How to Be Real, Part II: Becoming an NPC

Via David Thompson, behold the “man” who inspired these posts:

More pointedly, I am sexist. There are times when I fear for the loss of my own entitlement as a male. Toxic masculinity takes many forms. All forms continue to hurt and to violate women.

The deep thoughts quoted above appear in the New York Times.  George Yancy, their author, teaches philosophy at Emory University in Atlanta.  Yancy is Black.  Any guess as to what his faculty page looks like?

Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America.  On Race: 34 Conversations in a Time of Crisis.  Look, A White! Philosophical Essays on Whiteness.  Therapeutic Uses of Rap and Hip-Hop.  This is that Baudrillard “simulacrum” stuff from the previous post.  References without referrents.  Nothing about this guy is real — he’s got a dual degree in “Africana Studies” and his “research” areas are “Critical Philosophy of Race,” “Critical Whiteness Studies,” and “African-American Philosophy and Philosophy of the Black Experience,” all of which sum up to “Blackity black black black, now hire me for the Diversity points.”  Yancy couldn’t be more of a caricature if he took his picture with his hat backwards, holding a pit bull and a 40, with a huge dollar sign in gold around his neck…

…. and he’s teaching at Emory, a highly regarded private school, tuition upwards of $60K per year.

I’m not (just) making fun of this guy.  Yancy did everything a middle class Black kid is supposed to do, and he did it quite well.  He went to the most prestigious schools — those dual MAs are from the Ivy League.  I’d be willing to bet he never got less than an A in his life, and he was probably homecoming king and class president, too.  My point is this: Did Yancy earn any of that?  How could he possibly know?

The reason this type of guy produces nothing but Blackity Black: The Black of My Blackness, the reason he writes op-ed in the New York Times, the reason he teaches nothing but “Critical Race Theory,” is this: It proves he’s real.

Think about it.  He could write papers about astrophysics, or the Designated Hitter, or the price of rice in China, or Shakespeare.  None of it would matter, because he checked the right box on the census form and he’s capable of not pissing in the punch bowl at faculty mixers.  Emory needed a “Black philosopher” to meet the Diversity quota, so they got one.  If they’d needed a “Black astrophysicist,” they would’ve slotted him in there instead.  I assure you, he knows this.  How could he not?

Pumping out book after book of blackity black black black, then, is him proving to himself that he’s a real scholar, hired to do real stuff, and that everyone still respects him in the morning.  He knows he doesn’t know squat about astrophysics, but he damn well knows he’s Black, so he’s going to keep writing on it for as long as his fingers can type.

That’s how you become an NPC.  Your only validation is external, and nothing’s real there, either — everyone gets trophies, nobody fails, everything has trigger warnings, nobody’s different from anybody and everyone’s the best at everything.  I taught college for a lot of years, and I’m as serious as cancer when I tell you that kids these days get far, far into their 20s still thinking the world works this way.  There are, in fact, a large and growing number of fields — academia, human resources, etc. — where the world does work this way.  Is it any wonder they’re all on antidepressants?

Is it any wonder that they wonder if they’re really real?


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3 thoughts on “How to Be Real, Part II: Becoming an NPC

  1. Frip

    I checked out Yancy and read his NYT editorial. These people used to be annoying, now they’re getting downright creepy. Life is starting to scare me. When can we start destroying?

  2. MBlanc46

    In my work I’ve come across a few black philosophy profs. With every one it was blackety, blackety, black black.

    1. Severian

      Pretty much any Black professor of anything softer than Theoretical Physics will blackity black black black all the time. Which stinks, because some of them could do good work if they wanted to…. but why would they want to? If I got lifetime employment at $100K for writing the occasional internet article with Slave Leia pics, I’d do it with a smile (that’s your cue, Soros — call me!!). The path of least resistance, in this case, is about as cushy a life as anyone can realistically live.

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