Politically correct Huffington Post columnist, Olivia Cole, recently went to the cinema to watch Lucy.
The film is about a drug mule who develops super powers after a synthetic drug is released into her system. As is standard for Hollywood, beyond the action-packed scenes, Lucy pushes a message of universal humanism, complete with moralistic speeches from a wise, black professor. It has an unusually diverse cast: Morgan Freeman (as the wise professor), Amr Waked, and Choi Min-sik have three of the four leading roles. Much of the movie was shot in Taipei, so whites are rare even in the background.
One would think that, for a Huffington Post columnist, little could go wrong here. However, Miss Cole belongs to a superior breed, and is not so easily pleased: In fact, she was so incensed by the movie’s “racism” that she rushed home to hammer out a knuckleduster-and-chain condemnation of the film and American cinema generally. The reason for her fury? Blonde, blue-eyed Scarlett Johansson has the lead role.
Miss Cole, who is white, “can’t get right with that.”
In her mind, the white supremacist subtext of the film is that the most evolved human is a Nordic Aryan (Miss Johansson is actually Jewish). And Miss Cole is sick of seeing white people on the big screen.
Such was the vehemence of her prose that I decided to investigate.
On her profile page at the Huffington Post I found an archive of wild-eyed, pottery-throwing rants, all fixated on race. Readers’ comments are scarce (one article has zero), but when there are many she gets a tidal wave of eye-rolling and sarcastic criticism. She seems to thrive on this, however, because she boasts about it on her blog.
When her editor rejects her diatribes, they end up on her blog. Her readers are nearly all aggrieved black women who think Hollywood will offer them roles only as maids and slaves. This woe-is-me allegation is torn to shreds by a Hollywood insider who explains that the American public doesn’t need them as actresses because black women are already cast in many different roles and there are no slave shows on television. He also tells her to learn from white women, reminding her that “[f]or every one white blonde woman in Hollywood there are 1 million others right behind her[, a]ll competing for the same spot.”
Next stop, her Facebook page: the photo album features almost exclusively black faces, except for hers. The few exceptions appear next to diatribes about white “racism,” “white privilege,” whitewashing, gay marriage, and whatnot.
We’ve heard her type before: Whites are steeped in “white privilege,” “racism” permeates American culture; only whites can be racist. She wants whites to feel uncomfortable, to feel awkward, to be mentally and spiritually bruised–because she thinks that will make them better.
Miss Cole describes herself as a poet and an activist, so this is her mission in life. An example of her poetry can be found in her blog:
After meeting a feminist man on the city bus
It’s the joy of wandering through space,
Second rock to third to fourth
all manner of Martians hostile
and staring–and then
from under a stone
crawls a creature with eyes
like Earth but the color of Venus
Greetings. We are the same.
and after so many months
of deciphered struggle,
of being thirsty to hear
a word that is true to your ear
that comes from the mouth
like a meteor of Light . . .
you are satisfied.
This is a planet full of fools
but at least there is one
with a soul.
Miss Cole self-published her debut novel this year with funding from black friends in social media. It deals with racial themes, and since I am not tired of life, I don’t plan to read it anytime soon.
In her profile photograph, we find a young woman with self-righteous aggro written all over her face. I marvel at so much hatred in such a slight frame.
I am curious about her life history, if only because it would help arrive at a diagnosis. Many young women of her generation went through the same university system, but not all of them ended up with her affliction. Some, in fact, develop an immunity and go on to live productive, well-adjusted lives. Alas, Ms Cole keeps her biographical details obscure, and life is too short to dig through her writing in search of clues.
We may never learn the true source of Miss Cole’s hatred, but we can analyze its meaning. Let’s start with “white privilege.” First, it has always struck me that white folks who are on a crusade to further the interests of people of color are enjoying a special form of “white privilege,” in that only a privileged, fashionable, city-dwelling white media person can afford the luxury of making a living promoting people of color.
Second, this type of activism is an assertion of her belief in her own moral superiority; she wants her activism to be noticed, talked about, and imitated by whites who want to take the next step in evolution. In other words, it is both an assertion of white superiority and an act of supreme vanity and narcissism.
The narcissism is such that, in her self-absorption she is selective with the evidence. In her review of Lucy, she lists a number of films that do not have black leads, but one of her own commenters notes that she did not:
acknowledge [that] Morgan Freeman is in the film. She doesn’t want to focus on the fact the . . . last Will Smith movies, After Earth, Hancock, I am Legend, and the Men in Black franchise, all placed a black man in the world of Sci-Fi. These were also apocalyptic type movies where Will Smith is the star. She wants to ignore it.
Even this seems to give Miss Cole too much credit. I don’t think it’s a case of deliberately ignoring, but a case of seeing what she wants to see. She goes into the cinema with a head so crammed ideological nitro-glycerin that any scene can detonate her outrage: She goes in looking for trouble and is determined to find it.
This blinding narcissism is a way to portray herself as both the redeemer and the redeemed. Miss Cole can play the slave-master cracking the whip all over again, putting blacks to work for her, only in the guise of their best friend. I would imagine some blacks see the sham for what it is, and would rather she shut up and let blacks deal with their own issues, without the great white savior speaking on their behalf. Sadly, a mixture of racial guilt among whites and her usefulness to blacks secures her an audience.
Obviously, this audience is exclusively American, because her message makes sense only in America. In Britain, for example, blacks are recent arrivals, who came as citizens of the British Commonwealth, not as slaves. Moreover, it was the United Kingdom that spearheaded efforts to abolish slavery and the slave trade. Indeed, the destruction of the slave trade and bringing the benefits of civilization were two important justifications for imperialism.
Therefore, while Miss Cole’s message purports to be one of universal humanism, it is strictly provincial. Perhaps she should spend some time travelling through equatorial Africa to broaden her horizons; she doesn’t seem to realize that there is a world beyond the Chicago skyline. Even travel literature by “privileged” white males such as Paul Theroux, who has had ample experience in the Dark Continent, would be a place to start, but I doubt her personal library stretches beyond Tim Wise, Noel Ignatiev, and Maya Angelou.
Traveling would help in other ways because, like many race-obsessed activists, Miss Cole sees everything in black and white, to the point that she effectively erases everyone else. The same commenter in her blog underlined how
everyone failed to see how Cole marginalized other races and ethnicities. She championed African Americans, but clearly can’t differentiate Asian cultures.
Miss Cole’s geography was also wrong: In her first published version of the Lucy review, she thought Taipei was in China. She had to scramble to correct her copy.
Ignorance is characteristic of this type of activist, who thinks opposition to her is a sign of ignorance. The truth is that, the more opinionated the activist, the less knowledgeable. The superficiality of Miss Cole’s posts may be the result of modern American education, but it may also betray a closed mind. This is paradoxical, because her mind is deemed all the more open for being, in fact, firmly closed: closed to experience, closed to facts, closed to the reality that exists outside her city environment, her racially homogeneous friends, her Left-liberal media milieu, and the closed universe of self-referential Leftist academic theory.