Professor Derrick Bell’s Five Rules of Racial Standing (thanks to KevDog, regular poster over at TSF). Please note that these rules do not apply merely to the law. The rules may be applied to any area of life activity in which racism/white supremacy is an operative factor: health, education, warfare, religion, sex, etc. You name it, the rules apply.
The law grants litigants standing to come into court based on their having sufficient personal interest and involvement in the issue to justify judicial congnizance. Black people (while they may be able to get into court) are denied such standing legitimacy in the world generally when they discuss their negative experiences with racism or even when they attempt to give a positive evaluation of another black person or of his work. No matter what their experience or expertise, blacks’ statements involving race are deemed ’special pleading’ and thus not entitled to serious consideration.
Not only are blacks’ complaints discounted, but black victims of racism are less effective witnesses than are whites, who are members of the oppressor class. This phenomenon reflects a widespread assumption that blacks, unlike whites, cannot be objective on racial issues and will favor their own no matter what. This deep seated belief fuels a continuing effort – despite all manner of Supreme Court decisions intended to curb the practice – to keep black people off juries in cases involving race. Black judges hearing racial cases are eyed suspiciously and sometimes asked to recuse themselves in favor of a white judge – without those making the request even being aware of the paradox in their motions.
Few blacks avoid diminishment of racial standing, most of their statements about racial conditions being diluted and their recommendations of other blacks taken with a grain of salt. The ususal exception to this rule is the black person who publicly disparages or criticizes other blacks who are speaking or acting in ways that upset whites. Instantly, such statements are granted ‘enhanced standing’ even when the speaker has no special expertise or experience in the subject he or she is criticizing.
When a black person or group makes a statement or takes an action that the white community or vocal components thereof deem “outrageous,” the latter will actively recruit blacks willing to refute the statement or condemn the action. Blacks who respond to the call to condemnation will receive superstanding status. The blacks who refuse to be recruited will be interpreted as endorsing the statements and action and may suffer political or economic reprisals.
True awareness requires an understanding of the Rules of Racial Standing. As an individual’s understanding of these rules increases, there will be more and more instances where one can discern their workings. Using this knowledge, one gains the gift of prophesy about racism, its essence, its goals, even its remedies. The price of this knowledge is the frustration that follows recognition that no amount of public prophesy, no matter its accuracy, can either repeal the Rules of Racial Standing nor prevent their or prevent their operation.
Pull up these rules the next time you watch the news or read an article online. You’ll be amazed at the consistency by which the Five Rules of Racial Standing are applicable to ALL reports, investigations, findings and “revelations.” If this is a new experience for you, I welcome you to do the math. Count the next 100 stories you read or watch on television. Do a Google search on a topic. Make it empirical. Quantify the extent to which the rules apply…and then we can share a hearty guffaw about objectivity in America.