Bourgeois Negroes

I hope the title of this post is as repulsive to you as it was to me when I heard it. Watch the video that it comes from. (LANGUAGE WARNING – not safe for work or kids!)


The host is Thaddeus Matthews, and he is outrageously disrespectful. It’s difficult to say how to answer this guy, but I’m gonna give it a stab.

Matthews is interviewing Charlotte Bergman, a black Republican. The very first thing he does is get confrontational about her “membership” with the Tea Party. He kicks things off by getting snippy over her answer – and she’s right, there is no membership in the Tea Party. There is no solid organization for the Tea Party nor any national leadership; it’s a genuine, grassroots organization that is tired of big government spending. Tea Partiers are tired of both Republicans AND Democrats and their spending.

Very quickly, you see that the video was posted by Matthews – who actually believes that Charlotte Bergman is “bought and paid for” by racist white people. Text shots literally say that he believes the Tea Party to be a racist organization and all of the black people involved with conservative politics (which he constantly refers to as the Tea Party, because he is too small-minded to separate the two) to be sellouts, token blacks, and puppets of Fox News.

One incredible illustration claims that conservative black people have betrayed the black community. The very next shot is a text scroll that actually claims that these people draw a salary for running for political office – and that salary is supposedly paid for by racist whites who hate Obama because he is black.

He never once asked an honest question. Not once. He asked her if she was a token of the white community, then when she refused to answer the question the way he wanted he yelled at her to shut up and “stop being stupid.” He demands to know what she’s done for the black community…and then, for the first time, calls her a “bourgeois negro.”

Who is the racist here?

What I fail to understand is, shortly after that, he asks her – a Republican candidate – if she supports Barack Obama. He continues to demand to know what she’s done for a specific black community in Memphis despite the fact that she’s running for office. She’s not in office yet, she can’t do anything until she’s in office! By halfway through his rant, he’s screaming at her about “throwing money” at the inner city issues.

That’s when he starts on his “people problem” rant. He tells her that she needs to change the minds of the people and goes off about Republicans who want to throw money at the issue (which he takes forever to get to – he’s talking about inner city crime rates). That’s when he says we need a program that deals with “the consciousness of people” who want to “rob and murder in the black community” and he again calls her a bourgeois negro.

Since that seems to be his whole point, I’ll bite. What kind of programs are you talking about, Matthews? Exactly how would you enact a program that deals with the consciousness of people? What would that look like, how would it sound? Are you talking about re-education camps, maybe? There is no law in a free society that is capable of re-programming people’s consciousness. You’re talking about changing the culture, and the law cannot do that.

So let’s talk about the culture you reference. Mr. Matthews, do you know the statistics on crime rates? By the way you talk about it, I’m guessing you have an idea. While blacks don’t even comprise one-quarter of the population of the United States, a black man is statistically speaking seven times more likely to commit a violent crime than a white man – and more than 85% of violent crimes committed by black men are committed AGAINST other black men. I’d ask why you think that is, but you go on to tell me later on when you slam the Constitution, basically saying it doesn’t apply to you because when it was first written, black people were property.

Then, you toss her out, refuse to shake her hand because you don’t want her “whiteness to rub off” on you, and you yell at her as she’s leaving, telling her not to stop to talk to people.

Mr. Matthews, your attitude, belligerence and demeanor tell us everything we need to know about what’s wrong with the black community. It is people like YOU.

You, who will verbally abuse a woman half your size, berate and belittle her, tell her she’s stupid and then throw her out because you don’t agree with her. You, who demand that the government do something to help you rather than pulling yourself up out of your situation. You, who insist that the government is responsible for changing a culture that you have helped create. You, who rather than calling out those who help perpetuate the culture you’re lamenting, will celebrate rap artists and their violent and misogynistic lyrics and blame anyone but yourself for the consequences.

Would you call out the members of the New Black Panther Party, whose leader King Samir Shabazz called on followers once to kill “crackers” and their babies? Of course you wouldn’t. You probably believe Shabazz is right and he’s empowering black people to rise up. You’ll call me a racist, however, because I’m white and I don’t like Barack Obama. I didn’t have much respect for white leftists Al Gore or Bill Clinton, either, but that doesn’t matter much. To you, the only reason I could possibly have to dislike Obama is if I’m a racist, truth be damned.

You, Mr. Matthews, are indicative of the biggest problem in your own community. You expect everyone else to fix you. I’ll tell you what I tell alcoholics and drug addicts that I deal with professionally: you have to want to change yourself before anything will get better. It may suck at first, but it starts with YOU. Once you change yourself, you can talk about changing the world around you. The same thing can be applied to your “culture”.


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