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Blog: DuBois' talented tenth In The Post Civil-Rights Era

By Dr. Eugene Stovall

Oakland, California

Lately, the media is filled with the gibberish spewed by the privileged members of the colored ‘talented tenth’. Those the media chooses to spotlight are the Negro “talented tenth” ____ so-called because W.E.B. DuBois told his white supporters that only the top ten percent of Negroes could be trusted. The other 90% of Negroes could not be trusted to behave as “good” citizens. DuBois chided whites for treating the talented tenth the same way they treated the “other” Negroes.

In DuBois’ day, one of the most important methods of becoming a member of the ‘talented tenth’ was to be like him, a half-breed, with one parent, Negro, the other white. Color was another credential for access to the ‘talented tenth’, the lighter the Negro’s color, the more trustworthy he seemed. Today, however, parentage and skin color has less to do with being a member of the ‘talented tenth’ than choice. Today one can choose to become a member of this elite group.

And who can blame this special caste of “talented tenth” Negroes for doing all they can for themselves? If the “first black” president whose family were cooks and servants could become the most powerful man in the United States, why should anyone allow themselves to be obstructed by racial barriers? Why not go for a good job, social prominence and the patronage of powerful white folks? Talented tenth Negroes don’t even need to know anything ___ especially if they want careers in politics or academia. Today a member of the ‘talented tenth’ must serve in a “black” organization, disavow their racial identity and do as told. Members of the “talented tenth” can be politicians like Clarence Thomas, Condolessa Rice and Ward Connerly. They can be entertainers Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby and even Charles Barkley. They can be preachers turned civil rights advocates turned politicians turned entertainers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. You find them filling all the academic posts where their unique talents allow them to fill affirmative action quotas while arguing against preferential treatment. The “talented tenth” routinely tout the wonders of the new “color-blind” American society even as the ninety percent of black people are steeped in ignorance, mired in moral decadence and condemned to abject poverty. More importantly, the “talented tenth” establish their credentials with their white sponsors by wringing their hands over the plight of their white middle class LGBT “sisters” and “brothers” and decrying the attacks on unions.

The ‘talented tenth’ have nothing but the highest praise for the accomplishments of the “first” black president who rescued the banks and wall street from their own illegal operations, saved the auto industry from its uneconomic business practices and has now collaborated with the health insurance industry to bilk billions of dollars from the young and healthy while providing no improvement in the health care delivery system. The fact that this president has been a disaster for the black community bothers the “talented tenth” not at all. [see]

Yes the color-blind “talented tenth” enjoys the good life. Former civil rights leaders, politicians, entertainers and media celebrities golf at exclusive country clubs, buy the latest Parisian fashions and hobnob in their gambling casinos and playboy clubs. This caste is unconcerned with mass incarcerations and the draconian laws that give a severe jail sentence to a black and probation to a white when either violates the same drug offense. In Virgina, a black 15 year old got 118 years in prison for robbery. 15-year-old-given-118-years-prison-robbery. [see:] “Talented tenth” members are unconcerned with black children, unconcerned with their education, decent meals or even a safe place for black children to rest their heads. Yet, the “talented tenth”, but they congratulate themselves for being better than the rest. And the black leadership continually recognize members of the talented tenth with banquets and awards to members of the “talented tenth” for their services. I know of one “black leader” who has received two or three awards a year for the past twenty years and I do not recall one thing that he has ever done that made the slightest difference in the lives of anyone in Oakland’s black community.

Both Derrick Bell in his Faces At the Bottom Of the Well and Carl Rowan in his book, The Coming Race War In America, prophesized this Post-Civil Rights period. They told us that racial genocide was on the table. The so-called black leaders looked the other or ‘pooh-poohed’ them. Carl Rowan said that academic, media and government ‘mouthpieces’ were fanning the flames of hatred without a word of reproach from the established black leadership. When democrats like Bill Clinton blamed America’s domestic ills on welfare mothers, Third World immigrants and the urban criminal elements, black leaders never challenged him. The epidemic of corporate greed lawlessness, government corruption and wide spread disrespect for the law by those “too rich to fail” and “too evil to jail” were justified by Clinton’s America’s War On Drugs and Welfare Reform, leading to a “hate-the-poor” mindset ____ a mindset that has been fully adopted by the ‘talented tenth”.

