Three Fifths

I was wondering something as I watched the MLK 50th NAACP/DNC rally last week…I forgot about it until Glenn Reynolds noted it a few minutes ago:

POST-RACIAL AMERICA: So in this picture, the NAACP’s Ben Jealous looks like George Zimmerman’s paler brother. In fact, if you didn’t know he was black, would you assume so?

The establishment black political moves and shakers seem to be fixated on race – or at least skin color. The Congressional Black Caucus has no white or Hispanic members, for example. 

So I go to thinking – what is it that actually makes one “black” in the eyes of the black political establishment?

I looked up Benjamin Todd Jealous, the chairman of the NAACP. Here’s what I found in his bio:

Benjamin Todd Jealous is the current President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). When he assumed the post in September 2008 at the age of 35, he was the youngest leader in the group’s hundred-year history. Jealous’ wife, Lia Epperson, is also closely involved in the organization, working as a civil rights attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Born on January 18, 1973 in Pacific Grove, California, Jealous is the son of a mixed racial couple – Ann Todd Jealous, an African-American psychotherapist, and Fred Jealous, a white education administrator, both of whom participated in Baltimore’s desegregation movement during the 1960s.

While attending York School, a private Episcopal high school in Monterey, California, Jealous became a community organizer. At age 14, he organized a youth voter-registration drive supporting the presidential candidacy of Jesse Jackson. During his high-school years, he also spent a semester in Washington DC, working for Leon Panetta and Sam Farr, two Congressional Democrats from California.

In 1991, Jealous began working toward his undergraduate degree at New York’s Columbia University, while continuing his community organizing in Harlem for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In his junior year, he led a series of campus campaigns for economic, racial, and social justice, which involved protests and pickets. In one incident, while calling for the preservation of Columbia scholarships for students of color, Jealous climbed through a window of Columbia’s Low Memorial Hall, disrupting a meeting of the board of trustees. Jealous and three other student leaders were subsequently suspended from Columbia.

In 1997, Jealous returned to Columbia to complete his undergraduate degree in political science. He then traveled to England to do graduate work at Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. In 1999, upon receiving his Master’s degree in comparative social research, he returned to the United States to take the position of executive director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a media federation of more than 200 black-community newspapers.

In case you are wondering, the annual tuition at the York School for 2013-14 is $28,750. Columbia. Oxford. The mean streets of academia – not quite Compton or the south side of Chicago, is it?

Obama has a similar academic background and is the product of a bi-racial union and yet he is called our “first black president”.

Doesn’t it make you wonder – just a little bit – how men who have had the faintest connection with the “black experience” in America can actually be two leaders of the black political establishment?

Is there some kind of blood quantum rule that we should know about?

4 thoughts on “Three Fifths

      • Because you are the house vampire, Don, I was just wondering why the hello they had to give me a painful shot in the bum just because I’m a negative and my son’s a positive. Naturally, my reference is to blood-types………..(and yes, I’m the negative Nellie of the two!)

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