Am I allowed to say this? Am I allowed to say any of this? If there’s such a thing as black pride, there must be some kind of common traits we”€™re conceding exist, right?

There are at least two commercials out right now that feature a young black man sideways moonwalking with his feet. We are so fascinated with the way black people move, seeing them casually dance down the street is enough to sell a car. We”€™re taught that this must be conditioning, but I ain”€™t buying it. I”€™m reminded of a story my friend David Choe told me after backpacking through Africa. He said he saw little kids as young as 4 backflipping off of tires that had been buried halfway into the ground. Seeing them soar into the air and do DIY acrobatics made him say aloud to himself, “€œYep, they”€™re different from us.”€

Blacks dominate professional sports because they”€™re more agile. We”€™re allowed to admire a woman’s physical beauty, so there’s no harm in admiring a race for their physical prowess.


Caveat: I should explain that almost all I know about American blacks is reduced to Brooklyn and Harlem. The former are known as isolationist and unambitious and the latter are known as go-getters who are culturally advanced. They are as different as Upper East Side liberals and Southern rednecks.

I was with some German tourists recently who really wanted to see Harlem. They had an antiquated view of American Gangster where they assumed they”€™d see kids getting paid to run dangerous errands while girls skipped rope and sang, “€œMabel Mabel set the table just as fast as you are able.”€ I reluctantly schlepped up there, but it was daytime so all they got was hardworking men covered in drywall paste.

Harlem might not represent the blacks in your neighborhood, but here in New York they are the hardest-working blacks we got. Every time you talk to one they have some kind of hustle they”€™re pushing. Sometimes it’s illegal, but it’s often a web series or a clothing line or a tap-dancing showcase. An old, Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus once told me that the origins of Harlem are rooted in workers who had extra money after the Depression because they insisted on being paid in gold pieces instead of currency and thereby skipped inflation (he also claimed Hell’s Kitchen was created by Irish workers who did the same). I like that version of events so I”€™m not going to look it up to see if it’s true or not.

Ann Coulter was pilloried for claiming our blacks are better than their blacks, but it was just a #HateFact. Our blacks suffer through family gatherings getting told they”€™re Uncle Toms for supporting Trump. Blacks overall are uniquely monolithic, and from a very young age they demand conformity. Where white teenagers can be cowboys or goths or punks or skins, black kids all have to be culturally the same (this isn”€™t on the list because it’s not a good trait). When blacks go against the grain, they are going against a much more dogmatic grain than ours. This is why we have a Hotep movement that laughs in the face of derision.

Obama’s legacy is a racial divide that seems almost as big as in the early “€™60s. A disproportionate problem with crime and the crippling morale killer of welfare have created a pattern that makes blacks look pretty bad”€”in theory. However, living in the city for the past quarter century means you get a lot of practice hanging out with African-American people of color, and I gotta say, for the most part they a”€™right.


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