Dr. Ben Carson has been called a “Political Mandingo” and Uncle Tom on the pages of Daily Kos and elsewhere, and Republicans’ “black friend” by Touré Neblett,

Now Ta-Nehisi Coates, who usually writes at The Atlantic, has a guest Op-Ed at The New York Times which perniciously speaks of Dr. Carson as wearing a mask, He Wears the Mask:

Since the dawn of the Obama era, conservatives have been on the lookout for such a man. In 2004 they dispatched Alan Keyes cross-country to take up the mantle of the Conservative Black Hope and deliver an early knockout to Obama. Keyes had never lived in Illinois and his voters barely knew him, and voted accordingly. But it did not matter who he was. What mattered was their plan….

Having seen their icon thrashed in 2004, in 2009 conservatives looked to Michael Steele, the first African-American to head the Republican National Convention, to face off with the first black president. But Steele had an on-again off-again relationship with the party line, and was thus ill suited to be a Conservative Black Hope, even if the hip-hop Republican often talked like one.

Coates then rattles off other Republican Black Hopes, and concludes:

Not all black conservatives see it as their job to tell white racists that they embody the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. It is certainly possible to oppose Obamacare in good conscience. No one knows this more than Ben Carson. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, he may have been the most celebrated figure in the black communities of Baltimore. Carson responded to that adulation by regularly giving his time to talk to young people, who needed to know that there was so much more beyond the streets.

I was one of those young people. I don’t doubt that Carson was a conservative even then. I knew plenty of black people who loved their community and hated welfare. But white conservatives were never interested in them, and they were never as interested in Ben Carson as they are right now. When the presidency was an unbroken string of white men, there were no calls for him to run for the White House. And then he put on the mask.

This really is a disgusting argument, that every time a black conservative rises it is just a charade, the white man’s dream to fool everyone.  The argument presupposes that true blackness only belongs to Coates and not to Allen West, or Mia Love, or Dr. Ben Carson, or other black conservatives.

Coates likes to hold himself out at an intellectual steeped in history, someone above the race-baiting of the Democratic Party.  With this column trying to put a mask on Dr. Carson, Coates took off his own mask.

Look for Coates to become a regular columnist at The Times eventually.