Kirkpatrick asks why there seems to be so much "hatred" of Duke's basketball program and cites evidence that the ill-feeling is due to the fact that the black players Duke recruits come from homes that have "white" values. Duke's coaches allegedly shy away from black players who have troubled backgrounds or a history that suggests that they'd be at academic risk. Evidently black players who take academics seriously, come from stable, two parent families, intend to graduate, and don't wear their pants at mid-buttock are considered sell-outs to their race. One commentator even called the Duke athletes Uncle Toms.
Kirkpatrick cites an excerpt from a book by political strategist Ron Christie:
As Ron Christie demonstrates in his recent book, Acting White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur, the notion that blacks who sought social, cultural or intellectual advancement were "acting white" was a slur that originated during slavery and Reconstruction as a way for whites to keep down so-called "uppity" blacks....Since then, the stereotype of "acting white" also has taken hold within the African-American community as a form of black-on-black rhetoric that threatens to subvert the social and economic gains for which generations of blacks have fought.This is just great. A significant number of American blacks have been brainwashed into thinking that the values and virtues that lead to success in this country are somehow incompatible with being black and that if a black person adopts them then he or she is somehow betraying the race.
A successful political strategist who happens to be black, Christie writes that he himself has been labeled as someone who "acts white" because he is well-dressed and well-spoken. In one instance while volunteering as a tutor and mentor for at-risk elementary children, one student asked him, "Is it cool to study and act white like you do?" When Christie asked the student what he meant, the student explained that everyone in his school knew that "if you study, pay attention in class, and do well, you're ACTING WHITE."
Asians don't think this way. Hispanics don't think this way. Just blacks, and, thankfully, just some blacks. Why? What sense does it make? Do they really think that they're better off not taking advantage of the educational opportunities they're being provided by the larger society? Or is their rejection of the path to success taken by others just a pose that enables them to rationalize an inability to compete in an academic environment?
In any case, I can't think of anything better suited to insure that blacks remain at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid than a refusal to do what they need to do to climb to a higher level of achievement because doing so would be "acting white".
Read the whole article, especially if you're a college basketball fan. I think you'll find it pretty interesting.