Your Race Card Has Been Declined

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Pity poor Goldie Taylor. By her account, she struggles through each day, dragging with her the shackles of the racial animus which she and all her African-American brothers and sisters must drag with them through life. Taylor explained her uphill climb during a recent Twitter meltdown regarding Cliven Bundy:

Imagine my putty-faced surprise to learn after all my years on Earth that I had it better than Taylor, merely by virtue of my white-ish skin. Fortunately, Taylor was there to explain: “You don’t know the disparities b/c your life is as such that you don’t have to. That, my friends, defines privilege.”

Not that I necessarily doubt Taylor’s claims of racist victimization, but I have a hard time understanding how she counts herself among the victims. Taylor grew up in East St. Louis, Ill. While the city has been a Democrat-controlled, decaying semi-urban hulk since before Taylor’s arrival, it’s difficult to imagine how she endured much racism in a city whose population is close to 100 percent black. Rather than lament her circumstances, she escaped to Parris Island, S.C., and the Marine Corps, which must have missed her overabundance of melanin. Discharged honorably, she and her children moved to Atlanta, where she tricked the Atlanta Journal-Constitution into hiring her despite her ethnicity and attended the prestigious Emory University, a decision she said was motivated by the fact that Emory “was the only college at the time that had family housing, because without it, we would’ve been homeless.” Lucky for her, then, that Emory didn’t notice her dark skin.

Taylor moved on from the media world to pursue political work. Again, she somehow managed to escape the racism that barred so many others from success. Most remarkably of all, Taylor worked on a series of Republican campaigns in Georgia — a virtual impossibility given the racism inherent in all society, not to mention the Republican Party. She then followed her time in the political industry by infiltrating the world of advertising. All things being equal, Taylor has done quite well for herself given the soul-crushing racism that she insists defines her life as a black woman.

The money, the degree from a respected institution of higher learning, the hobnobbing with the rich and the elbowing with the powerful, and even the career built on charging people to listen to her speak her mind: it was all forced upon her because she’s black-ish. Actually, she’s a fairly pleasant shade of caramel and — speaking only on my own behalf — not particularly hard on the eyes. But still: What a trouper she must be.

Despite her best efforts, Taylor’s skin color has relegated her to the meager trappings of business success, professional and academic achievements, and media demand — all of it with corporate sponsorship by companies such as Proctor & Gamble. In fact, with examinations of race and culture including CNN’s highly rated “Black in America” on her resume, Taylor has apparently been forced to exploit her complexion to survive. No matter. Much like Barack Obama, who couldn’t rise beyond the Presidency of the United States; Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is stuck as one of America’s preeminent scientists and philosophers; and even Oprah Winfrey, who was too black to reach above a position of unparalleled dominance over American popular culture, Taylor simply wasn’t able to throw off the yoke of racism and follow her dreams.

Oh, cruel fortune! Oh, mean fate! Oh, vicious destiny! Oh, spare me the race-baiting histrionics, Ms. Taylor. You’re doing just fine.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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