Saviors or Sellouts: The Promise and Peril of Black Conservatism, from Booker T. Washington to Condoleezza Rice

By Christopher Alan Bracey | Go to book overview

NINE
The Influence of Infotainment

How Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Pundits, and Bloggers
Lend Popular Credibility to Black Conservative Ideas

The increasing presence of openly conservative black public figures is a testament to the ongoing appeal of black conservative thought. But one might also point to the growing ranks of nontraditional supporters and proponents of black conservative precepts as further proof of its attractiveness. Much like their government counterparts, entertainers, pundits, and public supporters whose political voices supply America's hunger for “infotainment” bestow popular credibility and legitimacy on conservative ideas—ideas that often are initially shocking but ultimately prove delightful to their audiences.


Entertainers and Pundits

In 2004, comedian-turned-social critic Bill Cosby lashed out in neoconservative fashion against what he described as “the lower economic and low middle economic [blacks who] are not holding up their end of this deal.” The “deal,” according to Cosby, was struck by those who had worked to achieve integration, symbolized by the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and the successes of the civil rights movement. In Cosby's view, poor urban blacks had squan-

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