Malcolm X once warned African Americans that no one can exploit and hate on black people with the dexterity, efficiency and ruthlessness as other blacks. Case in point: a black Stanford law professor is gainfully profiteering off the collective marriage misery of middle-class African American women with a blog-level, contemptible book, Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone.
Ralph Richard Banks, a law professor at the “Ivy League school of the West,” Stanford University, has an answer to solve black women’s dilemma to finding a suitable soul mate: marry white men.
Of course the reprehensible title, Is Marriage for White People?, was deliberately inflammatory with a sort of sinister, premeditated attempt to inflame racial animus, incite counterproductive shouting matches, exploit an already-abused and easy-to-pick-on demographic to sell books and, most of all, raise professor Banks’ profile from deserved obscurity into undeserving national attention.
But, like its literary predecessors, the book seems to solve little, if the reviews are to be believed. While some intelligent points were sprinkled into the book at irregular intervals, overall, it answers none of the questions and relies on haphazard, shabby research and unsubstantiated theories wrapped in hollow, sophisticated rhetoric to make you give it a good look.
“By the time you reach the solution presented at the end of the book — that black women should shift the power balance by opening themselves to interracial marriage — you realize the author hasn’t even attempted to explore, let alone answer, the cover’s quandary,” reads the review.
And there is the most conspicuous void in Banks’ qualifications that you’d think would be a prerequisite in order to analyze and dissect something of this size and scope. He is just a lawyer — one with too much time on his hands.
Yes, he’s a lawyer and professor of juris prudence at one of the top schools in the country, if not the world. And yes, he has taught about marriage and discrimination, but he not a psychologist nor a psychiatrist, social scientist, cultural anthropologist, historian and not even a television pundit, for that matter. Banks doubtlessly has dollar signs dancing before his eyes and probably desparately wants to join the lucrative speaking circuit by procuring TV appearance fees that are more commensurate with his pedigree. But I digress.
There has been an intermittent stream of similar topics that have cattle-prodded black women’s nerve endings in recent years, including the nauseating and highly-objectionable “Nightline” special, “Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?” that featured Steve Harvey, the author of two #1 New York Times bestselling books on the trials and travails of single black women.
Melissa Harris Perry, thankfully, turned the blowtorch toward staged idiocy and ridiculousness that’s often camoflauged under the guise of concern for black women, though we know that mainstream audiences couldn’t care less about how black women fare.
“The serious, interesting and sensitive social and personal issues … were hijacked by superficial, cartoonish dialogue that relied heavily on personal anecdotes and baseless personal impressions while perpetuating damaging sexism,” Perry retorted.
Like a small town that’s recovering from a natural disaster and is told that another is en route, African American men and women need to bandage up their sensibilities quickly and prepare, again, to have their psyches peeled like onions by another unscrupulous, racial pimp on a rampage. –terry shropshire