The Cynical View of Race

Our elite and technology aren’t getting along well. From Wikileaks to Edward Snowden, the private messages and dealings of the wealthy and powerful are going from the inbox to the front pages of newspapers across the world—to the shame of those in power.

The latest hack of Sony Entertainment isn’t on the same scale as Snowden’s revelations and will likely not shape world affairs. But in spite of most of the information released so far amounting to frivolous gossip about celebrities, there is one diamond amidst the digital rough: the racial comments of two major film players.

The comments, exchanged between film producer Scott Rudin and Sony chairwoman Amy Pascal, would probably appear innocuous to most people—if we lived in a society that tolerated noticing Black culture as Black culture.

Here are the two joking asking each other what movies the President likes to watch in his free time:

In what has become the latest embarrassing email uncovered in a trove of messages leaked by hackers who attacked Sony, Pascal wrote Rudin: “What should I ask the president at this stupid Jeffrey breakfast?” She was referring to a breakfast hosted by DreamWorks Animation head and major Democratic donor Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Rudin, a top film producer responsible for films like No Country for Old Men and Moneyball, responded, “Would he like to finance some movies.” Pascal replied, “I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” Rudin responded: “12 YEARS.” Pascal quickly continued down the path of guessing Obama preferred movies by or starring African Americans. “Or the butler. Or think like a man? [sic]”

Rudin’s response: “Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart.”

The thought that Obama might enjoy stereotypical Black fare—and the humor of it—is apparently beyond the pale of society and the media had a field day with this humdrum conversation. Fox News went so far as to publish a rant declaring the whole affair represented “liberal racism”—a perfect example of “PC Judo.”

Both the producer and Sony exec involved in the exchange issued effusive apologies for their breach of racial decorum, barely placating the rage at their offense. Rumors swirl that Amy Pascal’s might even get the axe for her impolite words.

It’s neither shocking nor exceptional that something so minor dominated headlines last week. This is the world we live in. What is more surprising is where these comments came from and where the rage was directed at. Pascal and Scott Rudin are not conservative CEOs out in flyover country rattling on about how much they despise Blacks. These are two liberal Jews—titans of the entertainment industry—displaying a cynical attitude towards Black taste and culture. It bears reiterating that these comments stem originally from a discussion around an Obama fundraiser, hosted by a fellow liberal media mogul.

This isn’t the first case this year that demonstrated a similar attitude towards Blacks from an unlikely source. Remember Donald Sterling? Sterling is the (now) former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. Back when he was the owner in April, he told his mulatto girlfriend to stop hanging out with Blacks in public because it wasn’t classy. This is despite owning a team filled with Black players in a sport strongly tied to Black culture. Cue media hysteria and the National Basketball League stripping him of his team.

Sterling, like Pascal and Rudin, is a liberal Jew from LA. Unlike them, he made his millions as a high-class slum lord instead of producing artistic gems like Marci X. But like the two film honchos, Sterling spent a great amount of his career catering to minority customers, both in his property business and as a sports team owner. You would think he, like Pascal and Rudin, would have a slavish attitude towards non-Whites and fully believe in the “race is a social construct” doctrine. While they may promote it, these three seemingly aren’t die-hard zealots.

Whatever they may say on the matter of race, they all share a cynical view of it that admits it’s a factor in daily life. And not in the “evil whiteys oppress non-whiteys” thinking professed by our chattering class.

This is how I explained Sterling’s views on race back in April—likely applying to the attitudes of the embroiled film execs as well:

As a more cynical and crass version of John Derbyshire’s “The Talk,” Sterling has admitted that blacks generate poor living environments, require the leadership of whites to do anything and should not be associated with publicly if you desire respectability. While Derbyshire’s talk was centered on protecting yourself and your kin from potential threats, Sterling’s views are solely about accumulating wealth and status.

In other words, he’s still a vile human being. Not because he’s an alleged racist, but because he cynically utilizes these views to eke out a luxurious existence and entertain himself through the blackest sport in America. He cares nothing about improving society or living by higher ideals, he only cares about himself.

Sterling… knows that this [racial assimilation] is a false notion and non-whites will never assimilate to the status of whites, Jews and Asians – and that’s why he doesn’t want pictures with them on “the instagram.”

Sterling represents a view that is becoming more prevalent as the upper class attempts to safely navigate a multiracial America and still preserve established notions of prestige.

While the views of Pascal and Rudin may not go as far as Sterling’s, they do reveal a contemptuous attitude towards the films they produce for a Black audience, with the implication that Blacks have low intelligence. But they are only using this knowledge to make a buck and serve their own interests. They aren’t trying to make a better culture—they’re knee-deep in coarsening it.

I have a strong feeling that Pascal, Rudin, and Sterling are only the exposed powerful members of society that hold these views. It might not even be too brash to say that the majority of those in power have a realistic view of race and do not buy into the notions of racial equality…which makes these people all the more contemptible. In order to achieve “success” (whatever standard that might be) in America’s expanding multiracial future, it’s likely going to take a degree of race realism. You’re going to have to create and tailor products and services to the non-White majority in a far different way than you would with Whites. You’ll have to structure society to shield the high IQ successful people from the underclass increasing in size. You’ll have to cater to non-White culture and produce things you find embarrassing, but that’s what it will take to earn a dollar in this society.

In the future, there will certainly be a two-faced approach to race from the System’s elite. Publically they will sound like sociology professors; privately they will sound like segregationists. They will know the truth, and ignore it in favor of making money off it. Ain’t that America?