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How Come Marc Lamont Hill can call John Mayer a “White boy” and Not Be Called a Racist for It?

Posted on February 11 2010 5:00 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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Joe Klein had a great post today calling out Marc Lamont Hill on last night’s O’Reilly Factor. Those new to NewsReal Blog might be unfamiliar with our history of confronting Hill for his extreme views and for Fox and O’Reilly for putting him on as a foreign policy expert when he specializes in hip-hop culture. NewsReal Blog and Accuracy in Media were successful in getting Hill fired as a paid contributor at Fox. Never the less, he’s still featured occasionally as an unpaid commentator.

One of NRB’s primary gripes with Hill is that he’s dishonest. When on Fox News he presents himself as a reasonable progressive somewhere in the neighborhood of the leftwing of the Democratic Party. However in real life — and particularly on the web — Hill is a Ward Churchill-style radical who possesses deeply divisive views on race.

We can see this in this most recent blog post at his site. (Warning, R-rated language at the actual post.) Responding to a comment musician John Mayer made in a Playboy interview in which he confessed — in rather crass terms — to not being attracted to black women, Hill wrote,

One of the affordances of white privilege is being able to say things that cause hurt to people of color, and then appeal to your “heart” (or hip-hop collaborations) as proof you’re not racist. Again, I’m not calling Mayer a racist –I don’t know him– but his comments were certainly racially irresponsible. Next time, John, just say “Everybody has their preferences. Black women haven’t been mine.” Then, no harm, no foul.

As far as Black people go, I worry that our outrage is also connected to our constant need for White approval. Why should we really care whether or not John Mayer, or any other White boy, wants to sleep with Black women? If anything, we should focus on the lack of self-love –another outgrowth of White supremacy– that often informs Black men’s decision to avoid Black women. (Imagine if more brothers had Marcus Garvey hearts and Malcom X penises!) Also, Black people should be more careful about the White artists to whom we ascribe “honorary Black” status. It always seems to come back to bite us on the ass. Remember Justin Timberlake?

Look at the way Hill capitalizes “Black” and “White.” Why does he do that? Because he remains trapped in ’70s-era racial understanding informed by his Marxist, black supremacist heroes like Assata Shakur. To Hill “Blacks” and “Whites” are still separated by their skin color instead of united by their common humanity.(Note how Hill mentions Garvey and Malcolm X as his examples and not Martin Luther King, Jr.) Hill thinks because America is “institutionally racist” he can justifiably refer to Mayer as a “white boy” with impunity whereas a white commentator referring to him in such language would justifiably earn the “racist” label.

Such views have no place within respectable discourse. And Hill knows that — which is why he’s smart (and cowardly) enough to hide them in a barely-trafficked venue like his blog instead of articulating them on the Factor. Such is the wimpiness of the Left: unwilling to present the repugnance of their racist, totalitarian views for all to see.

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