As Dr. Ben Carson continues his rise in the 2016 Republican presidential polls, media mogul Rupert Murdoch tweeted favorably about him:
Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 8, 2015
The Earth promptly imploded. Professional useless person Joan Walsh of Salon.com tweeted caustically, “I am thrilled to learn Rupert Murdoch was appointed the guy in charge of deciding who the ‘real black’ people are. What a blessing.” Commentator Roland Martin joined in the chorus: “Wow. So basically @rupertmurdoch, tweeting his support of @RealBenCarson, said @POTUS Barack Obama is NOT a real Black president. #EpicShade.”
Here’s the problem: the left routinely labels black Republicans or conservatives – or really, anyone who departs even briefly from the Democrat consensus — faux blacks. Clarence Thomas has faced such scrutiny, as has Condoleeza Rice – and, until he turned into a mainstream Democrat, so did Colin Powell. At that point, the questions stopped. Joan Walsh recently labeled Andrew Duncomb, a black activist on behalf of the Confederate flag, the “black rebel,” complete with scare quotes, and then compared him to Dave Chappelle character Clayton Bigsby, “the blind KKK member who doesn’t know that he’s black.” And while Roland Martin has consistently stated that politicians like Barack Obama are black, he has asked, along with NPR, whether Barack Obama is “black enough” (Martin’s answer: Obama is black, but “we have to own to the reality that African-Americans are talking about this.”)
For the media to suddenly pretend that the “black enough” or “real black” label doesn’t exist represents hypocrisy of the highest order. They created it. In 2007, Steve Kroft of CBS asked Obama point blank why he considered himself black even though he grew up in a white household. The Los Angeles Times infamously asked if Obama was “really black” and Stanley Crouch of the New York Daily News wrote, “Other than color, Obama did not – does not – share a heritage with the majority of black Americans, who are descendants of plantation slaves…So when black Americans refer to Obama as ‘one of us,’ I do not know what they are talking about.” As Satta Sarmah of the Columbia Journalism Review wrote in 2007, “Those inside and outside of the black community have questioned Obama’s racial identity.”
So, is Ben Carson “blacker” than Barack Obama? The question itself is idiotic and irrelevant, given that race is a social construct — it’s like falsely investing hair color with meaning, then asking if one person is more of a brunette than another. But so long as the left can ask such questions routinely – and use the question itself as a club against conservative blacks – it’s ridiculous to suggest that conservatives may never utilize the same comparison. And, for the record, Ben Carson has two black parents, not one; Ben Carson grew up in inner city Detroit, not Indonesia and Hawaii; Ben Carson’s ancestors were slaves, unlike President Obama’s, who held slaves. Utilizing the standards set up by the media itself, then, Ben Carson is more black than Obama.
But Rupert Murdoch can’t say it. That’s because Murdoch is a conservative. “Not black enough” is a charge to be aimed only at conservative blacks by leftists. And just as blacks can’t really be conservative, conservatives can’t use the language leftists use so freely.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of DailyWire.com, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.