Why Do Only Whites Lose Jobs Over Racial Remarks?

In his 1993 book Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism,image the late Sam Francis wrote, "the practice of ruining a white person once a year in honor of Dr. [Martin Luther] King is becoming a national tradition." Sam, who would soon become one of those ruined white persons, mentioned the well-known cases of Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder and Al Campanis, who lost jobs for their theories about blacks and sports. He also described the 1986 case of a Maryland school teacher who was suspended (though not fired in those lax days) for telling someone in a private conversation (correctly) that King was a communist sympathizer.

The pace of ruining white people for allegedly racist remarks has picked up in the last 15 years - and even in the three years since Sam passed on.

As Don Imus, James Watson, Michael Richards, Dave Seanor (former Golfweek editor) and Kelly Tilghman (Golf Channel anchor) can attest, the practice is now much more common than once a year.

Whites on the hard-right and (especially) the race-realist right have long lost jobs or appointments over their racial views or remarks. A brief list would include Mel Bradford, Sam Francis, Chris Brand, Andrew Fraser, Kevin Lamb and Frank Ellis. Academics such as Michael Levin, Philippe Rushton, and the late Glayde Whitney were harassed for their scholarly work on race but managed to keep their jobs because of tenure.

Of course, many would argue that racialists (if they are white) and those on the hard right are repellent and deserve to lose their jobs.

But events of the last several years prove that whites can become a victim if they express forbidden views or make a racial joke. Actors (Michael Richards), "shock jocks" (Imus, J.C.  Corcoran, the Greaseman), athletes (John Rocker, Paul Hornung, Fuzzy Zoeller) and politicians (Trent Lott) have all been fired, demoted or suspended for allegedly racial remarks.

Whites on the right are used to being harassed and fired for their racial views. But others, armed with all the proper opinions on race, never dream of a day when they will come face to face with Big Brother.

Robert Weissberg, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois-Urbana, tells a tragic tale of his former colleague Stuart Nagel, an impeccably leftist professor and civil rights veteran, who lost his job over an innocuous remark about why Asian businesses outperform black enterprises in Kenya (he claimed it was due to credit issues). After a black student filed a complaint, the professor was branded a "racist" and subjected to university investigations and two federal trials. Nagel lost his job and was coerced into retirement. Abandoned by his colleagues and left with over $100,000 in debt from legal fees, he committed suicide.

A question I've never seen discussed is why only whites seem to suffer the consequences of inappropriate racial remarks.  If whites had a monopoly on racist speech, perhaps it would be understandable. But well-known blacks routinely make racist remarks about whites and others. None, to my knowledge, have been fired or faced anything more than mild criticism.

Consider the following:

Ice Cube was a black "gangsta rapper" in the late 1990s who routinely advocated racist violence against non-blacks. One of his albums, titled "Death Certificateimage," contained this rap about Asian store owners:

"So don't follow me up and down your market

Or your little chop suey ass will be a target

So pay your respects to the black fist

Or we'll burn your store right down to a crisp."

Today, Ice Cube is an actor who makes millions playing the fun-loving father with a heart of gold in family movies like Are We There Yet and the sequel, Are We Done Yet.

Needless to say, Michael Richards will not be cast as the goofy dad in a family comedy anytime soon.

Bryant Gumbel is the host of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. In 2006, prior to the Winter Olympics, Gumbel made claims that would seem to echo those of Jimmy the Greek.  Dismissing the athleticism on display at the Winter Olympics he announced, "Count me among those who don't care about them and won't watch them... So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the winter games look like a GOP convention."

Leaving aside the fact that white athletes always win the most medals in both the summer and winter Olympics, Gumbel is simply declaring black supremacy in sports. Far from hurting his career, Gumbel was awarded with a play-by-play job with NFL Network.

