In one of the more ugly and mean-spirited op-ed pieces in the Los Angeles Times this year, opinion writer Erin Aubry Kaplan likened former Bush staffer Claude Allen to a "house Negro" from the days of slavery. (Claude Allen, a black man, resigned as President Bush's senior domestic policy advisor in early February. He was arrested on March 9 for theft of items from a Target and other stores.)
What is the gist of Kaplan's nasty and condescending article ("Claude Allen's life sentence," 3/15/06)? Kaplan surmises that Mr. Allen's "compromises" and "cognitive dissonance" as a conservative black male may have taken a "psychological toll" on him. She then questions if this caused Allen to "finally crack under the pressure."
It doesn't get much more hostile and arrogant than this, folks. Writes Kaplan (emphasis mine),
"Loyalty has been the price of admission to this [Bush] administration, and black conservatives have proved to be more loyal than most.
"That has unfortunately, but not always unfairly, invited comparisons to slave times, when the most loyal blacks were those who worked in closest proximity to their white masters — house Negroes, as they were derisively known. Such Negroes gained privilege but lost standing in their own community, a price that might have been reasonable if they were eventually granted the same status as the whites they so assiduously served. They weren't, of course; race has always mattered. And it matters now, though the dynamic is more subtle and devious."
Yikes. Kaplan then asks if Allen may have been "acting out a latent bitterness for being denied a spot on the federal appeals court."
There's more to Kaplan's ugliness in her article, but you get the point.
By the way, besides being flat-out malicious and vile, Kaplan exhibits all the signs of being what talk-show host Larry Elder calls a "victicrat." A victicrat "blames all ills, problems, concerns, and unhappiness on others." (Read more about this in Elder's must-read book, The Ten Things You Can't Say in America.) The evidence of this:
"All black folk, even conservatives, know they have to be three times as upstanding just to get along."
Oh, really? All "black folk" know this, Erin? Please.
The Los Angeles Times readership has been in a habitual and steady decline in the past decade (see here and here). Is this any wonder in light of readers being insulted by caustic and unwarranted attacks such as Kaplan's?