Tavis Smiley’s Slaves: Racial privilege, guilt and oppression

Tavis Smiley’s Slaves: Racial privilege, guilt and oppression, by Daniel Greenfield.

PBS personality [and millionaire] Tavis Smiley … was asked about whether slavery might make a comeback.

Smiley assured readers of Time Magazine … that slavery could very well make a comeback.

Huh??? Slavery to come back in the US?

Why? What possible reason did Tavis Smiley have for anticipating the return of not merely Jim Crow, but cotton plantations and chains? Because the Senate has yet to act on Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

Wait a moment, what’s going on here?

Tavis Smiley has a hefty salary and a development deal with Warner Brothers. He has a forum at Time Magazine and gallons of power and prestige. If anyone ought to be less likely to fear the return of slavery, it’s him. But this latest wave of black fragility comes largely from the black upper class. …

[I]t’s the bearers of unearned privilege like Tavis Smiley and students at prestigious colleges who, like Smiley, know that they aren’t there on their merit, who fear the loss of their privileges the most.

They identify with Obama so closely because he too is the benefit of vast realms of unearned privilege.

Who is oppressing whom? Isn’t it in fact the whites who are (tax) slaves to Smiley?

Tavis Smiley is not in any danger of being hauled out of home with its treasure trove of autographed Muhammad Ali memorabilia to a cotton plantation. Smiley however does have slaves. They’re known as taxpayers.

PBS is funded by taxpayers. These taxpayers have no say in whether their earnings will be seized by them and turned over to PBS personalities, whether it’s Tavis Smiley so he can buy more Muhammad Ali souvenirs, or any of the other collecting of left-wing thinkers and talkers. They are slaves. …

Smiley knows this, but cannot acknowledge it.

One way of describing it all is projection. Guilt easily becomes anger. When we have hurt someone, we can either apologize and atone, or we can accuse him of all sorts of irrational wrongdoing to make ourselves feel better.

In Smiley’s essay, he flirts with the notion of acknowledging the anger of the Trump supporters enslaved by a liberal regime that confiscates their earnings to pay for its agenda.

But he can’t acknowledge it. Instead he throws out paranoid claims about the return of slavery.

Trump threatens his unearned privilege. Good.

Why is Trump so uniquely threatening to Tavis Smiley and so much of the liberal elite? His platform does not include a return to slavery. But it does include a call to break up much of the establishment.

And the establishment greatly values its illegitimate and unfair privileges.

Smiley and others like him are suffering. They have enough of a sense of themselves to feel guilty. The student on a prestigious campus who beat out more qualified students who had the misfortune of being born white or Asian knows that he exists at the expense of an injustice being perpetrated against others.

He copes with this guilty by taking refuge in hate. Like so many slave owners, he must hate and fear and rage against the people he has oppressed. His hatred is just guilt congealed into rabid denial.

The author is rather critical of Obama:

Americans have been enslaved by Obama for the better part of a decade. He has gleefully spent their money, destroyed their future and wrecked their country on every level. His triumph was not a narrative of the wretched of the earth coming into their own, but the unearned privilege of a spoiled brat who got by on charm, on political connections and finally on the convenience of a privileged racial identity.

hat-tip Stephen Neil