In director Quentin Tarantino’s soon-to-open film Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx plays an escaped slave on a murderous rampage against his former tormentors and, if I read the advance press correctly, pretty much any white someone deems deserving of a uniquely Tarantinoesque death.  It sounds like the black version of Tarantino’s last film, Inglorious Basterds, wherein a squad of Jews got to kill Nazis (and Hitler).

So now Foxx is afforded his next moment in the media spotlight, and wastes no time perpetrating a stereotype that whites aren’t supposed to hold.

‘Cause as black folks we’re always sensitive. As a black person it’s always racial.

In whose mind?

‘I come into this place to do a photo shoot and they got Ritz crackers and cheese.

‘I’ll be like, ain’t this a bitch. Y’all didn’t know black people was coming.’

Black people don’t eat Ritz crackers and cheese?  That’s news to me, same as it would be to Fuzzy Zoeller, if he still had a career after making “racist comments” about Tiger Woods’s presumed culinary preferences.

So apparently Jamie Foxx wants the craft services people to lay out a platter of fried chicken and watermelon.  Uh, no, not that either.

In the same vein he explained that if he turned up to the photo shoot and there was fried chicken and watermelon, he would also be annoyed at the stereotype.

Which is the same as saying that there’s no pleasing Jamie Foxx, not with that concrete chip on his shoulder. Indeed:

Jamie also admitted that he feels that he must act and talk in a certain way around white people and in his day-to-day job as an actor.

So there’s a black way of being and a white way of being.  Good to know. I eagerly await my updated 2013 manual.

How tiresome this has become.

As it happens I’m researching a book on fraud and corruption in the real estate market, which has run rampant since 2007, and plan to build the narrative around the misdeeds of one particularly egregious practitioner.  His state-licensed broker’s get-rich-now-in-real-estate websites were a treasure trove of damning evidence for anyone who cared to look hard enough and ask questions.  Which I did, in a series of emails that the broker tried to dismiss by noting that he was a Harvard-trained lawyer.

I was, to say the least, not dissuaded.  And after weeks of pointing out in methodical, deductive fashion several violations that could entitle him to a revocation of his real estate license, if not his law license, he accused me of racism.  He wrote, “I finally figured out why you are hounding me like this.  There can be no other reason.  My picture is on my website.  Believe me, I have a lot of experience with that.”

Now, often when a white man is accused of racism, he has to say, “No, I’m not” or have others do that in his behalf.  It’s a ridiculous and destructive Kabuki that further poisons Martin Luther King’s dream.

In this case the accusation was particularly telling.  For weeks he and I had been exchanging emails—and yet this wealthy, Harvard-educated professional hadn’t bothered to visit my own website, where the first 15 seconds (followed by some strategic clicking around) would have kept him from completely embarrassing himself.

But like Jamie Foxx, another successful multimillionaire who lives better than nearly 100 percent of everyone who’s ever walked the earth, he defaults to racism as the explanation uber alles for every imagined slight.  It’s pathetic and demeaning far more to the accuser than to the accused.

Really, I sometimes wonder whether black Americans would be happy or disappointed to know how little most white Americans think about race.  And more and more, I think they’d be disappointed.  Or mad.  R.I.P., Dr. King.


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