Reed's PS

Ralph Dumain rdumain at
Mon Oct 30 11:39:30 MST 1995

I am breaking my self-imposed silence long enough to commend Doug
Henwood for bringing us the words of Adolph Reed, Jr., one of the
few public black intellectuals with any real intellectual depth
and integrity.  Though I think the philosophical framework of his
VOICE article needs work, his scathing treatment of black
intellectuals is right on target.  Note also that Reed blames
white leftists for their gullible and unprincipled promotion of
any black huckster or mediocrity who will give them the time of
day.  And how interesting that when a black person finally comes
along to pull their coat to tell these irresponsible white
leftists just how wrong they are, that person gets dismissed out
of hand by the very same people who always blather about the need
to investigate black social reality concretely but who _never_ do
so, choosing to remain content with treating black people as
abstract revolutionary symbols.  I say Reed should be more
ruthless and seek to humiliate the white left as he does
reprehensible mediocrities like Cornel West and Jerry Watts.

West is basically a nice guy, but as a philosopher he is utterly
without merit, and for this you can blame the Caucasoid liberal
shits who mentored him such as Richard Rorty.  Lately West has
shown his complete political bankruptcy, first by hooking up with
the idiot Michael Lerner, then cavorting with the moribund black
elite who called the African-American summit, finally supporting
Farrakhan's revival meeting on the Mall.  What a worthless excuse
of an intellectual nothing.

Watts' book on Ralph Ellison is absolutely the worst, most
incompetent and obtuse treatment of Ellison ever to make its way
into book form.  Not surprising that such a vacuous work should
get such a rave blurb from Mr. Vacuous Black Universe himself,
Cornel West, who doesn't know anything about Richard Wright,
either.  We're gonna .... pump you up.

I would advise Reed not to get suckered into playing the
one-upmanship game of more-activist-than-thou.  If you want to
criticize the Superfriends or people like them, you must do so, as
C.L.R. James once suggested, not on the basis of what party they
belonged to or who they voted for, but on the fundamental
assumptions of what they wrote.  There are academics and activists
alike who are corrupt not only because of what they support but
because of how they think.

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