my business to tell blacks - and women and Iranians and soccer fans and anyone else on this planet - who should lead them. It's not like I'm forcing anyone to do anything, and telling people off is a big part of blogging. I am not so selfish as to narrow my political and social focus on what profits me. Besides, I have a stake in who leads constituencies that I don't belong to; our disparate groups interact with one another, and what genuinely increases the well-being of one group benefits them all.

Ideology is the overriding qualification for leadership. Zuniga knows this, of course; he writes of "the black movement" as a Democratic constituency, and presumes a general agreement over most issues. What is troubling is that the very existence of ethnic blocs is taken for granted, that racial separatism must always be a part of politics. Zuniga offers no vision of genuine racial integration within his party.

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