Bernard Hopkins is a former middleweight boxing champion. While promoting his upcoming fight against super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe, who is white, Hopkins claimed, "I would never let a white boy beat me. You can print that. I would never lose to a white person."[2007'S OVERHEARD: The best quotes of the year, Detroit Free Press, January 1, 2008]

There was, of course, no John Rocker treatment for Hopkins.

Only days after the 2006 Duke lacrosse rape hoax, Houston Baker, [send him mail] a Duke professor of English and African-American studies assailed "white…male athletes, veritably given license to rape, maraud, deploy hate speech" and "sport their disgraced jerseys on campus, safe under the cover of silent whiteness." Even before any charges were made, Baker proclaimed the whites guilty of "abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us. "against a "black woman who their violence and raucous witness injured for life."

When a mother of one of the white players politely emailed him to request he reconsider the case, Baker emailed back:

"LIES! You are just a provocateur on a happy New Years Eve trying to get credit for a scummy bunch of white males! You know you are in search of sympaathy [sic] for young white guys who beat up a gay man [sic] in Georgetown, get drunk in Durham, and lived like a bunch of farm animals near campus. I really hope whoever sent this stupid farce of an email rots in .... umhappy [sic] new year to you ... and forgive me if your really are, quite sadly, mother of a "farm animal."

This blatantly racist and embarrassingly written email did not stop Baker from being named Distinguished University Professor at Vanderbilt University in the English (!!!) department. His appointment came only months after he had led efforts to scapegoat innocent white students at his own university.  

The list of racist remarks from famous blacks can go on forever. It includes politicians, religious leaders, actors, singers, athletes and others. Figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Willie Brown, Dick Gregory, Spike Lee, Maxine Waters and Jeremiah Wright, the "spiritual father," of Barack Obama would be included on this list.

But all are lauded, influential people in American life. And none has lost a job.

One important difference when noting the double standard in treatment of blacks and whites over racial remarks is the context of the offending statements. Most of the "racist" remarks by whites are jokes, or statements said in a light-hearted manner. The statements of Trent Lott, Don Imus, Kelly Tilghman, Fuzzy Zoeller and other whites all fall into this category. Not so with most of the blacks. When they make racial remarks it is often racial slurs (Bernard Hopkins, Dick Gregory, Willie Brown) or expressions of intense hatred towards whites (Ice Cube, bell hooks, Jonathan Farley).

Michael Richards did launch an angry tirade against blacks who were harassing him at a comedy club, but it was apparently in retaliation for their racial heckling.

Some might bring up the cases of race activist Andrew Young and actor Isaiah Washington as examples of blacks who have lost jobs over offensive remarks. Young, in his capacity for an organization that promotes Wal-Mart, attacked Jews, Koreans and Arabs as merchants who exploit black customers. He received some criticism for the remarks but he was not fired from his position. In fact, he seemed to get more flak for shilling for Wal-Mart and ended up resigning.

Washington referred to a white, gay actor as a "faggot" on the set of Grey's Anatomy. He also got into a fight with co-star Patrick Dempsey who came to his defense. The pressure on Washington came from gay groups, which prompted his departure from the hit show a season later.

If Washington had merely called his cast mate a "white boy" or a "white motherf*****," he would still have a job.

The ruining of a white person that Sam Francis wrote about 15 years ago is now a year-round event. Whites who are charged with inappropriate racial remarks have no defenders in the media, politics, academia or any other institution. There are no mainstream groups that defend the interests of whites, so the accused find themselves all alone in the crosshairs. No wonder they immediately beg and grovel and throw themselves on the mercy of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. But they are begging for mercy that is never granted.

Perhaps there will come a day when whites tire of this double standard and start pushing back. But that day is nowhere in sight right now. So unless whites are prepared to run the gauntlet, they should follow the advice of an anonymous poster on the American Renaissance website:

"When on the job, DO NOT DISCUSS RACE! In any form.  Do not comment, do not even mention it, or acknowledge it, or use any sort of race-related terminology. Just say nothing! Have no opinion!"

Peter Bradley [email him] works in Washington, D.C.