Keith Rupert Murdoch, born in Melbourne, Australia in 1931, does not have any known blood ties to the African Diaspora, nor any profound connection to the African American community–aside from owning a cable news network that has served as a megaphone for the most bigoted, anti-Black pathology disguised as journalism this side of the Klu Klux Klan’s The Crusader. Yet, because of his enthusiasm for 2016 presidential hopeful Ben Carson, Murdoch decided to reveal that, in the twilight of his life, he has somehow become an expert on Blackness. You see, dear reader, Murdoch seems to feel that the Detroit ghetto-bred brain surgeon can be a “real Black president” in the way that two-term President Barack Obama cannot.

Between this and Dr. Carson’s story of being robbed at a Popeye’s, I would like to bring this week to a swift close and try again on Monday, perhaps even later. Because this is entirely too much.


Worse than Murdoch’s support of Dr. Carson as a racial unifier (more on that below), however, is the idea that he himself has any right to access the Blackness of Mr. Obama, to cast off his background (which is unique by any standard) as “White” when Whiteness is a club that his blood will never allow him to join. It’s fascinating to see how Mr. Obama’s biracial heritage is leveled against him when convenient, especially when it’s at the hands of the very same folks who have used his Blackness against him. He’s not “really” Black in the eyes of Murdoch (though the behavior of Congress, the creation of the Tea Party and the uptick in public, blatant “They are taking ‘OUR’ country sentiment proves otherwise), but he’s not White either…so he’s a mutant? Some alternate species that doesn’t deserve political representation? If this if is simply about socioeconomic background, does this imply that any Black person who grew up middle-class, or outside of the ghetto lacks authenticity? Did Murdoch just parrot the comments of a bully from a very special episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air who hated Carlton because of his means? And if so, why has his network been so hard on First Lady Michelle Obama, who clearly passes the ghetto sniff test he seems to be endorsing?

The suggestion of Dr. Carson as the alternative, the man who can unify the country, is pretty hilarious, especially considering how the surgeon is seemingly perceived by Black voters. He is anti-single parent, he described Obamacare as “the worst thing since slavery” and compared the Obama administration to the Third Reich. Dr. Carson speaks of poverty and racism as if these are things that you can just “get over.” This isn’t the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1992, during which it seemed that many of our folks felt that having any Black guy in the seat would be better than the alternative.

We currently have a Black president who is still popular with Black voters, despite widespread sentiment that he could and should do more for them. The suggestion that Dr. Carson is the man who can unify the races is pretty hilarious, especially considering how unlikely the surgeon is to sway Black voters.How one could ever suggest that that someone whose politics are in such contrast with the vast majority of Black voters (and non voters) would carry us? Does Murdoch think we’ll be voting for Dr. Carson because he’s Black, a charge leveled against Black and non-Black voters alike in regards to Mr. Obama? Or, perhaps, he simply doesn’t care what we think.

The idea of Carson as a unifier is pretty funny. Racism is healed by confronting it, not by ejecting the fella who is going to pretend it doesn’t exist. But if your goal is to strengthen structures that disenfranchise people of color, then the idea of finding one who shares values that are virulently anti-Black as your own might seem like a good one. Surprisingly enough, Murdoch has apologized. (Yes, apologies are common after mind-boggling racist comments, but he owns Fox News…they don’t apologize for much.)


Nevertheless, we have been reminded yet again of the unmitigated gall of White privilege: “We’ll tell you who’s Black enough and who’s not.”

Jamilah Lemieux is EBONY Magazine’s Senior Editor. Views here are her own.