Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mary Mitchell and MSM: Giving a pass on racism to Prof. Jeremy Levitt(NIU and FIU)

Links added and revisions made at 12:45 pm on Thursday
In the context of race relations, sellouts compromise racial solidarity and group identity and integrity for perceived societal acceptance, adventure or mere escape by dating outside of their race or ethnic genre.

Professor Jeremy Levitt, Chicago Sun-Times, June 2, 2007
Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times columnist, has written five columns in a row [See here], in the last two weeks, dealing with racism or alleged racism practiced by, in large part, whites against blacks. These columns have ranged from blacks being turned away from bars by whites under false pretenses; a black arguably unjustly convicted of raping a white woman; a white man being harassed by security for a Wal-Mart store because he was holding the hand of his young black daughter; and the media giving the benefit of the doubt to a white man suspected of killing his white wife and three children (The Vaughn family murders) in contrast to the media unfairly presuming guilt by a black man in the death of his white girlfriend and her fetus, which apparently the black man had fathered, along with another child of that woman (the Cutts-Davis murders).

Oddly, with all this attention to arguable racism, Mary Mitchell seems to give a pass during the last month to some arguable racism, bigotry or intolerance by a fellow, occasional columnist and self-described "rising young scholar," at the Chicago Sun-Times, Professor Jeremy Levitt.

Levitt, described by the Chicago Sun-Times as a Professor of Law at Florida International University and a Distinguished Scholar at Northern Illinois University, and a self-described African-American, recently penned these words when discussing which African-Americans should be characterized as “sell-outs.”
How do we as African-Americans define selling out? Is it dating outside of our race? Is it the black Republican?
Not long ago, I was eating lunch at a restaurant near downtown Chicago, and a young black man walked in with a scantily dressed white woman on his arm. They were both in their early 20s and dressed the part. I saw a few ''sisters'' sigh as they entered. Yes, the brother -- smiley gold teeth and all -- looked real proud to have ''Becky,'' and she seemed even prouder to be on a safari with her African guide. They sat down near me and spoke very loudly, apparently wanting all to hear. I overheard a young black woman say, ''It's bad enough that he is a sellout, but do they have to be so ignorant, too?'' I gave her a nod of approval.
…In the context of race relations, sellouts compromise racial solidarity and group identity and integrity for perceived societal acceptance, adventure or mere escape by dating outside of their race or ethnic genre. To many, love gives no amnesty to selling out.

However, given the poor state of black America, I believe we should redefine if not expand the term. …

Based on this reality, perhaps we need to redefine selling out to castigate blacks who enable this condition. I mean blacks who are destroying our communities: the real terrorists. I mean those who murder, rape and molest, sell drugs, and gang-bang; those who keep our communities looking pillaged…. I mean black media that are raising a generation of young dummies on a diet of racially disparaging music and sleazy reality television.
It's time to quit blaming others; to call a spade a spade, not a role model.

Professor Jeremy Levitt, Chicago Sun-Times, June 2, 2007. [See here].
True, Professor Levitt does not stick, at least completely, to his definition of a black “sell-out,” as those blacks who date “outside their race or ethnic genre.” No, he “re-defines, if not expands his definition of a black sell-out,” to those blacks who “murder, rape and gang-bang,” as well as those blacks who “pimp a materialistic, misogynistic and violent culture to our youth.”

But, it doesn’t seem to this reporter that Levitt ever completely jettisons his own intolerance or racism against those blacks and whites who choose to date or marry each other. No, he just puts it aside for now because of the “poor state of black America.” Apparently, when socio-economic conditions improve in Black America, then Professor Levitt can go back to his rants about blacks “selling out,” by dating or marrying whites and other individuals dating "outside their race or ethnic genre." Yet, this racism goes unremarked upon by his colleague, Mary Mitchell, who has developed writing about racism into a cottage industry since Levitt published his column earlier this month.

Moreover, as far as this reporter can determine, no other journalist at the Sun-Times, or at its primary competitor, the Chicago Tribune, found Professor Levitt’s racism sufficiently noteworthy to write about. Indeed, this is even the case for a column written two weeks after Professor Levitt's column by Dawn Turner Trice in the Chicago Tribune. The topic of Trice’s column: Inter-racial unions, bi-racial people and a conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of the U. S. Supreme Court decision striking down miscegenation laws.

Perhaps Mitchell doesn’t read her own newspaper? Perhaps Trice doesn’t read columns in a competitor’s paper. Perhaps neither googles the words “racism,” or “misogynistic,” to look for relevant cites or authorities before publishing columns about same. Perhaps neither has editors who google those words before approving publication or making suggestions about such columns by Mitchell and Trice.

Or, perhaps there is another reason why Levitt’s racism or intolerance of bi-racial dating or marriage gets a pass from his mainstream media colleagues and their editors?

We discuss. You decide.
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