Jack White vs. Jelani Cobb (Round 3)

So you guys know I have a dog in this fight, Jelani being my homeboy, fellow Bison and all. At any rate, all that aside, I think I can say that, without prejudice, he is also the wrong cat to get into verbal fisticuffs with. Here he is taking it to Jack White, who took it to him over the weekend.

After reading your hypertensive response to my article, I could not help but wonder if the straw man would press assault charges. Having read your work on previous occasions, I will admit to being a bit surprised by that you took the tone of a feuding rapper at my suggestion that there should be electoral consequences for the recent campaign behavior of the Clintons.

The issue at hand being, if Hillary wins, should black folks defect to McCain. Jelani actually offers up some fairly interesting historical context:

You might do well to recall that African Americans faced a similar predicament in 1932 when we realized that the relationship with the Republican Party, to which we had been emotionally tethered since Emancipation, had reached a point of diminishing returns. In voting for Roosevelt in that election, African Americans were literally supporting the party of white slaveholders and their segregationist descendants, but did so with the strategic belief that the GOP could no longer be allowed to take black votes for granted. They ended up altering the entire trajectory of the Democratic Party.


History has – or certainly should have – taught us the difference between social policy and social affinity. In the 1928 Democratic Convention, token black delegates were literally segregated from their white counterparts. (They did, however, allow a black preacher to pray for them.) Eight years later, the Democrat Franklin Roosevelt had appointed William Hastie as a federal judge, given Mary McLeod Bethune an executive position within the administration and made Robert F. Weaver an advisor for housing matters.

Think we'll get a Round 3?