*Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor at the National Review, suggested in a Friday column that GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson is “more authentically African-American” than President Obama — basically because the president is only half-black, and didn’t grow up poor and in the hood like Carson.
In his column, the conservative author brought up a discussion from Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The topic was Carson’s appeal.
“What’s remarkable is that at no point in this conversation did anyone call attention to the fact that Carson is an African-American,” Goldberg wrote. “Indeed, most analysis of Carson’s popularity from pundits focuses on his likable personality and his sincere Christian faith. But it’s intriguingly rare to hear people talk about the fact that he’s black.”
Goldberg says it’s because liberals don’t want to call attention to Obama’s supposed lack of “authentic” blackness (as the son of a white single mom, raised by white grandparents) when compared to Carson’s background as the son of a poor, single, black mother in Detroit.
Below, an excerpt of Goldberg’s Carson/Obama comparison:
In his autobiography, Obama writes at length about how he grew up outside the traditional African-American experience — in Hawaii and Indonesia — and how he consciously chose to adopt a black identity when he was in college.
Meanwhile, Carson grew up in Detroit, the son of a very poor, very hard-working single mother. His tale of rising from poverty to become the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital is one of the most inspiring rags-to-riches stories of the last half-century. (Cuba Gooding Jr. played Carson in the movie about his life.) He was a towering figure in the black community in Baltimore and nationally — at least, until he became a Republican politician.
And that probably explains why his race seems to be such a non-issue for the media.
The New York Times is even reluctant to refer to him as a doctor. The Federalist reports that Jill Biden, who has a doctorate in education, is three times more likely to be referred to as “Dr.” in the Times as brain surgeon Carson. If the Times did that to a black Democrat, charges of racism would be thick in the air.
Twitter weighed in on the absurdity of a non-black individual offering opinions on the blackness level of African Americans, as if such a scale exists:
— The Screedster (@Screedster) October 30, 2015
White Repub pundit tells Black people who “authentic” African-Americans are. Spolier: Not Obama. https://t.co/tEHen83lDD
— Chernynkaya (@Chernynkaya) October 30, 2015
After reading Jonah Goldberg’s authentic Black Ben Carson article, will watch Seinfeld episode where George needed a Black Friend.
— N4CER (@n4cerinc) October 30, 2015
— this guy (@le_blah) October 30, 2015
Jonah Goldberg’s next book will be called The Trials of Authentic Blackness: From Frederick Douglass to [Insert Black Person Here]
— Truck Stop Arby’s (@jesseltaylor) October 30, 2015
@TPM I thought they were both African – Americans. Who is Jonah Goldberg 2 determine who is more authentic?
— walter schiller (@wfromAllen) October 30, 2015
— cbbruuno (@cbbruuno) October 30, 2015