As you who follow this blog know, we’ve locked horns with Brotha Wolf (BW) in these pages many, many times. It’s always been a strenuous debate, and we found BW to be a fun, if ill-informed, interlocutor.
Our exchange initially took the following form:
- BW insults me –> I call him on it, and re-point the conversation back to the topic.
Eventually, I brought BW back round to having a civil discussion. Then, as he grew frustrated with the exchange, he’d lapse and the conversation would revert to the above bulleted form. We went back and forth like that for about six years. Brotha Wolf always eventually grew frustrated, because we always thumped him pretty soundly.
Then, we decided to change things up a bit. The reason was simple. Brotha Wolf — or Will Capers, as his valedictory post (here) indicates — is a racist. He’s kind of an unapologetic racist, and we called him on it, and demanded that he stop it… or stop pretending that he was, as he always claimed to be, an “anti-racist blogger.”
As you could probably guess, that was a difficult sell for BW, and we didn’t think we’d ever convinced him of what was pretty much right in front of his face.
All this time, though, we harbored a great deal of affection for BW. Reading between the lines, he seemed under the surface to be a genuinely nice guy… in the same way that the casual, but non-thinking racists of decades ago were actually nice people, just blissfully unaware of the corrosive biases that suffused their thinking and their days.
That is — or was — Brotha Wolf.
Then, though, the casual white racists in America… stopped. Things happened that opened their eyes and they… stopped it. They just cut it out. Furthermore, they acted aggressively to educate others to stop it. And they acted aggressively — for much good and much ill — to try to atone for it. This was unprecedented in the history of the world!
This is the remarkable thing: white people didn’t have to do this! White people were the dominant demographic in America, with control of the government, the media, academia, Hollywood and pop culture… all the levers of American power. They absolutely didn’t have to relinquish any of all that stuff that they had certainly labored hard over the centuries to obtain!
But relinquish it they did. At least a great deal of it.
It’s one of the most remarkable, noble, selfless, magnanimous things that any definable demographic group has ever done in the entire history of mankind. Put it this way: history is replete with stories of one definable group visiting horrific atrocities on other definable groups. In that awful saga, the action of western white people stands out as the exact opposite: a hugely significant, shining act of nobility and selflessness.
The result of this act of introspection and self-dispossession was the near total and utter eradication of white hostility against non-white persons… across two entire continents: North America and Europe.
This is why I (really we: two of us interacted with BW over the years) took BW to task so adamantly. As wrong as it was to be casual racists in the early ’20’s, ’30’s, ’40’s, ’50’s and early ’60’s, it’s just as wrong to be that way if you’re a black man now! If racism is wrong, then it’s always wrong.
BW was, and is, a racist in a way in which he intellectually approves, but in a way he knows deep-down is inexcusable. That conflict was always a part of BW’s discourse with us, and we never shied away from pointing it out. Needless to say, to point that out can meet with a strong, if irrational, and defensive reaction. And BW reacted incredibly defensively.
The problem was that we had the goods on BW. In one of our threads on BW’s blog, when a commenter expressed a fantasy that all white people would die a violent, gruesome death, BW laughed at the sentiment, and even endorsed it.
It was hard at that point, for BW to deny his own racism, and to deny that his racism took exactly the same form as white racism, and was, by extension, just as evil.
Then things took another turn. As I mentioned above, we decided to change things up a bit. We flipped the script. We began to insult BW. We called him a very insulting name (“bigoted bastard”), we called him stupid, ignorant and other things. Now, he’d called us crazy, racists, psychos, stupid, ignorant, and more, so we weren’t doing anything at which he should have been at all surprised.
However, BW was surprised! He showed himself to be shocked, and then he flipped the script, and began to admonish us to be more polite, to address the point, to get back on-topic. At which point, we pointed out that he’d felt it just fine to call us all manner of vile things… for years.
I think we threw BW with that one. And I think that we had some small part in BW’s above-linked, change-of-heart. In fact, he mentioned us in his valedictory as well.
One important point that BW makes in his swan song is: he’s not so sure anymore that he’s right. And he’s not so sure that his views are correct. This is a very mature, intelligent thing to say!
If you think of our script-flipping above, you’ll recognize that it’s a tactic, an inevitable result of which will likely be: BW and I will no longer have any interactions. We knew this before we did it, and we did it for a simple reason: frankly we’d given up on BW. He was a racist, and he’d said numerous times that he was never going to change. Never, ever, ever, ever! And we believed him. Why not? We’ll take a man’s word for it, when he expresses it as vociferously and emphatically as BW always did.
BW’s final post — or what he says is his final post as BW — seems to indicate that he’s coming to new understandings, or at least he’s questioning his old understandings. As mentioned above, this is a very intelligent thing to say and to do! It’s something that we were confident he didn’t have either the intellect or the character to do!
Maybe we were wrong. I certainly hope so. And, it appears, we had no small part in it.
We here at our small, but increasingly influential think tank wish the former BW all the very best in his pursuit of deeper truths, as well as greater, deeper, fuller knowledge and understanding of the world around him. Finally, we wish the former BW joy, love, laughter, fun, excitement, reward, richness and fulfillment beyond his wildest dreams every day of his life. We pray that God will richly bless BW with the strength, courage and grace to turn his heart and mind to Him, whose love passeth all understanding, and from whom all the above-enumerated blessings spring.