Why the Du Bois Boomlet?

"Last week David Levering Lewis` biography of
W.E.B. Du Bois won a second Pulitzer Prize. Lewis won
his first prize in 1994 for Volume 1. This year`s prize
went to Volume 2. The double whammy recognizes Lewis`
gifts as a biographer. But it also reflects the swelling
reputation of Lewis` subject—who is now widely seen as
the founding father of the modern fight for black



David Greenberg`s statement that Du Bois` reputation
is growing is just another example of the journalistic
desire to portray everything as a trend ("More Take
up Eating/ Sleeping/ Breathing"). W.E.B. Du Bois`
reputation in the mainstream has been Olympian for
several decades. For example, Du Bois was featured in my
Catholic school textbooks in the early Seventies, along
with Harriet Tubman and, my personal favorite at the
time, Langston Hughes.

Greenberg, however, still finds it necessary to cover
up Du Bois` racial elitism. DuBois was a mulatto with
beige skin but European features. He looked like a
Portuguese count who had spent the summer cruising the
Mediterranean on his yacht.

Brent Staples, a black editorial writer for The New
York Times
, has pointed


The first civil rights
leaders were from the mulatto elite, which historically
discriminated against darker-skinned blacks and held
many of the same ideas about them that whites did. These
antipathies mellowed into condescension in W.E.B. Du
Bois, a scion of the fair-skinned elite, a co-founder of
the NAACP, and the first black man to earn a Ph.D. from
Harvard. Du Bois` racial philosophy emerged in his essay
on "the talented tenth," assigned the task of
lifting up the rest. Du Bois wrote, "Progress in
human affairs is more often a pull than a push, a
surging forward of the exceptional man, and the lifting
of his duller brethren slowly and painfully to his

Booker T. Washington (also a mulatto, but born a
slave) had focused on helping the black masses achieve
the skills (educational, economic, hygienic, etc.) that
they needed in order to live without masters. But DuBois`
efforts were focused on behalf of the mulatto elite. The
black masses responded in kind by calling the NAACP the
"National Association for the Advancement of Certain People."


In the long run, though, DuBois` liberal elitism came
to dominate the civil rights orthodoxy. Note how the
Civil Rights Establishment is infinitely more worked up
over restoring racial quotas at UC Berkeley than over,
say, improving inner city public schools.

In general, whites remain utterly oblivious to
discrimination by lighter-skinned African Americans
against blacks. Witness one of the more sickening
phenomenon in modern America: the beatification of
Muhammad Ali, an illiterate, an ally of Elijah Muhammad
and Louis Farrakhan in their jihad against Malcolm X
after his rejection of racism – an egomaniacal mulatto
racist so enamored of his own cafe-au-lait middle class
looks that he called his great working class black rival
Joe Frazier a "gorilla."

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

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May 05,