The politically and ideologically-motivated soft-pedaling of serious issues affecting the black family is a larger problem today than it was when Peter Novick wrote “That Noble Dream.” In Novick’s time, these debates were mainly confined to scholarly journals and books. These days, the Internet exposes millions of people to misinformation, and it’s a lot easier to stumble across nonsense purely by chance.
Case in point: Cracked.com, the (ostensible) humor site. It would be a mistake to minimize or dismiss Cracked’s influence. Cracked.com receives 300,000,000 page views per month, making it the most visited humor site in the world, beating The Onion and Funny or Die. Many people who visit Cracked arrive expecting “hip, edgy” movie and videogame trivia. However, the site has gotten much more political over the years, which means it has a unique opportunity to blindside people with liberal hogwash they didn”t expect to encounter.
Not wanting to miss out on the fun of misrepresenting the CDC report, Cracked editor and columnist JF Sargent took a break from writing about superhero films to pen a May 5th piece in which he used the CDC report to claim that the “crisis of absent black fathers” is an “insane lie.” When Sargent didn”t respond to my request for comment, I turned to my old buddy, Cracked scribe David Christopher Bell. Ol” Dave and I have been corresponding on Facebook since 2012, when he tried to convince me to write for his site after I pitched him a few ideas (don”t get me started on the voodoo doll from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Seriously, don”t…I won”t shut up about it).
I asked Dave if he felt “insane lie” was a bit of an extreme, over-the-top way to describe the claim that there is a crisis of absent black fathers. His response? After complaining about Cracked’s move away from movie trivia (“I do agree we have less movie observational pieces than I’d like”) and admitting that “lately there could have been a bigger shift” toward progressive political pieces, he called me “really angry,” and he insinuated that I”m racist. And then he blocked me (because…tolerance!).
Which brings us full-circle back to Novick’s book, because another thing he wrote about in his case studies is that any white person who questioned the minimizing of black societal issues was labeled a racist. It happened then, it’s happening now. We”ve learned nothing, as each new generation invents the square wheel and wonders anew why it doesn”t make the cart move.
These days, I measure my lifespan not in years, but in how many times I”m forced to witness these cycles of stupidity repeat themselves.