In his study, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, the Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal justifies racial genocide by suggesting methods of eliminating the black population that keep American values intact. In order to ‘democratically’ engineer racial genocide, Myrdal’s recommends that the Negro ‘talented tenth’ be recruited as active participants in the enterprise that he believed all whites either explicitly or implicitly support. The ‘talented tenth’ could act like as black sonderkommandos in the elimination of the remaining “negroes”. Then, Myrdal maintains, the mass incarcerations, subjection to infectious diseases, economic and educational deprivation, selective assassinations and random murders would not seem to be what it actually was: racial genocide. Myrdal claimed that the religious, academic and social members of the Negro ‘talented tenth” could be easily recruited since all “negroes” needed the support of white patronage for advancement.

In his book, White Over Black, University of California professor, Winthrop Jordan, refined Myrdal’s methods for reducing and eliminating the Negro population in America. The so-called Tuskegee experiment in which black men were deliberately injected with syphilis can be directly linked to his study. The fact that this experiment was conducted in a black hospital with the support of black doctors, on the campus of a historically black college shows how correct Myrdal and Jordan were in predicting the importance of the “talented tenth” in specific programs of racial genocide. Furthermore, no segment of American society includes more members of the ‘talented tenth’ than the criminal justice system. “Talented tenth” are still shaking their heads over the suicides of a thousand black men, women and children in Jonestown ___ even though the autopsies proved that the majority of the adults were shot and the children were injected with cyanide with hypodermic needles. These leaders also ignore suggestions that those who were responsible for the murders of BSU leaders at UCLA were also involved in the Jonestown massacre.

Hollywood has also used the ‘talented tenth’ in its massive and important effort to create the image of the ideal American society. The blatantly racist images projected into the society could not have been accomplished without the support of the ‘talented tenth’. D.G. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation suffered in authenticity when it used white actors in blackface to play the parts of the offending Negroes. How much more effective was it for Clark Gable to call Butterfly McQueen a “half-witted darky” in Gone With The Wind. And no one will ever need to wonder how a real “coon” behaves after seeing Django Unchained. So Hollywood could never have effectively depicted why American innocence needed protection against black barbarism without the ‘talented tenth’. Negroes rose up in righteous indignation against Birth Of A Nation, even though they were threatened with violence and imprisonment. Today, Hollywood has no problem recruiting “talented tenth” actors to play any demeaning role Hollywood wishes to project. Movies like American Gangster, Monsters Ball, Precious, The Help and The Butler explain to white America why black men need to be stop & frisked, incarcerated and shot. The talented tenth happily tell white America that the racial genocide should continue. Producers like Lee Daniels and Tyler Perry have unlimited access to funds and Russell Simmons attacks Harriet Tubman who actually led hundreds of slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman was not a member of the Negro “talented tenth”. Her body was enslaved but her mind was free. Russell Simmons was born into the ‘talented tenth’ and his mind belongs to his master.

Barack Hussein Obama. the “first black” president of the United States serves as a role model for the “new Negroes” of the post civil rights American society. His health insurance scam hurts black students.


He is cutting aid to black colleges [see:]

But what could we expect. Obama’s father and grandfather faithfully served the white settlers in Kenya.

[see: Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss and Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion edited by Jeffery St, Clair & Joshua Frank.]

Obama, himself, betrayed his black supporters at Harvard, both Derrick Bell as well as the Black Student Union. As president, he is committed to making money for the rich and powerful. The “first black” president of the United States is the ‘prototypical’ member of the Negro ‘talented tenth’ and will seduce many into academia, government and the pulpit with the notion of: serve your master well. So before Obama leaves office, there will probably be an intensified effort to further separate the serving, preaching and entertaining “talented tenth” caste from the rest of us, who the whites___ Democrats as well as Republicans intend to disenfranchise, stop & frisk, jail and kill.