Originally Posted by Mannish Boy
Not to mention that the black guys (almost) only ever get wheeled out to talk about 'black issues'. Although that might have something to do with the paucity of black intellectuals in American public life.
I don't think this holds up. What is a black issue? Skip Gates? Reverend Wright and the South Side? Corruption in the Congressional Black Caucus that may be facilitated by well-intentioned gerrymandering? On all three of these examples, it felt to me like unique and sharp ideas.
In the CBC thing in particular (it wasn't John M, it was Glenn and Yglesias maybe), I think they were actually touching on what does it mean to criticize a "black issue" from within or without the obvious demographic. So it was meta discussion *of* whether or not you need a black analyst to tear in to the CBC when they deserve it, how it changes the equation of how your message will be received, and so on.
I believe Loury & McWhorter have also done a segment on *the phenomenon* of being wheeled out as the black guy in more commercial, restricted media. Like a soundbite or, "so-and-so magazine asked me for a two-graf tribute to MLK and I had mixed feelings about being wheeled out.."
I think when your medium is diavlogs, an hour uninterrupted, and their points can go against the grain in places, go with the grain in places, meta points ... it's completely different from the type of crass "casting" you're referring to.