On election day, many black people encountered the anguish of a ballot where no party conveyed their specific interests. This anguish and frustration mirrors what blacks encounter every day when confronted with a racist media inundated with the anti-intellectualism of anti-blackness where few black faces convey black interests.
For instance, let us consider this past Saturday. On Saturday, political commentator and lawyer Van Jones broke down in tears after Joe Biden became the projected presidential elect in the 2020 election. Tears from a black man would prove refreshing if not in response to the white man’s victory. Jones used his platform to universalize George Floyd’s murder but directly to non-black minorities “vindicated,” to use his words, from the terror of Trumpism. Jones’s emasculation and articulation, while in response to white victory, delineates one in itself. Similarly, this week CNN political analyst Abby Phillips went on record with her reference to the poetic nature of a black woman as Vice Presidential elect. These words posit Harris as a sort of reparative act following Trump’s overt racism. Her words posit the Biden-Harris ticket as restorative not racist, an ideology that foments white nationalist as an ideology and praxis.
The black optic, who acquires significance from black adversaries, function as worthy of duplication and reverie because their visibility suggests that they must be saying something of importance if granted a platform. Furthermore, black presence in the white media remains integral to socially re-presenting white nationalism. Black presence in the white media only functions to re-present the white imaginary in blackface and embody what a white world needs black people to believe, and how they need blacks to behave, in a white supremacist space.
The black pundit was a key tool in positing Donald Trump as the lone racist wolf in a country that “wants to do better.” The black pundit’s visibility and placement on a popular platform works to embody a nation that “wants to do better.” They played a paramount role in conceptualizing Trump as a fascist in a nation that remains under the dictatorship of white supremacy. They will, and have, generated a generic perspective that suggests that Biden and Harris are saviors. They say what white America wants to hear and what blacks seeking Americanism must say to shrink themselves to fit through the small doors of the master’s house . Through them, the white media conveys the ingredients necessary to garner visibility, platform, and influence in a white supremacist space. To put it bluntly, you must be a black under the influence of white supremacy to attain a position of influence in an anti-black world. Additionally, to influence, one must not incite any engagement beyond the visual. The western world is a visual culture, a status consummated and engendered with the niggerazation of black people due to color. Thus, the black pundit must convey black acquiescence to optics while personifying one themselves.
Though these pundits are often attractive, and “articulate,” to employ the racist jargon used to compartmentalize blacks who speak as though detached from sound conceptualized as “black,” if viewers listen carefully, most of the time these perspectives could easily come from a non-black. They are tokenized to maintain black placement at the peripheries of an anti-black society simultaneously embodying a white victory. This victory comes in form of white interest and ideology universalized and falsely aligned with intelligence. The black pundit makes it seem as though the world is a democracy with diverse perspectives; however, these pundits do not deviate from white expectation and their careers are not mounted on being more than a visual advocate for their people.
In conclusion, as a trophy of white achievement, the black pundit proves an inevitable caricature that leads others to blindly follow the ways of white folk by the fixation, conversations, and admiration they foment in those desperate to believe in a country that has never conceptualized black people as aything more than opportunity or entertainment.