Ben Carson and the Dangers of Black Exceptionalism

Dr. Ben Carson made headlines for this week for his comments aligning immigrants and enslaved Africans. This comment produced its intended effect and proved viral, prompting many to attack Carson for his comments.While many condemned Carson’s for his words few commented on how his actions and presence illustrate him as a tool appointed by white supremacists for a strategic reason. Namely, Carson functions to discount the black intellect, existing to illustrate said labeling an oxymoron.

Prior to his affiliation with the Trump administration, Dr. Ben Carson was a revered neurosurgeon and author who inspired many to “think big.”  However, what patently appeared an act to uplift,  was an “exceptional negro” seeking to capitalize from his exceptionalism.

There are two types of black exceptionalism—both equally poisonous. The first type of exceptionalism is the individual who does not feel he or she is exceptional but seeks comments and accolades that suggest they are above other blacks. For example, let’s consider these two comments:

A. They’re n*ggers, but you’re not.

B. You’re black? But you’re beautiful. The black women I see, they’re not beautiful.

I like to refer to this first faction as the “Insult them, not me” faction of black exceptionalism. The “Insult me, not them” faction would see these disturbing words as a compliment because their form of inferiority allows them to smile only when the complimenting source frowns at others. Their festering inferiority allows them to overlook that any comment against the collective is a comment against the individual. This dynamic functions to further black disenfranchisement as these individuals lack the self-determination necessary for advancement.  The white, or non-black source, exploits this inferiority to inflate an inferior mindset into a source of profit, which allows him to benefit from what inevitably proves a black loss.

Conversely, the second type of black exceptionalism is the individual who is already convinced of his or her exceptionalism and feels entitled to compensation via accolades or money. Thus, the provided comments would not be enough for this type of exceptional negro, as they seek compensation, not compliments. So if suffering from this second faction of black exceptionalism, upon hearing comment B, a black woman may seek lucrative modeling contracts, a beauty award, or some means to itemize on what she perceives as superior aesthetics. Furthermore, the words alone would just be a reinforcement of what she already believes to be true.

Carson fits into the second category, a negro whose ability to “beat the odds” breeds feelings of entitlement to the spoils of his exceptionalism.

Yet this exceptionalism proves counterproductive.  To be blunt, Carson garners visibility because of his presumed intellect, but this acquired visibility functions to discount said intellect. Prior to politics, Carson was what many would consider a genius. His aptitude and intelligence afforded him a celebrated career and cause for high self-esteem. Yet, his acquired visibility unveiled Carson as ignorant and bearing a self-esteem so low he seems willing to do and say anything to appease whites.

May Ben Carson’s trajectory prove didactic in illustrating that “exceptionalism” is merely a rope handed to blacks, manifested in what appears to be compliments, money or accolades. Black exceptionalism seduces the black body to stand proudly upon a pedestal that proves to be a chair the western world eventually kicks away, leaving the “exceptional” black body hanging for the world to see, ultimately forgetting why this black body was exceptional at all.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. “Yet this exceptionalism proves counterproductive.  To be blunt, Carson garners visibility because of his presumed intellect, but this acquired visibility functions to discount said intellect. Prior to politics, Carson was what many would consider a genius. His aptitude and intelligence afforded him a celebrated career and cause for high self-esteem. Yet, his acquired visibility unveiled Carson as ignorant and bearing a self-esteem so low he seems willing to do and say anything to appease whites.”
    Bingo!!!! You nailed it right there CC! Great post!

      1. You’re always welcome.

  2. themelanatedman says:

    Man you can apply this post to practically every profession we dominate from the entertainment industry to government positions. You name it. Love the analysis! 🖒🖒🖒

    1. Great point! Thank you!

  3. Ben Carson ‘cooning’ for Massa. “Yessa, Massa, suh. Days be immigrants and not slaves. Day cum heah willingly, Massa, sir!”

    Excellent and spot on analysis of this pathetic piece of human garbage. And I sincerely feel for those who must make use of HUD programs while this ‘house negro’ is in charge.

  4. blackempowerment1 says:

    Another brilliant Counter-Racist effort. You see this sentiment a lot with so-called educated professional blacks who probably couldn’t tell you who Fannie Lou Hamer was. The white supremacist loves to use racial showcasing to further confuse and disenfranchise black people. White people love to point to Oprah or Michael Jordan and say, hey they made it, why can’t you get yourself together, while at the same time, knowing they have added a million stumbling blocks and institutional stops to the plight of the average black person. As a general Code I do not put to much energy or attention on any non-white that they stick out there, I choose to remain focused on the puppet master, rather than the puppet. The white supremacists love to put these black people in front of us to get us all riled up. My codify response to what Ben Carson or any non white said to another non-white, would be Mr. Carson said what he said but the problem is still white people. To a person classified as white, my codified response would be, I was not present when Mr. Carson made his statements, so it would be best to clarify with him, what he meant. I cannot be held responsible for someone else’s outlandish thoughts, behaviors or actions,

    1. Excellent point about the puppet master! Thank you for reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s